Tale of A Topper-Nitin Nohria

Nitin Nohria is a 10-pointer. For those of you not familiar with that, it means that he graduated at the top of his class with a perfect GPA. He did it at the hyper-competitive IIT Mumbai, and graduated with a degree in Chemical Engineering. Mix that with a Ph.D. in Management from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Sloan School of Management, where he earned a doctoral thesis award in behavioral and policy sciences and you get a man who was clearly destined for big things.

Nohria, the tenth dean of HBS, is currently the Richard P. Chapman Professor of Business Administration. On July 1, he will replace Jay Light who has a degree in engineering physics with highest honors from Cornell.Nohria is the second Indian-born academic to head a major business school.The first was the extremely popular Deepak Jain, who lead Kellogg to several #1 rankings in Businessweek. India has produced outstanding academics in Marketing, Strategy and Leadership, and we expect that Nitin’s appointment will lead to many more appointments of foreign-born Deans, as the business of a business education goes global, and needs people who have a global upbringing and perspective.

Research on Leadership

Nitin is a prolific writer, with 16 books to his name. He focusses his research on leadership, which makes his recent promotion fitting for a business school that is known for producing outstanding business leaders. Nitin recently published a book on leadership with another HBS Professor, Rakesh Khurana titled the “Handbook of Leadership Theory and Practice.”His book Paths To Power: How Insiders And Outsiders Shaped American Business Leadership clearly proves the need of both insiders and outsiders to make corporate America successful. This classic piece of work also answers significant queries like Who made it to the top in the twentieth century in the corporate world of America?

For more publications of Nohria click here.

His Take On India

Nohria, after occupying the hot seat will work towards taking the plans of HBS India’s initiatives forward. In an interview to an Indian newspaper he said”The formative years at IIT-Bombay taught me that I could survive anything”. He also appreciates the work done by HBS research center in India. He emphatically recognizes the growing relevance of Indian origin people in the US in all spheres. He is also an individual partner in Tata Management Training Center.

His big vision for HBS

Nitin Nohria strongly believes that the need of the hour is to produce good managers who not only aim at solving problems at work places but also take up promotion of business ethics and social responsibility. His emphasis is on restoring the faith of the world in business and business schools. Nohria is clear about making the education system reliable again not only of HBS but also of other B-schools in this mundane world. He is also a big supporter of the MBA Oath movement, for which he said “MBA oaths are like marriage vows”.

Best Quotes

-??Great leaders are pragmatists who can deal with difficult realities but still have the optimism and courage to act?.

-?We’ve always treated the historical context of a particular time as a kind of sidebar to any discussion about business leadership, … But we’ve found that context is far more salient than we ever imagined.?

Nitin Nohria is a great inspiration to anyone aspiring for a career in business or academia. His appointment sets the tone for a change in messaging at HBS, with an emphasis on quality education and sensitive managers. The next when you think of making it big in the corporate world, be inspired by philanthropist leaders like Nitin.

Who knows. You may be the next Nohria?

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