Prof. Vasant L. Mote (1933-2019), former faculty at IIMA (1962-1993), was admired by generations of students at IIMA, especially for his distinctive teaching style. He was a member of the first Admissions Committee, chaired the Quantitative Methods Area (later PQM), PGP affairs and Alumni Association, associated with the Centre for Regional Management Studies, was Director-Programmes, and a faculty nominee on IIMA's Board of Governors in the 1980s. He also had a lifelong interest in Sanskrit and classical music.
V. L. Mote was born on 4th March, 1933, in Amravati in a family that ran a oil-mill business. Overcoming an initial fear of mathematics, he pursued Mathematics in higher education and Masters at the Institute of Science in Mumbai, along with harboring a passion for riding motorbikes to college. He set sail for the US to pursue a PhD in North Carolina and had a stormy ship journey between Hong Kong to San Francisco that influenced his thinking on decision-making and later the cover page of a book. After his PhD and a brief job in Florida, he returned to India due to his father's illness and took up a job with Calico Mills of the Sarabhai family in Ahmedabad as Production Planner. Restless after a few years and inspired by Vikram Sarabhai, he found a new vocation in academia and became the second faculty member to be appointed at IIMA on 14th August 1962, where he worked until his retirement in 1993.
In 1962-63, he went to the Harvard Business School for the one-year International Teachers' Programme where he learnt the nuances of the case method and from a particular HBS faculty, the unique art of throwing chalks in the classrooms-an aspect that delighted and mystified generations of students at IIMA. The popular MSM Course-Mathematics and Statistics for Management taken by Malya-Saha-Mote was another contribution. His research led to publications in journals such as Management Science and he wrote several books and cases, especially on the textile sector with which he was well versed. He held numerous administrative positions in IIMA and in March 1993, the PQM Area hosted a conference on "Corporate Strategy and Government Policy: Interlinkages" to commemorate V L Mote's long association with the Area and his 60th birthday.
V L Mote passed away on 23rd July, 2019, at the age of 86 and was survived by his wife, Snehalata, and two daughters-Bhagyashree and Sharmila, and their families.
He was interviewed for the IIMA Archives Oral History Project on 17th December, 2018 and video snippets of the interview are available on this link.
Date of Birth: March 04, 1933
Date of Death: July 23, 2019