Stars fall, Institutions musn't
I guess its bittersweet for ISB.
The FT MBA rankings has put ISB at No. 15. That's the sweet spot. The bitter one refers to the arrest of Anil Kumar, co-founder and member of the executive board of the Indian School of Business. This follows another, earlier this year. Mendu Rammohan Rao, former dean of ISB, resigned after questions were raised over his role as the board member of scandal-hit Satyam Computers.
As a business school, ISB is intact. In fact their response to the scandal has been measured and mature. The Dean has acknowledged Anil Kumar's contribution and has refused to pass judgement before the courts decide. But what's even more noteworthy is the image ISB has built over its few years in existence, sans personalities. ISB's focus on 'Global Learning' rather than personalities has paid off. Maybe this wasn't intentional. But their not hyping personalities associated with the school has stood them in good stead. Personalities fall, the Institution doesn't. Now this far cry from others who are personality driven. The risk they run is, if the personality's maligned, it rubs off on the institution.
Its smart for brands to focus on their core offering. Associations must be temporal. Because celebrities fall. And Brands that bank on celebrities go down with the star. But brands that have their core value proposition intact, and deliver on it consistently, won't be affected by a star's fall from grace.
Just like, Anil kumar can go down, ISB won't.