Speech of Prof. A.H. Kalro, Director, IIMK, delivered at
the Fifth Annual Convocation – July 20, 2003.
Respected Prof. Syed Iqbal Hasnain, Vice Chancellor, University of
Calicut; Shri KPP Nambiar, Chairman, Board of Governors and
Society of IIMK; Members of the Society and Board of Governors,
IIMK; my faculty and other colleagues, parents and family members
of the graduating students; Class of 2002; class of 2003;
distinguished guests, members of the media; ladies and gentlemen,
At the very outset I would like to express our gratitude to Prof. Syed
Iqbal Hasnain for having graced our 5th Annual Convocation as the
Chief Guest today. Prof. Hasnain is an eminent glaciologist and
educationist, known for his significant contributions to the study of
nature and our delicate ecological balance. We are grateful to you
Sir, for your appreciation of IIMKs progress, its contributions to the
nation and society, as well as your timely warning and advice to the
graduating class and the IIMK community on the challenge we must
address to preserve our environment and live in harmony with nature.
We are aware, Sir, that we have inherited this earth, not to do what
we please with it, but as custodians to preserve and protect it from
the mindless onslaught of human greed and so called economic
development, for our succeeding generations, just as they would
have to. We at IIMK have been ever conscious of this, and have
specially sought to prevent damage to the environment. Cutting of
slopes has been minimised, even though this has led to an increase
in the cost of construction. We have invested in rain water
harvesting for our entire water requirements, we have pioneered the
use of geo-textiles for slope stabilisation with financial and technical support from the Coir Board, we have planted over 10,000 tree saplings of various species, and propose to plant another 5000 or so, we have invested in a sewage treatment plant, so that only treated waste water is used for irrigation purposes or is discharged, and the resultant residue can be used as fertiliser. Many other initiatives are under way to build a truly eco-friendly campus. It will always be our endeavour to strive for the delicate equilibrium in bio diversity and avert the prospect of extinction.
India today is seen by many as an enigma, replete with contradictions and paradoxes, a society divided on the basis of caste, social mores, religion, political ideology, etc., with large number of people living in sub human conditions and below the poverty line. While all this may be true, it is equally true that the country has assiduously pursued its goals of economic growth, with equality and social justice, with varying degree of success over the years. The country’s
performance in frontier technologies has placed it in the top ten nations worldwide, and India’s role as the conscience keeper of the world is also acknowledged by many. India is truly a kaleidoscope of economic, technological, political, social and cultural vistas. To maintain progress on the path of development, we will have to overcome many hurdles, be steadfast in our commitment, and not get discouraged by disappointments en-route. The pace of economic liberalisation will have to improve, and divisive elements curbed. Both will call for a great deal of sacrifice on the part of all of us, and courage to withstand the accompanying pain. We at IIMK are
strongly focussed in our endeavour to build a better tomorrow for the larger community we seek to serve, and thereby build an institution of lasting value.
Indian Institute of Management Kozhikode is barely six years old, and in this brief period has created its own unique identity, a mix of two cultures, academic and business. Our dreams and ambitions drive us constantly to attain our goals and fulfil our commitments. We at IIMK began with building credibility, then continued to add value to our educational programmes. We now, encouraged by the markets’ acceptance, continue our journey to fulfil our vision of achieving excellence and a leadership position in management education.
The drivers of all our programmes continue to be value based leadership, technology enhanced learning, market centric curricula, and an abiding commitment to society. We strongly believe that our graduates should not only excel as professional managers, but that they should be the path breaking leaders of tomorrow. The challenge we continue to address, is the education of young women and men, who have the mind of the manager, and the soul of the leader. Far-reaching changes are taking place in our socio techno economic environment, and we at IIMK see the need to keep ourselves abreast of these changes. It is in this context that we constantly innovate, and do not imitate. The Icarus paradox keeps us focussed on new innovative and path breaking programmes. During the last one year, we have introduced e-MEP, a one year certificate programme in general management, which is broadcast on
broadband via satellite, is available in 24 classrooms spread over 18 cities countrywide, and presently has more than 300 students in two batches. We also introduced, in the Centre of Excellence, a 4 month professional development programme for SC/ST graduates, with an intake of 40 students in each batch. Two batches have completed the program, and one is currently undergoing the programme. The intake in PGP has been doubled, and this year 126 students joined the first year of PGP. We also continue to offer new and state of the art MDPs, such as e-publishing, and a vertical integration programme for the IPS on Law Enforcement in the Information Age. Slated to be introduced shortly, are the Fellow Programme in Management, and a Management Teachers Internship Programme. A unique feature of our Post Graduate Programme is the Social Development Project, whose major objective is to orient the students to the larger socio-economic and political conditions in which organisations function, and to give students an opportunity to address the complex problem institutions face when delivering public services or in their interface with the community. This year, the projects were undertaken for Vimla Home for handicapped and underprivileged women involved in production and marketing of spices, the Usha School of Athletics to facilitate its marketing, finance and administration, Vidya Prakash Public School Thodannur, for analysing and solving a transportation problem, Pain and Palliative Care Society and ANEW in Ottapalam, to investigate their management problems and formulate future strategies. Another interesting project was the creation of a website to host a virtual online blood bank to store details of blood donors amongst the student community of Kozhikode.
