05th July 2022, Hyderabad: Celebrating the life of Padma Shri Dr Bala V. Balachandran, founder, chairman of the Board and Dean Emeritus of Great Lakes Institute of Management in Chennai, a memorial was announced to come up on campus in his honour.
The announcement was made on Founder’s Day at Great Lakes Institute today by late Dr Bala’s son, Professor Sudhakar Balachandran, Director of MBA Graduate Studies & Associate Professor of Accounting at the University of Illinois, Chicago in the presence of Shri Vasantha Balachandran, wife of Dr Bala, Dr. Suresh Ramanathan, Dean, Great Lakes Institute of Management, Chennai, Gautam Lakhamraju, Chief Operating Officer, Great Lakes Institute of Management along with the teaching faculty, and staff. To commemorate the occasion, a video on his inspirational life journey was released and saplings were planted.
Dr. Sudhakar said, “The site could become a place of reflection for a lot of people. The values that Dr Bala live by will be epitomized at the memorial.” He also recalled a statement by Dr Bala. “My father always said, have a vision and the confidence to execute it.”
Talking about his association with Dr Bala, Mohan Lakhamraju, Founder and CEO, Great Learning, Chairman of Great Lakes Institute of Management recalled, “I started out as a business partner for him 11 years ago. But our relationship evolved over the years and he gradually became my mentor, guide and eventually a family member. He always had sheer positivity, passion and optimism.”
Dr Suresh Ramanathan, Dean of Great Lakes Institute of Management said, “I had met Dr Bala three years ago. He had promised me his complete support and true to his word he mentored and lead me on the journey. People like him are very rare- especially the way he empathises and immerses in your life. Dr Bala’s dream will always be alive and always be strong.”
Professor Bala V. Balachandran, was born on 5 July 1937 and passed on 28 September 2021 in Chicago after a brief illness. A J L Kellogg Distinguished Professor of Accounting & Information Management (emeritus in service), Northwestern University, served in the Indian Army briefly before departing to the US to pursue his Doctoral studies. From there began an illustrious career as Professor, Consultant, Mentor, Author, Entrepreneur, Life Coach and so much more. In 2004, he set up the Great Lakes Institute of Management which today has another campus at Gurgaon and is one of the best b-schools in the country. He received the 4th highest civilian award – the Padma Shri in 2001 for his contribution to education.
His memorial site is conceived as a partially closed and open structure, and it is expected to come up near the resource centre which is a tranquil area on the Great Lakes campus. His entire life journey, right from his humble origins to how he built Great Lakes Institute of Management and his contributions to the country and Business management education will be placed in an aesthetic way so that students, staff, faculty and corporate and other visitors can derive inspiration from it.
The video released today concisely encapsulate all of Professor Bala’s professional achievements right from his life as a student, to his stint in the army, as an established researcher and teacher in US, his return to India, and the setting up of the Great Lakes Institute of Management.
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