It is clear that the academic qualifications will not be a necessity to become the director of the Indian Institute of Management. Neither the PhD nor any other recognized academic qualification will be a factor. The new IIM Act released this week allows executives with over 15 years of experience in senior management to apply or be appointed as directors.
The premier business schools have been under the management of corporate executives in the past but such cases are rare. The only examples to cite are Ravi J Matthai who was the first director of IIM to serve full-time in 1965 and Chowdhury who reigned as IIM director in 1990s.
“The cited examples of IIM being headed by the executive dates back in the olden days when the institution was under development and having limited talent pool,” said an IIM director who preferred to remain anonymous.
The recruitment rules remained open until January this year when the IIM act came into action. However, an individual would only qualify for the post if he or she is a PhD holder and has teaching experience.
The rule in the new act which has modified the terms as well as conditions to serve as a director in all the 20 IIM branches states: All the applicant should have an academic PhD or its equivalent and have over 15 years of either teaching or research experience and shall have practiced as a full professor in a recognized institution for not less than seven years or possesses an industrial experience for more than 15 years at higher levels.
R Subrahmanyam, a Higher Education Secretary, confirmed that anyone with industry experience is legible for the post. “These are management institutions. They train people to become managers. People who are managing directors or executive directors can be irrelevant to IIM,” he said.
When faced to explain about considering PhD as an academic qualification needed for the post, he said: “Some of the recognized business institutions were founded by people with less academic qualifications.”
G Raghuram, an IIM Bangalore, was not in total agreement with the proposed IIM act concerning the position. This is what he had to say: “It is realistic that a director should have an experience and a strong academic background. It is an added advantage for a director to possess both the industry experience and academic experience. The academic preference should be a recent and relevant one.”
Errol D’Souza, an IIM-Ahmedabad director, was in total disagreement about the matter according to his sentiments. “It was a big mistake and someone must have gone behind the scenes to tamper with the drafting process,” he said.