Students help drive change in India

Ten SFU students benefit from BC-India Exchange program

Fahad Yasin's future is being steered by India's decade of innovation.

Fahad Yasin's future is being steered by India's decade of innovation.

India’s declared “decade of innovation” is fueling change–and steering Simon Fraser University Beedie business student Fahad Yasin’s future.

Working in Mumbai as one of 10 SFU students benefitting from the BC-India Exchange and Mobility Initiative created in June, Yasin hopes to play a role in driving the change that will advance the country over the next 10 years.

“On a high level, it is widely known that India has a demand for change–and on a micro level I have experienced personally the inefficiencies faced here–the power outages, unsanitary water, congested transportation, and so much more,” he writes in his blog, http://www.thedarkhorsejourney.com.

“Seeing all of this at the same time was initially overwhelming, but I often come back to the reason I am here and know that in some way I am helping create change.”

Yasin, who met this week with SFU President Andrew Petter and Beedie Business School Dean Danny Shapiro during their visit to India, is working as a business development analyst with the Canada-India Business Council via the Surrey Board of Trade.

The job involves investigating joint venture opportunities for B.C.-based clean energy companies and those in the Mumbai region. Yasin is working with SFU student Dulce Nunez to identify and match organizations with mutual interests in developing new business partnerships.

The Vancouver-born student, who resides in New Westminster, is aiming for a career in international trade or strategy consulting.

“What is most interesting is adapting to the culture while simultaneously learning how to conduct business in a entirely new manner,” says Yasin, who earlier spent five months at Denmark’s Copenhagen Business School as an international exchange student.

Among other SFU students completing work terms in India under the new initiative, which is funded by Western Economic Diversification (WED) Canada:

  • Cho Wang of Burnaby and Vijay Raju of Surrey are business students investigating joint venture opportunities for StoryPanda and other BC-based video game companies, in relation to the cell phone gaming market in the New Delhi region.
  • Bernard Ho (an SFU grad) and Nadar Moradi, both from Vancouver and SFU Surrey’s Mechatronics Systems Engineering (MSE) program, are at Luminous Industry’s research and development facility in Gurgaon. The term is a first step in a potential long-term partnership to establish a collaborative R&D program at SFU and an R&D company in Surrey to develop low-cost clean energy solutions for emerging markets.
  • Daniel Zwart (SFU grad, from New West) and Sumangal Malhotra (Surrey) are also Mechatronics students who’ll be working with Sutlej Motors bus facility in Punjab, another first step towards a potential R&D partnership on developing clean energy for buses using fuel cell technologies.
  • Engineering science graduate student Sumanpreet Chhina (of Surrey) has just arrived at Shobhit University in New Delhi, to work on a collaborative project that involves an SFU developed biomedical device and technology that helps detect, diagnosis and allow appropriate treatment of infectious diseases in infants in India.
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