Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad

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1955: Bombay or Ahmedabad--Deciding on the location

When Mumbai almost stole IIM-A from Ahmedabad

Paul John, TNN | Oct 28, 2013

The Times of India

When Mumbai almost stole IIM-A from Ahmedabad

In 1955 the central government established the TT Krishnamachari committee to give its recommendations on establishing a management institute and the US’s Ford Foundation decided to help out. AHMEDABAD: India's business capital Mumbai almost stole the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad (IIM-A) from the city not once but twice. The first attempt was made during its very inception in 1962 and the second in 2001 when the top B-school was looking to expand and build a new campus.

But Ahmedabad remained the institute's home, thanks to the determination of visionary technocrat Vikram Sarabhai, textile magnate and institution-builder Kasturbhai Lalbhai and first Gujarat chief minister Jivraj Mehta. This gripping tale is recorded in a recent book 'The IIM-A story—the DNA of an institution' by the B-school's member of the board of governors Praful Anubhai.

He says in the book that in 1955 the central government established the TT Krishnamachari committee to give its recommendations on establishing a management institute and the US's Ford Foundation decided to help out.

In 1957 a Harvard Business School committee led by Richard Merriam and Harold Thurlby was invited by the foundation and they recommended Mumbai as the location. The committee also insisted that it should be autonomous and based on the American model.

Bombay University staunchly contested autonomy for the institute and demanded that it be made part of the university. Meanwhile, Sarabhai, Lalbhai and Mehta were lobbying hard across the country to pull the institute to Ahmedabad. Bombay University's resistance became the trump card for the trio's success.

"The triumvirate was a powerful combination, rarely seen in public life. It is their hard work that made IIM a reality in Ahmedabad in 1962," says Anubhai.

"In 2001, IIM-A needed to expand and needed a new campus. City and Industrial Development Corporation (CIDCO), the apex planning body in Maharashtra, approached a committee formed by IIM-A which involved former professor Jagdeep Chhokar and me," Anubhai says. "We inspected a site on a hillock in Navi Mumbai which was earlier offered to the Indian School of Business (ISB)."

This move was scuttled by the Maharashtra government, which did not want an institute not reserving seats for locals. Anubhai also states that it was almost final that the new IIM-A campus would come up on Indian Oil Corporation ( IOC) land in Delhi, but the Union government was evasive on the issue, ensuring that the sanctity of the 'A' in IIM-A remained.

Academic work/ research by students

2020: textbook on product management

Parth Shastri , January 27, 2020: The Times of India

AHMEDABAD: When Arun Nandewal, a 2018-20 batch PGP student at IIM-Ahmedabad (IIM-A), and his batchmates searched for textbooks on product management in India, they found just one. It was a book by IIT-Madras alumnus.

So Nandewal and 20 batchmates decided to write a textbook themselves, incorporating the latest developments in e-commerce websites, cab aggregators, massive multiplayer online role-playing games (MMORPG) including PUBG, blockchain, and many other aspects. Also included were the best practices and product development, and their links with various business verticals.

The team began writing the book in June last year and within six months it was ready with a 125-page book titled ‘Futuristic Outlook to Product Management Industry Review Guide 2019’. Nandewal, the lead author, said that the group is now attempting to introduce the book for course learning at IIM-A.

Ananya Dalal, one of the youngest members on the team, said the book will be a valuable resource. “It’s a dynamic book and our team expects it to be updated by each batch that comes after us,” he said. “The textbook is being peer reviewed and we have already taken suggestions from our professors.”

Nandewal said the book is for absolute beginners, and those who want to switch jobs or prepare for interviews. He said that each of his batchmates involved in writing the chapters had working experience in new domains such as blockchain, brand lifecycle, gaming, and OTT platforms. “We decided to collect and write case studies for the team,” he said. “The project soon attracted students from PGPX, PGP-FABM, and FPM programmes as well — bringing in the mix of experience and knowledge.”

Anshuman Singh, a PGPX student, said with his 14 years of experience in technology firms, he contributed a real-time product management case in the book. “Product management is an emerging area and almost all tech giants are hiring for it,” he said.


2021: Louis Kahn dormitories not to be demolished

Maulik Pathak, January 2, 2021: The Times of India

The Louis Kahn dormitories that were to be demolished
From: Maulik Pathak, January 2, 2021: The Times of India
The buildings, built in the 1960s and 1970s, are in a state of dilapidation
From: Maulik Pathak, January 2, 2021: The Times of India

The Indian Institute of Management–Ahmedabad (IIM-A) decided to give the “cultural legacy” of celebrated US architect Louis Kahn a chance. IIM-A Board of Governors (BoG) said it is withdrawing the expression of interest (EOI) for demolishing 14 of 18 dormitories that are part of the campus and replacing them with new structures.

