The decade following independence in 1947 was witness to a surge of innovative ideas to build a fledgling independent nation into a model democratic state committed to growth with equity in the development of its people. The establishment of Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad (IIMA) was the outcome of one such innovative initiative.
Led by Dr. Vikram Sarabhai, Shri. Kasturbhai Lalbhai and proactively supported by the then Chief Minister of Gujarat, Dr. Jivraj Mehta, a group of enlightened individuals set up IIMA. This group ably wove together a coalition of five actors – the governments at the centre and the state, the local industrialists, the Ford Foundation and the Harvard Business School, in a true spirit of public private partnership to establish the Institute.
The constitution for governance of IIMA was different from that for traditional universities. It was set up as an institution that would be managed by a Society, the IIMA Society, created under the Societies Act, for the purpose. The Institute was to be run by the Board of Governors, constituted by the IIMA Society; the Board would have wide representation from all the relevant constituencies to reflect the multifarious needs of a developing nation. IIMA was therefore conceived as an Institute that would be a Board managed institution, free from exclusive control of any one constituency. Thus, operational freedom is an integral part of the DNA of IIMA.
IIMA has consistently been ranked as the number one management school in the country year after year in the last several years. In its latest ranking, The Economist has ranked IIMA at 56 among the top 100 international B-schools in the world that offer full time MBA. The Financial Times (FT) has ranked the two-year post graduate programme in management (PGP) of IIMA in the top ten programmes in the category of Masters Programmes in Management that do not require work experience as pre-requisite for admission. FT reported that this was the first time that any Indian B-school was not only included in the survey but also achieved such high ranking. The Financial Times has also ranked the one-year post graduate programme in management for executives (PGPX) among the top MBA programmes globally. The two post graduate programme in management with specialization in agri-sector (PGP-ABM) is ranked at number one among comparable programmes globally by Eduniversal.
In 2008, IIMA also became the first business school in the country to be awarded EQUIS (European Quality Improvement System) accreditation. This accreditation awarded by the EFMD (European Foundation for Management Development) certifies that the quality of IIMA’s academic processes and programmes are on par with the best business schools globally that have similar accreditation.