‘Sakal Educon’ concludes in Sydney – Learning, employment opportunities for students in Australia

By admin|November 28, 2022

The available global opportunities for higher studies, the exchange of ideas between Indian and Australian faculty, an open discussion on new aspects of education and employment and job opportunities opening up for Indian students in Australia besides education – these were the highlights of ‘Sakal Educon 2022’, the educational conference organised by Sakal in Sydney.

On the concluding day of the conference, dignitaries from the educational institutes in India, especially Maharashtra, had an extensive discussion on future opportunities with the heads of various Australian universities and institutes. Prataprao Pawar, Chairman of ‘Sakal’, Manish Gupta, Consulate General of India in Sydney, Jodi McKay, National Chair of Australia India Business Council, Naval Toshniwal, Chief Marketing Officer of ‘Sakal’ and Veena Sahajwalla guided the attendees.

Gupta gave information about the trade relations between India and Australia and the new opportunities created by the same. The dignitaries opined that employment and job opportunities in Australia will increase for Indian citizens in the future because the trade relations between the two countries are getting stronger.

Representatives of Australian medical, engineering, smart materials, manufacturing, technology and business management institutes attended the conference and interacted with the officials of Indian educational institutes. Australian educational institutes sounded positive about conducting various activities with educational institutes in India in the future. Dignitaries from various Indian institutes who had travelled to Sydney for the conference visited eight universities and educational institutes in Australia during the tour. They discussed various aspects of education with Australian professors and researchers. Toshniwal thanked the participants as the conference came to an end.

Opportunities in the field of education in Australia

  • Possibility of MoUs, partnerships between the universities and educational institutes from both countries
  • Opportunities for students to study in both countries under the joint programme
  • Exchange programme and training of faculty
  • Organising activities like study tours, workshops
  • Postgraduate education and research opportunities opening up for Indian students
  • Indian institutes to increase their ‘brand value’ through MoU, partnership
  • Professional training and job opportunities while studying in Australia
“At the global level, there are lots of opportunities for Indian educational institutes and universities. If Indian universities and educational institutes enter into partnerships, sign MoUs with Australian educational institutes, it will be useful for students as well as the faculty. It will help the faculty in self-development and also in acquiring state-of-the-art education. The ‘Educon’ has opened up innumerable opportunities for joint programmes, postgraduate studies and research. Such partnerships, MoUs will prove valuable in increasing the ‘brand value’ of Indian educational institutes.

Vikram Saraf, Group Director, Innovation and Entrepreneurship Development (Science and Technology Park)

“Australian universities and educational institutes are always positive towards Indian students. Along with education, Indian students have many employment and job opportunities available here. Australia also provides scope for research while you are pursuing higher studies. ‘Educon 2022’ is doing a very noble job of bringing together the educational institutes of both countries. The participation of and discussion between the academics from both countries bears testimony to the success of the conference.

Jodi McKay, National Chair, Australia India Business Council

Vinod Bidwaik

Director, People and Culture - APG

Vinod Bidwaik joined AP Globale as Director – People and Culture, in January 2023. Vinod has an extensive HR leadership experience of 25 years in Indian and multinational companies like Indian Steel, Mahindra & Mahindra, DSM India and Alfa Laval India. Vinod also worked with Sakal Media Group during 2005 to 2009. Before joining us, Vinod was working as Vice President HR and CHRO in Alfa Laval, India, Middle East and Africa.

In his role, Vinod Bidwaik is responsible for the total employee life cycle for AP Globale. He works closely with the core and leadership team of all portfolio companies to improve their HR services like TA, PMS, talent management, succession planning and employee experience.

Vinod has extensive experience in Organizational Redesign, Human Resource Transformation, Performance Management Systems, Talent Management and Development Centres.

He has authored English & Marathi books and is a regular speaker on different forums.

Vinod is a microbiology graduate and has Masters in Personnel management from SPPU. Further, he’s done his Strategic HR Management Programme from IIM Ahmedabad.

