CONTRIBUTING TO IIMA
Innovation for Next Phase of Developmental Agenda
On strengthening IIMA’s core focus on overall excellence – Head of Development Office, Mr. Ajit Motwani
Big contributions from IIMA Alumni is relatively a recent phenomenon considering more than five decades of institutional history. Being a late entrant or follower has its own advantage, just as being the Pioneer or an early mover. Innovation, however, is at the heart to every meaningful activity and every stage. Fortunately, innovation is in the DNA of IIMA right since its inception.
Innovation is not just relevant in the tech and social sectors where the big brands, such as Apple, Google, Facebook, Amul, Grameen Bank, Indian Telecom revolution of 1980s, that were products of innovation driven by absolute passion of their founding leaders, but is equally relevant in all our pursuits.
The IIMA Alumni, key stake holder and major donor group supporting various priorities at the institute, have been close partners in our journey of fund raising and innovation in the developmental agenda. We prioritized funding for new developmental initiatives with Alums that include Swimming Pool (construction should start within a few months), facilities for differently abled, funding to support the junior staff medical emergencies post-retirement, Child Care Center on campus, Staff Recreation Club, and most recently “Prof A K Jain Marketing Gold Medal”.
Alumni contribution has been as much with the funding as with the innovatively defining the priorities. The institute’s initial fund raising was relatively easy, just like any low hanging fruit at the start of a new initiative where priorities are often set by the crying needs and reasonably well defined. At IIMA, this was the aging heritage infrastructure of Louis Kahn buildings – the legacy on campus. Besides, the other initial funding to support teaching and research through Faculty Chairs/Visiting Faculty/Case Research support; student support through scholarships and awards; Faculty recognition through awards, etc. were all quite obvious. We are gradually moving towards ‘not so well defined’ developmental agenda, such as top research international conferences on campus; initiatives to promote overall excellence through alumni and external engagements that are important for IIMA ecosystem.
Globalization of higher education coupled with increasing costs, in part due to recruiting & retaining quality faculty and international students’ expectations of infrastructure/facilities, have put the competing demands on the available philanthropic funding. This is especially true of the corporate philanthropic funding. However, it also applies to Alumni funding since the Alums want to see the value preposition in the funding support they commit to. We have seen the similar trend among the IIMA Alums, where the large contributions have also been made to the academic institutions that they didn’t study at, but closely relate to their priorities.
It’s been our endeavor to regularly share the institutional priorities with Alumni at Chapter meetings and also at reunions. We seek the innovative inputs from Alumni to support major funding for strengthening IIMA’s core focus on overall excellence. The response has been very encouraging and we look forward to deeper engagement with Alumni community across geographical regions for active collaborations.