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Shri N.R. Narayana Murthy, Founder, Infosys Limited, and our Chief Guest today, Shri Shrikrishna Kulkarni, Chairman, Board of Governors of IIM Calcutta; Members of the Board of Governors; Students and their Parents; Alumni and Distinguished Guests; Members of the Press, Faculty, Officers and Staff of the Institute; Ladies and Gentlemen.

It is indeed an honour and a privilege for me to welcome you all to the 54th Annual Convocation of the Indian Institute of Management Calcutta. We are extremely fortunate to have Shri N.R. Narayana Murthy on this Convocation Ceremony today as the Chief Guest. On behalf of the Institute fraternity, my sincere thanks to him for taking the time from his extremely demanding schedule to accept our invitation.

Mr. Murthy has an iconic stature in the world for his numerous achievements as an innovator, an institution builder, and a philanthropist. Mr. Murthy founded Infosys in 1981. Infosys is, today, a highly-innovative software services global company listed on NYSE in the US and on the Bombay Stock Exchange in Mumbai with about US$ 11 billion in revenue and US$ 45 billion in market capitalization.

Mr. Murthy conceptualized, articulated and implemented the Global Delivery Model (GDM) which has become the backbone of the Indian software industry. GDM is based on collaborative distributed software development principles and has resulted in the delivery of superior quality software to global customers delivered on time and within budget. Mr. Murthy also introduced the concept of 24-hour work day to the world.

Under Mr. Murthy’s leadership, Infosys became the leader in innovation in technical, managerial and leadership training, software technology, quality, productivity, customer focus, employee satisfaction, and physical and technological infrastructure.

In 2014, Mr. Murthy was ranked 13th among CNBC’s 25 global business leaders and listed among the ‘12 greatest entrepreneurs of our time’, by Fortune in 2012. He has received Legion d’honneur from France, CBE from Britain and Padma Vibhushan from India. The Economist ranked him among the 10 most-admired global business leaders in 2005. Mr. Murthy is ranked among the top 10 of the Financial Times’ list of “Business pioneers in technology”, published in March 2015. He is the first Indian winner of Ernst and Young’s World Entrepreneur of the Year award.

He is a foreign member of the US National Academy of Engineering and a Fellow of the Indian National Academy of Engineering. He received the Founders Medal in 2018, the Hoover medal in 2012 and the Ernst Weber Medal in 2007, all the three from IEEE. He has received Thomas Jefferson medal and James C. Morgan Global Humanitarian Award.

Currently, Mr. Murthy serves on the boards of Ford Foundation, the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton, New Jersey and the United Nations Foundation. He has served on the boards of HSBC and Unilever, both headquartered in London. He has also served as a member of the boards of various well-known universities in the US like Cornell University, Wharton School, the Graduate School of Business at Stanford University and the Rhodes Trust at Oxford. He was the Chairman of the Indian Institute of Management (Ahmedabad), the #1 business school in India, and the Public Health Foundation of India (PHFI).

He is a member of the advisory board of the University of Tokyo (Japan), ESSEC Business School (France), IESE Business School (Spain) and Fundação Dom Cabral (FDC – Brazil). He has also served on the international advisory boards of Yale University, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, William F. Achtmeyer Center for Global Leadership at the Tuck School of Business, Singapore Management University INSEAD, Asian Institute of Technology (Bangkok), the Indian School of Business (Hyderabad), and the International Institute of Information Technology, Bangalore.

Mr. Murthy is married and his wife, Sudha, is a well-known author. They have two children.

I now take this opportunity to request Shri Shrikrishna Kulkarni, our Chairperson of Board of Governors, to felicitate Shri N.R. Narayana Murthy, Founder, Infosys Limited with a bouquet of flower and shawl.

Ladies and Gentlemen, As an alumna of IIM Calcutta, I am especially honoured to address the Convocation as the Director of the Institute and sharing our accomplishments with you.

The Convocation is an occasion to communicate to our stakeholders and well-wishers how we fared during the year so that they are assured that the responsibilities that they have given us are being carried out satisfactorily. The Institute has made significant all round progress and the year 2019-20 has been an excellent one.

