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Our Philosophy

To provide top-quality management education that prepares students to be ethically grounded, to be highly skilled in integrated reasoning and to be effective leaders of enterprises

“Top Quality Management Education”

At IFMR GSB, we place a premium on quality education. Our students are provided a vibrant intellectual foundation of theory, knowledge, skills and perspectives that is further enriched by our unique interwoven approach. It’s an intellectual environment that helps students learn how to learn, explore their curiosity through action-based learning, acquire a spirit of inquiry and hone their capacity for independent thought and beliefs.

“Ethically grounded”

We endeavor to not just inculcate critical, abstractive, analytical, quantitative and integrative habits of the mind, but ethical ones too. We believe that a strong ethical grounding is essential to navigate accelerating change and the increasing complexity of interdependence in business and society and to meet the competing demands of diverse stakeholders and thrive as professionals.

“Highly skilled in Integrated Reasoning”

We prepare our students in integrated reasoning so that they are the preferred choice of employers. Many go on to become successful leaders of enterprises— of existing ones and the ones they create. At IFMR GSB, we ensure our students gain a sense of stewardship—not just of enterprises, but also of the human, financial, material, and natural resources that must be sustained for posterity.

Our Approach


  • Extraordinarily high standards of ethics, rigour and meritocracy in academia
  • Commitment to fostering a culture and attitude of life-long learning


  • Co-created, co-taught courses
  • Group projects and a culture promoting collaborative problem-solving


  • Culture of innovation during the course of study and beyond, focused on problem-solving


  • Focus on practical approaches to managerial challenges
  • Fostering ability to translate ideas into action and ability to learn from experience for broader managerial application

History & Legacy

Since 1970, the institute has evolved itself from an institution for research and training in the areas of economics and finance to a full-fledged business school with a focus on interwoven learning. The journey of nearly 50 years has been steered by some of the best minds from academia and industry, creating immense value for the economy and society at large.

Phase I – Establishment of the Institute

1970 – Institute for Financial Management and Research (IFMR) is established in Chennai, as the first of its kind in Asia to provide research-based inputs to the industry and government in the areas of finance and economics. Set up as a not-for-profit society, IFMR’s initial promoters include Industrial Credit and Investment Corporation (ICICI), and a few South India based industrialists, like the House of Kotharis. Located at 24, Kothari Road, Nungambakkam in Chennai, the focus of the institute is on publications, Management Development Programmes (MDP) and research.

Dr. SLN Simha, an eminent development economist, is the first Director of the institute. Dr. Simha, being a prolific writer, helps in maintaining focus on research publications and MDPs. MDPs are primarily of short duration – for government officers, and corporate executives. Government of India also offers research projects to IFMR.

1970 to 1980

Phase II – Expansion of Scope

1980 – RM Honavar, former Chief Economic Advisor to Govt. of India, takes over as the Director. Coming from the government, he brings in several government research projects at IFMR. He also starts PhD programme at IFMR, in association with Madras University. Dr. N Chandrasekaran (who later becomes a faculty at IFMR GSB) is the first PhD scholar from IFMR.

1980 – Mr. N. Vaghul, Chairman of ICICI becomes the Chairman of the IFMR Board. He initiates funding from ICICI and strengthens MDPs. Mr. Vaghul also envisions starting a B-school of global standards in Chennai.

MDPs continue during this period, being the core activity of IFMR until the start of the B-school. As part of MDPs, officials from government departments (central govt and state govt), public sector enterprises, and Commonwealth Secretariat attend certificate course in finance, computer applications in finance, as well as specialized courses like country debt management etc. More than 1000 organizations are trained by IFMR during this period. The leadership team also anticipates that apart from short-term MDPs, there is a strong demand for a long-duration part-time courses in Finance.

A Two-year Part-time PGDM starts in Financial Management during this time. Dr. LV.LN Sharma from IIT Madras does the initial spadework. Consequently, Prof Honavar initiates planning for a full-time MBA program.

1990 – The Academy for Management Excellence (ACME) is established as a division of IFMR to promote a B school of global standards in Chennai, focusing on general business management education, with the idea of expanding beyond economics and finance, and into all areas of business and management. A committee is formed for funding with Mr. V Narayanan, ex-Chairman of Ponds, a multinational, and other well-known professors around the world.

