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Professional college students urged to form self-help groups

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Tier-II and III college graduates can excel with motivation

MR N. RAGHURAMAN, Vice-President (Corporate Development), Slash Support India Pvt Ltd, Chennai, addressing management students of SRM Eswari Engineering College, Ramapuram, as part of the BL Club lecture series.
MR N. RAGHURAMAN, Vice-President (Corporate Development), Slash Support India Pvt Ltd, Chennai, addressing management students of SRM Eswari Engineering College, Ramapuram, as part of the BL Club lecture series.

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Chennai, March 23

Even though there is a huge supply of management and engineering graduates to meet the growing demand, there is still a big gap in need versus fitment, resulting in large-scale unemployment, said Mr N. Raghuraman, Vice-President (Corp- orate Development), Slash Support India Pvt Ltd, Chennai, to the management students of SRM Eswari Engineering College, Ramapuram.

Classifying colleges in India as Tier-I, II and III and placing the IITs and IIMs in Tier-I, he said the Tier-II and III colleges need not feel underprivileged and alienated by the industry as there are a large number of companies which look at them; Tier-I graduates settle abroad leaving a huge demand for quality manpower, and self-help approach by Tier-II and III college students will graduate them to the Tier-I level in five or ten years, he said.

It is the brand, quality of curriculum, teaching process and high-quality students and teachers that create the highest demand for Tier-I colleges. Elaborating on the topic `Building Standards Through Self-Help Groups for Students,' organised under the

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club series of lectures, he advised the Tier-II and III college graduates to stop comparing themselves with those of Tier-I.

"Stop worrying - it does not take you anywhere; stop complaining, find what is good with Tier-I; don't reinvent, see what you can implement; don't try all; balance long-term and short-term goals; have patience, you cannot change the world overnight; involve all stakeholders; be committed; be consistent."

A self-help group is not just another Yahoo group. In this, each group dedicates itself to development; each group meets fortnightly and with other groups, monthly, for knowledge enhancement; each group commits itself to an industry option and gets the necessary management bandwidth and support.

Each self-help group can talk to a few local companies and embrace them. It can offer them ideas on various aspects of management, be it finance, marketing, quality, HR or production. It can make them understand and help them increase their sales and profits in two or three years.

This system brings better learning through application of the theoretical concept learned in the classrooms. It is much better than doing a project with a big multinational, he said.

Before concluding, he had a word of advice for the faculty members: Push for less theory and more practical approach; create a climate for self-learning; encourage new initiatives; motivate during setbacks; increase risk-taking ability; ensure mistakes are not repeated and do not accept sub-standard performance.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated March 24, 2006)
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