I must highlight that our progress would not have been possible without the wholehearted involvement and support of all our stakeholders. On behalf of the Institute, may I extend my sincere thanks to all those who make our success possible. This is a particularly fitting occasion to recognize the efforts of our talented students, the valuable contributions to learning and scholarship of our dedicated faculty members and our distinguished alumni who demonstrate their continuous commitment to their alma mater. Members of our visionary Board of Governors under the leadership of our Chairperson, Shri Shrikrishna Kulkarni have been actively involved in numerous initiatives to assist us in our path to new heights of excellence. The Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) has assisted us to achieve our goals efficiently, and other members of the Central and State governments have extended their support and encouragement. Representatives of the press and media have assisted in demonstrating our progress.

Details of our various activities during the year are provided in the annual report provided to you. In the interests of time, I shall only mention some highlights. I encourage you to review the report to more fully appreciate the depth and breadth of our activities and accomplishments.


Following the enactment of the IIM Act, the Indian Institute of Management Calcutta is now empowered to confer degrees. Thus the Institute will be awarding the PhD and MBA degrees in this Convocation for the first time in the 58- year history of the Institute. I will briefly review our five degree/diploma programs and our management development programs.

Doctoral Program

This year, 14 doctoral students who have completed all the academic requirements are receiving the Doctor of Philosophy degree (formerly known as the Fellow title). I am happy to inform you that our graduating Ph.D. students have received offers for appointments at reputed academic institutions in India and overseas including other IIMs.

Several of our doctoral students have excelled in their research during this year. Award winners are:

  • Gaurav Gupta has secured the “Satish K. Sehgal Doctoral Student Award 2019” for excellence in scholarship and organizational citizenship.
  • Milan Kumar and Vaishnavi T will jointly get Best Publication Award for a Doctoral Student instituted by the IIMC Alumni Association Mumbai Chapter

Full Time Two Year MBA Program

This year, 463 students of the 54th batch will receive the Two-Year Full Time MBA degree (formerly known as the Post Graduate Diploma in Management). Award winners Anish Patel, Samarth Agarwal and Prateek Agarwal have achieved recognition for superlative performance in this program.

MBA student Rupeshkumar Jadhawar (54th Batch) team was listed as the top 44 of 1113 international student teams that participated in the 2018-19 track of the global X-Culture Competition. For her work with this team, Prof. Ramya T Venkateswaran received the Best Instructor Award as among the best 30 of 150 instructors teaching at 148 universities in 37 countries whose students took part this competition.

Three students from the 54th batch graduating this year received the Aditya Birla Scholarship in both their first and second year of study. They are Ishita Agarwal, Neerja Maheshwari, & Nandini Bagaria. Four first year students (55th Batch) were selected as Aditya Birla Scholars. They are Adarsh Kapoor, Suresh Gadekar, Amrita Bhattacharya and Pranay Sumbly.

MBA 2nd Year (54th Batch) student Raj Aakanksha Prithwi was selected as recipient of T. Thomas Scholarship.

2nd Year (54th Batch) student Anish R Patil was awarded OP Jindal Engineering & Management Scholarship.

During the period 2018-19, Institute provided need-based scholarships amounting to Rs.3.6 crores to 71 to the students who fulfilled the criteria.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank the family of our former director, Late Professor Amitava Bose for their generous endowment to IIM Calcutta. Among the many activities supported by this endowment, the Amitava Bose Memorial Prize for Best Performance in Economics is being awarded for the first time to E.Sateesh Chandran.

As always, there is strong demand for our students from employers. This year, about 30% of our students were placed in Consulting and about 20% in Finance. Other important sector categories were Sales and Marketing, General Management and IT Analytics, each accounting for 8%-14% of our placements. Job offers have again been excellent this year, with the average salary of our students reaching a new high of Rs. 25.36 lakhs.

One Year Full-time MBA program for Executives

The 12th batch of the one Year Full-time MBA program for Executives consisting of 66 students will be graduating this year. Two notable feature of this program are its focus on internationalization and on practicums. For an international immersion experience, our students visited Mannheim Business School, Germany, Michael G. Foster School of Business, University of Washington, U.S.A and Strathclyde Business School, Glasgow. Some courses for this batch were taught by notable visiting faculty from overseas business schools. Our students worked on live projects in organizations like CDSL, Hero Motocorp, BSE, RPG Group, Dr. Reddy’s, Axis Bank and Flutura, as well as interacted with IIM Calcutta Innovation Park(IIMCIP) incubatees. Award winners Rajesh Ranjan, Abhishek Kumar and Ayan Jain have achieved recognition for their superlative performance in this program. Again, the demand for our students of this program is very healthy, supported by the activities of the placement team. Job offers have been excellent this year with an average salary of Rs 27.18 lakhs compared to Rs 24.45 Lakhs in the previous year and registering a CAGR of 10.5% over last 3 years. Two students are still in the process, and as has been the case in the past, IIMC will continue to support them in their placements.

