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Dr. Vikram Sarabhai and IIMA
"The term "institution builder" perfectly encapsulates Dr. Sarabhai's pivotal role in the planning of the institute from its nascent stage."
As the theme of this article revolves around founders and builders, the focus here is on one of the founding members, Dr. Vikram Sarabhai, an illustrious physicist and pioneer in space research.
Dr. Sarabhai as a member of Planning Committee
To shed light on Dr. Sarabhai's involvement, we have reproduced the letter from the Government of India to Dr. Sarabhai on June 22, 1961. This letter appoints him as a member of the Planning Committee, representing industrial and commercial interests, on the nomination of the Chairman, Planning Committee, Government of India, Dr. Jivraj Mehta.
While the formalities for establishing the institute were being completed in 1961, the search for a temporary location for IIMA began. At that time, Dr. Vikram Sarabhai resided in his family home, 'Retreat,' in Shahibaug, and IIMA's location was simply referred to as "IIMA, c/o Vikram Sarabhai, Retreat." During a meeting on January 28, 1962, IIMA's Planning Committee decided that the house of Mrs. N. Bakubhai Charity Trust in Shahibaug could be rented. Nirmala Bakubhai belonged to a prominent business family in Ahmedabad, and her house had been passed on to the Trust. The Planning Committee authorized Dr. Vikram Sarabhai to handle the details (Source: Brick by Brick, Newsletter of the IIMA Archives, Vol.1, Issue 1, September 2022, p. 8).
Dr. Sarabhai as the Honorary Director of the Institute
During the institute's early years, Dr. Sarabhai served as the honorary part-time director of IIMA while simultaneously establishing ISRO in 1962, then known as the Indian National Committee for Space Research (INCOSPAR), among other activities. In the second BOG meeting held at 310 Camp Road on June 30, 1962, Dr. Sarabhai was appointed as the Honorary Director of the Institute. Below are the reproduced meeting minutes:
Dr. Sarabhai made significant contributions as he recognized the management requirements of the country, including rural and agricultural development in developing India. It was his vision to understand and incorporate agricultural management into the mandate of the Institute, along with various other aspects. His visionary leadership established him as a great institution builder, a legacy that continues to this day. As a result, IIMA has transformed into one of the top business schools globally, maintaining exceptionally high standards of quality.
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