Sudhir Sutar

Head of LIB | Spiritual Vertical

Sudhir Sutar has joined APG as Head of LIB, Life in Balance, in May 2023.

Under the direct guidance and support of LIB founder & creator, Dr. Balaji Tambe, Mr. Sutar has spent a decade developing the curriculum of Life in Balance practices and modules.

As Head of LIB, Sudhir will facilitate the implementation, content creation and overall development of spirituality as part of APG’s and its portfolio companies, corporate culture.

Saumil Shah


Prior to joining AP Globale, Saumil was a Partner in Tax practice at KPMG India from 2010-2016 and at PwC India from 2008-2010.

Saumil is a Chartered Accountant with a distinct rank in the year 1996 and has also completed Certificate Course in International Taxation from Golden Gate University, San Francisco in the year 2000.

Saumil has around 20 years of professional consulting experience, with over 12 years of specialisation in Mergers and Acquisitions (M&A) tax. With a vast experience in M&A, Private Equity (PE), joint ventures and corporate restructuring, he has advised and executed assignments on corporate mergers/demergers, internal capital re-organisations, balance sheet rightsizing, family arrangements, buy-back of securities, and transactions such as acquisition structuring, due diligence reviews, investments/divestments routes, minority buy-outs, etc.

Saumil has worked with clients from a cross-section of industry segments; however, he has done a significant amount of work for large family offices, private equity funds and corporates in the financial services, consumer markets and the pharmaceuticals sectors. He also speaks regularly at various seminars and workshops at national and international levels

Hemant Vandekar

Event Manager - Sakal

Hemant Vandekar is Business Head-Marathi DigiMadhyam (MDM), an EdTech start-up for students, teachers and parents. MDM is a web and app based digital platform that delivers high quality academic content to Marathi medium school students and teachers, and focuses on holistic development of students.

Hemant has diverse experience in the field of IT enabled Services, Marketing, Promotions, Events, Branding, HR and Publications. In an exciting career span of 23 years, Hemant has left his constructive and innovative trails in Health, Manufacturing, Media, IT and Education industry. In his first stint at Sakal, over 8 years, he was into Sales & Marketing, Events and Brand Promotions. He also introduced new print supplements and also set up the Books & Publications division.

Prior to re-joining Sakal, he worked with Maharashtra Knowledge Corporation Limited (MKCL) where he handled Academics, Media & Advertising, and Events. In his early career, he has been a theatre activist and Aerobics Trainer while he was pursuing higher education. His industry career started as a Factory Manager in a plastic window and door manufacturing company.

Hemant has completed Master’s in Business Administration from University of Pune, and he is a fitness enthusiast.

Harshawardhan Apte

Director - HAN Infra Solutions Pvt. Ltd.

Harshawardhan is Director at HAN Infra and leads strategic intent for the organization. He is a qualified Mechanical Engineer with over twenty years of business experience, running multiple companies engaged in Infrastructure, real estate development, innovative construction and green building products, packaging, wine distribution, and hygiene & cleaning products.

Post academics he earned his spurs working for a large Forging Company for 18 months. Since then he has been a successful serial entrepreneur constantly scanning the horizon for diverse business opportunities.

He is an avid university level sportsman and athlete who brings a sense of fair play and positive energy to the table.

Ankit Maheshwari

CEO- Skilling & Education | CEO- SIMACES Learning LLP

Ankit Maheshwari is Business Head of SIMACES Learning LLP, one of the key businesses under Skilling & Education vertical.

Ankit started his career with American Express Bank for their premium consumer cards business and after a few years moved into entrepreneurship. His entrepreneurial experience spans into staffing solutions for large companies and higher education and skilling.

He had successfully built a B School from ground up to running it for over seven years before returning to the professional world.

With over 18 years of experience his forte lies in his intrapreneurial approach to profit center management, business operations planning and execution.

Ankit is an MBA from Neville Wadia Institute of Management Studies and Research, Pune University.

