Saturday, May 08, 2004


I found some very interesting writing in Ramki's blog (archives- which make interesting reading incidentally :D).


If the heading made you sit up, I am not surprised. I was just going thru the forums at and was amazed at the carnage. There seem to be a big crowd from other bschools who are extremely sensitive to ISB and its hype, to some extent justifiably so. Some amazing messages, mudslinging that does no good to anyone...

IIMs are the premier bschools in India. No doubt. ISB is not yet there. ISB aims not only to be there but to be among the best in the world. But it needs to tread that path for sometime to come before it can reach the target. There has to be a difference between a bschool that has an established reputation for decades and one that is just 3 years old. I simply dont see why people want to compare apples and oranges.

ISB has big plans. It has great backing from industry and academia. Spirited sincere students who want to make it big in life. All the essentials for a new school wanting to make it big in the world. But when you start a school saying that, "we aim to be the best in the world in a few years", you are indeed creating hype. That hype has been interpreted by many as readymade international placements, a great course that is going to beat the blues out of IIMs in the rankings and fantabulous salaries. Lets get practical. Building an institution takes time. Rome was not built in a day. But to make it big, we need to dream big first. Then back is up with inspiration, perspiration and sincere honest effort.

IIMs are the place to be if you will not be satisfied by anything but that high flying IB job in the US. Contrast that with the opportunity to build an institution. Example: This year, ISB will host the first ISB leadership summit. From the first step of conceptualization to drawing up budgets to roping in sponsors, media partners, travel partners to even co ordination to website creation to logistics management to convincing some of the best minds in the world to take time off their schedules to come to ISB during those 3 days, everything has been done just by the students. Mind you, even the idea came from one of us. No extra money was awarded for this effort. We had to manage by pooling available money for the different clubs. We had to bridge the deficit with sponsorships. We had to negotiate the rates for everything from advertising to publishing to every little detail. All this has been managed by numerous teams of student volunteers who have been working for the past 3 months, day and night. In fact, it is only now that we are in some shape and we have tonnes of work ahead. All this in the middle of arguably one of the toughest schedules in a bschool. Now, being a student of ISB, i know I do not stand the same probability of getting an international placement as say an IIM grad, but is that first placement everything. What matters to me more is the experience I have got by participating in this massive effort to create something big from scratch. And we did not have a legacy to learn from.

Going to a bschool is a personal decision. One has to weigh everything from costs to what is important for oneself before taking a decision. Clearing CAT or GMAT does not make anyone great. It is being able to keep ones cool when the situation demands, knowing what you want and the ability to work relentlessly towards that goal that differentiates. I care a damn if you are from ISB or IIMs or any bschool. If you are honest, hard working, sincere towards your goals and smart enough to recognize opportunity when it knocks, you will go places.
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