ISB and Dr. Reddy’s partner to promote research in employability and skilling

 | August 19,2010 05:52 pm IST

The Indian School of Business (ISB) today signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories Limited to establish the ‘Dr.

Reddy’s Cell for Employability and Skilling’ at the ISB. The MoU was signed by Ajit Rangnekar, Dean, ISB and GV Prasad, Vice Chairman and CEO, Dr. Reddy’s. The Cell is established under the aegis of the Centre for Emerging Markets Solutions (CEMS), an inter-disciplinary research centre at the ISB with the mandate to research and develop market-based solutions to socio-economic problems. Dr. Reddy’s is committed to provide a grant of INR 10 crores to CEMS at the ISB, over a period of five years, for promoting research in the area of employability and skilling for the youth of India. 


The objective of the Dr. Reddy’s Cell is to conduct in-depth, inter-disciplinary research to develop market-based solutions which are catalytic in nature, and create affordable, profitable, scalable, and replicable business models to address the skills shortage in the country. The Cell will work with partners to implement pilot projects, test their feasibility and demonstrate the impact of these business models. The research focus will be on sectors such as Banking, Financial Services, Retail, Healthcare and Education that have the potential to employ a large number of young people with a basic level of education (class 12 students, college dropouts, and graduates from tier-2 cities and beyond) and train them to become a part of the skilled workforce. 


Making the announcement, Ajit Rangnekar, Dean, ISB said, “India will have to educate, skill and gainfully employ about 500 million youth by 2020 to reap its demographic dividend and reduce income inequality. Setting up the Dr. Reddy’s Cell is an important first step for us towards addressing this issue. We are delighted that DRL also shares our belief, and would like to thank them for supporting us in our endeavour. The ISB will launch several similar initiatives that address issues of national importance, in keeping with our commitment to making a positive impact on business and society.” 


Commenting on the association, GV Prasad, Vice Chairman and CEO, Dr. Reddy’s, said, “We are happy to partner with ISB to support the work we are doing through the Dr. Reddy’s Foundation. This partnership further strengthens our commitment towards creating sustainable livelihoods for the socially and economically weaker sections of the society”.


“Livelihood Advancement Business School (LABS), the flagship programme of Dr. Reddy’s Foundation creates livelihood opportunities for the economically underprivileged sections of the society and is an example of a model that has been scaled up nationally through public and private partnerships”, added Jitendra Kalra, Head-Dr. Reddy’s Foundation. 


Underscoring the significance of the initiative, Professor Reuben Abraham, Executive Director, CEMS, ISB, said, “The research conducted at the Dr. Reddy’s Cell will demonstrate that markets and the business sector can play a big role in creating capacity and human resources to fuel economic growth over the next few decades. In the process, it has the potential to reduce poverty at a large scale, much like China has in the last 25 years.”


The Cell will research the role of technology, finance, information networks and policy to catalyse a skilling and employability market that can serve the low-income segment. It will design and conduct workshops, conferences, form working groups of experts from various fields, undertake projects, make policy recommendations and publish white papers.