Forbes India 15th Anniversary Special

FUEL Business School: Empowering future leaders for a dynamic business landscape

Renowned social welfare Organisation FUEL embarks on a new chapter in education with the inauguration of its FUEL Business School and aspires to start FUEL Skills University in Pune

Published: Jul 31, 2023 07:04:09 PM IST
Updated: Jul 31, 2023 07:39:46 PM IST

FUEL Business School: Empowering future leaders for a dynamic business landscapeThe landscape of business and entrepreneurship is evolving rapidly, demanding skilled leaders equipped with both knowledge and social sensitivity. In a meaningful step towards nurturing the next generation of business leaders, the esteemed social welfare organisation, Friends Union For Energizing Lives (FUEL), unveiled the much-awaited FUEL Business School during the FUEL Annual Conclave 2023. With a remarkable track record of providing quality education and career development solutions to over 1.2 million youth in India, FUEL is now poised to create a lasting impact on business studies.

Hon'ble Shri Mangal Prabhat Lodha, Cabinet Minister for Skills, Employment, Entrepreneurship & Innovation, inaugurated the FUEL Business School, highlighting the government's endorsement of this ambitious educational endeavour. The presence of such influential personalities further emphasised the significance of the occasion—the birth of a new-age B-school with a vital social mission.

"It's like stepping into a modern-day Gurukul; FUEL has crafted a stunning and harmonious learning environment. The effort to establish an organisation like FUEL from the ground up is truly commendable. FUEL's mission must be to foster students' growth so they can be esteemed guests of honour at events one day. Also, the support we receive from CSR goes beyond financial aid; it's a bond of trust." - Hon'ble Shri Mangal Prabhat Lodha.

The FUEL Business School aims to empower its students with cutting-edge skills and knowledge, preparing them to thrive in the competitive global business landscape. However, what sets this institution apart is its firm commitment to fostering social sensitivity and responsibility among its students. By nurturing future leaders who excel in business and contribute positively to society, FUEL endeavors to create a cohort of responsible change-makers.

"We are thrilled to introduce the FUEL Business School to the world," said Ketan Deshpande, Founder and Chairman of FUEL. "I also thank Dr Kiran Patel, Indian American Philanthropist, Serial Entrepreneur & Cardiologist, for the commitment of Rs. 50 crores (7 Million USD) from the 200 CR (25 Million USD) University project. It will be instrumental in establishing the university. We look forward to inviting corporate leaders and CSR founding partners to join us in preparing the next generation of business and social leaders for today's rapidly evolving business landscape. We recognize the need for an institution that imparts fundamental business knowledge and equips students with the skills to adapt, innovate, and confidently lead. Our business school aims to bridge the gap between theory and practice, nurturing a new cohort of visionary leaders who will make a positive impact on society."

"The sole purpose of both of Mr Ketan Deshpande & I is to ensure that we can get the youth of today meaningful employment so that they can become successful citizens and positively contribute to the world"- Dr Kiran Patel, Indian American Philanthropist, Serial Entrepreneur & Cardiologist.

Inclusivity lies at the core of FUEL's philosophy, ensuring that talented students from all backgrounds have the opportunity to access quality business education. Scholarships and financial aid programs will be made available to deserving candidates, promoting diversity and equal representation within the student community.

The vision of the FUEL Business School aligns perfectly with FUEL's overall mission—To Energise Lives Through Education and Skill Development. By branching into business studies, FUEL aims to create a transformative impact on society by producing ethical and visionary leaders capable of driving positive change.

"At FUEL Business School, our main focus is nurturing Entrepreneurship skills and equipping students with Futuristic abilities. With our commitment to the social impact of FUEL, this new endeavour at FBS aims to create green jobs and prepare students for the ESG sector. Together, let's shape a brighter, sustainable future. - Mayuri Deshpande, Chief Operating Officer, FUEL"

As the business landscape continues to evolve rapidly, organisations worldwide are recognising the importance of leaders who possess not only business acumen but also a sense of responsibility towards society. FUEL Business School's unique approach to education promises to bridge the gap between conventional business knowledge and ethical leadership, setting a new benchmark in business education in India.

FUEL Business School Inauguration: A Gathering of Visionary Leaders and Industry Experts

The inauguration of FUEL Business School witnessed the presence of several notable personalities. Among them were Ketan Deshpande, Founder and CEO of FUEL, and esteemed Ashoka Fellow and Pavate Fellow from the University of Cambridge (JBS), UK. Santosh Huralikoppi, Chief Mentor at FUEL and Pavate Fellow from the University of Cambridge (JBS), UK, also graced the event. Dr Kiran Patel, Philanthropist and Serial Entrepreneur, was also a part of the event.

In addition, Dr Pratima Sheorey, the Dean of FUEL Business School, added their esteemed presence to the occasion. Dr Pratima Sheorey is not only the Founder and Director of eVyaas Learning Pvt Ltd but also the Former Director of SCMHRD.

