HYDERABAD: The anointment of Hyderabad-born Satya Nadella as the CEO of Microsoft Corporation certainly skyrocketed the reputation of his city-based alma mater to incredible heights. The role of alumni in the country, however, still remains unexplored and the potential unacknowledged.
It was this aspect of alumni relations that was deliberated about at the second Alumni Relations Conference (ARC-2014) hosted by the Indian School of Business (ISB) and FutureEd here on Saturday. “How does the structure of an institution reflect the quality of education? Look at the top 10 institutions worldwide, one would not be able to recollect the names of faculty but only the products. It is because they are 100 per cent alumni-friendly,” said RP Sisodia, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Human Resource Development.
Sisodia, the guest of honour, explained: “The reputation, growth and prosperity of the institution is directly proportional to the reputation, growth and prosperity of the alumni”. He was of the opinion that alumni should be judged more in terms of its “soft contributions” than monetary contributions.
Ajit Rangnekar, dean, ISB, said any institution’s reputation depended on alumni and faculty performance. “Giving value for education does not create alumni relations. Alumni relations is about strengthening their ability to do what they do. It is a life-long learning process,” he stated. Stressing on the importance of monetary contributions from alumni, he said that while government has been doing more than its part towards providing high quality higher education in the country, funds for infrastructural development should come from philanthropic donations and from the alumni.
During the panel discussion on the ‘Power of Alumni Network’, Dilip Thakore of Education World magazine said top universities with legacy of over 150 years today were poverty-stricken. “You need alumni to develop the infrastructure but if you do not build a relationship, you cannot go out of the blue and ask for money. The potential is huge and a right approach is required,” he added. Nidhi Reddy, head, alumni relations-ISB, said in a recent global survey, India came in the top 10 countries where alumni is worried about the accountability in terms of usage of its contributions.