18 Jun 2021 16:53 IST

IIMA launches Ashank Desai Centre

(From left to right) Prof Vishal Gupta, Chairperson, Ashank Desai Centre for Leadership and Organisational Development, and IIMA Director Errol D'souza, at the launch ceremony

The Centre has been named after IIMA alumnus and Former Mastek Chairman Ashank Desai

Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad (IIMA) has announced the launch of the Ashank Desai Centre for Leadership and Organisational Development (ADCLOD). The endowment for the Centre has been contributed by Ashank Desai, Founder, and former Chairman, Mastek who is an IIMA alumnus and a member of the Governing Board.

Announcing the launch, Prof Errol D’Souza, Director, IIMA said, “We are delighted to announce the launch of the Ashank Desai Centre for Leadership and Organisational Development at IIMA.  Leaders across the world have been facing a multitude of complexities, with the role of a leader and what they are expected to deliver undergoing a transformation over the last few years. Through the Centre, our faculty will research on the changing dynamics of leadership and translate the outcomes into knowledge that will equip leaders with best practices for improvement. I would like to thank Ashank Desai for his generous contribution, which will allow us to advance IIMA’s plans to address this crucial global requisite.”

Giving back

Sharing his views on the contribution made, Ashank Desai said, ““I always wanted to give back to my almamater, particularly because my organisation, Mastek's idea was incubated in the IIMA premises along with my other founder-colleagues who were classmates. I would like the Centre to organise round tables with leaders in the wide variety of themes that the Centre plans to work in, seminars on leadership issues, conduct cutting-edge research and create leadership paradigms, which are global in terms of relevance yet deeply rooted in the Indian context. Also, I hope the work of ADCLOD will enable creation of a leadership curriculum for IIMA long-term courses.” 

The Centre is chaired by Vishal Gupta, Associate Professor of Organisational Behaviour at IIMA. Sharing his views on the purpose of the Centre, Professor Vishal Gupta said, “The Centre aims at promoting rigorous research and to initiate dialogue about leadership and organisational development issues in various kinds of organisations: public, private and social sector. Along with research, the Centre also aims to create opportunities where faculty, practitioners and policy makers can come together, brainstorm and find solutions to pressing leadership and organisational issues. We are confident that over time the Centre will create a name for itself as a high-quality research centre.”

Leadership mentoring

A virtual ceremony is hosted by IIMA to launch the Centre and will be attended by leaders from the industry and academia — Hayagreeva Rao, Atholl McBean Professor of Organisational Behaviour and Human Resources at Stanford University; Manvinder (Vindi) Singh Banga, Former Chairman and Managing Director at Hindustan Unilever Ltd, currently a Partner at CD & RLLP; and Rama Bijapurkar, a renowned consultant, and Professor of Management Practice at IIMA.

The Centre has a group of 12 faculty members from varied disciplines such as communication, education, economics, human resource management, law, organisational behaviour, and strategy who are working on leadership and organisational development issues. In order to give opportunities to scholars as well as practitioners to voice their concerns as well as to present possible solutions, the Centre plans to organise various events such as workshops, speaker series, panel discussions and Annual leadership summit. The Centre will also be offering training, research, and consulting services to leaders at various levels in Indian and multinational organisations.