The event also saw the attendance of other distinguished guests, including Mayuri Rajendra, Chief Operating Officer at FUEL.

These eminent personalities were joined by other notable guests, including:

Sanjay Kavathalkar, Senior VP, HR - Kalpataru Projects International
Tushar Sachdeva - Regional HR - West, Dabur India.
Dr. Nidhi Dhanju - Group CHRO, Praj Industries.
Ramhari Kute - SKODA AUTO Volkswagen India.
Rohit Sharma - Head – HR Services, Bayer CorpScience.
Mahasweta Banerjee - HR Business Partner, Oracle.
Archika Srivastava Head - Corporate Communications & CSR, Hikal Ltd
Satya Naidu - Manager CSR, Marico.
Madhura Talegaonkar - Head – Bajaj Electricals & CEO, Bajaj Electrical Foundation.
Akanksha Tiwari - Deputy Manager CSR FIAT.
Aparna Pandey - Assistant Manager - CSR BPCL.

Inspiring Discussions on HR, CSR, and Green Skills for a Better Future

The FUEL Annual Conclave 2023 witnessed thought-provoking panel discussions, bringing together industry leaders to share their valuable insights and experiences. Two panels focused on HR and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) delved into crucial aspects of talent acquisition, futuristic skills, and impactful CSR initiatives.

"We've recently released green skills report at LinkedIn, and we are seeing that the demand for green skills is outpacing hiring overall in the last four years. However, what is really required is the pace of skilling for these green skills. The work that FUEL is doing plays a key role in ensuring that students have access to those skills. With our partnership with FUEL, we are ensuring there are enough courses on sustainability." said Ruchee Anand- Senior Director- Talent, Learning and Engagement Solutions, LinkedIn India.

HR Insights for Future Success

The first panel comprised accomplished HR professionals who provided valuable advice to students seeking to stand out in the competitive job market.

Tushar Sachdeva, Regional HR - West, Dabur India, highlighted the challenges graduates might face, including cultural transitions and the need to adapt to technological advancements through continuous learning. Rohit Sharma, Head – of HR Services, Bayer CorpScience, emphasised the significance of understanding concepts deeply rather than merely acquiring certificates.

"The right human resources are essential for the country to achieve its objectives. FUEL Business School aims to serve those who need help to reach a good quality business school and provide them with the right education. There is talent everywhere in the country; it's a matter of finding them and giving them the right resources and exposure. I'm sure that the journey from the fifth-largest to the third-largest economy in the world will be powered by the youth of our country," Dr. Pratima Sheorey, Founder and Director, eVyaas and Dean - FUEL Business School.

CSR's Impactful Initiatives

The second panel comprised CSR leaders who discussed innovations and challenges in the field, focusing on education and skill development. Satya Naidu, Manager CSR, Marico, shared the organisation's successful projects to provide vocational skills and create secure employment opportunities for the underprivileged.

Madhura Talegaonkar, Head – Bajaj Electricals & CEO, Bajaj Electrical Foundation, highlighted the evolution of CSR from simply providing funds to strategic initiatives with a profound impact on people's lives. Aparna Pandey, Assistant Manager - CSR BPCL, emphasised community-centric approaches and alignment with government initiatives.

"Over the last 15 years, we have spread across India, Indonesia, Africa, and many other countries. We have impacted 12 lakh youths and have been supported by large corporations. With the approval for FUEL Business School and our upcoming university with a social enterprise background addressing ESG factors, we are marching towards setting up this FUEL University, addressing the skill and entrepreneurship gap. Today, we can proudly say that FUEL University will be the first university dedicated to rural transformation," said Santosh Huralikoppi, Chief Mentor – FUEL

The discussions underscored the importance of CSR professionals connecting with communities and strategising sustainable initiatives for meaningful change.

FUEL's Commitment to Empowering Aspiring Students

FUEL's Annual Conclave exemplified the organisation's dedication to empowering individuals through vital skills, career guidance, scholarships, and skill development initiatives. FUEL is paving the way for a brighter future for countless aspiring students by facilitating access to quality education and support.

"The work done so far in India is amazing, but the next goal is to expand to other states in India and, more importantly, in developing countries of Africa like Zambia, Uganda, Tanzania, and Kenya. Our sole purpose and goal is to ensure that we can provide meaningful employment to the youth to be successful citizens and contribute positively to the world." - Dr Kiran Patel, Philanthropist and Serial Entrepreneur.

The insightful discussions from industry leaders serve as a guiding light for students and professionals alike, emphasising the significance of continuous learning, social responsibility, and impactful CSR initiatives. FUEL's commitment to nurturing talent and creating positive change highlights its mission to energize lives and transform communities. Through such endeavors, FUEL strives towards a better, more inclusive, and prosperous future for all.
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