One Year stand with ISB

This Blog aims to capture my affair with ISB and beyond.

Location: Hyderabad, India

I promise not to make this a chronicle of events unfolding in ISB or the world in general. These posts will generally qualify those events with my thoughts. At the same time I promise it will be enjoyable :-)

Thursday, December 07, 2006

PMs visit and 5 year celebrations

The media is agog with the PMs visit last Tuesday and almost every paper and electronic media website has covered it. There was huge security arrangement at ISB and there were lotsa cops around. It was really a proud moment for us all. It was his first visit to the ISB and he was impressed by the campus and the work done over here. I wont go into the details of what he said and did as I am sure you must have already read it all in the papers.

The PMs visit was a part of the 5 year celebrations that are going on this week on the campus. It started with the ISB Leadership Summit last Saturday which saw the presence of many industry dignitaries on the campus. We also got to meet the founding dean Mr. Pramath Sinha who tool us on a nostalgic trip when they had conceived the idea of ISB way back in 1995. The vision of the initial pioneers is really commendable and the execution impeccable. There were many roadblocks on the way but finally ISB saw the light of the day and rolled out its first batch in April 2002. This was a moment of truth for the founders and today 5 years down the line the look at ISB with pride: their baby which has grown by leaps and bounds.

There were some initial core mandates which the founders had set for themselves which really proved instrumental in the success of the school. They were: to seek the mentorship and sponsorship from some of the biggest names in business schools like Kellogg and Wharton, to be an independent institution and not be affiliated to the government or to the foreign B schools, to build a world class international campus, seek sponsorship and strategic direction from the Indian industry titans etc. The model on which the school was based was also entirely different: the one year course, the visiting faculty, the ELP etc which posed many more challenges than a normal upcoming business school might face. Then there was also the problem of relentless scepticism and discouragement from people and government who thought that such a model wont work, that India doesnt need (or is not capable of establishing) such a business school. But all the sceptics were proved wrong and the initial vision was proved right. The PM explicitly mentioned that there is a need for 100 such B Schools in India. Considering the ratio of the number of Bschools to the popluation in US and considering the indian population, the PM might be right. There is vast potential in India waiting to be tapped and given the right direction and the right coaching, there is no end to what India can achieve in another 50 to 100 years.

But the primary ingredient that is needed to meet that end is a different vision. To see what others normally cant see. To gage the direction of the tide in advance, or to put it more properly change the direction of the tide to where you want it to be. To build models that are differentiated and sustaining. Hmmm lotsa fodder for thought :-)


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