Leading light in education
IIM-A has taken the lead in making management relevant to larger educational and social issues of Ahmedabad. Since 1994 it has worked with the Gujarat Council of Educational Research and Training and department of education to effectively implement the Sarva Siksha Abhiyan. This has brought more children into the primary education fold in the state. In a public private partnership model, IIM-A has made teacher training programmes more participative and the teacher recruitment process more transparent. The focus has always been on innovation in education. The institute also trains principals of arts and science colleges as well as polytechnic institutes in the state.
The student community contributes to the city in a way which goes well with their image as the best managers in the country. Insight, the annual marketing fair organised by the students, handles consumer research innovatively. The fair opens the campus to Amdavadis, and gets together local companies which might not have the financial strength to hire large research firms. At the fair, students engage visitors in a variety of games and exercises to get insight into their consumer behaviour.
The Confluence meet allows students from other institutes in the city to interact with their counterparts from national and international institutes. Confluence also sees a 'campaign for a cause' every year, with video presentation on public policy issues by the students. This year's green Chaos, IIM-A?s cultural fiesta saw students entering into a pact with BRTS and AMC to offer free rides to contingents from national and international institutes to reduce carbon footprints of the city.
IIM-A?s faculty members have worked extensively to improve rural and urban healthcare. In an important achievement, the institute developed and implemented a PPP model for an urban health centre at Vasna in the city. The centre used to barely cater to five patients daily. But once IIM-A experts intervened, the number went up to 100. The project was done in collaboration with AMC. IIM-A is also working towards improving maternal health by setting up advanced training centres for midwives.
The traditional IIM-A food festival Sattvik enthrals the Amdavadis each year by its assortment of traditional dishes sourced from nook and corners of Ahmedabad, including a traditional recipe contest among the residents of 'Pols' in old city. Faculty members from the institute have worked extensively for community and crafts conservation of Gulbai Tekra and Chhara nagar.
The institute is also deeply involved with the revival plan of the Gurjari Bazar. IIM-A's Prayas is the face of its community service initiative.
World descends here
To understand the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad?s (IIM-A) contribution to the city of Ahmedabad, consider this fact - the institute?s campus, designed by the famous American architect Louis Kahn, draws thousands of visitors every year just to admire its architecture. While architects and engineers from India and abroad appreciate the design, aspiring MBAs come to see the best management institute in the country. In more ways than one, IIM-A is a heritage monument that Ahmedabad flaunts to the world. In its golden jubilee year, the relevance of the institute only gets bigger.
If former president APJ Abdul Kalam gives the students one perspective on India, professor Anil Gupta?s Shodhyatra provides an entirely different view of innovations mushrooming at the grassroots. Meanwhile, the much sought-after cultural festival, Chaos, provides a platform to enjoy the performances by best singers, dancers, rock bands and performing groups from India and abroad.
Leaders in innovation
The institute has used its expertise to build capacity of grassroots workers and make them more innovative. This is done through the Gujarat Grassroots Innovation Augmentation Network and NGO Sristi. Take for example the case of Nazeem from the walled city, who ran a roadside kitlee till IIM-A discovered his talent for embroidery and making innovative solar cookers. Or the girl who does ?rafoo? work for repairing puncture, a rare skill discovered by the grassroots innovation centre at IIM-A. The institute is also working in collaboration with a Spanish institute to develop a course on conservation management for the city.
Through the Centre for Innovation Incubation and Enterpreneurship, the institute has worked towards making the city a hub for aspiring entrepreneurs. The centre incubates their ideas, arranging seed money and offering consultancy expertise.
IIM-A?s emblem has been inspired by the Siddi Syed?s Mosque?s carvings, a centuries old monument in Ahmedabad. The choice conveys deep linkages the institute has with the city, its people and its culture. The emblem also signifies the institute?s resolve to interpret contemporary concepts in management in conformity with heritage of India. By making a mark in management education, in one sense IIM-A has put Ahmedabad on the global map.