I started applying my mind how the institute could build its brand and attain visibility at the national level after joining BIMTECH at its old campus in Pushp Vihar, New Delhi on September 2, 1999. Having known the growth trajectory of reputed B’schools in India and worldwide, I could identify one primary raison d’etre i.e. a residential campus with state-of-the-art facilities for students and faculty.India.
After wide consultation with leading management educationists, I prepared the ‘Vision-2005’ document and submitted it to the management. The major focus of this document was to build a residential campus with an objective of getting recognized among the top 25 B’schools of India by the year 2005. It was necessary because our premises at Birla Vidya Niketan, Pushp Vihar, New Delhi was very modest and without a residential character.
My predecessor, Dr C B Gupta, a legendary academician (ex-Principal, SRCC, Delhi and Founder Director, IMT, Ghaziabad) was designated by the management as the Advisor. He advised me to try with the DDA for getting a two acre plot in Delhi. DDA, being a typical bureaucratic body, was not willing to help us and scuttled the proposal with some flimsy legal objections.
The matter was discussed with the management and I sought their permission to submit our application. 3Our advisor, Dr CB Gupta, was not in favour of moving the campus from New Delhi to Greater Noida, due to fears of losing locational advantages of South Delhi. Meantime, for expanding the geographic base of our student population, we had started hostels in rented premises at Sarvapriya Vihar and Devri Road. It was a tough decision and full of challenges. I continued to convince our management that having a residential campus was a sine-qua non for a good B’school and there was no harm in setting up a campus at Greater Noida.
We submitted an application for getting institutional land from the GNIDA at the Knowledge Park in the last week of January, 2002. At that time there were hardly a few institutions at Greater Noida and reaching the city was also difficult because the Expressway was not ready and access through Dadri – Surajpur side was always cumbersome.
When GNIDA called us for a meeting and making a presentation about our plans for setting up a campus at Greater Noida, we identified a student of PGDM II year to make the presentation.
When we were very near to the new date of shifting i.e. August 19, 2004, many doubts arose as some of the basic facilities and requirements of the campus were not ready. It was a big dilemma because we were to choose between either postponement of shifting or facing the ordeal of shifting. After a lot of discussions among the management, faculty and students, ultimately a final decision was taken to shift on August 19, 2004.
Our administrative officials, Mr YS Agarwal, Mr Rajib Sharma and Mr Vinod Mahipal managed the gigantic exercise of shifting furniture, library equipments and luggages of students and faculty. During rainy season, it was not an easy operation. Ultimately, we landed at the campus on August 19, 2004 with bag and baggages. I remember the scenario on that day. Trucks and buses arrived from New Delhi with students and staff. The passions among students were very high because they were excited to live at the new campus. On the D-date, internal roads were not ready and there was a lot of mud on roads due to intermittent rains. Construction work was still going on in hostels and there were a lot of flies and mosquitoes.
Creating awareness about Greater Noida has been a decade long exercise. We were very keen to bring eminent people to the new campus. Many a times, industry people from Delhi, Gurgaon and Noida were not willing to visit the campus due to logistic reasons. There was a psychological barrier in the minds of visitors due to poor awareness about the development of the Greater Noida as an urban destination. We had to devise different means and methods to get people to the new campus.
During the last 10 years, we could invite some of the thought leaders from India and abroad to visit the campus and address our students and faculty. The list includes His Holiness Dalai Lama, Dr APJ Abdul Kalam, Shri Yashwant Sinha, Dr Subramnaian Swamy, Shri Jai Ram Ramesh, Shri Oscar Fernandes, Shri Jagdish Khattar, Shri Venu Srinivasan, Shri Vinod Rai, Smt Kiran Bedi, Shri Arvind Kejriwal, Dr Prakash Amte, Shri Mahesh Bhatt, Late Farukh Sheikh, Shri Santosh Desai, Shri Hemant Kanoria, Late Dr Abid Hussain, Shri Deepak Puri, Dr Pritam Singh, Dr Jagdish Sheth, Prof M R Rao, Shri Pramath Sinha, Dr Rishikesh T Krishnan, Prof Yashpal, Shri R S Pandey, IAS, Dr Santrupt Mishra, Shri Sam Ghosh, Shri Yogi Shriram and Dr Kiran Karnik.
We have also organized many programmes on performing arts, culture and literature. In partnership with SPIC-Macay, VIRASAT – 2009 was organized in October in which very eminent artists like Ustad Abdul Rashid Khan, Pt Chhannu Lal Mishra, Pt Ronu Mazumdar, Smt Uma Sharma, Guru Singhajit Singh. On many occasions, we have invited eminent artists like Pt Shiv Kumar Sharma, Pt Rajan- Sajan Mishra, Pt Vishwa Mohan Bhatt, Late Habib Tanvir, Shri Asgar Wajahat, Shri Rajendra Nath, Shri Arvind Gaur etc.
BIMTECH is one of the few B-schools in India which has used vision building very successfully to plan its future. The first vision building exercise started in the year 2000 which took shape as the Vision – 2005. The missions under this vision were to have a residential campus and to be counted among top 25 private B’schools in India. In 2003 itself, we were ranked 17th by Business Today – AC Nielsen Ranking Survey while the Greater Noida Campus was launched in August, 2004.
In 2006, we started another exercise to draft a new vision. After discussions with all stakeholders, we could formulate the Vision-2011 which stipulated to become one of the top 10 B’schools in India and obtain the status of a Deemed University.Again in 2011, we initiated a year long vision building exercise under the leadership of Prof A Sahay. This time leading deans, directors, researchers and industry experts of the country were also involved along with faculty, staff and alumni. A new Vision-2021 came out of these deliberations. This was published as a document titled “Vision Mission & Values”.
Since 2008, we have started working to make our institute a Deemed University. The rigid regulatory norms of the AICTE were not allowing us to grow fast by adopting innovation and experimentation. An application was submitted to the MHRD in 2008 for granting us status of a Deemed University. Due to Lok Sabha elections of 2009, it got delayed and later the new minister at MHRD, Mr Kapil Sibal, decided not to issue new approval for deemed university.