Reflections and Recollections: 20 Years of IIM K

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Imagine a traveler advancing on a thorny path determined to reach his goal. It is a journey undeterred by fear of obstacles and unmindful of distractions. It is lots of inspiration and even more perspiration, it is an outright refusal of failure: an indomitable perseverance to reach the goal. But when he finally reaches this uncharted frontier, he feels a strange nostalgia. He fondly remembers the days that began at dawn and ended long after dusk, the tiring noons and the sleepless nights, the anxiety and excitement that he felt every day when he treaded forward in his quest. It is then he realizes that it is not the destination but the path that he enjoyed, that success was not a one time achievement but a constant advancement towards something better. And thus, he resumes his journey with renewed vigor and inspiration striving to achieve something better, something bigger.

IIM Kozhikode’s journey towards two decades of excellence closely resembles the story of our traveler. What began in 1996 as another IIM with a makeshift campus and handful of participants has grown in twenty years to become an epitome of academic excellence with significant contributions to the industry. And so when God’s Own Kampus celebrated its twentieth birthday, it was not just to look back and appreciate its achievements but also to reiterate its resolve of constant introspection and improvement.

The event began with a welcome address by Dr. Debabrata Chatterjee, Dean Administration, where he stressed on the importance of continuously looking for opportunities and of taking on bigger challenges. This was followed by a speech by Dr. Kulbhushan Balooni, Director (In-Charge), replete with anecdotes, recounting IIM Kozhikode’s achievements despite the severe challenges it faced in its initial days. He recalled the troubles that faculty members had to go through just to conduct regular classes. He wholeheartedly thanked NIT Calicut for its invaluable support during those early days. He emphasized on IIM Kozhikode’s deep belief in sustainable development and the various initiatives undertaken to ensure the overall ecological. He also fondly mentioned his long association with IIM Kozhikode and appreciated the efforts of all stakeholders in making this college what it is today.

The audience was then enthralled by reKall@20, a short film depicting major milestones of the institute since its inception. What began in 1996 with 42 students and a handful of visiting faculty has grown into a full-fledged institute with over 800 participants guided by some of the best professors in the nation. Eminent dignitaries including Dr. A.P.J Abdul Kalam, Mr. Kapil Sibal and Mr. E. Sreedharan have honored the institute by their presence. Apart from the first of its kind hill top campus, IIM K is home to India’s first Business Museum which was inaugurated by Mr. Pallam Raju in 2013. Throughout these twenty years, it has received numerous accolades including an AMBA accreditation and Wiley Library Award. Memorandums of Understanding with top global institutes like Yale and Leeds bear testimony to its academic excellence.

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But the highlight of the night was the inspiring speech by the honorable Chief Guest, Professor Pankaj Chandra, ex IIM B Director and current Chairman, Board of Management, Ahmedabad University. He began his speech with examples from current business scenarios to elucidate the disruptions occuring in today’s world and the constant need of innovation not just to excel but simply to survive. It is obvious then, he said, that business graduates must be not just taught marketing and operations but must also how to constantly learn and relearn. He stressed that the role of institutes is their ability to inspire, and that high value that must be placed on research in order to satisfy changing work environments and develop one’s mental faculties. He emphasized why B-school learning can never be just about management but has to be an amalgamation of engineering, humanities and management in order to foster imagination and innovation. In conclusion, he quoted Tagore –

Just as a lamp cannot light unless itself lit, a teacher can never teach unless he himself learns”

and defined teaching as not a job or a profession, but as an art that inspires learning.

Such an event can never be complete without acknowledging the efforts of its long standing members and so Professor S.S.S Kumar, on behalf of the entire administration, felicitated Professor Praship Kumar KK, Professor Unnikrishnan Nair and Mr. Madhusudanan V, who have been associated with the institute for over 15 years.

The evening ended with a vote of thanks delivered by Mr. K Sadanandan after which Professor Chandra was felicitated by Professor Balooni. And thus rejuvenated and re-invigorated IIM K restarted its pursuit towards something better, something bigger.

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