Deakin University's Ravneet Pawha Recognised as Business Leader of the Year for her Work in India

NEW DELHI, October 24, 2018 /PRNewswire/ --

Ms. Pawha was presented this prestigious award at the recently concluded IABCA 2018

The pioneering work in India of Deakin's South Asia office was recognised last week by the India Australia Business & Community Awards (IABCA), which presented the award for Business Leader of Professional of the Year to Deakin South Asia CEO Ravneet Pawha.

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The award recognises the key leadership role of Ms Pawha, who has overseen a large expansion of key industry partnerships, developed the University's largest international PhD program, and huge growth in student numbers coming from India. In 1994 Deakin became the first Australian university to open an office in India, with Ms Pawha leading that office from its very inception and overseeing its growth and development.

The IABCA were awarded on 12th October during a ceremony in Brisbane, Australia attended by Indian business and community leaders, as well as prominent officials including High Commissioner of India to Australia Dr Ajay Gondane and Australia's Minister for Foreign Affairs Hon. Marise Payne. The IABCA is dedicated to celebrating the Australia-India relationship while honouring entrepreneurship and community leadership.

She has been instrumental in establishing innovative strategic partnerships for the University that have successfully united Australian higher education with Indian popular culture. This includes unique scholarship programs with media houses and multifaceted partnerships with Indian Premier League teams.

On receiving the award Ms. Pawha commented, "This award recognises Deakin's efforts in India towards education for jobs of the future and initiatives for the communities we serve. It is indeed an honour to be felicitated on such a big platform. The award belongs to the highly-committed Deakin India team in New Delhi. We endeavour to continue our mission with passion, persistence and people to people connect."

Her leadership role in Australian higher education in India became particularly apparent in the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis, which saw massive drops in Indian student enrolment in Australian universities.

Recognising the scale of the challenge at hand, Ms Pawha adjusted Deakin's strategic focus in India, placing greater emphasis on partnership development while waiting for market forces to stabilise. The resulting efforts led to a sea change in Deakin's partnership engagement in India. This had the threefold benefits of furthering the University's aims as a research institution; developing brand awareness among key players in India, and set the stage for improved student recruitment that leveraged these partnerships. As a result, Deakin is a now a market leader in India and Indian students now represent the largest international cohort at the University. In addition, dozens of partnerships have been formed that are driving innovation and supporting India's development needs.

One of the key strategic project spearheaded by Ms Pawha is the Deakin India Research Initiative (DIRI), which was established to strengthen research activities/partnerships in India with a view to bridging the gap between academia and industry. Through DIRI, Deakin has established more than 100 projects involving 100+ PhD students and more than 50 industry, academic, and government partners in India. This includes the $15-million TERI-Deakin Nano-Biotechnology research facility in India, often cited as a standout example of India-Australia collaboration.

In addition, Ms Pawha has been a contributor to the Victorian Government's India strategy and the recently published Australia-India Economic Strategy, both of which feature Deakin as a profile institution. She represents Australian higher education at various forums, and is a member of the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry and the Confederation of Indian Industry Sports Council.

The IABCA continues a string of awards victories for Ms Pawha and the Deakin South Asia office. In 2017, the Australia India Business Council awarded the Deakin South Asia office for 'Outstanding Contribution by an Australian Business in India.' Based in no small part on the University's success in the India region, Deakin has won several awards from the federal and state governments of Australia, including the 2017 Australian Export Award for Education and Training.

About Deakin University: 

Established in 1974, Deakin University successfully combines excellence in teaching, research and effective partnerships with industry and government to deliver high quality courses and undertake research that makes a difference to the domestic and international communities it serves. Deakin's South Asia operations commenced in 1994 at New Delhi, India, making it one of the first overseas education provider to set operations in this region. Here, Deakin engages with the government, industry and the academia to share its vibrant culture of education and research.

Media Contact:
Malavika Varma
Deakin University, Australia

SOURCE Deakin University

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