Beating a pandemic, the Indian School of Business way

By Soumik Dey, Team Marcomm Mar 26, 2022

First time in School's history, Co'2020 awarded in-person degrees two years after the online graduation ceremony

There are many firsts for the 2019-20 cohort of Indian School of Business's PGP students. They were the first to face the impact of a pandemic on campus and asked to leave on short notice, first to go through a hybrid course curriculum and the first to receive their degrees – for a second time.

"This ceremony is two years late. But the first time, we are getting a chance to welcome back our students from two years back. Welcome back home," said Professor Ramabhadran Thirumalai, Deputy  Dean – Academic Programmes. His words and tonality indicated that this was not just another graduation ceremony in the illustrious twenty years of the School's history. 

Saturday, March 26, was a culmination of anxiety turning to anxiety and subsequent anticipation over three years. 

Summer of 2019, the students had settled in the campus life, the pandemic onset is still some months away. Everything was as usual in the twin campuses of Hyderabad and Mohali, of the Indian School of Business. "We were still absorbing the magnanimity of the campus, and we had to leave for our home in 48-hours-notice," shared Shreyas Katta, President, Graduate Students Board, Class of 2020..

But despite the pandemic's rage that year, the Indian School of Business managed by quickly adopting technology enabled tools and training aids.

The faculty and staff at the Indian School of Business had to quickly adapt to the new normal to ensure continuity of not just the PGP but all its programmes. It was, among those moments of the School, when there was no alternative but to be it's resilient best to tide over the situation.

Today, the students who found their life dreams under the starry skies of the ISB two years ago came back to the campus living those dreams. The excitement of the 450 odd students who attended the in-person graduation ceremony at the Hyderabad campus accompanied about 1000 family members on this glorious day was clearly visible.

As the ceremony resumed, Professor Madan Pillutla, Dean, Indian School of Business, spotted some more firsts with the class of 2020. "This was also the first class where we had a second-generation come and join us as the family member," he said, highlighting that Co'20 student Tanvi Deshpande and her father Satish Deshpande, were both taught by him.

Most of us fall back on our family's support and care during our tough times. The students from the Class of 2020 were also no exception. Dean Madan Pillutla asked the graduating students never to forget that gratitude during his address. 

He urged the students to pick up the mantle and aid in solving dominant issues like growing inequality, climate change and geopolitical tensions. "Your privileged position allows you the ability to influence tremendously. You have this opportunity to better the future for all of us. Seize it," Dean Pillutla said in his address.

Proud relatives and well-wishers cheered for the graduates who had overcome all the challenges this world could throw their way. 

Vipul Gupta from the class of 2020 at Hyderabad campus received the Chairperson award for all-round academic excellence and leadership. Along with the students, six faculty members were recognised for their teaching awards for the year.