Professor Rishikesha T Krishnan takes charge as the Director, IIMB

Professor Rishikesha T Krishnan was announced as the new Director of IIMB in April 2020 and has officially taken charge in July 2020 following the superannuation of Professor G. Raghuram. He has served as Director of IIM Indore and is known as a thought leader on the management of innovation. He was also the Founding Director of IIM Sambalpur.

Prof Krishnan said: “It is an extraordinary privilege to lead India’s best management institution, IIM Bangalore, at this most challenging time when there is an opportunity to re-define management education.”

Prof. Rishikesha taking handover from Prof. Raghuram

Emphasizing that an important priority for IIMB is to further enhance impact, he listed the multiple platforms, such as engaged digital learning through MOOCs and the outstanding research capabilities of its faculty that can enable the school to achieve its vision.

Congratulating Professor Krishnan on his appointment, Professor Raghuram said: “I am certain that IIMB will benefit from his excellent scholarship, and administrative and people skills.”

Prof. Rishikesha T Krishnan exclusive interview to LSquare

Your vision for IIMB.

In the short-term, the Institute’s priority is to offer the best possible educational experience to all our students who are now attending classes online due to the COVID pandemic. Towards this, we have made special efforts to upgrade our digital education infrastructure and the digital teaching skills of our faculty. I must compliment our faculty, staff and students for making a smooth transition to online teaching and learning.

IIMB’s vision has not changed. It is “to be a global, renowned academic institution fostering excellence in management, innovation and entrepreneurship for business, government and society.” 

As we look ahead, an important priority for IIMB is to further enhance our impact. We have multiple platforms that can enable us to do this:

  • The outstanding research capabilities of our faculty and specialised research centres offer us a significant opportunity to do contextually-relevant rigorous research that can contribute to addressing India’s myriad managerial, economic, societal and environmental challenges.
  • Engaged Digital learning by blending MOOCs with synchronous learning as a way of reaching out to thousands of new learners.
  • Our new campus near Anekal provides the opportunity to nurture innovative leaders and entrepreneurs through new academic programmes in the most picturesque surroundings in keeping with IIMB’s mission.

The Golden Jubilee of IIMB in 2023.

The Golden Jubilee of the Institute is a very important milestone. We look forward to re-connecting with all our alums in the run-up to the Golden Jubilee. We will announce specific plans for the Golden Jubilee in the coming months.

What is the long term impact of Covid on management education? Are you seeing some fundamental shifts and how is IIMB planning to adapt itself?

Obviously the COVID-19 pandemic has raised questions about many aspects of the business. Just last year when I was teaching my Strategy course, we discussed case studies on the airline industry and Airbnb. We never imagined that the airline and hospitality industries would be in such dire straits just 6 months later.

Issues related to supply chain management, sustainability, risk management, contingency planning, employee health and safety, and business continuity management have come to the fore. I am sure these topics will figure more prominently in our curriculum in the days ahead.

Regarding management education – Both our faculty members and students derive considerable value from the classroom learning process. So, not surprisingly, there were apprehensions when classes moved online. However, thanks to the special efforts we made in technology up-gradation and that faculty made in adapting to the new medium, the online learning experience has been appreciated by our students.

Notwithstanding the fact that we have made our online learning experiences as good as possible, we expect that students will still see value in face-to-face classes once the pandemic recedes. This will be particularly true for subjects that require intensive discussion and debate. So, the classroom is far from obsolete, it will come back with a bang once the pandemic is over.

Your message for alums.

Covid-19 has posed challenges to all of us. I hope all our alums are taking good care of themselves and their families and staying out of harm’s way. My best wishes for continued health and safety to all alums.

During my 24+ years at IIMB, some of my most enjoyable and insightful experiences have come from interaction with our highly talented and capable students who are today our alumni. I am impressed by the diversity of arenas in which IIMB alums have distinguished themselves as entrepreneurs, social innovators, policy-makers, public administrators, functional specialists, consultants, investors, general managers and CXOs. I thank the many alums who have made significant contributions to IIMB through financial contributions, teaching, case leads, internships, job offers, moral support, and in myriad other ways. I look forward to strengthening further the strong bond that we already have with our alumni.