Professor N S Ramaswamy, Founder-Director of the Indian Institute of Management Bangalore (IIMB), passed away on Monday evening, September 17, 2012 at his residence in Bangalore. He was 86. He is survived by his wife Rajam Parvathi, his son Rajan Srinivasan, his daughter Rajani, three granddaughters and a grandson.
A condolence meeting was held at IIMB on September 18, 2012 to honour his memory and commemorate his immense contribution to IIMB. Director Professor Pankaj Chandra said, "Professor Ramaswamy was a visionary who led the Institute from inception and contributed to its glory and success. His concern for the society at large was touching. We will miss him forever."
Rich tributes have poured in from IIMB alumni across the world. Some comments:
It is sad news indeed for most of us who had closely interacted with him and know him as a true visionary. Even after his retirement from IIMB he continued to pursue his pet ideas and was active in promoting ethics in management concepts through his Institute he had founded and was active even when he had crossed the age of 80. May his soul rest in peace. - Srini PGP '76
We have just heard the sad news of the passing away of Prof N S Ramaswamy. We all know him as a great visionary and a man of many talents. It was his work in the beginning as the founder director of IIM Bangalore that led the Institute to reach the heights it has attained now. Another unique thing about him is every thing he did in his bright career had a humanitarian touch.
Most of the Alumni of older batches would fondly remember him as Bullock Cart Ramaswamy. His Bullock Cart was just one example to show he was a man with a mission to reach science and technology to rural and ordinary folks who are most often left out.
We deeply mourn his passing away and request you to convey our condolences on behalf of the Alumni, Hyderabad, to his family, friends and the Director and the staff of IIM Bangalore. - Srinagesh PGP '87
Professor Ramaswamy started his academic career at the Jamnalal Bajaj Institute of Management Studies, University of Mumbai, and went on to become Director of National Institute of Industrial Engineering (NITIE), Mumbai. In 1972 he was appointed the first Director of IIM Bangalore and was responsible for establishing the Institute. He held this position till July 1983, and retired in March 1986. He served on the IIMB Board of Governors from March 2006 till March 2011.
He started a non-profit Centre for Action, Research and Technology for Man, Animal and Nature (CARTMAN) in 1983 to promote application of appropriate technology and relevant management to the vast unorganized and rural sector. Known to be a crusader for the environment, he actively campaigned for animal rights. He also set up the Indian Heritage Academy which promoted Indian cultural traditions.
The Ministry of Human Resource Development, Government of India had appointed Professor Ramaswamy as national professor in recognition of his contribution in the field of management.
He was awarded the Padma Bhushan in 2006 for social service.
Professor N S Ramaswamy was born on March 2, 1926, in Thrissur, Kerala. His father, N R Srinivasa Iyer, IPS, was a renowned Police Officer, who retired as IG of Police of Kerala State in 1960.
Professor Ramaswamy obtained his BSc and BE degrees from Madras University. He underwent postgraduate education in Glasgow, Lehigh and Stanford Universities as well as short term training in several institutions in US and Europe. Throughout his education in India, he was actively involved in the student movement, social service and public affairs, where he held elected positions as Chairman, Secretary, such as, President of Students Association in Maharajas College at Kochi, Secretary of Students Association in the College of Engineering at Chennai, etc.
Acquiring land for the campus, obtaining power, water, phones, roads and other facilities, getting sanctions for a stone building, obtaining funds, getting the master plan approved and constructed, involved herculean efforts to overcome obstacles and opposition. There was then only one building on the Bannerghatta Road, which is now bustling with activity. Programmes and people are bound to change, and may be forgotten. But the elegant campus will stand as an achievement. Its unique beautiful stone buildings, pergolas, water tank and open spaces, embraced by plant life, will now continue unchanged, a glorious temple of learning. - N S Ramaswamy
From: Management Perspectives - Essays on Managerial Priorities and Management Education, edited by N Balasubramanian, in Commemoration of the Silver Jubilee of the Indian Institute of Management Bangalore (Published by Macmillan India 1999).