Why do I feel proud and privileged?

When my dear friend Hajela sent me an invitation for the inauguration of a workshop at Fr. Agnel Insitiute, I felt very happy and proud. Hajela and I were colleagues almost 50 years ago in Pune and he moved to Bombay in 1966. But luckily we and our families have managed to keep in touch all these years. 

As we spoke about this program, he said that it was not easy to come to this stage, but Hajela as I know him is not the one to give up . Aam Aadmi  or not he is the type of person the country needs in large numbers!

The event he was working for so hard is the outcome of many years of innovation and imagination. A few years after he joined the company in Bombay, he came up with an idea to start the manufacture of lifts in the company as a logical diversification.This proposal was accepted by the management and he managed the lifts division for many years till he retired.

While most of us who retire are content to take it easy, he was not. He started Lift Systems, a private limited company, for making parts for the lift industry and continues to work even now.

The event was covered by the Lift Industry Magazine, the details of activities of the Technical Education complex augurs well for the efforts made by Hajela and his industry friends.
Also many young 'technical' persons have offered to work on similar projects under his guidance to teach technology. Very impressive and the least I can do is to record this for posterity and wish him a long innings in his efforts to impart technical skills for the young and deserving in Inida.

A company which he supported has this to say about him.
 "Mr S.M. Hajela, regarded as the man behind presence of elevators in Mumbai, the 75 year old entrepreneur currently heading Lift Systems; has not only shown his support and love for Incept products, but has also praised our team and leadership to a great extent…"
A picture I saw on the internet! As you guess he did not send me any!
This really sums up the quality of the man I am friends with. While he won many awards as a 'senior'  entrepreneur he is not content.  He wants to do more.

 Recently  Hajela called me and said his efforts were appreciated as he is nominated for 'Rashtriya Udyog Ratna' award by an NGO, NEHRDO. A well deserved recognition.

His speech at the inauguration explains very well the way he works on his dreams. 

Here is an extract : 
Welcoming  speech by S M Hajela at the inauguration of workshop on 21st December, 2013 @ 11.15 am.

Few of us, friends from the industry, were debating on how we could give back to our industry which has given us so much in our life time. Being aware that there is an acute shortage of trained lift technicians, we looked for a recognized training institute which could take up this program. It is particularly frustrating to be unable to meet business needs due to lack man power. 

We had no success till Mr.Jugal Tandon helped us to contact Father Rebello with whom we  discussed our thoughts and the road map.   We took him around to see various manufacturing facilities of the industry.  Our idea appealed him and he said yes and wanted us to promise help and give assurance of employment. Confident, we readily agreed  and  gave a formal surety to the institute and started working. 

We requested like minded  people from the lift industry to provide us material for the workshop and they happily agreed without any hesitation and were proud to be associated with this venture. Our need for a trainer to teach the institute teachers was luckily met when Mr.Batki readily agreed .  A gentleman with a vast experience in training lift technicians. We also like to place on record the efforts taken by Mr.R V Joshi Ex-Kone Elevator to establish the workshop.  We are thankful to him.

It is not be possible to achieve this level of success without the interest and co-operation of the institute.  We on behalf of the industry are thankful to the institute, who showed full confidence in our conviction and our objectives.

Mr.Chabria is a no stranger to this industry and the architect of creating  and supplying man power of lift technicians not only in India but abroad in very large numbers. He is a silent  worker and avoids publicity. He has very reluctantly agreed to inaugurate this workshop.   ....

And I conclude with an extract of the speech by the director of the Agnel technical education complex.

Dear Friends,Captains of the Lift Industry
A big thank you for your overwhelming response at the inauguration of our workshop on 21st Dec 2013. It was not only the opening of the workshop but a very educative and interactive session indeed a great education for us. This is our pilot project and we want to take it further step by step.

Instead of recruiting raw workman and straight way putting them into the field.  This is much better way where they are not only trained  for basic lift technology in our workshop but of safe working conditions for self ,end users and softer skills like interacting with clients and colleagues. They should be proud employees of the company. 

This fits well with Fr. Agnel Insitiute’s Mission in creating employable youths of India at an affordable price for the families with  modest means.

We are grateful to the industry for offering on-going support and effort. Those who participated in our interaction emphasised the ever growing need of trained technicians.  The demand of elevators is growing with a break neck speed. There is an acute shortage of training institutes for such a dedicated course.........We are now doubly confident to take it and  plan it to the next level such as diploma/ degree courses specially designed for lift industry in due course of time.

If things go well we will be present in the IEE Expo 2014 in March 2014.   The organisers have offered us a  stall to run a road map of our foundation course.

