Journey of Indian School of Business

New Delhi: Collaboration, innovation, ambition, independence are the best words to describe Indian School of Business` success since it was founded 10 years ago though the road was not that easy, says its founding dean in a nostalgic revisit of the institution`s journey.

In "An Idea Whose Time Has Come: The Story of the Indian School of Business", Pramath Raj Sinha traces the ISB`s eventful history and also examines the reasons that account for its success.

"The road has not always been easy. In some respects, ISB has succeeded beyond the expectations of its founders. In other areas, though, the school has failed to reach some of its early stated goals. Despite building up a core group of talented junior faculty, ISB has not yet succeeded in recruiting a core group of experienced senior faculty.

"Early hopes of attracting a truly international student body were not fulfilled at once; progress has been made, but the student body is still overwhelmingly Indian. Much remains to be done; some things that we set out to do remain unfinished and now, there are new goals to reach," says Sinha.

The book, published by Penguin, is intended in part as a celebration of achievements of students, faculty and staff over the past 10 years and more. "But it has another purpose, too. After 10 years, it is right that we should stop and reflect on the story so far. We need to consider both our successes and our failures, and to learn lessons from both. Those lessons should assist in ISB`s future growth and development, and we hope that others, too, will find them useful," he says. .

"When ISB was founded, higher education in India was in a mess. It helped to set a new standard for higher education in business, partly by demonstrating what could be done quickly and effectively in a short space of time, and partly by helping to change preconceptions about the nature of higher education in business," Sinha, also the founder and MD of special-interest media company 9.9 Mediaworx, writes.

According to the IIT Kanpur alumni, ISB does not always look like a traditional academic institution. "Another innovation is that we do not have departments; we have completely done away with them. There is no strategy, no finance, no operations, no HR organisation or department at ISB. At the beginning, we decided that rather than creating departments we would create centres. These centres are multi-disciplinary. They are also fairly organic: people can come and go, be part of multiple centres, or part of no centres at all."

Ten years ago, the founders of the Indian School of Business, Hyderabad articulated a vision that was as daunting to execute as it was simple to state: to build a world-class business school in India. Within a decade, the ISB grew from a start-up venture to globally top-ranked business school, named among the top 20 business schools in the world three years in a row, with the distinction of being the youngest business school ever to enter the world top 20 rankings.

Writes ISB Chairmen Adi Godrej in the preface, "The success of ISB is not the work of any one individual. It is the work of many, working willingly and selflessly to make a dream turn into reality."