Thursday, November 28, 2013

Hero Group to set up university in Gurgaon

Hero Group, the Munjal family owned conglomerate that has business interests ranging from automobiles to financial services, said it will open a university in Gurgaon to create “balanced leaders”.

“For us it (education) is not a business,” said Sunil Kant Munjal, Chairman of Hero Corporate Services and joint Managing Director of Hero MotoCorp Ltd. The investment would be philanthropic, he said.

Named after the Hero Group co-founder and chairman Brijmohan Lall Munjal, the university aspires to nurture ethical leaders who are skilled, knowledgeable and have the life skills required for leading their organizations to success, the group said in its statement following a press conference in Delhi.

Munjal said that the focus of the university would be to offer “practical-oriented education and to foster employability”. Though he declined to give details of the investment, people close to the project said, on condition of anonymity, that the initial investment would be around Rs. 400 crore (Rs. 4 billion) excluding the cost of land. This initiative by the Munjal family would be led by Akshay Munjal, Executive Director, BML Educorp Services.

Enayet Kabir, education practice leader at consulting company Technopak Advisors Pvt. Ltd., said many corporate houses are entering the education sector as they believe this is a sector that can grow for years. Besides, it has social benefits.

The Munjal family has already roped in Imperial College London for mentoring the new university that will start functioning from the 2014 academic session. Imperial College, one of the top ranked institutes in the world, had played a key role in establishing IIT-Delhi during its formative years. To start with, the new university will offer three programmes: Bachelor in Technology, bachelor in business administration (BBA) and masters in business administration (MBA).

The Imperial College will co-design the curriculum, facilitate student and faculty exchange programmes, conduct joint research activities and establish digital learning platforms. There will also be opportunities for students to join innovation camps and credit-based courses in London. In addition to this, some B.Tech. students will have the opportunity to undertake a one-year MSc programme at the Imperial College Business School.

Sunil Kant Munjal said Hero MotoCorp will source human resources from its new university. “Not drawing manpower will not be a smart thing.” He, however, said though they are now entering the higher education space, Hero MotoCorp’s investment in ISB Mohali campus will not be affected. “ISB (Indian school of Business) is a fantastic school and our association will continue,” he said. Akshay Munjal, said that they would keep the student fee at Rs. 200,000 per year for the B.Tech. course and Rs. 300,000 per year for MBA. “This fee is inclusive of hostel and other facilities,” he said.

Source: Mint, November 28, 2013

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