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ISB: A Leading Business School in India

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Case Details:

Case Code : BSTR106
Case Length : 17 Pages
Period : 1995 - 2004
Organization : Indian School of Business
Pub Date : 2004
Teaching Note :Not Available
Countries : India
Industry : Higher Education

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"The Indian School of Business is the manifestation of a bold idea that the Indian subcontinent could house a world-class business school which hopes one day to be ranked right alongside of INSEAD of France or LBS." 1

- A Business India report

"ISB is a start-up. The governing board is terrific, the Wharton and Kellogg connections - great. But none of these are victories. We have to have the humility of a start-up and build gradually. Nothing is given; we have to fight step-by step. INSEAD took 40 years. My hope is we will achieve excellence faster than anyone before." 2

- Late Prof. Sumantra Ghoshal, Chair of Strategic Leadership at the London Business School, and Founding Dean, ISB.

"It's unlikely that we will see more than one other business school of the stature of the ISB launched in our lifetime." 3

- Donald P. Jacobs, Dean Emeritus, Kellogg School of Management.


In March 2003, the students of the Hyderabad-based Indian School of Business (ISB) stood first in an inter-collegiate business plan competition organized by the Pacific Asian Consortium for International Business Education and Research at the University of Hawaii. The students of ISB won two global awards for 'Asia Mini Moot Corp Competition' and 'Outstanding Presentation.' Eleven leading B-schools from the Asia-Pacific region had competed for these awards, ISB being the only B-school from India. In April 2003, 142 leading companies visited ISB for campus placements and made 213 job offers to the 169 students of the Class of 2003. A majority of these offers were for senior or middle management posts while 12 offers were for postings abroad.

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Commenting on the campus placements, Vijay Mahajan (Mahajan), the present dean of ISB said, "Despite the continuing economic downturn and uncertainty in global markets, we have attracted high-quality recruiters including global names such as HSBC, Novartis, Astra Zeneca, Ispat International and i-Gate Technologies."4

Establishing a business school in India at par with global standards was not an easy task.

Bringing leading Indian and global businessmen and academics together and convincing them about the need to set up a world-class academic institution like ISB was a truly challenging task.

Fitendra V. Singh of Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, said,

"I do not believe that in independent India, there has been any initiative which... so strongly has the support of global firms and Indian firms..."5

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1] "As quoted in the article, Business India, October 14-27, 2002.

2] As quoted in an interview to Meera Shenoy in the article, "Spinning Intellectual Capital," Business India, February 19, 2001.

3] As quoted in the article, "Contributing to the ISB," posted on, July 2002.

4] As quoted in the article, "ISB Graduates Land Top Paying Jobs," Business Standard, June 2003.

5] As quoted in the article, "Indian School of Business - Counting Unhatched Chickens," by B.S. Raghavan, posted on, July 24, 2000.


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