The Founder’s Day at FIIB was the opportune occasion to inaugurate the Sustainability Development Centre – the first of its kind in an Indian B-School, under the auspices of Dr Ashok Khosla, Chairman, Development Alternatives, Dr Syeda Syedain Hameed, Honourble Member, Planning Commission and Mr Mehmood Khan, Former Chief Innovation Officer, Unilever.
The stage was set at the Fortune Institute of International Business (FIIB) to usher in a brand new lease of life, as the 15-year-old institute commemorated the birth anniversary of the late founder, Mr RK Shrivastava. Besides the obvious enthusiasm about this much-awaited day, students, faculty and staff of this B-School were evidently relieved to see the light of this day. Founder’s Day for FIIB has always been momentous beyond the mere distribution of sweets and remembering the late Founder’s great enterprise. This one too, was significantly special, like the others.
On February 21, 2011, Founder’s Day marked a significant beginning of a new phase, in the history of FIIB. The occasion was graced by eminent personalities from all around the world with the likes of Dr Ashok Khosla, Chairman, Development Alternatives, Dr Syeda Syedain Hameed, Honourable Member, Planning Commission, Government of India and Mr Mehmood Khan, Former Chief Innovation Officer, Unilever and Chairperson, Sustainability Development Centre, FIIB. All, from the world of sustainable businesses, were present to unleash a fresh agenda, a novel vision and a significant promise, towards altering the very motive of FIIB that ensconces it on an estimable pedestal, far from the humdrum curriculum of B-Schools. The grand agenda was to unveil the Sustainability Development Centre at FIIB – perhaps the first of its kind at an Indian institute, aimed towards developing sustainable practices through green business initiative.
The keynote speaker for the morning, Dr Ashok Khosla made an impactful presentation on the glaring realities plaguing the world, to which, we, in our cocooned lives are complacent about, or are just too pre-occupied with the mundaneness of our schedules to initiate changes – thereby comfortably succumbing to apathy for the impoverished situation. He demonstrated that a large amount of the world’s wealth confines itself to a small portion of the world’s population, while the majority thrives in poverty, through the champagne glass theory. These two conditions, he said are diseases – ‘affluenza’ and ‘povertitis.’ “However, it is possible to break out of these deficiencies and breathe a life of hope, through profitable but ‘sustainable’ social enterprises that are environmentally viable. The idea is not to forfeit profits in the process of establishing social enterprises but to make profitable businesses, so that they are sustainable,” Dr Khosla explained. With numerous demonstrations of the lessons that can be incorporated from nature’s endowments, he rested his case that the ladder to corporate heaven is attainable.
Concurring with the ideas of Dr Ashok Khosla, was the Chief Guest, Dr Syeda Syedain Hameed, Honorable Member, Planning Commission, Government of India. With her erudite background, she related to sustainable business practices as the absolute necessity of today. “Although this could have always been the thumb rule, we are accustomed to reacting when the situation rises to the brim and the alternatives are far too few. We have valuable lessons to imbibe from the flora and fauna around us, to imbue their principles of survival into our business practices. It’s time we took an initiative in this lifetime, to preserve the future,” Dr Hameed concluded.
The Guest of Honour for the day and the Chairperson of the Sustainbility Development Centre, Mr Mehmood Khan, has long been associated with FIIB, especially advising and recommending sustainable practices for business and management, owing to his rich experience as the Former Chief Innovation Officer, Unilever. With all that he has gathered from his professional experience, his special initiative to develop sustainable businesses for the people of his land – the Mewat region, holds him in high esteem – an enterprise that many talk about but only a miniscule accomplish.
According to Ms Radhika Shrivastava, Vice-President, FIIB, “This is a sincere step towards making the MBA curriculum at FIIB more meaningful and relevant for the changing dynamics of the world. It’s the realization of deep faith that has long been nurtured and is finally being realized.”