By Chhavi Moodgal (PGP 2004), CEO – IIMA Endowment Fund (firstname.lastname@example.org)
The month of December always brings great excitement to the IIMA campus as it is homecoming for so many alums during their milestone reunions. 2022 was all the more special as we saw 11 batches from PGP and PGPX (due to the Covid backlog of 2020 and 2021) on campus in December and January 2023 with around 650 alumni coming to Ahmedabad – many along with their families. In addition, there were off campus reunions – some in which I had a chance to interact with alums.
Reunions always invoke nostalgia and bring about dialogue on the evolution of campus and the Institute over time. From friendly cricket matches between alums and students, musical gigs, campus walks, talent nights and lovely dinners to interactions with faculty members, students, Director and the Alumni Office, the Endowment Fund, visiting the Archives and Research Centres – the Reunions blended nostalgia with what’s-going-on-at-our-alma-mater seamlessly. The congregation of alums also creates a platform for us, being based on campus, to listen to their ideas, memories, experiences and feedback on the Institute.
For the team at the IIMA Endowment Fund, the reunions were an excellent occasion to directly engage with our vast alumni community; we met alums from batches as early as PGP 1967 and PGP 1972 to more recent ones from PGP 2012 and PGPX 2012. During my sessions & interactions with the batches, we shared the work we have been doing at the Institute over the last couple of years, and the various ways in which we engage with our alumni and how alums can contribute back to the Institute. We took them through the genesis and journey of the endowment and the role that this initiative, being the first-of-kind in any major B-school in India, is envisaged to take in the Institute’s future-building in the next few years. It was also an opportunity for us to thank the batches, many of whom have contributed generously to IIMA before and update them on their contributions. We hope to make this effort of making reporting for donations more seamless, as well as focus proactively on enhancing engagement and communication with our alumni; in the months to come.
Many of the batches were proactive in ideating meaningful ways through which they could support the Institute; based on their interests and passions. Some batches were inclined towards supporting the general corpus which is long term and flexible in terms of usage – similar to global endowments. Others were driven by specific purposes such as research, chairs, scholarships, infrastructure, mental health & well-being, entrepreneurship, digital campus and so on.
For the first time, we launched microsites to support batch giving; and post reunions, we are in discussion with a few more batches about launching dedicated microsites for their batch giving. Through the PGP 1997’s batch microsite, the batch is gearing towards pledging an amount towards the general corpus that may become the highest batch contribution yet in IIMA history. We also interacted with PGPX 2012 to initiate their giving campaign – the first ever PGPX batch to do so at IIMA.
Apart from the ongoing batch giving, reunions brought in new ideas such as annual giving and employer matching as tools for consistent and structured giving to the Institute. Many of our alums offered to engage with us via their corporate affiliations and we discussed the many ways in which CSR giving could be explored further. We also spoke about alums contributing their time and expertise to the Institute. Our alums also generously came forward to extend help with technical knowledge or connects for rolling out these initiatives at the Institute.
Summing up, reunions were a window for our alumni to experience the Institute yet again, and be apprised of the progress the Institute has made on frontiers like research through multiple Centres of Excellence or public policy through the JSW School. They were also a window for us to understand our alumni better, listen to their views and feedback. On behalf of the Institute, the Endowment Fund and our team, I would like to thank each alum who spent time with us and we are looking forward to interacting with more and more of you.