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COLLECTION Identifier: Arch E67.41 A

Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad records


This collection documents the collaboration of Harvard Business School in the establishment and operation of the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad from 1961 to 1969.


  • Creation: 1958-1971


Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research. Materials stored onsite. HBS Archives collections require a secondary registration form, please contact for more information.

Restricted material has been identified and separated. Note that box and folder lists of restricted material have been redacted.


9 linear feet (18 boxes)

This collection documents the collaboration of Harvard Business School in the establishment and operation of the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad from 1961 to 1969. Materials include records related to administration, curriculum development, courses, policies, and personnel, committee meeting agendas and minutes, reports, and published documents of the Institute. This collection is valuable for researchers interested in the global reach of HBS, the collaboration of HBS with other academic institutions, and in business management education in India.

Historical Note:

The Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad (IIMA) is one of a network of 19 autonomous, public business education schools in India. Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru founded the Indian Institutes of Management in 1959 on the advice of the Government India Planning Commission to address the need for trained business managers in the newly industrialized nation. The first institute was established at Calcutta in November 1961 in collaboration with the MIT Sloan School of Management. A month later, the second institute was established at Ahmedabad as a collaboration among the Government of India, the State of Gujarat government, leaders of the Indian business community, and grants from the Ford Foundation under the leadership of Vikram Sarabhai.

Harvard Business School (HBS) had interest in India beginning with former HBS Dean Donald K. David’s surveys of India in the 1950s in his role as vice chairman of the board of the Ford Foundation. HBS Professor Richard S. Meriam studied the need for business education in 1957 and Andrew R. Towl spent 18 months as an advisor to the Administrative Staff College at Hyderabad, during which time he supervised the writing of 50 case studies written by 13 Indian authors adapted to the needs of Indian mangers. With this background in the country, IIMA approached HBS in 1962 to provide advisors for establishing their business education programs. Professor Harry L. Hansen served as principle negotiator for the collaboration between HBS and IIMA and stayed on as the HBS Project Director for five years. Other faculty who spent time teaching in India included W. Warren Hayes, John J. Reynolds, Neil H. Borden, Franklin E. Folts, Wilbur B. England, and Martin V. Marshall while Michael C. Halse, Melvyn Copen, and Allan R. Cohen provided assistance with case research for IIMA.

The Ad-hoc Committee of the Harvard Business School on the Indian Project noted in their report that “The underlying premise is that it is not the School’s responsibility to develop an institute and turn it over to the Indians, but that there is a mutual creating, developing, and building of the Institute.” In this spirit of cooperation, HBS sent faculty and research associates to IIMA while receiving numerous Indian faculty at HBS for training. IIMA adopted the case method of instruction and created four educational programs: Post-Graduate Programme in Management (similar to a MBA program), the Management Development Programme for executives, a Doctoral Programme, and special programs for university teachers. Vikram Sarabhai served part-time as honorary director of the institute until 1965 when Sarabhai invited faculty member Ravi Matthai to be the first full-time director. Courses began with the 1964-1965 school year. The formal collaboration between HBS and IIMA ended in 1969, although faculty exchange programs and administrative correspondence continued for some years afterward. IIMA continues to be a highly-regarded business school in India and consistently top-ranked in the Asia-Pacific region.

Physical Location



The Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad records were transferred from Professor Harry L. Hansen's office to Baker Library in October 1969.

Related Material:

Photographs from the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad are included in the HBS Archives Photograph Collection: Subject Files and Events, 1913-2005.

Processing Information

Processed: January 2016

By: Liam Sullivan

Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad Records, 1958-1971: A Finding Aid
Baker Library
Language of description

Repository Details

Part of the Baker Library Special Collections and Archives, Harvard Business School Repository

Baker Library Special Collections and Archives holds unique resources that focus on the evolution of business and industry, as well as the records of the Harvard Business School, documenting the institution's development over the last century. These rich and varied collections support research in a diverse range of fields such as business, economic, social and cultural history as well as the history of science and technology.

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