A major thrust of the Institute is its research activity, which has been fully integrated into our basket of activities. Research is not just a process of inquiry. It is a quest for the ultimate truth, and a process, which enables us to make increasingly broad and accurate generalization about the phenomenon we observe and with which we are concerned. Research serves as a vital link between theory and practice in management education. Management teachers are both consumers as well as generators of knowledge. To bring to the attention of the larger academic community the research under way at IIMK so as to encourage interaction and explore collaboration, the Institute has started to publish a Research Newsletter. A research website has also been created, and is already available to users on the IIMK intranet. I would like to make a special mention here about the socially relevant and development oriented research projects undertaken by the Institute, all of which have been supported and fully funded by either MHRD, Government of Kerala, DRDA or other funding agencies. Out of a total of 40 research projects, 20 have been completed and 20 are under progress. The budgeted value of these sponsored projects in progress is approximately Rs.70 lakhs. Three books have been published by the faculty. We organised our first international research conference during the year, in collaboration with the Indian Society of Operations Management. The first ever US patent granted to a Statistician was awarded to Dr. Gopal Chaudhuri, Assistant Professor, IIMK for his outstanding contributions to System Reliability Prediction, research undertaken by him in 1998 in USA. Continuing our research tradition, IIMK will be
incubating for a period of two to three years, the Journal of the Association of Indian Management Schools. This e-journal, to be hosted on the web initially, will have Prof. A H Kalro as its Editor in Chief, and technical support will be provided by Shri M G Sreekumar and Shri Ashok Pathak, Librarian and Manager CC of IIMK. Professional contributions of IIMK faculty and other colleagues are also continuing to increase. Too numerous to be mentioned individually, they include Board and Governing Council Memberships, membership of various national and state level committees, academic councils and bodies, conference chairs memorial lectures and invited addresses at national and international conferences.
The most memorable event of the year was the move to our very own campus, accomplished during the last 3 days of December. We started functioning from our own campus from January 1, 2003. Accomplished in record time, we were able to conceive, execute and occupy a major part of the campus within a period of less than 3 years. Set amidst the sylvan hills of Kunnamangalam, the campus is a visual delight and a resort’s envy. Phase II of the construction is
currently under completion, and we hope that it too will be completed soon.
These commendable achievements are due to the dedicated and sincere efforts of all my colleagues, as well as the sagacious counsel and encouragement provided by our Chairman Shri KPP Nambiar and the Board of Governors. The Ministry of Human Resource Development, Government of India and the Government of Kerala
have invariably extended their support to us in our ventures. On a personal note, as I prepare to demit office soon, I express my sincere gratitude and thanks to each and every one who has extended a helping hand and generous support to us in building a centre of excellence and an institution of lasting value.
I now turn to say a few words to our graduating class. You are among the few chosen ones, on whom rest many expectations. We at the Institute, firmly believe that management schools have the responsibility to develop not only professional managers, but also entrepreneurs and leaders for tomorrow. It is not just the climb up the corporate ladder of success which we expect from you, but a significant contribution and service to the larger society and the nation, through dedication and professional knowledge. According to Dr. Govinda Venkataswamy, a legendary example of courage, faith and dedication, founder of the Aravind Eye Hospital, “we can all serve humanity in our normal professional lives by being more generous and less selfish in what we do. You don’t have to be a religious person to serve God. You serve God by serving humanity”.
*Life is a large complicated maze, through which we must seek our way. At times, we do get lost, or get stuck in a blind alley. But always, there lies a path ahead, which we may not have thought of earlier, but which will ultimately prove good for us.
To quote an anonymous poet. Always remember to:
“Count your blessings, not your troubles
And make good of what comes along
Within you are so many answers,
Understand, have courage, be strong.
Do not put limits on yourself,
Your dreams are waiting to be realised,
Do not leave your important decisions to chance
Reach for your peak, your goal and your prize.
Nothing wastes more energy than worrying.
The longer a problem is carried, the heavier it gets,
Do not take things too seriously,
Live a life of serenity, not a life of regrets.
Remember that a little love goes a long way,
Remember that a lot goes for ever,
Remember that friendship is a wise investment
Life’s treasures are people …..together.”
In this journey through the maze, never forget the seven virtues,
which will be your constant and never failing guide to ultimate
Dharma, i.e. duty
Karma, i.e. action
Gyan, i.e. Knowledge
Nishta, i.e. Constant commitment to principles
Karuna, i.e. Compassion
Maryada, i.e. morality
Bhakti, i.e. devotion
I am sure that each one of you has a cherished dream, which you are
eager and impatient to pursue. But please, find a small place in that
dream also for our larger society which we seek to rebuild. To quote
Henry Long Fellow:
“Tell me not in mournful numbers
Life is but an empty dream,
For the soul is dead that slumbers,
And things are not what they seem.
Lives of great men all remind us
We can make our lives sublime
And departing, leave behind us
Footprints on the sands of time.”
Success will not always be immediate, but rather a slow process, one
of continuous improvement, and building upon previous failures. In
the pursuit of success, remember that it is better to fail working for a
good cause, rather than succeed in working for a wrong cause.
It is said in the Bhagvat Gita, Chapter 6, Sloka 40,
Partha naiveha namutra
Vinasas tasya vidyate
Na hi kalyana-krt kascid
Durgatim tata gacchati
O Partha, A Yogi is never destroyed, neither in this world, nor in the
next world. My dear friend, whoever does good or auspicious
activities does not tread the path of woe.
I once again thank Prof. Syed Iqbal Hasnain for having accepted our
invitation to be the Chief Guest at this Fifth Convocation of IIMK, and
for his thought provoking address. To my young friends who are
graduating today, I wish you and your families all success, prosperity,
happiness and contentment in your professional and personal lives.
May the Lord Almighty Bless you All.
Thank you and Jai Hind.