ISB signs MoU to offer executive education in Pakistan

The Centre for Executive Education (CEE) at ISB will offer open and custom-designed programmes under the collaboration, the first as part of its mission of focusing on emerging markets.

Deepak Chandra, deputy dean, ISB and Ishrat Husain, dean and director, IBA, Karachi signed the MoU, under which ISB would provide executive education courses to senior management executives looking to fast track their careers.

The CEE, one of the largest executive education providers in Asia, will design and deliver the programmes while IBA, the oldest business school outside North America will do the marketing and promotion.

The first programme is scheduled to commence in June this year. The CEE plans to offer 10 programmes in the first year. The course offerings will include open or short-duration programmes that are driven by research, custom-designed programmes or specialized courses devised to cater to specific needs of a particular organization as

well as workshops and seminars.

Under the partnership, the first between two business schools of India and Pakistan, the ISB faculty would visit IBA.

Deepak Chandra said the initial areas of focus will be family business, entrepreneurship, business leadership, strategy and related domains. There will also be programmes on Public Private Partnership (PPP).

"It is a momentous occasion for us. This is the start of something which we all will cherish. We hope this relationship will be a lot of learning for both the institutions," he said.

"We are confident that this partnership will help generate tremendous opportunities for cross-collaboration between the two schools and set the tone for many more future associations aimed at nurturing business and entrepreneurs who would contribute to the growth of business and industry in Pakistan."

He said the centre would not only work with the private sector but also with the public sector and the government in Pakistan.

One of the top three providers of executive education in Asia, the CEE's revenues during 2011-12 exceeded $12 million (Rs.60 crore). Last year, the centre provided training to over 4,000 professionals through 125 programmes.

Stating that the ISB is engaged in developing leadership for inclusive growth in India, he said the centre is keen to work with the markets which have similar kind of characteristics and challenges.

Besides Pakistan, the centre plans to reach out to Bangladesh, Iran, South Korea, Thailand, Vietnam, Philippines, Indonesia, Turkey, Mexico and Nigeria.

"This is the beginning of a long relationship. We are making modest beginning but we will build on this and I hope this will lead to exchange of students, faculty members, collaborative research and case studies," said Ishrat Husain, a well-known economist and former governor of Pakistan's central bank.

"As a long time advocate and firm believer in friendly relations between the two neighbourly countries, I feel that for peace and prosperity of our people this event represents a turning point...India has made huge advances in higher education, science and technology and we in Pakistan should benefit from their achievements,"

he added.

Lauding the ISB for rapid advances it made within a decade to emerge as one of the top global business schools, Husain said ever since he became dean of IBA he always looked at ISB as a benchmark.

Husain noted that though IBA is the oldest school established in 1957, it is "too complacent" and "too much preoccupied with its own success".

"In this dynamic world we can't afford to remain static and stagnant and that is why we decided to look forward to become global business school again."

"We thought we should look to our next door neighbour because our history, culture, eco system, traditions, attitudes and mindset are almost identical. We felt why not look to India rather than to West for our collaborative partnerships," he added.