Thank you,

Fr. V Rebello, Director, Agnel Technical Education Complex, Fr. Agnel Ashram,Bandra, Mumbai.

From the Lift Industry Magazine:

The Agnel Fathers with a vision of providing competent technical manpower to meet the needs of industry and to enable youths to solve practical problems with confidence started Agnel Technical Education Complex in Bandra which comprises of the following:
·        Balbhavan :  an orphanage for about hundred children
·        Technical School from KG to Class 12th
·        Polytechnic aided by Government, offering diploma courses
·        Engineering College offering degree programs and also PG as well as Ph.D. programs
·        Community Polytechnic for drop out students in rural and underprivileged areas
·        Trade School for technical courses other than government ITI courses
·        Industrial Training Institute offering Government ITI / ITC courses
·        Trade Testing Center : testing skills of people of India in more than 150 trades and certifying them
·        Placement Services for international job market
·        They have established 11 Vocational Training Centers with Intake Capacity of 1400 students in various trades, out of which 4 are in collaboration with Industry  7  are in collaboration with other NGO’s, Trust’s  Foundations.

Now they have added a new foundation course for ‘Lift Technician’ sometime back.     The first batch is already employed as a pilot project in association with lift companies. Depending upon the success of this pilot project, we want to take it up to the next level.   This naturally calls for active association with the lift industry.  We are happy to inform that the industry was excited and welcomed the idea.   They actively came forward to provide all the equipments required to the workshop training for this foundation course.  This fits in the institute mission to create employable youth by providing them some vocational training at a reasonable cost.
This inauguration of lift workshop was done on 21st December, 2013 by Mr.Ramesh Chabria who is of well known name in providing jobs for lift technicians abroad on a very large scale.
The interaction at the time of inauguration was stimulating and gave the insight about how to improve upon the course and field training which the lift companies are ready to offer.  We were also made to understand that there is a very large need for such dedicated institutes and the need is ever growing infrastructure in building industry in our country.

The dignitaries present on dias for the inauguration were Rev.Fr. Diniz, Rev. Fr. Victor Rebello, Mr. Ramesh Chabria, Mr. S.M. Hajela, Mr. J.K. Tandon (Ex-Managing Director of Jindal Steel), Mr. Nirav Desai (Thyssen Krupp), Mr.Mukesh Kanodra (Sagar Construction Lifts Pvt Ltd), Mr.Herwadkar (Ex-Otis), Mr.Hemant Tawde (Revati Enterprises), Mr.Balchandran (Leo Marketing), Mr.Aslam Mukadam (Mas Industries), Mr.Traver Rodrique (Ex-Otis), Mr. P.C. Debnath & Principal Dr. N.M. Joshi. Other respected guests were Mr. R.R.Patil (Royal Elevaors), Mr. Rajendra Joshi (Ex-Kone), Dr. Srija Unnikrishnan, Mr. Mushtaq Malgundkar, Mr. Jayawant Raut.   

Dr. N.M. Joshi welcomed all and gave introduction about how Fr. Agnel has been pioneer in many such courageous endeavors. He gave some background about pilot batch lab development.  Mr.S.M. Hajela, the driving force behind the project explained how the need is acute how this project was initiated.  He also introduced the Chief Guest.  The Chief Guest Mr. Chabria made the session very interactive answered many important queries from the industry academic representatives. Mr. Nirav Desai gave salient points about training needs in this industry. Mr. Tandon emphasized on need to scale up vertically take this course up to diploma level.  Mr. R.R. Patil spoke about challenges faced by smaller players in this industry need of such course for them.  Mr. P.C. Debnath spoke about how industries must be changing  improving with time  relevance of such projects in that & Rev.Fr. Diniz stressed how Fr. Agnel has always stood for high standards, transparency industry, interaction for skilling India.  Fr. Victor thanked all industry partners for their ‘gifts’ assured that we will fulfill their hopes through their co operation participation in the course.
            The guests proceeded to lab venue then it was formally inaugurated by  Mr. Chabria & Rev. Fr.Diniz.  Mr. Rajendra Joshi explained the technical content of units in lab their significance. With refreshed minds joyous photo session the ceremony was concluded. 


Rangaraj said…
Really impressive project from your friend
Avinash said…
Great at this age kindly greet him and convey our wishes
Mohan Nagmangala said…
Impressive reading & very motivating to start the day with :-)
Now I know that I did the right thing by getting back to work & contribute.

Rajitha Narayan said…
Dear Nidhi,
Really enjoyed reading your blog.
Warm regards,

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