Inspiring institution builder: Koneru Satyanarayana

EducationWorld February 2022 | Magazine People
Inspiring institution builder

KLD University, Vijaywada campus. Inset: Satyanarayana: industry-ready graduates

Koneru Satyanarayana is president of the private, low-profile Vijaywada- (Andhra Pradesh)-based KL (Koneru Lakshmaiah) Deemed University (estb.1980). Sprawled across a green 100-acre world-class campus, KLDU is providing high quality undergrad, postgrad, doctoral and post-doctoral study and research programmes in design, architecture, fine arts, engineering, law, management, humanities, science and pharmacy to 20,000 students mentored by 1,200 faculty.

Newspeg. Last September when most schools and colleges countrywide were under Covid lockdown, this private varsity’s 4,000 graduates were smoothly recruited by 200 blue-chip companies including Deloitte, Microsoft, Amazon, Accenture, Wipro, Walmart Lab among others into employment and internships. Simultaneously, AICTE (All India Council for Technical Education) awarded KLDU its Clean and Smart Campus Award 2021 in acknowledgement of its eco-friendly initiatives including battery-powered machines usage for roads sweeping, sensor-based parking, lighting, toilet flushing systems, solar and wind power generation, and the institution’s active participation in climate change-related activities.

History. An engineering alum of BMS College of Engineering, Bengaluru, Satyanarayana began his career in 1977 as an entrepreneur (Coastal Cables Pvt. Ltd). But nurturance and development of the KL College of Engineering (KLE) co-promoted by his father Koneru Lakshmaiah, a successful businessman and philanthropist, was his true passion.

Also read: Koneru Lakshmaiah College of Engineering

In 1980, he was appointed a managing committee member of the family-run Koneru Lakshmaiah Foundation which managed the then KL College. In 1992, he was appointed chairman and since then over the past three decades as KLE bloomed into a full-fledged university, Satyanarayana became incrementally involved with digitalisation of education resources and also played a critical role in establishing a students’ entrepreneurship cell. In 2009, he was appointed president of KLDU.

Direct talk. “The USP of KLDU is our 360 degree immersive education programmes with sharp focus on developing hard and soft skills that empower students to become industry-ready. This commitment to industry readiness has resulted in an A++ NAAC accreditation and a high NIRF ranking of #35. At our new campus in Kondapur (Hyderabad), we have also invested substantially in an entrepreneurial development cell that will soon offer intensive grooming programmes for aspiring entrepreneurs. The pandemic years have compelled us to “unlearn, learn and relearn”. And thanks to the agility and determination of our teachers and the sustained support of our IT team, we have quickly adjusted to the new normal,” says Satyanarayana.

Future plans. Convinced that research and innovation will become top priorities of higher education in the post-pandemic era, Satyanarayana has drawn up an infrastructure investment plan to ensure maximum resources for students to develop innovation and R&D skills. “We strongly believe that India’s youth has immense potential. If carefully nurtured and guided, they can transform the country into a powerhouse of knowledge and innovation,” he says.

Paromita Sengupta (Bengaluru)

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