India produces around 8 lakh engineering graduates and an equal number of MBAs every year, churned out from the ever growing number of educational institutions. However, lack of employment remains a major hurdle for them. Jobs are indeed available, but most of these graduates are not fit for employment because they mostly lack hands-on-training and even basic skills. So even after securing 90-95% marks, most students fail to get a good job.

Nasscom (Nov 2009) states the only 25% (that is only 1 out of 4) engineering graduates are employable. International magazine The Economist (Jan 2010) says that only 4.2% of India’s engineering graduates are employable in software product companies, while only 17.8% are fit to work in IT services firm. Business Standard (June 2010) says that the number of unemployable engineers will further increase in the coming years. Additionally, there is also a wide gap between skills of rural and urban students, which is why rural students are pushed further backwards.

FUEL NGO and The Software Exporters Association of Pune, a body of major IT companies working in Pune conceptualised and introduced Ahead of Times Fellowship to give students an insight into the future and help them develop skills needed for a successful career. The Fellowship gives students an opportunity to learn vital skills that will make them employable and also brings rural students at par with urban students in terms of skills.

Every year, we chose 30-60 fellows, based on their willingness and seriousness of making a successful career in their lives. We train them on various skills in communication, IT, verbal ability, teamwork, analytical, English, lateral thinking, creative thinking, entrepreneurship, social entrepreneurship, social responsibilities, corporate insights, leadership, cyber security, etc. Renowned industry experts share their exemplary experiences with the fellows.

Speakers at the Fellowship
  • Mr Anand Khandekar, chief mentor, FUEL
  • Mr Sanjay Inamdar, co-founder, Bhau Institute of Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Leadership
  • Dr Anil Sahasrabudhe, Director, College of Engineering, Pune (COEP)
  • Mr GM Rao, director, business services, Cognizant Technologies
  • Mr Anil Kulkarni, managing partner, Kalyaniwalla & Mistry Chartered Accountants.
  • Mr Ashish Kulkarni, CEO, Big Animation
  • Mr Rahul Bakshi, CEO, Phoebus Media Creations
  • Mr Ram Iyer, project director, Science and Technology parks of India
    Mr Nilesh Joglekar, quality manager, Tibco
  • Mr Ashok Rathod, founder, Oscar and awardee CNN-IBN Real Hero Awards
  • Mr Dharmendra Chavan, director, SeamEdu
  • Mr Harold Raichur, director, SeamEdu
  • Mr Manuel Pardhe, HR Head, Clarion Technologies
  • Mr Sagar Laddha, senior software engineer, Persistent Systems.
  • Mr Ketan Deshpande, Founder, FUEL
Guests at Convocation Ceremony
  • Mr Anna Hazare, renowned social activist
  • Mr RR Patil, home minister, Maharashtra
  • Supriya Sule, Member of Parliament, Baramati Constituency and MP Educonnect Partner, FUEL
  • Mr GM Rao, director, business services, Cognizant Technologies
  • Sonali Deshpande, chairperson, Persistent Foundation.
  • Mr Narendra Kale, co-founder, Bhau Institute of Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Leadership

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