The institute announced the launch of the ‘IIM Ahmedabad Endowment Fund’ on June 23, 2020. With an initial commitment of Rs. 100 Cr from 10 founding alumni, the fund was launched by Mr Kumar Mangalam Birla, Chairperson, IIMA Board of Governors. The fund aims to enable IIMA to make a larger impact in the field of education, entrepreneurial leadership, management practice and public policy. The endowment also aims to raise Rs 1000 Cr over a period of five years.
IIMA is the first management school in India to come up with this first-of-its-kind fund, setting a benchmark and inspiring other institutes. “Endowment funds help ensure financial health of any institute, thereby encouraging growth and self-sufficiency. These funds will play a significant role in realizing the long-term goals of the institute and retain its autonomy,” said Mr Kumar Mangalam Birla, Chairperson, IIMA Board of Governors.
Major contributors The initial major contributors, who are founders of this Endowment and have committed to contribute more than ₹10 crore each, have come from across the batches of the institute. The names include Sandeep Singhal and Kavita Iyer, Co-Founder of WestBridge Capital and formerly co-founder of Sequoia Capital India; and trustees of SIFF respectively (1999), Sanjeev Bikhchandani, Founder & Executive Vice-Chairman, InfoEdge (1989); Deep Kalra, Founder & Group CEO, Makemytrip (1992); Ramesh Mangaleswaran and Meenakshi Ramesh, Senior Partner, McKinsey & Company; and Co-Founder of Citizen Matters respectively (1993); Kuldeep Jain, Founder, Cleanmax Enviro Energy Solutions (1999); VT Bharadwaj, Co-founder, A91 Partners (2001); Peeyush Misra, Partner, Growth Source Financial Technologies (1999) and GV Ravishankar, Managing Director, Sequoia Capital India (2004).
Other significant contributors who have committed to more than ₹5 crore are Arun Duggal, Chairman, ICRA (1974), and SK Jain, Co-Founder of WestBridge Capital and formerly Sequoia Capital India (2000).
“Endowments form the backbone of all great Universities around the world. Endowment is the glue that binds the University with its alumni. Greater the University, larger is the Endowment. With this initiative, the management and the alumni have sowed a seed for what will one day be a large endowment proportionate to the stature of IIM Ahmedabad,” said Mr Sandeep Singhal.
Critical funding support Prof Errol D’Souza, Director, IIMA, said, “The endowment corpus will be very impactful as we expect it to emerge as an important source to support key strategic initiatives and innovative projects. Such a critical funding support has been missing for most Indian educational institutions and we are happy to create a benchmark.”
Under the guidance of the IIMA Board of Governors, the endowment fund will be managed by an independent Endowment Committee consisting of initial alumni contributors, along with the Director and Dean – Alumni and External Relations, in their ex-officio capacity.
Prof Rakesh Basant, Dean – Alumni & External Relations, IIMA, said, “The transparent structure of the fund will help IIMA engage more actively with its alumni and they will be able to meaningfully participate in shaping the future of their alma mater. This will also help the Institute deliver greater value through contemporary, high-quality teaching and research.”
The virtual event The fund was launched online via video conferencing and live streaming. During the launch, Prof. Vijaya Sherry Chand brought the history alive by a presentation on ‘IIMA: Glimpses from the Archives’. Mr Harsha Bhogle (PGP 1985) was also a part of the launch and enlightened the attendees by a brief talk on ‘IIMA – Transforming students to transform themselves’, speaking on how important it is to stay ahead of the curve and imbibe technology.
With a thought of giving back to the alma mater, Mr Sanjeev Bikhchandani expressed, “Fundamentally, I believe for many of us, IIM-A was a transformational experience and if we have the ability to give back, we should, and enable others to as well.”