The rich history of IIMA is documented in great detail on the IIMA Archives website.
"The building of an educational institution is often an act of faith and the expression of that faith is in a philosophy on the basis of which those who build such institutions act" (Ravi J. Matthai, first full-time Director, 1965-72)
‘Vidya viniyogadvikasa'— ‘development through the distribution or application of knowledge': this is the motto which has guided the Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad (IIMA) since its establishment in 1961 in Ahmedabad, Gujarat, India, enabling it to develop a reputation for excellence and leadership in management education. Created and nurtured as an institute of management and not just as a business school, IIMA has produced numerous leader-managers for the business and public sectors who, with their dreams, aspirations and vision, have shaped their organizational, economic and social contexts. In this educational journey IIMA has been led by its commitment to:
- hosting faculty who have distinguished themselves as teachers, researchers, consultants and policy shapers, and are constantly in touch with the world of practice
- developing innovative and appropriate curricula and pedagogy that are student-centred
- fostering research as a tool to extend the frontiers of knowledge, both applied and conceptual
- creating management scholars—teachers and researchers
- establishing infrastructure of high quality.
Dr. Vikram Sarabhai, a pioneering space scientist and the first Director (part-time, 1961-65), Kasturbhai Lalbhai, an industrialist and Chairman of the first Board of Governors, and Ravi J. Matthai, the first full-time Director (1965-72), played visionary roles in setting the new institute on its developmental path. Faith—in the concept of faculty governance, in faculty and staff empowerment, in the institute's ability to provide education of the highest quality, in ideas like autonomy and self-regulation and in the value of alumni as ambassadors of the institute—was the keystone on which the institute was built. IIMA collaborated with the Harvard Business School for an initial five-year period, and this set the tone for innovation in pedagogy—the case method of teaching, for instance. Apart from its strong focus on industry and business management education, IIMA, since its early years, has engaged with sectors like agriculture, education, health, cooperatives, transportation, population studies, energy and public administration.