My two year stint at IIMB will surely rank as one of the great periods of my life.For one thing I enjoyed the academic environment a lot more than at Guindy besides I was a lot more at home with the curicullam.Never was really cut out for hard core engineering.Being in the very first batch ment a fair degree of academic freedom for the faculty to fashion courses in very innovative ways.To name just a few we had sessions conducted by Prof Valecha every Thursday night post dinner at the hostel .Topics covered included Ann Rynd’s pilosophy , as emerging from her books; yoga discouses from self style guru’s in our batch ,Amarnath Bhatt & T Vishwanathan just to name a few;mob psychology etc … fun dont you think !!!We had the eco courses covered most innovatively by Vinod Vyasulu and Bharat Jhunjunwala , they made ecomomics come alive .And so on .. The faculty got us thinking ; got us to see the ideological biasis in newspapers , magazines etc .The ruling ideology of the day was left oriented which was in keeping with the focus on public sector for the first batch.
IIM was a place I found myself again and self belief in some measure returned.I liked our batchmates .They where a mature lot all with engineering backgrounds and atr least 2 to 5 years of experience.Experience profile was also largely from Public Sector Undertakings such as IPCL,HPCL,IISCO,HMT , ITI etc .This batch was note expected to join the classical MBA recruiting organisations such as the foreign banks, HLL ,Procter & Gamble , Coke,Pepsietc. Our curicullar was likewise not heavily weighted in favour of marketing ,advertising ,quantitative methods , finance etc .We had heavy doses of economics, organisation psychology, etc.All of us where required to take up jobs only in the public sector.Our batch was therefore more down to earth and in certain ways less flamboyant and less snobish than what one would have expected to see in traditional management schools of that era .This suited me to the tie .I was happy to be in this batch and happy to be associated with an institution which attempted to be socially relevant .
The hostel as I said was a new experience for me and I like the experience very much .Had a great time with a great friends circle.Ramanan ,Arun Balakrishnan, Shekar, Swapan Ray, Radhakrishnan ,Abhishek Mukerjee,Bramachari R Srinivasan ( Chinu), Yeshwanth, TV ,N Srini where some who readily come to mind .. there was a lot of bonhommie within the group and we had good times no matter which group we where in .
There where great outings such as a 3 day stay at Aurobindo Ashram & Auroville at Pondicherry as guests of the Auroville Foundation .It was a great and moving experience .If I rember right the group that went included Mike Manohar, Surya Rao ,Amarnath Bhat , Ramanan, Chitty from the Library and self.Ramanan and I had a great experince staying together at Prof Vyasulu’s house when we went away for 3 months on an assignment .We had a rip roaring time ,including a dinner where SK Ray cooked what I thought was the best chicken we ever had. I can go on but I guess I’ve made the point . One thing I can forget was I was trust into the role of a compere for a cultural eventfor the first two batches and as per everyones reconning ( or most at least)did a fairly good job.I did fortify myself with a couple of stiff pgs of brandy before the event !!!!
Several of our batchmates went on to hit the top slots in public sector giants .. Zayed is currently the CMD of HMT International ,Arun Balakrishnan has just been appointed as CMD of HPCL.Some of us went on to take on fairly resonsible positions in the Private sector ,Abhishek Mukerjee became the MD of Compaq in India , Anil Nayar was on the Board of Bharati Group, Shekar was a Sn VP in the Citi Group , I was an Ex Director with Xerox and now Exec VP with HCL . Some like N Vishwanathan & Ramanan went abroad and joint academic institutions, some like Chinu established themselves very well in consultancy. Some like Surya Rao , Mike and Amarnath Bhat & TV set up organisations /training establishments of their own.Radhakrishnan went on to become Director of NRSA and a renowned Oceanographer and part of the Prime Ministers Committee on the Tsunami disaster. The list goes on …I think in summary we as a batch did reasonably well and fullfilled the basic purpose for which the Institute set out to acheive through our batch .