The decision followed a massive outcry from various organisations, architects, historians and academicians, among others, urging IIM-A to abandon plans for demolishing the rare structures.

A letter by BoG chairman Kumar Mangalam Birla and other members of the IIM-A board said they “are sensitive to the feedback from some stakeholders who are not in agreement with this approach”.

“We are therefore withdrawing the Expression of Interest that was put out. We will deliberate on the feedback received, re-evaluate the options, consult the best global conservation and structural experts, and chart out a course of action,” said the letter to IIM-A stakeholders.

‘Kahn-designed dorms a cultural legacy’

As per restoration plans proposed by the institute earlier, the core of the Louis Kahn buildings — the library, the faculty wings, and the class-room complex — and the dorms on the periphery of the complex (Dorms 16-18) would be restored, while the other dorms would be reconstructed. Out of a total 18 dormitories, 14 were proposed to be razed.

A blended approach was considered appropriate, it said. This was done after taking into account expert opinions, consultations with a range of other stakeholders and balancing all considerations. “Many of you have been writing ever since the Expression of Interest was put up for the design of the student housing at the main campus of the institute. You have sought to remind us that the dormitories designed by Louis Kahn are a cultural legacy and that these buildings are to be seen as an integral part of the ensemble of buildings that constitute the campus,” the BoG letter states.

The letter said that they are acutely cognisant of the place that the institute and its architecture occupy in the larger community, and of the responsibility that comes with being custodians of the legacy of Louis Kahn.

The buildings designed by Kahn and built in the 1960s and 1970s have undergone dilapidation and structural deterioration with periodic detachments of parts of it in fragments. “We learned that the bricks used were what is termed “second-class bricks”, which have grown brittle and weak. Load bearing areas have become particularly vulnerable,” says the letter.

Changed in 2022

April 1, 2022: The Times of India

Ahmedabad:The iconic logo of IIM Ahmedabad (IIM-A) is perhaps as famous as the premier B-school itself. Adopted in 1961, the logo was copyrighted in 2020. But the same logo — inspired by the Siddi Saiyed Mosque jaali representing Ahmedabad — is reportedly getting an overhaul amid open criticism from a dozenodd faculty members.

In a letter dated March 8 to the director and Board of Governors (BoG), the faculty members said the academic council met on March 4 and approved the change in the logo design. “This comes as a total surprise to us as the new logos have been approved by the IIM-A board without informing or involving the faculty members… till we do not understand the reasons for the same, we consider them as violation of existing practices. . . ,” said the letter. An email to IIM-A officials remained unanswered as of Thursday. While sources confirmed a letter was sent to the BoG, the institute neither confirmed nor denied either the move or the receipt of the letter.

The letter said the change of logo will have “far-reaching implications and long-term consequences”. “The new logos do not recognise IIM-A’s heritage, core purpose andobjective,” it said, indicating that one of the logos does not carry its motto ‘Vidya Viniyogat Vikas’. 

2022, details: new logo adopted

Nov 4, 2022: The Times of India

Ahmedabad : IIM-Ahmedabad unveiled its new visual identity on Thursday as part of itsplan with a focus on expanding its global footprint. While the colour rendition and fonts have been modified, the logo retains the Sanskrit verse “Vidya Viniyogad Vikasa” (education/knowledge brings development/enlightenment) as its motto.

The premier B-school’s decision to deviate sharply from its six-decade-old identity had earlier caused much uproar among the IIM-A fraternity and spurred several emails and petitions. The authorities, however, on Thursday announced that they had officially adopted the new logo design that has also been used on the institute’s redesigned website launched the same day.

IIM-A director Prof Errol D’Souza said the Sanskrit inscription had been retained, whereas the representation of Sidi Saiyyed jaali was made “bold and clear…”.

The 60-year-old built heritage of world renowned architect Louis Kahn at IIM-A will make way for newer buildings as the Bschool officials on Thursday announced plans to completely redevelop the campus, citing safety concerns. The decision to reconstruct the dorms was announced four days after the Morbi tragedy, where a reportedly dilapidated structure claimed over 130 lives. “We have 18 dorms and a majority of the 480-odd students are currently living outside the dorms. The new plans – which would retain the Kahn narrative – will be formulated keeping in mind present and future requirements,” said Prof Errol D’Souza, director of the institute. 

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