Uday Salunkhe

Scions Of Business Families Prefer MBAs Abroad. Uday Salunkhe Explains Why.

Aditya Vikram Birla earned a chemical engineering degree from MIT, USA. Business families tend to send their scions for overseas business management programmes. Uday Salunkhe, Group Director of WeSchool, explains the reason behind this decision as, “They want some honest international exposure and an independent lifestyle, which they may not get back home. Before they enter their work life, they want some independence and experience of how to deal with that independence and take responsibility.”

Most students prefer a one year PG programme offered by B-Schools in UK and Australia. The main reason for this choice is that these countries allow students to stay back and work for a while.

In most big business families in India, you will find holders of foreign degrees. “When you are the owner of a business in India, you normally tend to meet people who agree with you. We are still a hierarchy-heavy nation,” explains Uday Salunkhe.

Another good example would be Ameera Shah, MD and CEO of Metropolis Healthcare. Having graduated from University of Texas in Austin, Shah transformed her father’s one-lab pathology business into a chain of laboratories across India and other emerging market economies.

Overseas education also creates network opportunities. A survey suggests that 68% of family businesses are engaged in exports, and overseas sales constituted about a quarter of the turnover for all survey respondents.

Education in India provides a demand-supply mismatch in high quality management programmes. In the wake of this challenge, degree courses from abroad become an automatic choice. “Institutes abroad provide a diverse range of specialisations than Indian ones. It is no longer a question of why but a question of why not,” concludes Uday Salunkhe.


Global Citizen Leader

WeSchool has taken the responsibility to mentor Global Citizen leaders who will be instrumental in bringing about change by boosting economic growth and creating positive societal impact, Dr Uday Salunkhe shares his insight on mentoring the Global Citizen Leader.

Indian leaders that drive high performance organizations like Infosys, Reliance Industries, TATA have time and again stated that their companies have succeeded not because of their own expertise at strategy or because of the efforts and  skills of their respective senior teams – be it through organic growth and/or superbly executed mergers & acquisitions and/or turn around deals. Almost without exception, they have opined that their source of competitive advantage was to be found deep inside their companies, in their people.

Great institution builders are conscious of the fact that the leader alone does not make an institution; it is the innovative contribution of the intellectual pool within the organization that makes the leadership. This consciousness comes only from understanding of the ‘self’, one’s strengths and weaknesses, through collaborative skills and with a burning desire to bring about a change in self, workplace and society.  Leadership education is therefore, not ‘training’; it is experiential ‘learning ‘in unclear situations when there are no clear-cut answers in sight.

An effective leadership, towards greatness, begins with a Vision, transformational in quality, charismatic & empathic in nature. Great leaders are also associated with leadership style with a ‘soul’, moral in character that emphasizes on ethical conduct.

Today, businesses need to review and debate whether they want a highly-structured autocratic organizational architecture - where a few direct and control the course or they need a vibrant organization where all team members are empowered to think and contribute. Democratization of leadership through empowerment is a natural and necessary development when teams grow large and diverse, and are spread across geo-political-cultural boundaries and time zones.

GCL is a transformational programme that equips students with tools to apply their talent and skills in the real-world context while providing them with leadership, innovation and inspiration to make a difference in society. This unique program is designed by Prin. L. N. Welingkar Institute of Management Development and Research, (WeSchool) in collaboration with Centre for Creative Leadership (CCL) , a top-ranked, global provider of executive education that cultivates creative leadership—the capacity to achieve more than imagined by thinking and acting beyond boundaries. Young MBAs from WeSchool’s fulltime PGDM programs namely, Business Design, Retail, E-Biz, Healthcare and Rural Management (Emerging Economies) underwent the GCL program this year.

To conclude Dr Uday Salunkhe mentions: -
“During GCL, students are thrown into a real life setting while they still have the opportunity to fall back on the guidance of the faculty and mentorship of industry veterans. The thought behind the projects is to adopt a human-centric approach by using design thinking that will also facilitate the mentoring of future leaders that are self-motivated and industry ready. The expertise of the CCL Team in leadership development space worldwide has played a crucial role in successful completion of these projects with such outstanding outcomes. This endeavour has not only changed the lenses of our MBA students but also tested their ability to accept failures and turn it into opportunities for higher degrees of success for all the stakeholders.”



Dr. Uday Salunkhe - The Journey to leadership

A successful professional, a visionary leader, highly respected and admired director of one of the fastest progressing Business schools in India, Dr. Uday Salunkhe, Group Director, Welingkar, has held numerous leadership positions at even the national level such as President of AIMS as well as being on the board of international bodies like AMDISA.

Dr. Uday Salunkhe, Group Director, Welingkar says that ‘Leadership’ is more of an outcome of a process rather than a skill that anyone can be ‘born’ with. The process that he put himself through was asking himself, ‘Do I take the lead, do I have the initiative, do I have the commitment? ’. Dr. Uday Salunkhe, says that If he looked back to his childhood days, he tried to push himself to excel, whatever be the circumstance. He started his education in a municipal, but used to attend coaching classes that were held in a private school. And to do that, Dr. Uday Salunkhe used to get up early in the morning at 5 o’clock, go for the classes at 5.45 to 6.45 in the morning and then leave for his own municipal school, when the other students would remain in the same private school. The areas he used to pass by were slums. Even where he used to stay in Kurla, there was a big gutter and in the monsoons, he used to walk on the parapet wall of the drain to avoid falling into dirty water. He used to travel by train on his own to Shardashram to attend school. That’s when somewhere, the commitment to excel was being built up.

Dr. Uday Salunkhe always held the top position in his class since childhood. Besides studies, he was fairly good at Sports and was a keen Chess player. In fact, Dr. Uday Salunkhe was so good that he even won championships for his school and college. The journey through which a person travels to achieve these smaller mile stones has a tremendous impact on their personality; it builds up confidence, grit and determination to take up challenges in the future and that is what Dr. Uday Salunkhe firmly believes in.
At a later stage in, life Dr. Uday Salunkhe took a liking to Trekking. With a group of 15-20 friends, he would often go to Sahiyadri range for the treks. Travelling in the overcrowded Pune passenger, sleeping on railway stations, going for treks to the Dhak bery, there were no luxuries involved there. Dr. Uday Salunkhe says that you get groomed to the harsh conditions which are like the backbone for achieving new milestones later in life. That taught Dr. Uday Salunkhe humility and simplicity. Today he may be able to afford a lot more but it still gives Dr. Uday Salunkhe a kick going back to the roots.

Dr. Uday Salunkhe also wrote a book called ‘Climbing every Mountain’ based on his experiences of Trekking. He feels running a business is like climbing the mountains, how the vision is set, goals are decided, mission and objectives , then going down looking out for the formation and the teams, manpower planning, the delegation, control, scanning the environment with respect to the overall goal. Dr. Uday Salunkhe believes that the decisions in business are similar. Taking stock in base camps at different levels is like taking stock at different quarters in the year. Dr. Uday Salunkhe would look out for the ultimate target, in between, stop at camps, accidents could also occur, take stock at each camp and shelve the project if it is not feasible, similar to business situations.

In Dr. Uday Salunkhe’s opinion, these type of outdoor sports, rock climbing, outbound, really teaches people a great deal such as Risk taking abilities, team orientation, success orientation, achievement orientation which you can learn from nature. Dr. Uday Salunkhe thinks that there is no substitute. You can’t replace that with classroom teaching learning, given any amount of simulations. Dr. Uday Salunkhe is of the opinion that going through this process builds you up as a leader as it did himself.



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