The Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore (IIMB), announced on Monday that Professor Rishikesha T. Krishnan has taken charge as its new director following the superannuation of Professor G. Raghuram. Professor Krishnan has earlier also served as director of IIM Indore and is known as a thought leader on the management of innovation. Those in the management and corporate circles also know him as the author of "From jugaad to systematic innovation: The challenge for India." Speaking to Businesstoday.in on his immediate priorities and vision on what should lie ahead for the institute, Krishnan says his immediate priority is to ensure a seamless transition from offline to online for the students and faculty. "All our long duration degree programmes are running online so our main priority is to ensure that the students have a good educational experience through the online platform. On this, we have done a lot internally in terms of helping our faculty develop skills to teach online, investing in improving our IT infrastructure that with our faculty, which is mostly on campus, we are able to recreate the classroom experience on the online platform too," he says. "We have a Centre for teaching and learning, which was set up couple of years ago, has collaborated with the IT team and helped the faculty in the transition to online."
Krishnan further says that one of the thrust areas will be focusing on strong research skills of the faculty (IIMB has 100 faculty members) on some of the key problems faced by the country. "We are in the process of identifying two or three areas such as health, MSMEs or urban issues and put our research engine to play and come up with big ideas, useful policy and programme recommendations, both for the government and the businesses."
It is perhaps with good reason that many within the academic world have welcomed the development. Janat Shah, director at IIM, Udaipur, who has known Krishnan for at least 25 years feels Krishnan is best placed to take IIMB into the international league of leading institutions globally, build on the India growth story and play a part in helping solve some of India's problems. Shah also feels Krishnan's deep understanding of India's innovation system may prove useful apart from the fact that he has worked on issues crucial to India such as innovation and data privacy.
In a note shared by IIMB, Dr. Devi Shetty, Chairperson, Board of Governors, IIM Bangalore, has been quoted as saying: "We are delighted to have Professor Rishikesha Krishnan as IIMB's Director. As a well-regarded faculty member of IIMB and a proven administrator during his term as Director of IIM Indore, Professor R.T. Krishnan combines academic and administrative excellence. Under his leadership, IIM Bangalore is sure to set impressive standards in innovation and technology."
Congratulating Professor R.T. Krishnan on his appointment, the outgoing director Professor Raghuram says: "I am certain that IIMB will benefit from his excellent scholarship, and administrative and people skills."