Swapnil Malpathak

Business Head - Sakal Digital

With more than 9 years of experience in the digital marketing and publishing industry, Swapnil is responsible for spearheading the digital transformations of all digital content publishing properties at Sakal Media. He is an industry leader with knowledge and experience in the field of digital Marketing and publishing, business development, market research, strategic planning and digital transformation.

Prior to joining Sakal, Swapnil has worked with ITC, Axiom Studios and InnoServ Solutions. He brings with him a deep understanding of digital marketing with a distinct sense of digital business transformation and project management.

Swapnil holds a post-graduate degree from ISBS, Pune. He also delivers regular guest lectures at renowned institutes on the topic of Digital Marketing.

Sandip Kale

Editor at Sakal
Head - YIN

Sandip Kale is an Editor at Sakal and also heads Young Inspirators Network (YIN) across Maharashtra. He joined the organization in 2014 and has over 21 years of experience in journalism.

He works on content strategy, content planning and execution for YIN. His ‘Bhramanti Live’ is currently the most popular column in Sakal’s Sunday supplement ‘Saptarang’. Through his writings, Sandip promotes social justice, highlights achievements of lesser-known individuals and brings inspiring stories to the readers. He hosts 3 weekly shows on digital sites of Sakal, SAAM and Sarkarnama – ‘Aata Pudhe Kay?’, ‘Prashn Astitwacha’ and ‘Success Password’.

Sandip has authored many books; one of his books, “Mukkam Post Aai : Sampadakanche Matrusmaran”, underwent 27 editions, and is included in the curriculum of four universities in India. He is also a well-known Marathi writer and poet.

In his previous role, he has worked with IBN Lokmat, Dainik Lokmat, Prahar, Lokpatra, Marathwada and Jai Maharashtra, in different Editorial roles. He likes travelling, singing, and is passionate about fitness.

Sandip holds a Master Degree in Communication and Journalism from Aurangabad University, Masters in Business Administration with specialization in Marketing from Wardha University, and also completed a Diploma in Naturopathy and Yogic Sciences.

Amit Singh

Head ADVT Sales - SAAM

Amit Singh is an accomplished professional with an experience of over 15 years building large businesses and expanding into new markets. His expertise includes scaling organizations sales, establishing strategic partnerships and helping build long-lasting relationships with some of the biggest global consumer brands.

Prior to joining APG, Amit worked with Zee News Network, Sahara India TV Network, GroupM, Eenadu Television Network at principal positions handling multiple sales and business roles. He was instrumental in driving various processes that helped improve efficiency and business growth.

Amit holds a Masters in Business Administration (MBA) in Marketing from Lalit Narayan Mishra Institute of Economic Development & Social Change.

Prasad Thipsay

Head – Tanishka Forum

Prasad Thipsay is heading the Tanishka Forum, a women’s network, one of the largest globally, that supports women at different and empowers them through various programs, benefiting them at the grass root level.

He has worked as a media professional for 22 years shouldering multiple important responsibilities pan Maharashtra.

The Tanishka Forum is a peer to peer women’s network, working towards enhancing the dignity of women at the individual, household and community level.

Prasad holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Science from the University of Mumbai and an MBA from Pune.

Adinath Chavan

Editor Director - Agrowon

Adinath is the Editor Director of Sakal’s Agrowon Publication. He has over 33 years of experience working in Sakal Media Group, successfully led the team and added value to the overall growth of the publication. He has been leading Agrowon since 2008 and is responsible for strategic objectives of the Agrowon organization across all platforms. Prior to Agrowon, he has worked in various positions in Sakal.

Adinath has been honoured with prestigious awards in Maharashtra for his transformational efforts in the field of agriculture journalism, amongst are Dr. Vasantrao Naik Agriculture Foundation, Navratna Award by Doordarshan and more. He also serves as Director in Faithfoods company of APG.

In his current role, Adinath leads strategic initiatives and drives growth plans in the areas of Agriculture business ecosystem and rural development.

Naval Toshniwal

Chief Marketing Officer - Sakal Media Group

Naval Toshniwal is Chief Marketing Officer of Sakal Media Group. He has an experience of over 18 years in the Marathi print and radio Industry, which comprises strategies transforming advertising business, creating revenue models and systems across sales and marketing function.

