Rare Interview With Dhruv Galgotia, CEO, Galgotias University and Galgotias Educational Institutions
Energetic and ultra-focused Dhruv Galgotia, CEO, Galgotias University and Galgotias Educational Institutions, one of India’s private sector education pioneers, speaks in a rare interview with parichowk.com. Alongside the able stewardship of his visionary father Suneel Galgotia, he guides and steers Galgotias Educational Institutions and Galgotias University in Greater Noida. University stands among India’s leading premium private universities and has established itself as a world-class learning centre of excellence. Galgotias University is a keenly sought after educational destination for engineering, technology and management education and its strong competencies in law, healthcare, hospitality and the liberal arts are being recognized to be of leadership quality too. Dhruv Galgotia shares the experiences and values that drive Galgotias University and institutions.
Q. Sir, What is the USP of Galgotias University and the technology and management institutions under Galgotias Educational Institutions?
The core driver of all aspects of education at Galgotias University and all the institutions under Galgotias Educational Institutions is our concerted effort to instill the thinking quotient into every student. Thinking Quotient is the ability to learn analytically. Not just a syllabus, or a course, but the deeper understanding of knowledge processes and the application and propagation of knowledge for the greater common good and for personal growth as a human being. Thinking Quotient at Galgotias emerges from the 7 advantages we have built into our educational processes and systems. These 7 advantages are : Galgotias academic heritage, our world-class faculty, the international teaching pedagogies that are used, our international tie-ups, our close 100% placement record for the last 5 years, the high caliber peer group that we ensure through very careful student intake and the excellent learning environment that we build through assiduously studying and applying best practices through industry integration and collaboration.
Q. On a scale from 1 – 10 how many marks would you assign for your faculty ? And to the educational facilities?
Our faculty is absolutely world-class which is handpicked from top Indian and International institutions and universities. The senior faculty at Galgotias University has been in leadership positions and been the head of research facilities at the finest universities and institutions across USA, Europe and Asia and of course - India. These finest academicians ensure all aspects of education at the university with the depth and width of their knowledge. Their total familiarity with the finest pedagogies, research processes and the entire ethos of industry integration charges the entire student experience with a healthy teacher – student relationship. At Galgotias University the distinguished faculty is headed by the VC, Dr. Ashok Saxena, a distinguished scholar and academician, who has served as Dean at Georgia Tech, USA, one of the world’s top 10 tech institutions, where for 35 years he created excellent academic rigour and institutional character. The School of Business has been steered by Pro VC and Dean, Dr. Balaji Rajagopalan, who has been pursuing academic excellence for the last 25 years in the USA and as Associate Dean, set the School of Business at University of Oakland reaching for new heights of academic excellence. We have as Pro VC and Dean of the School of Engineering, Dr. Sham Tickoo from Purdue University, a distinguished academician and author whose books have become standard engineering texts. Together, they are bringing fresh new rigour to the programs across the board. No other university has this marvelous academic energy.
We place huge emphasis on maximizing industry-integration and this process ensures that we create best-in-class global-level education infrastructure with industry partners. Our campus and facilities challenge the best anywhere in the world. Galgotias University enters into strategic alliances with an array of blue-chip industry partners, such as IBM for the MBA in Business Analytics program and the B.Tech Computer Science and all the connected infrastructure for these programs; KPMG for different programs in the School of Business and the School of finance & Commerce; and Max Institute of Healthcare, Education and Research for the School of Nursing. I am proud to say that Galgotias University has now become a powerhouse of academic education in the country.
Q. How was the response for placements in totality for your group for the academic year 2012 -13 ? Which were the streams most sought after by the companies? Which companies were the major recruiters?
Placements at Galgotias reflect the confidence placed by leading corporates in the high quality of our education and stands at close to 100% every year according to surveys for the last 5 years. But it is our belief that placement is only a natural conclusion of a proper industry-integrated education process. We involve industry in our syllabus development, in our classrooms, our students constantly interact with industries though workshops, internships, seminars and other interactions across their entire education span. We deem it natural that most of our students across all courses are placed even before completion of their courses.
Over 400 different top Indian and international corporate and insitutions visit our campuses every year. Our faculty was not surprised when one of our students Naveen Goswami received an offer of over Rs 50 lakhs from Helix Technologies, USA.
I believe that Galgotias has become a place which now attracts brilliant students from across India and are delighted when our institutions provide them with companies they dream of joining. That for me is the biggest satisfaction and the institution feels proud to have placed thousands of students who are now doing well for themselves.
Q. Which are the courses most sought after by the students for academic year 2013 - 14 in your group?
Given the enormous numbers of brilliant meritorious students with very high percentages and our Indian propensity to gravitate towards technology and science, our technology and engineering courses our always hugely sought after. However, there is a huge liberal arts revolution that is gaining ground and our new courses in those domains are equally full. Given our industry-integrated approach, our professional courses in law, healthcare, hospitality and media are highly prized.
Q. Parents just think of placements when they seek admission to their wards. In your opinion which streams/courses have far better prospects in getting placements?
At Galgotias University and at all our institutions, we lay complete emphasis on integrating students from every single course productively into industry and society and we work towards this objective throughout their education. So whether a student is in engineering or management or media or nursing or law, every one of them will be extremely market-ready by end of their education and will be absorbed in their respective fields – regardless of which they study here.
Q. How do you plan to make your students compete with that of IITs and IIMs?
I have deep respect for many of the accomplishments of these educational institutions with excellent legacies. But having said that, I am aware of the severe regulatory and bureaucratic challenges faced by India’s IITs and IIMs, while either expanding capacity or upgrading quality. These have in many cases, led to institutional inability to build or maintain aspirational education equity. The premium government institutions and universities also falling into a quality trap, even though they have the gloss and sheen of history and legacy and not all premium government institutions are high on quality, infrastructure, faculty and education processes. Their syllabi are often out of date simply because their bureaucratic boards of studies meet so infrequently. Cabinet Minister Jairam Ramesh declaimed a while ago, “There is hardly any worthwhile research from our IITs. The faculty in the IIT is not world class. It is the students in IITs who are world class. So the IITs and IIMs are excellent because of the quality of students not because of quality of research or faculty." It is also true that no IIT or IIM features in the Top 200 list of the world’s best institutions and universities.
The good thing today is that students actually have a clear-cut high quality education option over below-average government institutions and universities, or low-quality private universities. They are opting for the few private universities that are offering genuine world-class education, faculty and infrastructure. Galgotias University and institutions have read the education scenario correctly and we go to the student community with higher quality education, industry-led syllabi, the excellent processes and international pedagogies that come into play when education is outcomes-based; and a confident assurance of placement. The agendas we are fulfilling are those of a learning centre of world-class academic excellence - whether it is an IIT or an IIM or GU.
Q. In how many years GU will acquire the stature at the level of India’s Oxford?
Oxford is a venerable institution with an almost 1000 year old legacy and we keenly follow the principles and practices leading to their excellence. To reach the level of such universities Galgotias University collaborates with the world’s finest universities to bring the best education and research processes and practices to Indian academia. We equip our students with excellent multi and interdisciplinary research-based education, for lifelong experiential learning ability and this will enable them to respond entrepreneurially to societal issues and challenges. These are the goals and objectives of every great world-class institution and I am proud to say that Galgotias University is progressing towards this horizon of excellence.