Mr. Chitresh Lather, CEO- PDM University
Mr. Chitresh Lather has always been passionate about learning new things in life and he thought that a career in education is a perfect way to achieve it. His immense interest in the field of technology since his childhood and keenness to understand how things work, led him to choose Electronics Engineering. Secondly, being into the education business, his father wanted him to study abroad and understand the dynamics of foreign education system.
He strongly believes in the ideology that there are millions of highly talented students in India who cannot afford to study abroad due to the high costs involved, but Chitresh could, at University of Southampton. Understanding how education system works abroad and the living environment from a students’ perspective and replicating the same in India so that those students can get access to it at an affordable price in their own country is what drives him the most.
PDM University – Prabhu Dayal Memorial (PDM) Group was established in the year 1995 by Sh. Joginder Singh (his father). The sole purpose of the organisation since its inception has always been the service to the society through education and healthcare. Over the last two decades, the group has seen an exponential growth and success in the field of education because of the tremendous efforts of its staff members and students.
The group has also made tangible progress towards its founder’s dream to create a community of learning that crosses cultural boundaries and produce global leaders. Before the formation of PDM University, the group ran 14 different institutions providing education in the field of engineering, pharmacy, dental sciences, management, education, computer applications etc. All of these independent institutions have now been brought up a single umbrella known as PDM University.
What are the initiatives at PDM University that makes it a unique institution?
Since the inception of PDM Group, we have always believed in education for all. We have pushed forward the boundaries of knowledge, equipping our people with the skills so that they can serve the society at any level. I believe, in any organisation it is the approach and the culture of the higher management that makes it unique. At PDM, our approach is the enrichment of the society at every level.
For us, education business is all about giving rather than earning and this is what makes PDM a unique institution. As far as the other aspects are concerned, PDM University is home to one of the world’s top class education technologies in the globe. Here, the students not only get the chance to experience some very good facilities but also explore their minds in different fields. Our advanced facilities, combined with the guidance of our expert staff, can help turn their raw talent and enthusiasm into the specific skills and knowledge needed to succeed in their chosen career, and to meet life’s challenges head-on.
Tell us about some of the important decisions that you make, as the CEO of the Institution.
I have to get involved in each and every aspect of the organisation. For me some of the focus areas are day-to-day administration, admissions, strategy, marketing, finance, human resources and operations.
I spend a significant amount of time in defining the strategy for the university keeping in view our vision, mission and the goals. I keep myself a part of every segment of the university irrespective of its scale. I firmly believe, for being a great leader you have to be a great performer and should be able to drive a team rather than driving yourself.
What are the top 3 things that helped you succeed in your professional & personal life?
The biggest and the foremost think that helped me achieve whatever I am at this phase of my life has been the tremendous blessings of the almighty. I have been blessed with multiple talents since my childhood and have always found luck to be on my side. The power that I receive from the eternal faith that has been inculcated in me by the supreme power has always pushed me further and further in my life.
The second thing that has driven me this far and will always drive me throughout my life is the inspiration that I receive from my father. He is perfect example of a complete self made man and my super hero. His journey, from being an ordinary man to a successful businessman has always given me motivation, strength and power to achieve my dreams.
The third thing would be the people that have been significantly involved in my professional career and that includes those who have sincerely helped me achieve success and those who have spent all their efforts in letting my success down. I would also like to mention about the professional insights that I have gained through my education at the University of Southampton UK, IMD Switzerland and UCL London, have really helped me understand the dynamics of managing higher education institutions.
Could you recall any proud moment or milestone? Tell us more.
The first thing that comes to my mind when I think about the milestones is the formation of PDM University. Reframing an entire organisation and re-branding it as an altogether different entity involves tremendous amount of energy and expertise. The underlining risk involved in merging all the different institutions under the PDM Group into PDM University was huge and had a lot at stake. But the results have been phenomenal.
Unlike other examples of higher education institutions being merged in to a university, we have received tremendous response from all our stake holders since the beginning of the university. Apart from this, there are certain proud moments for us like being awarded as one of the Economic Times Best Education Brands or being amongst the top 3 smart campuses in the country at the NDTV Digitising India Awards. Having said that I would say we are yet to achieve our best given the kind of potential that we have as a team at PDM University.
If you were to do one thing differently, what would that be?
To be very frank, the answer to this would be nothing. I believe that whatever happens in your life, there is always a reason to it. Your past, your decisions and your mistakes make you the person that you are today. Often people like to change the things that had brought struggle or pain in their lives, for me those things are the essential elements that drive your success. Changing those could mean changing the position that you are in today. There might me a few things that I also think could have been done differently, but I have never believed in sticking to the past and have always focused on the present.
What would you like to achieve in the coming years?
India has huge potential in the field of education and healthcare. Being one of the biggest economies in the world, we still struggle to be among the top 200 in the higher education. In the coming years, we hope to give the people of India, a super model of higher education that would be known for its academic standards and research practices.
To achieve this, we’re constantly ‘going beyond’ and investing in every facet of our culture in a bid to demonstrate our commitment to becoming the competitive, responsive and resilient community that will help all our stakeholders to fulfill their dreams. On the personal level, I would like to contribute much more socially in the field of education by imparting free education to the people who still strive for the basic necessities in our country.