1980 to 1990

Phase III – : Engagement with the Global Management Researchers and Educators

1990 – Dr. Ramaswamy P Aiyer, former Director of IIM Calcutta, becomes the Director of IFMR and ACME. He obtained AICTE recognition for the part-time program, and it is made a 3-year program.

IFMR initiates tie-up with University of Michigan, and Dr. CK Prahalad, the Paul and Ruth McCracken Distinguished University Professor of Corporate Strategy at University of Michigan’s Stephen M. Ross School of Business, is invited for collaboration.

Dr. Prahalad initiates CEOs’ Forum, in the year 1993, under the aegis of ACME - a one and a half day’s program with him, inviting CEOs like Mr. Anand Mahindra, Mr. Vaghul, Mr. MV Subbiah etc. CEOs of almost 45 companies from all over India participate in this program. This program runs for nearly 10 years, each year with different themes.

Pic: Management guru Dr C.K. Prahalad of the University of Michigan chatting with the Samtel group chief, Mr Satish Kaura, and Mr Adi Godrej, Chairman of the Godrej group, at the eighth CEOs' Forum held in Chennai (2001). Having focused on building Indian MNCs in the first few forums, the thrust of 2001's forum is on how to build global leadership. Dr. Prahalad says Indian companies are more imagination-constrained than resources-constrained, and stresses that top management must move the agenda forward to be globally competitive.

Along with the CEO’s forum, a two-week Global Program for Management Development is offered by a high-powered Michigan faculty team led by Dr. C.K. Prahalad, to the senior managers of Indian corporates, the key focus being building Indian Multinationals.

ACME also conducts a series of invitation lectures by bringing in some of the top-notch international management faculty, like Prof. Suresh Sundaresan from Columbia Business School etc.

During this period IFMR faculty gains significant experience and exposure by interacting with the University of Michigan faculty, through sessions facilitated by Dr. Prahalad

1995 – IFMR starts offering Executive MBA in collaboration with the Open University Business School (OUBS) of the UK, who has the expertise in blended learning. The program runs for nearly 9 years.

IFMR faculty gains significant exposure in blending learning methodology ideally suited for executive education, through its OUBS collaboration.

S. Ramachander takes over as Director in 1997, after the retirement of Dr. Ramaswamy P. Aiyer.

2000 – Full time MBA program is started at IFMR.

1990 to 2002

Phase IV – Transformation into a Full-fledged B-School with Research Focus in Quantitative Finance

2002 – Dr. Nachiket Mor, who was with ICICI, joins the IFMR Board on invitation from Mr. N. Vaghul. Dr. Mor’s vision is to position IFMR as a finance-focused research organization.

2003 – Mr. R. Kannan (ex-ICICI) becomes the Director of IFMR. He brings AICTE recognition for the MBA program.

Dr. Mor starts six research centres with funding from ICICI, pursuing research in areas like microfinance, developmental finance etc. IFMR LEAD is one of the major ones among these research centres.

A one-year program in Financial Management called PG Program in Advanced Finance is started. This is completely focused on mathematics-based finance, or in other words, labelled as financial engineering / quantitative finance. The first set of students are from IITs with strong mathematical background.

Centre for Advanced Financial Studies is established by Dr. Nachiket Mor.

Journal of Emerging Market Finance is started, and it is still running as a reputed journal.

Full-time PGDM program is scaled up to accommodate 120 students.

Dr. Mor’s focus on research divisions of IFMR helps in establishing foreign collaborations with reputed Economics and Finance professors and researchers like Abhijit Banerjee and Esther Duflo (MIT), Sendhil Mullainathan (Harvard), Suresh Sundaresan (Columbia), Raghu Sundaram (Stern School, NYU), Viral Acharya (RBI). Most of them are still associated with IFMR-Lead.

Subsequently, Mr. Krishnaswamy Rajeevan, IAS and Prof Bobby Srinivasan take Director’s position in later years.

Considering the space constraints in Chennai campus, Mr. Vaghul has expansion on his mind, and IFMR explores options for new premises.

2012 – Sri City in Andhra Pradesh is surveyed and is found to be a suitable location for expansion of the institute. A 40-acre land, in the industrial hub offers the right platform for expansion of IFMR.

2002 to 2012

Phase V – Relocation to Sri City, an Industrial Hub near Chennai

In April 2012, Mr. CV Krishnan (ex-Vedanta Group) becomes the President. He makes the Sri City project a reality, by completing it in a record time of one year, without borrowing any funds from external sources. The new residential campus provides world-class facilities, for academic activities, as well as sports and recreation activities.

