Dr Ishrat and IBA – a tale of excellence


KARACHI – The Institute of Business Administration (IBA) is all set to clinch fresh academic milestones under the able administration of economic stalwart Dr Ishrat Husain, former governor of the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP).
Husain, the present Dean and Director of the IBA, is fully committed to and proceeding remarkably with a comprehensive five-year development plan aimed at the modernisation of years-old infrastructure and curriculum of the leaders-producing institute.
“We are renovating the old infrastructure as well as modernising the curriculum through using technological instruments like laptops, microphones, video conferencing and lots of other state-of-the-art facilities to bring the leaders and ideas-producing institute at par with its national and international competitors,” the accomplished economist told Pakistan Today in an exclusive interview at the IBA.
Elaborating on his four-pillar development strategy for the institute, Husain said that renovation of the years-old infrastructure of the IBA was the first pillar he was dealing with. So far, he said, the academic block and boys’ hostel have been renovated. The auditorium, which was in a dilapidated condition for the last five years, was modernised and a modern sound system was installed there.
“A new 14-storey building is also under construction at the institute that would have faculty rooms, student lounges, etc,” he said. The IBA director said that the uplift work was the need of the hour in view of the robust expansion the institute has witnessed over the last few years. “The number of students has increased from 200 to 2,000. Similarly, the faculty staff stands at 150 today against the past 20.”
The IBA dean foresees the completion of at least 30 new and renovated structures of landscaping, sports grounds, etc within the next three years for extra- and co-curricular activities of the students. E-learning or the usage of technology happens to be the second development pillar Husain is focusing on. To achieve this goal, he said, the IBA faculty was contacting the best universities across the globe through various social networking sites.
“For this purpose, we have acquired some 300 to 400 new data centres or servers that would enable the students to get them registered at the IBA and pay their fee from home,” the dean said. The third development pillar, according to Husain, was to modernise IBA’s curriculum to the extent that its students could, in terms of education, come at par with their competitors from the developed nations of the world.
“An international advisory panel overseas our programmes and suggests changes in the curriculum,” he said, adding that some recent changes had been made in “neat and blind” admission policy of the IBA. “We have now made it mandatory for the MBA applicants to have at least two years’ experience before they get admission,” he said.
This, the accomplished banker believes, would help the students go through the mill before mastering the business course. “Experiential learning is something we are focusing on now.” Husain said that his administration was also considering changes in the BBA curriculum on the recommendation of its advisory panel. “After the changes, BBA – and not MBA – would be the terminal degree at the institute,” the director said.
The fourth pillar of his development strategy, Husain said, was the creation of means to save the local industry and community through reaching out to the talented have-nots living in the remote rural areas of the country. Any student who passes the IBA exam but does not possess financial resources is given stipends and scholarships to continue their studies at the otherwise costly institute.
“This is done through our National Talent Hunt Programme throughout the country, particularly in the impoverished Sindh,” he said. Husain said that at present, some 300 deserving but talented students were studying at the institute free of charge. He said that talented students were brought to the institute on a two-month visit and were accommodated at the hotel.
“We tutor them, grow them so that they could pass our exam. We get the details of students holding ‘A’ and ‘A-1’ grades from the education boards and then contact them,” the director said. According to the former SBP governor, the five-year plan, two years of work of which have been completed, would cost the mainly self-reliant administration of the IBA at least Rs 4.6 billion, around Rs 1.8 billion of which was arranged by the IBA through vigorous fund-raising from the private institutional and individual philanthropists.
When asked how helpful the government was in terms of financing, the IBA dean said that Islamabad was bearing a fraction of the institute’s development and regular expenditures. “If I were not aware of the government’s financial health, I would have demanded it for more funds,” the former SBP governor said. Husain told Pakistan Today that the fund-raising campaign was halted after devastating floods in the country in a bid to divert more and more donations to the affected areas.
“I had suspended the fund mobilisation campaign for almost six to seven months and had asked our donors to give money to the flood affectees. Now we have resumed the campaign,” he said. Husain reiterated his commitment and zeal to the empowerment and equipment of his students with an unmatched self-confidence and leadership. He was appointed the SBP governor in December 1999.
During the next six years, he implemented a major programme of restructuring the central bank and steered the reforms of the banking sector, which are now recognised by the World Bank and International Monetary Fund to be among the best in developing countries. As a member of the economic management team of the government, he played a key role in the impressive economic turnaround of Pakistan.
In recognition of his meritorious services, he was conferred the prestigious award of ‘Hilal-e-Imtiaz’ by the President of Pakistan in 2003. In May 2006, he served the country as the chairman of the National Commission with the status of a federal minister and held that position for two years, reporting directly to the President and the Prime Minister of Pakistan.
In March 2008, the Boston-educated Husain took over the charge of the office of the Dean and Director at the IBA, Karachi – the oldest graduate business school in Asia.


  1. Good thoughts, but it will take time, in this country if wants to change something. need to change security system and government should give education as well to poor born because if the will be educated, in my opinion they will not steal cars, electricity, gas and etc..
    there is not one thing i can mention, thousands of things which is going totally wrong. Furthermore, uneducated person always think that i want just electricity, but he doesn't care, how its generate, and people also think that get every things now, it will not be available tomorrow. its small thinking, if its available today it will be available tomorrow.
    if you will educated so you will think that if i will steal the electricity, what will my family think, if family think same think, so then what my neighbors are thinking about my reputation, people just think

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