IIT-ian becomes dean of top Singapore business school

Singapore, June 18 (IANS) Ravi Kumar, an alumnus of the Indian Institute of Technology -Madras (IIT-M), has been appointed dean of the Nanyang Business School (NBS) in Singapore’s Nanyang Technological University (NTU), it was announced Tuesday.

In a press release issued by the university, Kumar, 61, has been described as “an academic heavyweight with a good blend of east-west experience”.

Ravi Kumar comes to Singapore from the University of South California’s (USC) Marshall Business School, where he served in several key positions, including that of vice dean for international programmes and vice dean for graduate programmes.

He also served as dean of the College of Business at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology while taking a two-year leave of absence from the USC, a stint that saw the Korean college break into the top 100 of the Financial Times global MBA rankings.

“NTU has an ambitious leadership that has been consistently building its brand worldwide,” Ravi Kumar said about his new move.

“As one of the pillars of the university, the Nanyang Business School has a great reputation for thought leadership. It recruits excellent students and faculty, and aspires to be a global leader in business education.”

“My predecessors have laid a strong foundation and I plan to build on these strengths and bring NBS to greater heights,” he said.

NTU provost Freddy Boey said Ravi Kumar “has a strong record of global and cross-cultural business leadership spanning many continents”.

“As an information and operations management professor, he is known widely for his expertise on global operations, particularly in improving operational performance through cellular design and in integrating decision-making with marketing and information technology.”

Ravi Kumar, who loves playing table tennis, graduated in mechanical engineering from IIT-M in 1974.

He also holds a master of science degree in industrial engineering from the University of Texas, and a doctorate in philosophy from the industrial engineering and management sciences department at Northwestern University in the US.

Ravi Kumar also has extensive international consulting experience, including projects with Nike, Rolls Royce, BMW, Ericsson, Reuters, and Infosys.

He serves on the board of several major corporations, including the Korea Exchange Bank.

The NTU is one of the two largest public universities in this city-state.

The NBS is ranked first in Singapore for its MBA programme by both the Economist and the Financial Times.

The school has 160 professors representing 20 nationalities.

Ravi Kumar’s appointment comes after a two-year global search by the university.

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