If things go as planned, by April 2011 the Indian School of Business (ISB) could begin offering its management programme out of a new campus at Mohali in Punjab. “I must say that it is not yet finalised and the Punjab government has yet to approve our proposal but we are hopeful that it may happen, and the land will be transferred in the next two to three months,”says ISB Dean M. Rammohan Rao. Rao explains that the genesis for this proposal lies in the plans of the Punjab government for a Knowledge City in Mohali; within this city, it has proposed to house a national institute for nanotechnology, a biotech institute, an institute of science and a premier management institute. For ISB, he says, it will be a capacity-building exercise and an opportunity to stretch its wings to a new location.ISB is planning to start with a batch of 140 students and gradually reach a strength of 350 in five years. For this, it is hopeful of getting around 70 acres. The project is expected to involve investments of Rs 250-300 crore. Three to four investors have expressed their keenness to pitch in with some Rs 200 crore.
Course offerings and design would be similar to ISB Hyderabad, except that, other than the core syllabus, there could be options for students to pursue some new electives in areas like public policy, manufacturing and healthcare; these are not offered at the Hyderabad campus. A new faculty will also be hired for the Mohali campus but, other than that, the ISB structure would remain the same, as also the relationships with and support from its international partner schools. The Hyderabad campus has a strength of 450 students currently which is being increased to 560 in next year’s class of 2010.
Other than Mohali, does ISB have more campuses on its radar? There has been talk that the Andhra government may be willing to offer land at Tirupati in the state for another campus for ISB.
The school apparently is still examining this but does not intend to start too many at one go. How things move for its first new campus will perhaps become clear in the next month or two.
—E. Kumar Sharma