18 January 2006


The recent news item that IIM-B was denied permission to open a campus in singapore has met with much flak both from the print media and from some political dignitary from singapore itself, who claimed that it was India's loss.
Firstly, to the political dignitary from singapore, you have no buisness to be telling that it is India's loss and other things when you are here in Indian soil. You can express any kind of opinion you want when you are there in your land, not here. India's loss is it ? My foot !
Now coming back to the bigger question, does IIM-B really need a campus in singapore ? IIM's are funded by the tax payers blood, sweat and tears. So even if the IIM's claim that they will fund themselves, is such a campus in singapore really necessary ? What is IIM-B going to achieve by that ? Any buisness must have a clear and well defined objective. Brand building by opening a campus in singapore is not at all an objective. It is more of a chest thumping and egoistic activity. And secondly while all other IIM's including the one at Ahmedabad are keeping quiet why is the one at bangalore alone trying to act smart here ? And education is not a buisness ! I am surprised that the same guys who go and talk against commercialization of education, are supporting this move. While there is no clear objective in opening a campus in singapore, every Tom, Dick and Harry is going about town expressing his/her opinion that higher education must be freed from government clutches. This includes that self-styled messiah/moron Narayana Moorthy.
The wise men may ask that BITS-Pilani has some campus in Dubai, Symbiosis has campus in Dubai then why not IIM's in singapore. The answer is pretty simple ! Those institutes are not funded by the government.
The IIM's mandate was pretty simple. It was established and funded to meet the demand for managers within the country. That mandate has been clearly and conveniently forgotten with no course aimed at letting the people know the buisness culture and dynamics of doing buisenss within the country. I am not letting out hot air on this issue, but i am just quoting a fully researched article that appeared in the Indian Express a few months back. Firstly management is nothing but common sense ! So when you spend two years in a B-School, you are suposed to learn the nitty gritty details of building large buisnesses that pertain the local economy. How many graduates of IIM are aware of the policies and the frameworks to build buisness within India ? IIM's shamefully school or rather spoon-feed the students mostly in the capitalist way of doing buisness. Thus they end up as Student-Export-Processing-Zones rather than anything else.
So i think there is nothing wrong in the government asking IIM's to stay back and meet the home grown demand and then look for other pastures later.

Posted by Shyam Krishnaswamy at 9:58 AM


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