The illustrious physicist Dr. Vikram A. Sarabhai (1919-1971) was the honorary, part-time director of the Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad during the initial years of the Institute. He was born on August 12, 1919 in a family of industrialists. He completed his Natural Sciences Tripos at St. John’s College, Cambridge in 1940. He received his Ph.D. in 1947 from the University of Cambridge. On his return to India, he founded the Physical Research Laboratory (PRL) and the Ahmedabad Textile Industry Research Association (ATIRA) in 1947.
Prof. Ravi John Matthai (1927-1984) was the first full-time director of the IIMA. His family had strong connections with economics and teaching; his father, John Matthai was a professor of economics at the University of Madras who served as independent India’s first Minister of Railways, and later as Finance Minister. Prof. Ravi Matthai received his Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Economics from the University of Oxford. After a stint in a private firm in Kolkata he became professor of marketing at the Indian Institute of Management Calcutta. In 1965, he was invited by Dr.
Prof. Samuel Paul (1930-2015) was born on April 11, 1930 in Kerala. He obtained a doctorate in Economics from Syracuse University and worked for some time in New Delhi before joining the Institute in 1963. He was a member of the second batch of faculty members to be recruited by the Institute, and soon after he joined he was sent to Harvard for the one-year International Teachers’ Programme.
Dr. Vijay Shankar Vyas was born on August 21, 1931 in Bikaner, Rajasthan. He was an economist with a doctorate in Economics from the University of Bombay. He joined IIMA in 1974. Dr. Vyas’s tenure was marked by a steady consolidation of the teaching, research, consulting work and executive development agenda that had been established by then. The PGP was expanded to 180 students and distributed across three sections in 1979. More significant was the expansion of the Institute’s role in the development of management faculty.
Dr. Indraprasad Gordhanbhai Patel (1924-2005) was born on November 11, 1924, in Vadodara, Gujarat. He studied Economics at the University of Bombay, and then obtained a doctorate from King’s College, Cambridge. He taught at the University of Bombay and then joined the International Monetary Fund. In 1954, he became Economic Advisor to the Minister of Finance; this started him on a distinguished career in economic policymaking. He was the fourteenth Governor of the Reserve Bank of India (1977-1982), after which he joined IIMA as Director.
Dr. Narayan R. Sheth (1931-2018) was born on November 26, 1931, and was known as a pioneering industrial sociologist. His doctoral thesis at MS University Baroda, Social Framework of an Indian Factory, was published by University of Manchester Press and triggered academic interest in labour relations and factory settings in India. He joined the Institute in 1969. As director, his tenure was marked by a consolidation of the long-term programmes of the Institute and the near-completion of the original master plan for the 62.8 acre Old Campus.
Dr. Pradip N. Khandwalla completed his MBA at Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, and then his Ph.D. in Industrial Administration and Organisation theory at Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh. He joined the Organizational Behaviour Area at IIMA in 1975. The beginning of Dr. Khandwalla’s term also marked the beginning of the Institute’s journey towards financial reliance. In November 1991, the Government of India announced a freezing of the recurring expenditures at 1991-92 levels—this at a time when annual inflation was around 10%.
Dr. Jahar Saha, a statistician by training, joined the Institute in 1966 as a research associate, at the age of 22. In 1971, he was sent to Case Western Reserve University for his doctoral studies. He returned in 1975, joining the Production and Quantitative Methods Area. He took over as director from Dr. P. M. Shingi who was Acting Director from September 1, 1996 to April 8, 1997. The latest additions to the Old Campus, the Ravi J.
Dr. Bakul Dholakia (born July 15, 1947) completed his education in Economics at the Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda. He worked at IIMA for 33 years. Dr. Dholakia took over at a time when the Institute had already taken some steps towards becoming more international in outlook, but had remained in a steady state with respect to its educational programmes.
Prof. Samir Barua, M.Tech (IIT Kanpur), Fellow of IIMA (1980), was born on September 23, 1951 in Raipur. He joined the Institute in 1980 and was the first alumnus to become Director. The initial years of Prof. Barua’s tenure coincided with the global financial crisis—the Institute was not immune to its negative effects. When many institutions struggled with placements, IIMA’s credibility and the special efforts of the faculty members in charge of placements helped the Institute tide over the crisis. IIMA became an EQUIS-accredited institute in 2008.