IIMs- Where are the Gurus?

Time and again, a question crops up in mind. Why do I not come across anything worth remembering about the gurus of IIMs or other coveted management schools in India? Why do the business magazines or pink papers in India not publish their views and articles, or cover their success stories or write about their books?

Yesterday I was going through Fortune and found at least two major stories that related to management gurus of Indian origin working in US. In a report on 10 new gurus, the name of CK Prahalad got mention with Peter Drucker and Jim Collins. Rakesh Khurana is one of the 10 new gurus. Khorana is Professor of business administration, Harvard Business School, Cambridge, Mass. “Khurana has consulted for several companies about leadership, and he’s cautioned against what he calls the “irrational search for charismatic CEOs,” a misguided belief that a CEO with a magnetic personality translates to corporate success (it doesn’t).” In the same issue, the suggestions of another management guru Ram Charan with Jia Lynn Yang for Obama have appeared.He proposes:

Set a goal to get our fair share of exports and jobs in the world.

Rename it the Department of Exports and Imports and make this cabinet post as critical as Treasury or Defense. Appoint a heavyweight who gets things done. Hold the secretary accountable by requiring the department to publish its goals.

Launch a competition among the country’s top half-dozen consulting firms with a $10 million prize for creating the best plan showing us how to get ahead, region by region and sector by sector. Get them to run analyses on what other areas of the world might be receptive to our products. And have them focus on smaller, midsized companies, which have a lot of room to grow in terms of exporting more.

Examine where we need to spend more on infrastructure. Discuss priorities for highways, bridges, and airports based on hard facts and analysis. Make them transparent by publishing the results.

Devote more federal money to industrial research. Innovation creates jobs.

There are many management gurus of Indian origin working in US. Professor Bala Balachandran and Vijay Govindrajan are the other names known as management gurus in the United States. About 10% of the professors at places such as Harvard Business School, Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Business, and the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business are of Indian descent — a far higher percentage than other ethnic groups. Issues of Harvard Business Review and many publish their papers. Many have published their research work as books. I have read recently two pretty good books one by Tarun Khanna and the other one by Amar Bhide. May I request Business India, Business World or Outlook Business to come out with a special issue about the management gurus from the management schools in India for the benefits of persons like me? Will IIMs take up the researches, publications, and consultancy by the faculty members seriously? And will India Inc provide the necessary funding and sponsor the projects? Let the faculty members not be afraid of talking about the current issues of the country in media. The country needs their advices and suggestions, as Ram Charan has done it for US.

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