I heard this interesting story of how Indian School of Business or ISB came to established at Hyderabad. ISB is a world class management school. It has partnership with The Wharton School, The Kellogg School of Management and London Business School (LBS). It was conceptualized by few Indian professors from leading international business schools.
They initially intended setting up the school in Mumbai, Maharashtra. Bal Thackeray, the then chief minister of Maharashtra showed them a land, but refused to give them any other concessions. He wanted them to pay full stamp duty, which amounted to many million rupees. Just to put pressure on him, the founders decided to explore other states.
Their fist stop was at Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh. As soon as they landed, an air conditioned luxury bus came to pick them up. Few government officials were also there to welcome them and take them to the site earmarked for the college. It was a huge area just opposite to Infosys. The officials were well informed and able to give clear answers to all the questions put to them. They agreed to waive the stamp duty and also provide several concessions.
After the discussion, they said the Chief Minister, Chandrababu Naidu has requested a breakfast meeting with them. When they arrived at his house, he was waiting outside to welcome them. He said his wife had prepared a special meal for them and she personally served them their meal. After the breakfast he gave them a Power Point presentation about his state and why it should be their choice for the business school.
Their next stop was at Bangalore, Karnataka. As soon as they landed there were mobbed by a slew of reporters. The Chief Minister was unhappy because they were late. No land had yet been identified for their project.
Then they went to Chennai, Tamil Nadu. A group of government officials came running with garlands. They handed the garlands to them and said, please garland our chief minister with these. They were shown a land adjoining the Hyundai car factory. They did not wish to have the college next to a factory.
On their way back, they decided to go with Hyderabad although they had no intention of changing the venue before they embarked on the journey. ISB was built in record time with world class facilities. It boasts of international faculty and students.
In my view, Chandrababu Naidu, is the best chief minister this country has ever had. He transformed the most backward state of South India into an IT hub and a force to reckon, in just one decade of his reign. I have heard many stories about him, but this one was truly awesome. He is no longer the chief minister of Andhra Pradesh; he lost the previous elections. As they say, in a democracy, no good deed goes unpunished.
Note: I heard this story from someone associated with the college. I have no way of verifying these facts. If you find any errors, please let me know and I will make the corrections with due apologies.
Update: Karthik Agarwal from ISB has said that there are some factual errors in the story (please see the comments). I have mailed him and will update the story once I hear from him.
Update 5th Sep: Here is Karthik’s version of the story.