At SMG, Naval formulates Sales & Marketing strategy to drive top line growth in Maharashtra and National markets. He is also involved in business development and relationship building.

Prior to joining Sakal, Naval worked with Pudhari publications across different media platforms including PR, Radio and Print, where he was responsible for driving the advertising business and launching private radio stations.

Naval is a Masters in Business Administration (MBA) with specialisation in Marketing from Symbiosis Institute of Business Management. His interests are reading and traveling and is passionate about fitness.

Raju Nayak

Editor Director - Gomantak

Raju Nayak is the Editor Director of Dainik Gomantak and Gomantak Times, and responsible for Editorial strategy, planning and execution goals of the publication. As a journalist, he carries experience spanning over four decades.

He joined the company in 2021 to lead the strategy and operations of Gomantak publication, the much revered daily of Goa. Raju is better known for his publication launching skills, having launched a Marathi daily in Goa and the Goa edition of an English daily, previously.

Raju has served in the senior editorial roles with the Times of India, Lokmat and Sunaparant. He has also worked for other publications such as the Indian Express and Sakal in the past. He calls himself an environment journalist and writes vociferously on issues concerning environment and climate change. He has attended three Climate Change conferences by the UN, internationally. He has several books to his credit and his books convey his concern for the preservation of Indian social, cultural and environmental heritage.

As a recipient of a fellowship from Centre for Science and Environment – New Delhi, Raju has worked extensively on the mining industry of Goa and is considered an authority on the issue. A cine buff, he is on the executive committee of Entertainment Society of Goa, a body responsible for holding the prestigious International Film Festival of India.

Closely associated with various socio-cultural organisations, Raju has done pioneering work as the President of Konkani Bhasha Mandal, the apex body of Konkani speaking fraternity. He was the General Secretary of all India Konkani Parishad for three consecutive terms and also the President of Marathi Patrakar Sangh. He also was a pioneer to start the street play movement in Goa.

Raju is a Commerce Graduate from the University of Mumbai.

Shriram Pawar

Editor Director - Sakal Media Group

Shriram Pawar has an experience of 28 years in the field of journalism and communication. He has worked in various roles and capacities in content strategy, content creation and dissemination.

He holds a Degree in science, Masters in Journalism and Communication as well as Masters in Arts with Political Science as a specialization.

He is a well known columnist, political analyst and commentator. As a journalist, he covered major political happenings all over India during the last two decades. He conducted various opinion polls and political surveys before, during and after elections.

He has authored various books on national politics and international relations. He has also edited books on Social media. He leads various campaigns for social change, environmental and civic issues, and is an expert on national and global politics, security issues, and terrorism.

He is associated with various social and cultural organisations, as well as the press organisations such as World Editors Forum and Editors Guild of India.

Mahendra Pisal

Chief Operating Officer - Sakal Media Group

Mahendra Pisal is the Chief Operating Officer of Sakal Media Group. In his 31 years of experience, he has been in the leadership roles in Human Resource, Industrial Relations, Marketing, Legal, Administration and Social impact programs.

In his current role, he heads the Circulation department of Sakal and Legal department for the group. He drives sustainable growth with his administrative acumen and supports the fast expansion of the group in different sectors with his legal advice. He is a Trustee on Sakal Foundations, through which Sakal has carried out impact initiatives, development and disaster relief work across the country.

Previously, Mahendra was the Marketing Head of all India operations of an FMCG company and has served as the Plant Head in a packaging company.

Mahendra holds a Masters in Business Administration (MBA) from Pune University with specialization in Marketing and Human Resource.

Ankit Bhargava

Chief Executive Officer - Foxberry Technologies

Prior to joining Foxberry Technologies, Ankit has worked with companies such as Infosys, Essel Group, Zee Learn and Sakal Media Group. Ankit brings extensive experience in Smart Solutions and Smart Cities, having set up several businesses with focus on Citizen Engagement, Cyber Security, GIS, Education, Product Development & IT Services. He has delivered Consulting assignments / delivered Solutions for cities like Thane, Pune, Pimpri Chinchwad, Nashik and State of Maharashtra. He is a regular speaker on Strategy at various Industry and Student forums.

