Welcoming PGPEX-VLM Batch 16

The Inauguration ceremony for the PGPEX-VLM 16th batch was held on April 16, 2022. It commenced with IIMC's traditional lighting of the lamp by Professor Uttam Kumar Sarkar, Director, IIM Calcutta, Professor Sumanta Basu, Chairperson PGPEX-VLM IIM Calcutta, Mr. Sunil Mehta, Chief Financial Officer - Coal India Limited, and other dignitaries of the PGPEX-VLM programme. Prof. Sarkar started his address by highlighting how three institutes of national importance synergized with Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), National Manufacturing Competitiveness Council (NMCC), and Confederation of Indian Industries (CII) emphasizing on exposure the students shall receive while pursuing this course and their contribution to the nation as well as to the world.

The VLM 16th batch is the first batch with the highest gender ratio, with approximately 23% of the batch as women leaders. In his address, the coordinator for IIT Kanpur, Prof. Deepu Philip, accentuated upon being torchbearers of Visionary Leaders who are one step ahead of ordinary leaders. Aligning on the same, Prof. Arshinder Kaur, coordinator for IIT Madras, explained how the young leaders could elicit the best forte from each institute along with peer-to-peer learning. Prof. Lata Dyaram of IIT Madras asked the students to dwell upon their self-visions and the timelines required to fulfil the same.

The inaugural event also had dignitaries from CII. Mr. G Sunderraman, Chairman, CII VLFM Senior Advisory Committee, expressed his gratitude to Padma Shri Prof. Shoji Shiba, one of the founders of the VLM programme. He said, "As I grow older and older, my eyes are becoming weak. But my eyesight is becoming strong, and that is the contribution of VLM. I am able to see insights, I am able to get foresight and foresight compensate for all the sights that you may find weakening as you grow or as you get lost". Mr. Jibak Das Gupta, Director & Head, CII Naoroji Godrej Centre of Manufacturing Excellence, in his speech, emphasized on the linkage between academia and industry along with international connect.

The guest of honour for the inauguration ceremony, Mr. Sunil Mehta, Chief Financial Officer - Coal India Limited, highlighted the four visions of our nation, namely, digitalization, Renewable power & EV, Make in India Initiative and Energy security, quoting "Minimum Government, Maximum Governance". He also emphasized the importance of MSMEs in the Indian manufacturing economy and Coal India's various initiatives toward clean energy.

The chief guest, Mr. Anil Agarwal, Executive Chairman - Vedanta Resources Limited, addressed the students virtually. Mr Agrawal shared his journey symbolizing the strength of character, quoting, "To do the experiments and fail till you succeed". Perseverance, Resilience and his 'Dream Big' attitude gave rise to what Vedanta is today. He made a point on the importance of core sectors such as mining, aluminium, defence, technology, and semiconductor manufacturing, turning India from a consumer to a supplier and VLMPians from a job seeker to a job provider.

These insights from all the dignitaries were seconded by the Chairperson of PGPEX-VLM, Professor Sumanta Basu, who has been an indispensable pivot for this course. He said, “The core strength of this programme is not really the numbers, but the intent, the perseverance, and the hard work to be put in by students in next one year”. The ceremony was concluded with a vote of thanks from Prof. Sumanta Basu and the batch representative, followed by a small Q&A session. To highlight programme's uniqueness, it fills the current industry's growing demand for techno-managerial leaders who will shape the neo-industrial revolution. Since 2007, the programme has crafted an array of visionary leaders upholding the broad principles of the VLM community.