Sunday, 8 December 2019

Looking Back On A Scion

Updated: August 6, 2011 2:23 pm

Mammoth task of institution building which was regarded by Nehru as “Making of India’s Modern Temple”, can be cited a superb maneuvering with the confluence of aspiration and caliber. Institutional development and heavy industrialization were the main planks of Nehruvian vision for the newly independent Indian. Fortunately these ideas remained as much sacrosanct under the democratic India as would be the spread of theocracy in a theocratic state. Nehru and him, men of Cabinet were quite aware about the potential change in labour pattern following the mushrooming of new industries, for coping those challenges, they started churning out home grown model of management education that finally shaped in the form of IIM Ahmedabad and later many more.

            This book presents the lucid overview on the shaping and development of IIM Ahmedabad. TT Rammohan, Professor at IIMA and a long time columnist for Economic Times ushered the institutional corporate history in writing to a new height. If he is indebted to Dwijendra Tripathi for his early remarkable works in Indian management and source of rich experiences, we should also express similar feelings to TT Rammohn for giving the management history a new lease in India. Otherwise, we have very few such works that could justify its utility-most of them afflicts with reprising exercise and ends in stark oblivion.

            Our forefathers were visionary and Vikram Sarabhai was one among them with proven integrity starting of book beautifully narrates his contribution as founding Director, IIMA from 1961-1964 and later his historic decision to replace his position by young Ravi Mathai. Ravi then, only 38 with merely a qualification of BA {Hons} from Oxford was a surprising choice prior to new assignment of Director, IIMA; he had a decade of industry experience but little academic exposure at IIM Calcutta. But if experience was a handicap for Ravi Mathai, his articulate persona and elitist background were positive factors with him. He was son of John Mathai (Finance Minister in Nehru’s Cabinet) with a sophisticated schooling in elite-centric sprawling Doon School and later University education in Oxford. TT Rammohn gives ample chance for readers to make their own judgement on this point without making things perplexed.

            In another chapter, the book shows how Mathai led IIMA to the crest in his stint as Director and later as its very distinguished faculty. He was the propunder of Sustainable Business Model within the Indian management, on which many Indian companies later pitched for their business innovation. Chapter-VII (Light and Shadow) has too much contemporary relevance today under the canopy of autonomy debate on IIM.

            This book is essential for management aspirants with high goal in life and career and also for those who loves to read history in alternative narration. I am being categorical only because Ravi Mathai chased the excellence, so is TT Rammohan. This work strictly revolves around the story of excellence.

By Atul Kumar Thakur

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