ISB Updates

Business in Arts Programme

The Business in Arts Programme was established in 2003 at the School’s Hyderabad Campus as a prerogative of the Arts & Creativity (A&C) Club - a student driven club at the ISB. This novel initiative was driven by the purpose to inculcate in business school students an all-round understanding of the arts and nurture creativity beyond thought leadership.
Over the last decade the programme has been integrating the Indian and International Art Industry into the business school through a bouquet of events including interactions with established art practitioners through residence events and on-campus activities; thus creating enriched opportunities and experiences with this unique yet highly potent industry.
As the Business in Arts Programme celebrated its tenth anniversary this year, Shõan Shinde, President of the A&C club from the current PGP class of 2014 spoke to some of the finest artists and art lovers of the country who have been associated with the Business in Arts Programme over the years.
For the inception of this unique programme, ISB sought the expertise of noted names from the Indian art industry – Vickram Sethi, Founder of the Arts Trust that has been actively engaged in promoting Contemporary Indian Art, Harsh Goenka, Chairman, RPG Enterprises who has one of the most prominent collections of contemporary art in the country and embraces several genres and styles of art transcending several generations of artists from all regions; Saryu Doshi, Art historian, research scholar, editor and curator; Sangita Jindal who has been actively supporting art through various initiatives which include the restoration of the JJ School of Art and the archaeological ruins in Hampi and Vijayanagar; Pheroza Godrej, Founder of Cymroza Art Gallery, Mumbai.
The programme is a pet initiative to many individuals at the School including the Dean, Ajit Rangnekar.
“Increasingly, businesses have to look at all aspects of decisions, from societal to aesthetic, in addition to the material aspects. The Arts and Creativity Club, and the Business in Arts programme, are some ways in which we try to sensitise students to these aspects. It also gives our students an opportunity to express and share their creativity with others” says Rangnekar
As part of this programme, the students get to hear from an artist on how they conceive an idea, see them give shape to the unstructured thought and eventually transform a blank canvas or a piece of clay or piece of wood into a beautiful piece of art. These give the students a different perspective and help them think on creative lines. During one such event, renowned art critic and curator Nitin Bhayana engaged ISB’s bright minds with a lecture on aesthetics and the importance of art in one’s professional life. He says,
“Educating people, or rather exposing people to the arts and thus creativity has far-reaching effects both personally and in business. ISB's initiative is a commendable one and should be emulated by other institutions that could give their students something valuable beyond case studies and number crunching. It will help them develop as multifaceted leaders of tomorrow.”
Speaking about the initiative, Harsh Goenka, one of the founders of the programme said,
“Business leaders of the day need to access every resource in their armory; creativity and innovation are at the top of that heap. A programme that delves into art stimulates alternative thinking which births creativity. When creative minds drive business, the results can be startling.”   
One of the most important activities under the Business in Arts Programme is the Artist-in-Residence initiative wherein an artist resides on campus for a week and interacts with students urging them to think broadly about the nuances of art and creativity. The School has had the privilege of hosting some of India’s most esteemed figures from the Indian Art Industry such as Jitish Kallat, Karl Antao, M F Husain, Paresh Maity, Pheroza Godrej and Thota Tharrani.
"My clearest memory of my visit to the ISB several years ago was that of some very engaging conversation with the students of the institute. I was thrilled to see the kind of curiosity and interest they had in the arts and several of them had fascinating observations and questions following my talk. I recollect sharing a table with several of them over lunch and the dialogue continued. I was happy to see that they were not looking at education through the narrow viewfinder of a chosen discipline but were open to challenge their own thinking through exposure to other streams of thought."
- Artist Jitish Kallat in conversation with Shõan Shinde
Recently, this year’s A&C Club undertook two new activities – Industry Talk and Behind the Brush to further their pursuit in communicating a better understanding of the perplexities of an artwork and the field of art. These initiatives will help students gain insights into the nuances of artwork development and aesthetic comprehension which enable them to recognise and assess the opportunities provided by the nascent yet potent global art industry.
The significance of this Programme best resonates in the words of Savita Apte, Director – Art Dubai.
“Rather than focus on art as purely a short term investment, educated professionals would be better placed to invest in cultural capital; to both preserve and enhance the cultural landscape in the absence of institutional guidance. With the Business-in-Arts Programme, ISB is laying the best stepping stones in this direction.”