At 15, our alma mater ISB is in its exciting teens. Just as our formative teen years are a period of rapid transformation, where we forge our identity and anticipate a future full of possibility, our school too is marching forward in a spirit of hope and discovery. This is the time to pause, look back and take stock of what we have achieved and what we have yet to accomplish. This is also the time to dream, plan and usher in a future for ISB that fulfills the dreams of our founders.
In 1995, some of the best corporate and academic minds felt the need to establish a world-class institute of management education in India that combined local knowledge with global perspectives to meet the leadership needs of a rapidly evolving economic and business landscape. As the precocious child born of that collective vision, ISB accumulated several early, unprecedented successes in the 15 years of its young life — the first Indian B-School in Financial Times’ #20 ranking, South-Asia’s first B-School to earn AACSB accreditation, and the most research productive management institution from India, among others.
Fifteen years is a significant landmark in ISB’s short but impactful journey. To commemorate this milestone, the School, with the support of our alumni association, is leading a series of events across major alumni hotspots in India and abroad to celebrate the successes of our alumni and to acknowledge the contributions of our leaders, staff and collaborators. The celebrations began with an event in Singapore on November 14, 2016 at the Singapore Management University (SMU) campus featuring an insightful discussion on the ‘Fintech’ boom by a panel of leading academics and practitioners — ISB Dean Raj Srivastava; Prof. David Chuen, SMU; Mandeep Nalwa, CEO of Taurus Wealth; Padmanabhan Balasubramanian, ISB ; and Rahul Banerjee, Founder of Bondevalue.
On November 20, 2016, the President of India, Pranab Mukherjee, attended the 15th anniversary celebrations at the Mohali campus. Speaking at the event, the President lauded ISB as an example of the kind of transformation needed in our higher education system to achieve a balance between quality and quantity, access and inclusion, teaching and research. The Governor of Punjab, V P Singh Badnore, and the Union HRD Minister, Prakash Javadekar, were also present on the occasion. More recently, ‘Solstice’, ISB’s flagship alumni reunion event, was conducted during the weekend of December 16, 2016. The ISB@15 celebrations made this year’s Solstice all the more special, with inspiring addresses from Dr. Pramath Sinha, a principal architect of our School and founding Dean, and Dr. Dipak Jain, our friend and Dean in spirit.
This year, we have more exciting events lined up beginning with the ISB@15 event in Mumbai on January 28, 2017 hosted by our Chairman Adi Godrej and featuring a keynote address by Amitabh Kant, CEO, NITI Ayog. This will be followed by events in the United States, first on February 11, 2017 in San Francisco and next on February 16, 2017 in New York. The event in New York will be hosted by Girish Reddy, member of ISB’s Executive Board and KKR member. This event will also feature Vinai Tummalapally, the first Indian-American US ambassador (Belize), as a speaker.
The ‘teen’ years represent a period of transition in one’s life, from being explorative to becoming experienced, from being tentative to becoming assertive, from being an adolescent to becoming an adult. They are marked by a revelation that we have something unique to offer, a rising consciousness and confidence in our capabilities, and a visceral need to emerge as mature, responsible adults who are value-creating members of our families, our communities and the world at large. ISB at 15 must derive confidence from its successes of the past and get ready to shape the future. As ISB has been earning its stripes in management education, our country too has been undergoing a tremendous social, cultural and economic transformation. This broader context of progressive change brings great opportunities to ISB. Like India, ISB too must leapfrog, make quantum jumps and surpass the established western schools by accelerating academic excellence through real-world and practice-based insights into management education.
I am privileged to join all of you to celebrate this ‘rite of passage’ as our School comes of age. The alumni are delighted to support and strengthen the efforts of the School in new directions. I am confident ISB will continue to be a disruptor in management education and quickly emerge as a powerful generator of ideas, innovations and leaders, not just in the Asian context but on the global stage.
About the author :
Chandrasekhar Goda is the Chairperson, ISB Alumni Association and Director, Strategic Partnerships & Programs (R&D and Commercial), Dr. Reddy's Laboratories.