The Post Graduate Program for Executives (PGPEX-VLM) is a one-year full time residential program with a unique focus on enhancing the competitiveness and capabilities of Indian manufacturing sector, and creating visionary leaders in manufacturing. IIM Calcutta, IIT Kanpur and IIT Madras jointly offer the program. 38 students in the 12th batch of the program will be graduating this year from IIM Calcutta. Award winners Saikat Das, Soumya Ghosh and Saurabh Rana have achieved recognition for superlative performance in the program. The demand for students in this program is again very strong. It concluded by mid-December 2018 with an average salary of Rs. 18.5 lakhs for those students choosing to participate in placement and multiple job offers received by many students.

The Post Graduate Diploma in Business Analytics (PGDBA) is a two-year full time residential diploma programme aimed at creating business analytics professionals employable by leading Indian and foreign firms. It is jointly offered by IIM Calcutta, IIT Kharagpur, and ISI Kolkata, and designed for those who have an analytical mindset, are interested in tackling challenging business problems, and possess an inclination towards mathematics. 57 students of the 3rd batch of the PGDBA program will be graduating this year. As a new program, PGDBA has achieved remarkable success. It was ranked 14th in QS World University ranking of similar programs, and first in Top Ten Full Time Data Science Courses in India. The final placements for the PGDBA 2017-2019 programme concluded with the batch of 52 receiving a total of 66 offers made by 35 firms. The average CTC rose to ₹25.05 lakh per annum from last year’s figure of ₹22.89 lakh.

The Institute conducted around 120 Management Development Programmes of short and long duration to provide opportunities to different kinds of organizations and individuals to improve their managerial and leadership capabilities. IIM Calcutta offered long duration certificate programmes for 1855 working professionals in general management as well as specific functional and niche areas of management. These programmes are mostly offered as a mix of synchronous online sessions over a partner’s technology platform and a limited number of face-to-face sessions at campus.

The Accreditation Journey

The Indian Institute of Management Calcutta is the first institution in India to earn its ‘Triple Crown’ in accreditation. The Institute was accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) for 5 years in 2014, European Quality Improvement System (EQUIS) for 3 years in 2016 & Association of MBAs (AMBA) for 5 years in 2014. These global, nonprofit membership-organizations of educational institutions, businesses, and other entities are devoted to the advancement of management education. AACSB was established in 1916, AMBA was created in 1967 and EQUIS was launched in 1997. All three agencies help their members to work towards continuous improvement of their academic programs. The peer review services and accreditation awarded by them is acknowledged globally as the hallmark of excellence.

I am happy to report that IIM Calcutta was further re-accredited for 3 more years by EQUIS and for 5 more years by AMBA in March 2019 following reaccreditation review visits from these agencies.

Continued internationalisation is a thrust area for IIM Calcutta. IIM Calcutta aspires to further build our global reputation and become a global destination for quality education. To assist us in this initiative, we have formed an International Advisory Council (IAC), comprising six luminaries across different geographies and with extensive academic and corporate expertise. The Council members advising the Institute on its journey towards internationalization are:

1. Yoshinori Hara Dean of the Graduate School of Management, and Professor (Innovation Management). Kyoto University Asia Pacific
2. Gonzalo Garland Professor of Economics, and Vice-president of External Relations at IE Business School, Spain Europe
3. Krishna Palepu
Ross Graham Walker Professor of Business Administration and Senior Adviser to the President of Harvard University for Global Strategy, Harvard Business School. Americas
4. Sameer Gupta
Managing Director and Chief Analytics Officer, DBS Bank, Singapore. Asia -Pacific
5. Charubala Sheshadri
Global Marketing Director for Respiratory Health, GSK Consumer Healthcare, Nyon, Switzerland. Europe
6. Indra Nooyi
Former Chairwoman, PepsiCo, USA Americas

Student Exchange Programme
We currently have a list of 71 partner schools spread over USA, Europe and South-East Asia. During the academic year 2018-19, 111 STEP students from IIM Calcutta went on exchange programme to 39 partner schools. Aarhus School of Business, BI Norwegian Business School, Bocconi University, Catolica Lisbon School of Business and Economics, Copenhagen Business School, ESC Rennes School of Business are some the schools visited by our outgoing students. Around 46 incoming exchange students visited IIMC in the same academic year.