Ankit is a Computer Engineer from Manipal and holds a MBA from IIM Shillong.

Jaydeep Mane

Director - Real Estate

Jaydeep Mane is a Director with our Real Estate division, with over 25 years of experience in the sector. His expertise lies in land acquisition, liasioning, and land operations.

He works closely with all the stakeholders in the ecosystem. He serves as the Director in some of group companies and is also a Trustee at Dr. Nanasaheb Parulekar Trust and Sakal Social Foundation.

Jaydeep completed his Bachelors in Commerce from Shivaji University, Kolhapur. He enjoys traveling and playing soccer.

Rohit Agarwal

Advisor - Real Estate

Rohit is an experienced real estate professional with in-depth experience in Capital Syndication and Development of large-scale real estate projects. Well versed with Indian real estate market with extensive relations across the industry with various stakeholders such as Promoters, Landowners, Funds, Banks, Financial Institutions, Lawyers, Architects and Intermediaries.
In his previous roles, Rohit has worked with Posiview Capital Advisors, Country Garden and RCS Advisors.

Rohit holds an MBA with NMIMS- School of Technology Management.

Vikas Singh

Head - APG Running
Founder - Fitpage

Hailing from a remote village in Uttar Pradesh, Vikas is a first-generation professional and an entrepreneur. He started his career as a security officer with Reliance Group, taught himself spoken English at the age of 22, and went on to work for Goldman Sachs. There, he won the George E Doty scholarship and completed his MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School Of Business. Along with Goldman Sachs, he has also worked with Morgan Stanley before joining AP Globale. At APG, Vikas founded Pune Half Marathon in 2018, which has become a landmark event in the city, and a premier event in the country.

Vikas Singh is the founder-CEO of fitpage, a Mumbai-based fitness tech startup launched in February 2021. Fitpage is an integrated mobile-first content and training platform for fitness and nutrition, and aims to democratize knowledge in the domain. It houses the experiences and knowledge of some of the best exercise scientists, coaches, nutritionists, and athletes from across the world.

Vikas has been a passionate athlete from his university days, where he participated in sports such as rowing, sailing, shooting, and won medals at inter state level competitions in each. He also learnt and excelled in semaphore and morse code simultaneously. Vikas is a passionate long-distance runner, has completed more than 150 marathon and half-marathon races across the globe, won Oxfam 100km, and was the captain of the winning team.

Abhijit Pawar

Chairman - AP Globale

Abhijit Pawar is the Chairman of AP Globale (APG) and Managing Director of Sakal Media Group as well as the Founder and Chairman of the Delivering Change Foundation (DCF).

He shares the belief that companies should be driven with the purpose to make a difference for the larger good. Therefore, Abhijit created SIMACES. SIMACES stands for Skilling & Education, Impact Funding, Media, Advisory & Consulting, Community Transformation, Events and Special Projects/ SPVs.

Abhijit believes in and follows the mantra – “Earn Return on Respect, Return on Investment- will automatically follow”. This is embedded in every business that he has founded with much thought, and a purpose to make a difference to the society, and the world at large. He believes that it is not about nation first, religion first, or a race first, but it is about living in harmony with nature, where one must live for the betterment of others.

He has been an Executive Committee Member of Mahratta Chamber of Commerce, Industries and Agriculture (MCCIA). Abhijit is a member of the Young Presidents’ Organization (YPO), an international peer network of chief executives and business leaders. In 2016, he was bestowed by YPO, with the first Global Impact Legacy Honor Award for his transformational efforts in the field of women empowerment in India.

Abhijit is a governing board member of The Democracy Culture Foundation, founding member of the Knowledge Pledge and a member of the Atlantic Council.

