Talented students are just one half of the story. Highly qualified, experienced and motivated faculty makes up the other half. These are acclaimed scholars with "hazaar" years of extensive consulting experience who understand the world that's out there. But how does one get the best for the best? What with globalisation having created greener pastures? There can be many arguments on this score, but one supposes it all boils down to the question of how intense is that burning desire or passion to teach? It isn't to say that some haven't considered working in the industry and shift their focus from academics. They have. But then, there have also been those who were in industry and switched roles.
Take the case of Ravi Anshuman, Associate Professor, Finance and Control. He spent the better part of his life in the US, studied there, worked briefly in the industry and when he decided to return to India he even considered getting back in the industry with a job offer in Bombay (now known as Mumbai. Gawd! Why do they change names?).
Eventually, he decided to settle down in IIM-B, its beautiful campus being the selling point. He says, "I think the experience of two years working in the industry told me something about myself. What is that interests me? What kind of lifestyle do I want? What excites me? I knew research interested me and the lifestyle an academic opportunity offers is something, which is more in tune with me." His friends couldn't believe it. He was meant for the real world and the last person they expected to be in academics. " I haven't had any regrets," adds Ravi Anshuman.
"I am into teaching by choice and not by default," says Professor of Marketing, Mithileshwar Jha. He recounts a childhood incident when his father, a gold medallist in Mathematics, remarked that he'd have been happier teaching than being in the Indian Administrative Services where he was thrust into due to parental pressure. That was the cue for Professor Jha to enter a career in academics. "The urge was there and so I planned it that way," he adds.
Professor Krishna, with 2 PhDs in the bag had tons of lucrative offers from industry and educational institutions from across the world. He shunned all these to teach. "Teaching has always been in my mind," he says. No regrets from his side too.
P.D. Jose is a Fulbright scholar who spent ten months at The Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Boston and is now an IIM-B Faculty in Corporate Strategy and Policy Area. His opinion is that teaching in no way excludes oneself from everything else. There's a lot of interaction with companies through various programmes and consulting opportunities. "I like teaching. There's no special reason why. I enjoy it and I don't mind spending as much time as possible with students," says Jose.
What is it that makes them want to teach? Maybe the answer lies in what Professor Jose says, "Teaching actually charges me", as it does many others.