LEAGUE OF ITS OWN
The story of IIM Ahmedabad began five years before it was actually set up in 1961. In 1956, Ford Foundation got Harvard Business School (HBS) to explore the possibility of a B-school in India. It proposed setting up one in Bombay, but Bombay University did not seem excited. Three years later, George Robbins, associate dean of UCLA, which had replaced HBS as the Ford Foundation collaborator, came to India and drew up a plan to set up two autonomous institutions in Bombay and Calcutta. The Planning Commission accepted Robbins’ report but Bombay University had some reservations. When scientist Vikram Sarabhai came to know of it, he proposed Ahmedabad as a site. Along with Ahmedabad-based businessman Kasturbhai Lalbhai, they facilitated the setting up of IIM.
Sarabhai, who was honorary director for the first three-and-a-half years, created the autonomous structure of IIMs, which are run by a board that is accountable to a Society and not the government. The IIMA board also decided not to get it approved by an Act of Parliament—compulsory if IIMA was to award degrees. That is how the IIMs award diplomas, not degrees. Sarabhai also got Louis Kahn, leading architect of the last century, to design the buildings on the campus, which has been home to celebrated alumni from sports commentator Harsha Bhogle to bestselling author Chetan Bhagat and former RBI governor Raghuram Rajan.
TOP CLASS IIMA students on the campus