Retired Professor V L Mote who taught at the IIMA since its inception days and continued till 1993, throws light on how IIMA got to be known as WIMWI and the values it stands for:
How did the name come into being? I used that reference when I was a visiting professor in Switzerland, Lausanne. There they used to refer to Harvard as a well-known school of business administration in eastern America…so drawing on that analogy I changed it and called IIMA the well-known institute of management in western India. IIMA has a long-drawn allegiance to Harvard, which went a long way in enhancing its credentials. The usage must have got popular among students and that is how it caught on.
What it stands for? I remember a time when as the PGP chairman I was asked by the committee to consider the change in name of the institute from being a management institute to a business school.
I had a word with Dr Sarabhai, and he made it clear that IIMA has a wider role to fulfil. He asked me, “What would you like to do, prove small corollaries or solve big theorems? “ And the message was clear. WIMWI is a school of management and has a much wider scope and role as the management conscience keeper of society.
The values that WIMWI stands for: Dr Sarabhai told me the first claim on your time is that of your students. “You don’t have to dilute the reputation of tough grading but you must also bring up the weak students to that standard. You are duty bound to do it,” he said.
He insisted on never going unprepared to the class. “Just like you expect your students to come prepared, you must always be ready,” he would say.
Regarding consulting assignments he always insisted on never bypassing the institute. As in his words, “Stay at a good hotel but not a bridal suit. Accept the drinks not the party.”
“You are professors not executives. One must maintain the sobriety and conservativeness that goes with academic pursuits,” he inspired.
The Legacy Continues: Wisdom cannot be told. The institute stands for imparting practical wisdom. We ‘TEACH’ it through unique structure of our courses, exceptionally practical teaching material and uncompromising teachers.