IIM-K’s 16th annual convocation held

Business ethics need to find a prime spot in academic courses as giant corporate houses have fallen victims to the personal greed and unethical practices of men and women who manage them, Ranjana Kumar, the first woman to head NABARD and chief guest at the 16th annual convocation of the Indian Institute of Management Kozhikode (IIM-K), has said.

“Since 2007, [many] multinational corporate houses have lost credibility and collapsed because their managers resorted to unethical practices to feed their short-lived happiness and personal greed. B-schools have to focus hard on instilling ethics and credibility to be practised by their students in the future roles as business leaders,” she said at the function on Saturday.

Before the start of the convocation ceremony, The Hindu caught up with Ms. Kumar and the event’s guest of honour Chitra Ramakrishna, managing director and CEO of the National Stock Exchange of India Ltd, in the chambers of Debhashis Chatterjee, the institute’s director.

Also present were A.C. Muthiah, the institute’s chairman, and Onkar Singh Kanwar, chairman and managing director of Apollo Tyres.

On what was defined as ‘success’ for a B-school student, Ms. Ramakrishna said the perception of success differed in every individual and talent had multiple ways of expressions.

“Eventually, each student finds his chosen path, it may take some 10 years or 20. There are no readymade answers to what success means to individuals. But it is heartening to see at least a section of students setting new standards in the business community by not measuring success by the monthly salary and perks. They give back to society. There is definitely a shift towards corporate social responsibility,” she said.

Dr. Chatterjee pitched in by pointing to the institute’s initiative called CREST - Centre for Research and Education for Social Transformation - launched as an autonomous institution on April 1, 2008, with the help of the Government of Kerala. The stated objective of the centre is to work towards the vision of “creating a just, equitable and caring society through empowerment of the marginalised and underprivileged, based on the principles of humanism, equality and social justice.”

Social capital

“We take social capital seriously. We have been working together with almost 70 NGOs. We tap into the complex but unorganised knowledge systems they have acquired through years of groundwork and convert them into a single flow of performance beneficial to the society,” he said.

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