Ahmedabad: More than 1,100 alumni of the Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad (IIMA) have launched an online campaign to reconsider the institute’s decision to change its 60-year-old logo. This comes days after faculty members at the first institute objected to the move.
“The logo is an integral part of what the campus means to us. We are writing to ask the institute not to change its logo and to allow us, the alumni, the privilege of this rare constant in our lives. The IIMA brand and the ‘Tree of Life’ logo mean a lot to us,” said Sowjanya Bonda, who launched the online campaign.
At least 45 faculty members wrote to the institute’s board on March 8, questioning the decision to finalize the new logo without following due process. They questioned the removal of the Sanskrit motto “Vidya Viniyogadvikasa (development through the distribution or application of knowledge)”.
The institute said on April 1 that the proposed logo would retain both the former’s visual iconography and the motto. He did not say whether the procedure had been followed.
The old logo was adopted when the institute was established in 1961. It has the “tree of life” motif inspired by a carved stone latticework grille of the 16th century Sidi Saiyyed Mosque in Ahmedabad .
Alumnus Amitava Chattopadhyay, professor of the GlaxoSmithKline Chair in Business Innovation at INSEAD (France), said he wrote to the director of IIMA expressing his concerns. “But I haven’t heard of a good reason other than the fact that he [logo] is 60 years old. What is the strategic logic for getting rid of a well-known logo and getting a new one? Any equity accumulated in the old logo will be lost…” He said stakeholders should be informed before making decisions of such magnitude and why there is a need for change.
Chattopadhyay said the existing logo is light, airy, elegant and seems steeped in the history of Ahmedabad. He added that the proposed logo looked thick and heavy, vaguely resembling the previous logo.
HT emailed IIMA for comment but received no response.
Vikrant Ghai, an alumnus of Gurugam, said the logo change challenges “the basic principles of brand management taught to us by the institute itself.”
Amitabh Thakore, who was part of the second batch of IIMA, said removing Ahmedabad from the logo and replacing it with ‘A’ was not a good move given the number of IIMs.
According to the minutes of the 419th meeting of the Academic Council on March 4, a presentation was given to faculty members on the new logos, one without the Sanskrit line for global representation and one with it. for use at the national level. Most faculty members opposed the decision and said the Council was not consulted before the decision to change the logo design was made.
The logos appear to downplay the iconography of the ancient inspired by the iconic Sidi Saiyyed Mosque. The institute said on April 1 that the new logo would be unveiled in June and the Sanskrit line would be retained.
Former IIMA director Bakul Dholakia said the institute’s statement does not specify whether the council’s opinion will be obtained before finalizing the design of the new logo. “Or is the change already made and only the formality of the official announcement will take place in June.”