AICTE approval is obtained for the full-time PGDM program in Sri City.

2014 – Dr. PK Biswas assumes Director’s position at Sri City campus.

2016 – The first batch graduates from Sri City campus.

Mr. CV Krishnan initiates university status for the institute with Govt. of Andhra Pradesh and private state university recognition is obtained.

Taking advantage of the new campus, student intake is increased to 240.

Besides Financial Engineering and PhD Programmes in different areas of management, new specializations in MBA, like Data Science, are brought in.

2012 to 2016

Phase VI – Evolution with Krea University as IFMR GSB

Mr. Vaghul looks to expand further, and the idea of a different university is initiated. The vision is about an institute of higher education that can reimagine learning, providing a platform of interwoven learning that blends thought with action, arts with sciences, and the learnings of the past with preparedness for the future.

2017 - Mr. R. Seshasayee, Mr. Kapil Viswanathan and Dr. Sunder Ramaswamy join the top leadership team to realize the vision as Krea University, with a mission to “help humanity prepare for an unpredictable world”. Mr. Vaghul joins the board of Krea University.

2017 – IFMR receives SAQS accreditation from Association of Management Development Institutions in South Asia (AMDISA).

Dr. Sunder Ramaswamy forms an external review board to review IFMR’s academic Programmes. The review board consists of Dr. V Anantha Nageswaran, Prof Rishikesha Krishnan, Director, IIM Indore, and Dr. Raghu Sundaram, Dean of Stern School of Business, NY University.

New core courses are introduced in IFMR’s management education curriculum to enhance students’ skills, abilities and perspectives, which included courses like Design Thinking and Ethics. Financial Engineering specialization is also remodelled as Quantitative Finance. Data Science specialization is enhanced with introduction of advanced content.

2018 – Dr. V Anantha Nageswaran becomes the Dean of the institute.

2018 – IFMR is integrated within Krea University as a graduate business school and rechristened as IFMR Graduate School of Business (GSB) at Krea University.

2019 – A new advisory board for IFMR GSB is constituted with visionaries from business and academic world. The Advisory Board consists of Dr. Ajit Ranade, Group Executive President and Chief Economist with the Aditya Birla Group, Dr. Chandru Rajam, Founder and CEO, RichFeedback, Dr. Indira J Parikh, President, Antardisha, Prof. Ravi Kumar, Emeritus Professor, Marshall School of Business, University of Southern California, Prof. Rishikesha Krishnan, Professor of Strategy, IIM, Bangalore; Former Director, IIM, Indore, Prof. V.G. Narayanan, Thomas D. Casserly, Jr. Professor of Business Administration Harvard Business School, and Prof. Rangarajan (Raghu) K. Sundaram, Dean, Stern School of Business, New York University.

2019 – The Class of 2019 receive their MBA degrees from Krea University.

2017 Onwards

IFMR GSB Advisory Board

Ajit Ranade
Dr. Ajit Ranade

Group Executive President and Chief Economist with the Aditya Birla Group


Dr. Chandru Rajam
Dr. Chandru Rajam

Founder and CEO, RichFeedback


Dr. Indira J Parikh
Dr. Indira J Parikh

President, Antardisha (Directions from Within)


Prof. Ravi Kumar
Prof. Ravi Kumar

Emeritus Professor, Marshall School of Business, University of Southern California, USA


Prof. Rishikesha Krishnan
Prof. Rishikesha Krishnan

Professor of Strategy, IIM, Bangalore; Former Director, IIM, Indore


Prof. V.G. Narayanan
Prof. V.G. Narayanan

Thomas D. Casserly, Jr. Professor of Business Administration Harvard Business School, Harvard University


Prof. Rangarajan (Raghu) K. Sundaram
Prof. Rangarajan (Raghu) K. Sundaram

Dean, Stern School of Business, New York University




Institute for Financial Management & Research (IFMR), Sri city, India has been accredited by SAQS (South Asian Quality Assurance System) for a period of five years from 14th December 2017. SAQS is an international system of strategic audit and accreditation designed for the assessment of Institution in widely different national contexts. It is a globally benchmarked system for Mentoring, Quality Improvement, Quality Assurance and Accreditation. SAQS accreditation is awarded by The Association of Management Development Institutions in South Asia (AMDISA), an international not-for-profit association, and is a “SAARC Recognized Body”.