The Indian School of Business (ISB) celebrated Graduation 2013 at its Hyderabad and Mohali campuses. Graduation 2013 marks a significant milestone at the ISB, bringing to fruition work that started in 2007 of setting up the ISB campus at Mohali. Starting April 2012, the PGP is being delivered concurrently at two locations – Hyderabad and Mohali.
At the Hyderabad campus, the 12th Graduating Class comprising 565 students of the Post Graduate Programme in Management, and 59 students of the Post Graduate Programme in Management for Senior Executives (PGPMAX) Class of 2012 were awarded certificates upon completion of their courses. The Chief Guest for the Day was Ramachandra Guha, noted historian, writer and biographer (Environmental, Social, Political and Cricket), Philippe Roman Chair in History and International Affairs at the London School of Economics (LSE) and Padma Bhushan recipient. Historian Ramachandra Guha’s commencement speech was a paean to India. He spoke about the nation’s past, present and how the graduating class can make a difference to its future. “I am an Indian patriot,” he began marking the tenor of the speech that stayed true to its opening line. “India is the most interesting place in the world” for a historian, he added. The country was “cobbled together with 500 different parts (princely states),” making it “a least likely nation, a least likely democracy.” Yet, in contradiction to the popular western opinion, the nation has survived all odds. Taking jibes at India’s less stable neighbours, Guha remarked, “In some neighbouring countries, it is elections of generals, we still have general elections.” While other countries witness staggered revolutions, India is “undergoing five revolutions simultaneously: national, democratic, urban, industrial and social.”
Matching the exuberance of Guha’s commencement speech was the chief guest at the Mohali campus, Kishore Mahbubani, Dean and Professor in the Practice of Public Policy, Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, National University of Singapore. Presenting certificates to the 197 students from the founding PGP Class of 2013 at Mohali, Mahbubani made the students aware of their responsibilities towards their country. “If India has to become a superpower it depends on the quality of the brainpower in the country,” he stressed. Echoing Guha’s thoughts on the changes taking place within India, Mahbubani stated that India was at an inflection point but that he was optimistic about the country’s progress. Giving the analogy of ISB’ success story, he explained, “If you can take a piece of barren land and transform it into a top school,” India’s transformation was also possible. To students he advised that humility will take them far and that they must retain it even after they achieve success in their lives.
Students in both campuses were ecstatic at the completion of their studies. Vatsala Kothari recounted how after one year at ISB she feels like a “new person.” Nakul Kapoor, who was awarded the ISB Scholar of Excellence along with Shwaitang Singh, spoke about how he wanted to excel after being with a group of exceptionally talented people. For the incoming class, Kapoor advices: “Do not get worked up with numerous things one faces here. ISB would provide myriad opportunities not just to display your strengths but also to work on your weaknesses. Try to focus on activities that balance effort and learning in both these areas.”