Dr Sunil Rai serves as the Vice Chancellor of UPES and is responsible for driving academic excellence, faculty development and engagement, research, rankings and accreditations at the university.
Under his able leadership UPES has been awarded as the University of the Year (North India) 2021 by ASSOCHAM and has emerged as one of the top 100 universities in India as per NIRF Rankings 2021.
Dr. Rai has a rich experience of 42 years with 19 years in academics, 21 years with the Indian Navy and 2 years in the corporate world. Prior to joining UPES, he was the Vice Chancellor of MIT Arts Design & Technology University, Pune and as Director on Board of Maharashtra IT Corporation, Govt. of Maharashtra, Mumbai. Apart from UPES, he is a member of the Board of Advisors, Outreach Programs of Virginia Polytechnic University, Blacksburg, US. He is also the co-founder of Cambridge Global Partners, Edinburgh, the UK, which provides strategic consulting to several industrial and academic organisations.
An excellent communicator and a prolific speaker at many seminars, Dr Rai has managed and headed many universities and pioneered some of their most important programs. He has steered setting up of large campuses, development of integrated enterprise solutions for organizations and creating state-of-the-art technically enabled teaching-learning infrastructure. Dr Rai is also a commissioned officer of the Indian Navy, who has bravely served for 20 years on ships like the INS Vikrant, Nilgiri, Himgiri and the oil tanker Shakti. He has also served as the DGM (MIS) of Goa Shipyard Ltd Vasco, Goa.
His current research interests include technology-enabled and people-driven change management, leading universities through modern-day challenges, and organisational development.
Dr Rai originally hails from Bhopal and is a proud alumnus of the Sainik School Rewa and the National Defense Academy, Khadakwasla in Pune. Furthermore, his associations include the alumni networks of IIT Mumbai and ASCI Hyderabad, and he is an associate member of IE(India), CSI Mumbai chapter, and IBA Mumbai chapter.
Dr Rai is a PhD in Business Continuity Management from BITS Pilani, an MBA with HR specialisation from IGNOU, an M Tech. in Computer Science & Engineering from IIT Mumbai, a master’s in marine engineering from Naval College of Engineering, INS Shivaji, Lonavala, and a BSc Honours from JNU in New Delhi. A proven thought leader with unbridled enthusiasm for work, a trailblazer beyond compare, an inspiration for every member of the vast UPES corporate family, and a natural people’s person – these epithets describe Dr Sunil Rai.