I Admire

Written by Rajendra S Pawar | Updated: Apr 28 2008, 03:45am hrs
When passion and innovation come together, you get magic.The Indian School of Business (ISB) at Hyderabad is one such magic that I admire.

First, some simple facts.From zero to 425 annual enrollments in a post-graduate management program within five years is a global first.A faculty team comprising100-plusprofessors from over 45 international universities is a unique characteristic of the school.A world-class campus that is as good, perhaps better than the very best in the world is a matter of great pride for all stakeholders.A global reputation built in a short span ofsix years is an absolute first and an enviable one at that.Finally, starting with a generous corpus put together by a passionate team of Indias business leaders, the school has already achieved a financial break-even in operations.

While there is a long list of attributes of ISB that I admire, there are three that are particularly noteworthy:

Market Driven: For all those who are nervous about the market being an effective arbiter in professional education, ISB should provide great comfort.The power of the idea has weathered criticisms and pitfalls, and we have a shining example that is a beacon to all stakeholders deeply concerned with professional education.An ever-increasing number of better and brighter students are happily paying an escalating fee (through loans and scholarships) simply because their improved financial status after the course yields a superior return on their investment.

ISBs policy of using merit as the key criterion is combined with an increasing desire to provide scholarships to bright students who face financial constraints.

Global and world-class: Within a short period since its inception, the entry profile of students has already reached among the top five in the world.I have yet to meet an international visitor to the campus who has not unequivocally agreed that the ISB campus in terms of infrastructure has no parallel.Globally reputed faculty members give their best to students for two reasons those of Indian origin want to make a contribution to their country while teachers of foreign origin are excited by the calibre and energy level of the ISB Student.

Intense: The one thing that strikes me every time I spend a day or an evening at the campus is the amazing levels of energy on display among students, faculty and staff at ISB.For students, it is a pressure-cooker environment with an 18-hour day, all seven days of the week, not just engrossed in academics, but to a large measure in extra-curricular activities as well.

The story of ISB, then, is not just one of great success as echoed by the Financial Times ranking, placing it among the top 20 institutions in this category, worldwide.To me, the reasons that warm my heart about ISB are the values that make it a market-driven, innovative, independent, global and world-class institution that thrives on the principles of meritocracy and excellence.

The author is chairman, NIIT