Uday Jadhav

Chief Executive Officer - Sakal Media Group

Uday Jadhav resumes his second stint with Sakal Media Group (SMG) in 2018, this time as the group CEO.
Uday has over 20 years of experience in Business Strategy, Sales & Marketing, Revenue Generation, Solutions and Operations Management.
In a 19-year long stint with SMG, Uday had previously served the group as Director – Corporate Development before working with Real Estate Industry, where he was responsible for Business expansion, Media Management and Service Development.
In his current role, Uday leads the strategic initiatives and drives the growth plans for print, television, digital and events.
Uday is an MBA from SIBER, Kolhapur with specialisation in Marketing & Finance.

Stefanie Maria Feicht

MD - SIMACES Europe GmbH (APG European Office)

Stefanie has been appointed by AP Globale to establish their first European office in Berlin in 2017, where she serves as the Managing Director.

Additionally, she is leading the digital content platforms of Sakal Media Group in India.

Prior to moving to Berlin, she spent four years with the group in India, heading their PR & Communications, Int. Relations and Brand Activities. Stefanie graduated with distinction in Banking, Corporate, Finance and Securities Law from Friedrich-List Schule in 2012. Stefanie started her career as a Management Assistant in Product Development for the Finance & Insurance Portfolio of Wüstenrot & Württembergische AG in Stuttgart, Germany. Prior to joining APG in 2014, she was leading the Indian operations of Karma Konsum- a Frankfurt based consultancy in the field of Sustainability and CSR.

Stefanie is a member of the Federal Association of German Press Spokespersons (Bundesverband deutscher Pressesprecher (BdP).

Bobby Nimbalkar

Executive Vice President - Emerging Businesses |
Head - Skilling & Education |
Director - Delivering Change Foundation

Bobby has been leading multicultural teams across Asia Pacific for the last 24 years. He lived and worked in Australia, Singapore & India with major corporations such as Oracle, Sun Microsystems and Tata Technologies.

Bobby was Head & Director of Oracle Consulting Services – Technology Practice with Oracle India, Head & Director of Sun Professional Services with Sun Microsystems India before joining the Group in 2013.

Prior to leading the Groups Emerging Businesses vertical he was responsible for the Strategic Leadership Council working closely with the Chairman of APG.

Bobby’s key areas are strategy consulting, business development, global sales management, global delivery and operations management, global alliance management and partner leveraged sales.

Bobby holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Science from Pune University and an Executive MBA from SIM.

Amit Patjoshi

Chief Executive Officer - Palladium India

Amit is CEO of Palladium India, a joint venture between Palladium and AP Globale. Amit has two decades of extensive government advisory experience and has worked within India across central, state, local, and funding agencies such as the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office, IFC, UNDP, and Asian Development Bank. Prior to joining Palladium, he led the government advisory business at KPMG, Accenture, Ernst & Young, and PWC. He also served at the Supreme Audit Institution of India and as the Comptroller and Auditor General for nearly eight years, conducting performance assessments and reviews of government programs.

Amit has strong program management and public procurement experience and has worked across sectors such as disaster management, humanitarian response, water, urban transformation, health, smart cities, e-governance, public service delivery modernisation, and public finance. He holds a postgraduate degree in Management from Xavier Institute of Management and is a World Bank Certified Public Procurement Expert.

Raviraj Vahadane

President, Finance - APG

Raviraj is responsible for Corporate Finance, Fundraising, Compliances, Audits, Mergers & Acquisitions, Taxation and Intergroup investments within the AP Globale portfolio.

Prior to joining the organization, Raviraj was Group CFO of Prabhat Dairy Ltd. During his 10 years stint with Prabhat Dairy, he worked in various positions, where he successfully raised Private Equity and the company went for Initial Public Offer (IPO) in 2015. In 2019, the company was sold to French giant Lactalis. Raviraj was also involved in the Delisting process of Prabhat Dairy Ltd. He has also worked closely with management for handling various critical and complex regulatory audits.

He is a Chartered Accountant and Masters in Commerce with a specialization in Costing and Finance from Pune University.