For Srinath V, Associate Director Academic Services & Administration at ISB, his earliest memories of ISB dates back to the year 2000, when the ISB campus was physically taking shape in Hyderabad. He was one of the first key employees to join Team Admissions under Mr. Vinoo Urs, who also had the additional responsibility of bringing the first batch of PGP (The Founding Class) to the campus. In his own words, ‘It was a strange feeling, to be a part of an education start-up, unknowing what a B-school was. The only other name I knew until then was “The Harvard.” My first step into the ISB was not on the ISB campus, but the IIIT campus, where we had the ISB’s first Hyderabad office. We had all challenges - the DOS-based desktop with just configured MS office, with no initial training on the usage, food catered by an outsider, regular power interruptions, no house-keeping, no AC, and so on. The majority of work was on paper, Word, and Excel and with no such formal training. It was more like seven days a week, 9 AM to 7 PM and for a few 9 AM to 9 PM.
The day I stepped into the admissions team on November 27, 2000, I could already sense the intensity, as the admissions for the incoming founding class had already started as early as August with support from the ISB Team based out of Delhi, an intern based out of Hyderabad, the architects of ISB Dr. Rajat Gupta, Professors Donald Jacobs, Dipak Jain, Sumantra Ghoshal, Pramath Sinha and several alumni of Kellogg, Wharton & LBS.
The founding class with 128 students joined the campus in July 2001, and it was a great and proud moment for most of us, who were present on DAY-1 of the ISB class.
I can still recall the efforts that were taken to get students to the campus. Our staff received all students from Hyderabad at the Railway station, Airport, and the RTC bus depot and they were moved to Krishna Oberoi, as the Student Village was not ready. Even the founding class student registration happened there only. For a couple of weeks, the students were brought to the campus by buses to attend the classes every day, and then they gradually moved to the campus.
To summarise, the entire work we did during the initial years was paper-based, with processes just evolving and with only the interviews and offers rolled out via an e-mail. Also, any layman can imagine the volume being handled with just three team members and a Director. Technology took center stage subsequently, and all of us revolved around it, working towards creating different processes and applications to further automation.
I ended up working with at least Six HOD’s in Admissions. Then a time came when I strongly felt I need more learning, which resulted in me asking for a movement to another department, and the position in ASA was a blessing in disguise at that moment.
When it comes to ISB as a school, I certainly feel we have broken every record in this journey of 20 years to what it is now, to stand “so tall,” figuring in most of the top B-school rankings, with representation in every industry, and also our alumni contributing to different economies around the world.
To me, the biggest hallmark of ISB has been “Quality and consistency” in deliverables throughout, and ISB, I am sure, is certainly set to achieve greater heights in the years to come. To conclude, I would like to thank my colleagues and family for my 20 years of journey with the ISB.
Srinath V is currently the Associate Director at Academic Services & Administration (ASA) at ISB. He joined ISB in November 2000 and has completed 20 years with ISB.