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7 Questions on Leadership with Dr C K Manjunath

Name: Dr C K Manjunath

Title: Head Training and Placement

Organisation: Shri Madhwa Vadiraja Institute of Technology and Management

Excellence is not an act, but a habit. This one line sums up Manjunath’s career of almost two decades. A Ph.D from MIT Boston, MS from Indian Institute of Science Bangalore, Author of a Maths book by Pearson Publications, an ardent researcher and an academician par excellence, he has dedicated 24 years of his career to achieving academic excellence and establishing a firm foundation for better education. Successfully hosting a Science Conclave where Nobel Laureates and Internationally acclaimed scientists were invited, serving as a guest faculty to young minds and contributing to building the academic talent pool have been the hallmark of his career.

Manjunath is an Integrated PhD in Application of Neural Networks on Bio Medicine from IISc Bangalore and Massachusetts Institute of Technology Boston. He has completed his graduation in Information Science and Life Sciences, Masters in English Literature, B.Ed, an online course in Documentation & Information Science and a program on Effective Leadership in Teaching, Learning and Process Training. Across his illustrious career, he has held academic and administrative positions in leading institutes including Justice K S Hegde Institute of Management, Sahyadri College of Engineering & Management, Sadguru Public School, The Yenepoya School and Yenepoya PU College, Hanuman Group of Institutions and Vidyodaya Public School, Vivekananda Pre-Universitycollege. Currently he is associated with Shri Madhwa Vadiraja Institue of Technology and Management, Bantakal, Udupi as Head- Traning and Placement Officer and Student Welfare Officer. During 2022-23 he has authored A new Maths text book Universal Mathematics Prime from grade 1-8 based on NEP for Pearson publication, New Delhi. Various awards and accolades are a testament of his deep commitment to furthering research and delivering academic excellence. Notable among them are

- Young Scientist Award in 2003 & 2009 for outstanding work in IT relating to biomedicine.

- Best Teacher Award by Rotary and JC NGO while serving as Founder Principal of Vidyodaya Public School.

A glimpse into his professional journey demonstrates outstanding abilities in leading education institutions to establish new benchmarks in education. He has been instrumental in institutionalizing systems and policies to create a conducive and safe learning environment. Developing a shared vision for academic institutions, recruiting dedicated staff, enrolling students, establishing curriculum and learning methodologies and implementing robust evaluation systems have sown the seeds for academic excellence. Across his career, he has been recognized for promoting adoption of latest education pedagogy, teaching methods and research findings, enhancing capability of staff and sound administration to foster a healthy learning atmosphere. He has been in the forefront of educational innovation, bringing in new curriculum and courses, fostering collaborations with international universities and promoting technology mediated learning. Some important administrative positions held and contributions made include

- Chief Coordinator – International Events like Science Conclave where Nobel Laureates and Internationally acclaimed scientists were invited to interact with students, Sahyadri College of Engineering & Management, Mangalore, 2018.

- Joint Secretary – ICSE / CBSE Schools Principals Association – Udupi and Dakshina Kannada, 2006

- Coordinator – Science Talent Hunt Project Exhibition at Sahyadri, for PU students of 5 districts

- Member – Organizing Committee - IRIS Regional Science Fair at The Yenepoya School, Managalore, 2013

- Administrator of Sahyadri College of Engineering & Management where he expanded and advanced Research Wing and Socio Innovation Lab. Build tie ups with foreign universities to bring in prestigious research projects.

- Administrator of Hanuman Group of Institutions where his strategic foresight and collaborative working style helped obtain necessary recognitions for the institution and expand the number of trades and branches. Under his leadership, various tie-ups with industry and MNC were done with 60% of students placed in MNCs and 40% in local industries.

- Founder Principal of Vidyodaya Public School essayed a stellar role in establishing a strong foundation for the school concerning policies, curriculum, and academic performance. Under his leadership enrolments increased significantly and the school achieved 100% results in public examinations.

An academician par excellence, Manjunath possesses rich experience in delivering enthusiastic instruction, planning curriculum, designing assignments, serving as an examiner, and conducting labs for academic excellence. His hands-on approach coupled with the use of multiple learning methodologies makes his sessions interesting, interactive, and a great learning experience. A student-focused academician; he can instill a passion and a winning attitude among his students. He is recognized for his exemplary communication skills that enable him to explain his points in a simple clear manner both in written and verbal instances. His ability to understand the unique needs of each student and mentor them to achieve their goals has been highly appreciated.

- Subjects taught: Mathematics and Physics for high school students, Chemistry and English for XI and XII students, Business and Managerial Communication to MBA students and prepared students for competitive exams like IAS / KAS, Banking exams, JEE and NEET.

- Served as National Level Paper Setter for JEE and NEET.

- Chief Superintendent for X and XII exams and entrance exams like JEE, AIPMT, and CTET of CBSE Board.

- Observer for 10th and 12th exams for National Institute of Open Schooling

- Guest Faculty – MBA Program for Manipal Institute of Management

- Managed Out-reach programs, PGID Programs and Literary Wall Club at Justice K S Hedge Institute of Management

An ardent researcher, he has authored and published articles and monthly periodicals. Served as Editor for Pearson Publications Universal Mathematics till grade 8 and Wiley Publications Physics Text Book on Electro Statics and Wave Motion for grade 12.

Excellent communication skills, classroom and behavior management give him an edge over others. He can foster positive relationships with students, parents, fellow teachers, and school administration for the overall development of the student. Proven ability to individualize instructions based on students' specialized and changing needs. He is often the man to be called in to resolve the crisis. Expertise in finding practical and actionable solutions to student and teacher problems. Working in a high-pressure environment brings out the best in him. With a never say die attitude, he can be an asset for any organization.

DR APJ Kalam was our Adjunct faculty at IISc, Bangalore during my Postgraduation. He had taken 5 classes on Missile technology, cybernetic hunting principles and cryogenic energy. Got an opportunity to meet him on 3 occasions after the college period:

1. When he had Visited Manipal University during his Presidential tenure.

2. When he visited Yenepoya University during 2014

3. Got an opportunity to attend his Lecture on Vision 2020 at Vijyan Bhavan, New Delhi when i was awarded with Young Scientist award in 2003.

Thank you to the 2,000 leaders who’ve generously done the 7 Questions on Leadership!

I hope Dr. C K's answers will encourage you in your leadership journey. Enjoy!


Jonno White

1. What have you found most challenging as a leader?

To Convince others to do the job the way you dream it

2. How did you become a leader? Can you please briefly tell the story?

By Virtue of learning, taking decisions and facing failures.

Started my Career as a Principal in a Small school. Starting from Teacher recruitment to student admission and managing day-to-day activities made me learn a leader's vision.

3. How do you structure your work days from waking up to going to sleep?

previous night I just make a small flow chart of the next day's schedule and generate a rough plan. Once i reach my College conduct a short meeting with collogues share that chart and then wait for the process to happen. The end of the day take a short meeting for the review. Based on that the next day's chart is made.

4. What's a recent leadership lesson you've learned for the first time or been reminded of?

"Know thy self"- is what i have recently experienced while organizing a Hackathon for national level.

5. What's one book that has had a profound impact on your leadership so far? Can you please briefly tell the story of how that book impacted your leadership?

Wings of Fire- An Autobiography of Dr APJ Abdul kalam

6. If you could only give one piece of advice to a young leader, what would you say to them?

Learn to Listen, have Patience to hear and then take a decision that benefits the organization

7. What is one meaningful story that comes to mind from your time as a leader, so far?

Life Journey of Dr Kalam, his successes story, Journey from a remote village with poor background to 1st person President of the Country

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