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Dr. Ashish Nanda is an alumnus of the Indian Institute of Technology, New Delhi (B. Tech in Electrical Engineering, 1981), IIMA (PGP, 1983) and Harvard (Ph.D., Business Economics). He was a professor at the Harvard Business School for 13 years and the Robert Braucher Professor of Practice at Harvard Law School for seven years before he joined IIMA as Director in 2013. Very early in his tenure, the Institute revised its mission to "educating leaders of enterprises" to communicate a focus on leadership across sectors, the private, public and nongovernment, and across contexts, national as well as international. Dr. Nanda took over at a time when IIMA had built up a lot of goodwill among its alumni and the corporate sector. He initiated a programme, with the help of the Dean (Alumni & External Relations), to reach out to the alumni through meets at the various Chapter headquarters. Alumni reunions on campus were encouraged; every winter saw about seven to nine such reunions. Efforts to raise resources from alumni and corporate entities that had been initiated earlier were stepped up. One reason for this was that the iconic buildings designed by Louis Kahn were in a state of considerable disrepair. A multi-year plan to restore Louis Kahn's creations was initiated. In addition, planning for new infrastructure projects that included a new School of Public Policy funded by the JSW Group, a classroom complex, student housing, faculty housing, and student sports facilities was initiated, along with a 25-year master plan for campus development. A significant amount of money was raised for these purposes. Alumni and corporate well-wishers also contributed to the establishment of 11 faculty chairs. Plans for setting up engagement centres in Mumbai and New Delhi, with a classroom facility, space for incubating start-ups, and a space to have gatherings, were also initiated.
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