Double Degree Programme
In 2018, one student from IIM Calcutta spent 3 Terms at ESCP-Europe (Paris Campus) for the Double Degree programme

Partnership with CEMS
IIMC is a member of CEMS, which is an elite club of 30 premier business schools from across the world. IIMC is the only Indian member of this renowned alliance of leading global business schools and multinational corporations. Through its prestigious “Masters in International Management” (CEMS MIM) postgraduate, pre-experience degree, CEMS has created a global standard of management studies for students to become true global managers with excellence in performance and ethical conduct and understanding of cultural diversity.


During the year faculty members published a large number of research papers in peer-reviewed journals and book chapters, and have several Working Papers and conference proceedings. 57 faculty members participated in international conferences and 14 faculty members participated in national conferences for presenting their research papers with full financial support from the Institute.

Some notable research achievements of our faculty are:

Prof. Indranil Bose had a paper acceptance by MIS Quarterly (top-most rated journal in Information Systems, Financial Times 50 journal, with a 5-year impact factor of 11.038 in 2017). This is the first ever acceptance by this journal in the history of IIMC. Doctoral student Ms. Adrija Majumdar won ‘Best doctoral paper’ at the 6th Pan-IIM World Management Conference, 2018 for a paper co-authored with Professor Indranil Bose.

Prof. Rama Seth received the Emerald India Best Paper Award at the 5th Pan IIM World Management Conference for her paper with V. Jindal, “A New Order of Financing Investments: Evidence from Acquisitions by India's Listed Firms." This paper is also accepted for publication in the Journal of Corporate Finance.

Prof. Devi Vijay won the 2018 “Above and Beyond the Call of Duty (ABCD) Reviewing Award winner by the Organization and Management Theory (OMT) Division of the Academy of Management.

Faculty members also received funding for international grants and national grants.

In collaboration with Principal Investigator – Dr. Oscar Valiente of the School of Education, University of Glasgow, Prof. Saikat Maitra & Prof. Manish Thakur received a 27-month multilateral international research grant of GBP 12300 from Economic and Social Research Council of UK on “Can Dual Apprenticeships Create Better and More Equitable Social and Economic Outcomes for Young People? A Comparative Study of India and Mexico”.

Prof. Devi Vijay received a grant of Euro 16000 for a project “Assessing Quality and Outcomes in a Community Form of Palliative Care Delivery in Kerala, India” from the Global Challenges Research Fund, UK (University of Glasgow).

Prof. Biswatosh Saha received a grant of Rs. 25 lakhs for “A study on practices of digital intermediaries with innovative business models: Implications for Regulation” from the IIM Ahmedabad-Idea Telecom Centre of Excellence (IITCOE).

Prof. Ashok Banerjee received a grant of Rs. 15 lakhs to investigate “Mission and Practice of Companies Registered for Charitable Purposes” from the Ministry of Corporate Affairs, Govt. of India.


Finance Lab

The Finance Lab of the Indian Institute of Management (IIM) Calcutta headed by Prof. Ashok Banerjee has conducted numerous valuable activities. For example, in association with Stern School of Business of New York University (NYU – Stern) hosted the third India Research Conference on 12 October, 2018 at NYU – Stern. The event was sponsored by the Finance Lab of IIM Calcutta and co-hosted by the Center for Global Economy and Business and Salomon Center for the Study of Financial Institutions of NYU – Stern. The primary objective of the conference was to provide a platform for serious India-centric research. Five papers were presented in the Conference followed by a panel discussion on “Indian Financial Reform”. Mr. Amitabh Kant, CEO, NITI Aayog and Prof. Abhijit Banerjee, Ford Foundation International Professor of Economics at MIT delivered the keynote speech in the conference respectively.

Case Research Center

The Case Research Center headed by Prof. Indranil Bose had another successful year. Two case studies published by IIMCCRC in 2017-2018 were winners of the prestigious EFMD case writing award 2017. This was covered in national media.

I. Bose and G. Gupta, “SIMsePAY at YES Bank: Creating Value Through an Un‘smart’ Innovation” Indian Institute of Management Calcutta Case Research Center, IIMC-CRC-2017-10, (Winner in category: Inclusive business models)

R. Singh and M. Rao, “Switch On O’Nergy: Social Innovation Challenges At the Bottom-of-the-Pyramid” Indian Institute of Management Calcutta Case Research Center, IIMC-CRC-2017-12, (Winner in category: Sustainable business model).

