India Business
Premier Indian B-school nurtures entrepreneurs
Apr 7, 2007 - 10:14:33 AM

Hyderabad, April 7 - A premier Indian B-school has quietly changed the manner in which venture capitalists look at budding entrepreneurs by serving as a facilitator between the two to translate business models into reality.

This unique effort is the result of a tie-up between the Indian School of Business - here and the California-based TiE - that counts among its ranks a virtual who's who of Indian American venture capitalists.

With its 400-plus students, ISB is ranked at offering the eighth largest management programme among full-time MBA programmes in the world. It has also forged strategic links with entities like Wharton Business School, the Kellogg School of Management and the London Business School.

'We play the role of the honest broker,' ISB dean Rammohan Rao told a group of visiting journalists here of the TiE link.

The tie-up is the logical extension of the ISB's Wadhwani Centre for Entrepreneurial Development -, one of the four centres of excellence that the school runs, with another two on the way. The Wadhwani Foundation, a not-for-profit organization set up Ramesh Wadhwani, chairman and CEO of the US-based Symphony Technology Group, funds the WCED.

The six-year old ISB, which offers a year-long compressed post graduate diploma in business management, is about the only B-school of note that offers a course in entrepreneurial development.

'There are very few institutions that teach entrepreneurship, which is the next logical step a business school graduate should take after learning the ropes on a job,' ISB deputy dean Ajit Rangnekar contended.

'Typically, you have a situation where a student or a group of students work out a business model but have no way of funding this. This is largely because they do not have the skill to make an effective presentation to a venture capitalist. This is where we step in,' he added.

'We have created a support mechanism to help entrepreneurs start up with seed money,' Rangnekar pointed out.

Toward this end, ISB commissioned some 12 groups of students to develop business models across a spectrum of sectors and then whittled down the number to seven.

'We are now in the process of translating into reality business models in the areas of sports management, media, healthcare, pharmaceuticals, retail and IT,' Rangnekar stated.

'There are a lot of opportunities to make it big and grow,' he added.

Founded by a group of eminent business leaders, entrepreneurs and academicians from around the world and spread over a 260-acre campus, ISB is also among the few schools doing research focused on emerging and transition economies.

Its sixth batch of post graduates in business management passed out Saturday.

'ISB believes in building bridges that link its many facets, bridges that reflect its unique corporate-academia association, bridges that connect its world-class faculty and its diverse student group, bridges across the international student community with its exchange programmes, bridges that seek ways to link its research and teaching to the world beyond its campus,' Rao maintained.

Apart from the entrepreneurial development centre, ISB runs similar entities in the areas of analytical finance, global logistics and technical management. Two more centres are planned in the sphere of IT and the networked economy and on strategic marketing and leadership.

ISB currently has 26 exchange programmes with leading institutions worldwide from the US, France, South Africa, Israel, Germany, China, Pakistan and Britain.

'These programmes provide students with international exposure and help them build global perspectives,' Rao pointed out.

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