ADIEU – GRATEFUL FOR YOUR GENEROUS CONTRIBUTION
By Ajit Motwani (Associate Vice President, Development Office)
Thanks so very much for your incredible and unstinted support ever since I was offered the wonderful opportunity in 2014 to establish the IIMA’s Development office. No words are enough to express the gratitude that I feel towards Alums for the affection and immense trust reposed in me to help all that the Development Office could ever achieve.
I intended to write this last piece for you special Alums in spring 2020. Covid delayed it! I had plans to leave IIMA last year after the conclusion of the Singapore Chapter fundraising initiative and the first-ever big contribution from a Golden Jubilee batch (1968 – 70). Finally, will now be leaving this beautiful campus and the Development Office by May 2021.
Still vividly remember the Vikram Sarabhai Library’s restoration and upgrade project support coming from TCS through Rajesh Gopinathan during 2015-16. Initially, we requested for INR 15 Crore which was immediately agreed but by the time we came to signing the MoU, Institute projected INR 20 Crore which was also generously accepted. The project was finally completed within INR 15 crore and won global recognition through the UNESCO award in 2019.
In 2018-19 we started the discussion with the Singapore Chapter and requested for a single Faculty Wing’s restoration and upgrade support. As we went along, the chapter offered to raise more than double the amount through the “1’M for IIMA” initiative. Vidya Vasania and Nayantara Bali, then Chapter President and immediate past President lead the campaign.
Right from the beginning in 2014, with your support, we raised INR 40 Crore during the first year exceeding the previous five decades’ donations. This included launching a new Centre of excellence (India Gold Policy Centre). Glad to be ending my innings with the parting gift of “Centre for Data Science and Artificial Intelligence”, close to my heart initiative, supported by an alum who offered me this privilege.
So often you Alums would call to check if Institute needed funds for any significant initiative. When shared our priorities, funding support for those initiatives came immediately either from individual donors or through a batch/group initiative. Even when we were hesitant, you deeply cared and offered that the funds were just a call away.
I am sometimes asked by Alums, colleagues, and recently by the team succeeding me in the IIMA’s fundraising drive that how did the Development Office receive large funding to support the diverse initiatives at IIMA. I would say that the tripod learning during three vastly different assignments contributed to laying the foundation. First, my leading a PSU under MHRD taught me how to respect the country laws that would not antagonize Govt Depts and prevent hostilities with one of the key stakeholders; Second, my tenure at IIE New York taught me how to ignite and sustain the philanthropic fundraising across continents and cultures from Fortune 500 and others; last, probably most important but least understood, is the transparency and ethical codes learning during assignments in Scandinavian countries (Norway’s Corporate culture and experience during teaching business students at Universities in Finland for core values respected by academia and corporates when they engage with each other).
Definitely hope to remain in touch, I almost connected with many of you as closely as a fellow alum. IIMA has been very special for me and shall remain till the end of days!