Since the inception of IIM Calcutta Innovation Park (IIMCIP) in 2014, the not-for-profit (Section 8) company established under the aegis of IIM Calcutta has strived to promote Entrepreneurship and Innovation. The focus areas of IIMCIP are to develop the entrepreneurship ecosystem in East & North East India and to supporting social enterprises.

During the last year IIMCIP has generated numerous accomplishments.

  • It has mentored 150+ entrepreneurs,
  • Its active incubatee strength grew to 44 out of which 35 are sustainable social enterprises
  • 90% of its incubatees are in revenue stage, of which around 35% have crossed INR one crore annual turnover
  • It has provided seed funding to 34 startups and 15 incubatees raised external funding
  • The incubatees have touched the lives of more than two lakhs people and generated employment for more than three thousand people.

On the ecosystem development front, IIMCIP has emerged as a leading incubator in Eastern and North Eastern part of the country. It has collaborated with many State Governments like West Bengal, Assam, Mizoram to build entrepreneurship ecosystem in the states.

IIMCIP successfully conducted the 7th edition of the Tata Social Enterprise Challenge 2018-19 (TSEC), a joint initiative of the Tata group and Indian Institute of Management Calcutta (IIMC). The program emerged as the biggest social entrepreneurship event in India receiving over 900 business plans from across India. The top 20 teams participated in the Semi-final and Grand Finale at IIMC campus.

Ladies and Gentlemen, in my concluding remarks, I draw upon my own experience at IIM Calcutta which prepared me so well for my long career as a scholar, teacher, academician and consultant. I had the privilege of being a member of the graduating class that was the first to occupy the Joka campus as IIMC students, so I feel a particularly strong sense of homecoming in returning to IIMC as its Director.

To our students graduating today: When you arrived at IIM Calcutta, you did so as a small number of the enormous pool of applicants that aspired to be here. I ask you to take a minute to reflect upon your experiences over the last few years at IIMC. Undoubtedly, there have been both triumphs and challenges. This is a time to celebrate your triumphs and your remarkable accomplishments. It is a also a time to celebrate the self-discovery that came about because of the challenges you faced and how you successfully overcame these challenges.

But, graduation is not merely the end of a journey, it is the beginning of a new exciting phase of your life. You will soon be embarking on promising careers. At the same time, in the high velocity environment of today, it is no longer the case that you can expect a single or fixed career path; change is more likely. How do you navigate such changes? In making your choices, the first lesson is: Follow your Passion. Listen to your inner voice that continuously reminds you of the passion. Nothing succeeds like passion, since passion drives the committed involvement that is the bedrock of success. Believe in yourself and pursue your passion with determination, hard work, and attention to detail.

Second, your IIMC experience has prepared you to Learn how to Learn, besides imparting the solid learning in your curriculum. More than ever, in this age of constant change, the ability to engage in continuous learning is a critical ingredient to success. The rapid pace of change means that organizations not only need to optimally execute but also to continually innovate. As a lifelong learner, you will keep yourself motivated with the desire for more knowledge and self-improvement.

A third take-away from your IIMC experience that I hope you will carry with you is the ability for Critical Thinking. Your education has encouraged you to think open-mindedly within alternative systems of thought, recognizing and assessing their assumptions, implications, and practical consequences. You have honed your ability to analyze the way you think and present evidence for your ideas, rather than simply accepting your personal reasoning as sufficient proof. Obviously, the ability for critical thinking is accompanied by respect for others. These qualities will be of tremendous value to you not only as you make decisions in the workplace but also in the wider context where technology enables the rapid dissemination both “real” and “fake” news.

I hope that these principles: follow your passion, be a life-long learner, and critical thinking with mutual respect will assist you in your path ahead.

You will soon join the pool of brand ambassadors of IIM Calcutta. We look forward to your life-long association with this privileged group. Being a proud member of this group, I am indebted to IIM Calcutta for preparing me for my career and life path. I know that you will feel the same, and call upon you to help shape our future in your role as future alumni.

My blessings to all our students gathered here today. May your future accomplishments demonstrate your expertise the can-do-will-do attitude, and high level of ethical values that make us all proud. May you continue to gain strength and support from the strong friendships and networks you have undoubtedly formed that I hope will accompany and sustain you through your lives. My heartiest congratulations to you, your families and to all who have joined us to celebrate this wonderful occasion.

Thank you for your time and attention. Jai Hind.