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Role of Values in Institution Building: IIM-A Experience

Prof. Prafull Anubhai


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Date: 30th November, 2012

Venue: Royal Bombay Yatch Club, Mumbai

Timing: 6.00 pm


About the Speaker

Prafull Anubhai, is a Corporate Advisor. Currently, he is the Chairman of the Board of Management of the Ahmedabad University and a member of the Governing Board of Ahmedabad Education Society. He is also associated with Centre for Science & Technology and Policy. He has a long association with IIMA spanning more than 40 years in various capacities as Visiting Faculty, member of the Board of Governors and various Committees. He authored the book “The IIMA Story – The DNA of an Institution” which was released on the occasion of its Golden Jubilee in 2011.

After his B.Sc. (Econ.) from the London School of Economics, Prof. Anubhai attended PMD at Harvard Business School. He has 30 years of experience as a Chief Executive of Textile Manufacturing Operations and presently he is the Chairman of Vardhman Special Steels Ltd. and a Director in companies like Unichem Laboratories Ltd., Vardhman Textiles Ltd., Birla Sun Life Trustee Co. Pvt. Ltd, GRUH Finance Ltd. (a subsidiary of HDFC Ltd), Torrent Cables Ltd., The Emerging Markets South Asian Fund (EMSAF), Mauritius.

He is also the Hon. Director of Saptak Archives, an institution dedicated to the preservation and dissemination of Indian Classical Music.


Synopsis of the talk

How institutions are created and built depend on design and development factors. Purpose, vision, governance structure and resource mix are design factors. Values, culture, processes and leadership constitute development factors. These factors are dynamic and interactive.

Culture embodies the unwritten rules of conduct and decision making in an institution. It is a soft factor. Its role in the development of an institution is not fully understood. How it evolves is worth studying. Values and leadership play a huge role in moulding this culture.

For example, in the case of IIMA values like dignity, self-regulation, trusteeship, empowerment (fostering invocation and experimentation), integrity, meritocracy, trust, autonomy and accountability, frugality and excellence were deeply embedded in the culture. Leadership fostered them. Professionalism brought about processes. Values gave them soul. They provide the long term resilience of the institution. Practice of values especially at defining moments leaves deep imprint on the entire community; faculty, staff and students. Architecture creates an image through structure; values are the architecture of the personality of the institution. Of the design & development factors mentioned, this conversation will focus on the role of values and culture in institution building. Their role will be illustrated primarily with reference to IIMA.

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