'Skilled in Odisha' to go global, state may rope in top designer Tim Kobe

Naveen Patnaik
'Skilled in Odisha' is on its way to earn a global tag with the state government mulling a tie-up with iconic designer and widely acclaimed innovation leader Tim Kobe. Founder and chief executive officer (CEO) of Eight Inc, Kobe is the man behind the original concept of Apple stores and counts multinationals like Nike, Citibank, Tesla, Coke and Virgin Atlantic Airways as his key clients.


“We are trying to showcase Odisha as the most happening hub for skilled manpower. Kobe is scheduled to visit Bhubaneswar on April 29 when we are hosting Odisha Skills 2018, our skills competition. We will seek his guidance on how to make Skilled in Odisha a global brand”, said an official source.


Kobe aside, Odisha's list of distinguished invitees for its Skills 2018 spectacle includes the country director of Asian Development Bank (ADB) and chief executive officer of Institute of Technical Education, Singapore (ITES).


For giving a brand identity of the 'Skilled in Odisha' campaign of the state government initiatives, chief minister Naveen Patnaik recently unveiled a logo and the Bhubaneswar Skill City Map.


To ensure quality skill training standards and sustained employability of trained youth, the state government has formed Odisha Skilled Development Authority (OSDA) in 2016 with Subroto Bagchi, co-founder of IT firm MindTree as its chairman. This agency guides, implements, coordinates and oversees all skill development programmes in the state with a goal to provide outstanding skilled workforce comparable to best in the world.


Bagchi refused a comment on the possible collaboration with Tim Kobe for branding 'Skilled in Odisha'.


Odisha Skills is the state level chapter of the India Skill Competition organized by the National Skill Development Corporation and the Union Ministry of Skill Development & Entrepreneurship. Odisha Skills 2018 will be the first of its kind state-level skill competition organized by the state government.


The opening ceremony of Odisha Skills 2018 will be held in Cuttack on April 28 followed by the second day of the competition in Bhubaneswar. The event has witnessed participation of nearly 7000 participants from across the state competing in six sectors and 25 skills from the state at the preliminary stage. The skill competitions will be performed and demonstrated live in front of audience for the first time in the state.


Global advertising behemoth Leo Burnett is spearheading Odisha's campaign to make 'Skilled in Odisha' a global brand, following the state government's decision to avail its services.


The creative agency is tasked with brand strategy, preparing brand manual and coming up with a communication plan to help achieve the goals of OSDA.


The state government has set a target to provide employable skill to 0.63 million youths in 2018-19. More, the government has set a target to train 1.1 million youths by 2019-20.

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