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'You cannot have a collective vision for 20 IITs'

Goutam Das     April 24, 2013
Joe Fernandes is founder of Mukti Lifestyle Pvt Ltd, a company that incubates technology convergence solutions. A former student of IIT Kharagpur, he spoke to BT's Goutam Das.

On his disillusionment with the IITs: I went to an IIT as part of the Indian Angel Network to evaluate innovative ideas.  I was shocked. A student made a presentation on a torque device for tyres (torque devices measure the force required to rotate an object around an axis). You google it and you'll find there are 40 of them already in the market. It is not an innovation. What is the professor community doing, allowing this student to go ahead? If you are not going to engage him, he is going to turn off. The system has not kept up.  Most of the students are totally disillusioned by the system. There is nothing being taught. I think it is the old style of classroom teaching.

On the concept of collective branding and its challenges: We went through it at McKinsey (where Fernandes earlier worked) because it had one brand. But offices needed to have independence in terms of the clients they served, work they did. We re-thought our office areas, what should stand for. The collective Brand IIT with numbers so large is cutting off the ability for the management to decide anything. I can't decide to make a change because it has to be uniformly applied across IITs.  You cannot have a collective vision for 20 IITs.

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