The Journey. From a Facilitator to an Institute of Excellence INDIAN INSTITUTE OF FOREIGN TRADE

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1 The Journey From a Facilitator to an Institute of Excellence INDIAN INSTITUTE OF FOREIGN TRADE 1

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3 Education is the true alchemy that can bring India its next golden age. Shri Pranab Mukherjee President of India INDIAN INSTITUTE OF FOREIGN TRADE

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5 An Eventful Journey of Five Decades AT the initiative of Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, Indian Institute of Foreign Trade (IIFT) was set up on 2nd of May 1963 as in Institution with a focus on foreign trade related research and training. Since inception, the Institute has evolved and undergone major transformations and has, over the years, broadened the scope and dimensions of its academic activity that now encompasses the full spectrum of international business. Today, the Institute, in its 50th year of existence, is widely recognized for its knowledge and resource base, its rich heritage and strong alumni network both in India and abroad. An organization like IIFT grows from within but only after taking the nourishment from its environment. The more numerous and difficult the challenges thrown up by the surrounding system, the greater has been the effort to come up to the level to meet the emerging tasks. The ever evolving character of the foreign trade sector continuously throws up new opportunities and challenges which the Institute in its own way attempts to face by re-delineating the contours of its activities. Today as IIFT celebrates its Golden Jubilee Function, let us revisit the history of the eventful transformation that the Institute has experienced over the past five decades from a foreign trade facilitator to a Centre of Excellence in trade and international business. 5

6 The Decade of Sixties: Development of Export Skills Shri H. D. Shourie Founder The establishment of IIFT in the early 1960s embodies recognition of the fact that in the conditions of intense competition prevailing in world markets, no successful and enduring export effort was possible unless backed by (i) adequate supply of trained personnel in the field of export management, (ii) employment of modern and advanced techniques of marketing, developed through systematic research which includes marketing research, area surveys, commodity studies, and research area on current problems of foreign trade, and (iii) dissemination of information about trade opportunities to the exporters in the country. As facilities in these fields were almost non-existent, the Board of Trade recommended to the Government of India that the Indian Institute of Foreign Trade should be established for providing them with data and analysis. This recommendation was accepted by the Government of India, and the Institute was registered as a Society under the Societies Registration Act on 2nd of May During initial phase of its journey, training had occupied the most important place among the various programmes and activities of the Institute, in recognition of necessity for developing a cadre of Junior Executives, who will in due course shoulder responsibilities as Export Managers of the enterprises and organizations in private and public sectors in the country. The first Training Programme for Senior Executives on Techniques of International Marketing was organized at New Delhi lasting four weeks from November 9 to December 5, Thirty-nine participants from Industry and Trade, Ministry of Commerce, Trade Commissioners Offices, Government Trading Corporations, State Governments, etc. attended this course. The syllabus of the Course covered a wide range of topics on India s Foreign Trade, the techniques and procedures of export marketing and the export effort in general. In the 3rd year of operation of IIFT on August 1, 1966, the first long-term training programme started with an impressive batch of 33 participants. The programme was titled Diploma Course in Foreign Trade and the duration of the programme was 10 months. This Programme was the first of its kind organized in India, and the participants were absorbed by companies like Godrej & Boyce Mfg. Co. Pvt. Ltd., Kamani Foundation, Kirloskar Oil Engines Ltd., Imperial Tobacco Co. of India Ltd., Escorts Ltd., etc. In the spectrum of IIFT s activities, research has always occupied a critical place since inception with an institutional emphasis on a strong and pervasive interface between research and training. During , 6

7 the Institute conceptualized a comprehensive programme of conducting research into problems of foreign trade. Works on various long-term and short-term research projects were initiated. These include: (a) India s Trade with East Europe An Assessment; (b) Analysis of Trade and Payments Agreements entered into by India; (c) Analysis of the Burden of Levies, Cesses and Imposts on the Cost of Production in the Export Sector, (d) Role of Joint Ventures in Export Promotion; short-term projects on Export Documentation and Export Incentives; etc. One very important research project undertaken by the Institute during was the Simplification of Export Procedures and Documents in the entire range of export transactions. This project was sponsored by United States Agency for International Development (USAID). A significant feature of this Project has been the role assumed by the Institute for follow-up action for securing implementation of the recommendations and suggestions emanating from the Study. The Institute s quarterly journal Foreign Trade Review (FTR) was first published in the year 1966 with the primary objective of providing adequate critical analysis and research based information relating to country s external sector. When the external sector was in its nascent stage, conceptualization of bringing out a journal like FTR exclusively addressing the issues of external sector was considered a significant initiative. In almost five decades of its existence, it has created a platform to address the challenges that the trade and industry and its external sector in general faced during 1960s till date through publication of articles by eminent experts and policy makers. In 1960s, IIFT emerged as an Institute with a focus on facilitating India s foreign trade performance through its two-pronged strategy: (a) training activities for building up a cadre of competent export management personnel in the country; and (b) initiation of research into various problems of foreign trade, including overseas marketing research. 7

8 The Decade of Seventies: Advisory Role and International Consultancy Prof. G.R. Kulkarni The decade began with the Institute launching its Consultancy Services in the areas of foreign trade in April 1972, signifying an important landmark in IIFT s activities. Since then, it has been undertaking assignments from Central and State Governments, export organizations and trade and industry associations. These assignments vary within a wide bouquet of projects in foreign trade, which includes among others, assessment of export opportunities in relation to specified products / services, export pricing, export procedures and documentation, export marketing logistics, product development and channels of distribution. The Consultancy Services in relation to products, countries and functional areas, extending from 6 to 10 months, were in the nature of comprehensive research projects necessitating total coverage of the problems. Research reports emanating from these assignments were intended for wider dissemination. Another significant trait in the Institute s intellectual excellence during the period was in the Case Research, which was initiated in 1968, but gained momentum during under the guidance of a UN Expert. A large number of cases covering the major marketing mix elements, including identification of export markets, export finance, export pricing, channels of distribution, appointment of agents and export advertising, were collected from different export organizations. Shri P. R. Kapur Dr. D. N. Saxena The decade of 1970s witnessed two successive oil-price shocks during and In line with concerns on India s energy security, IIFT conducted a series of research projects in the related domain during the same period, viz. (a) Market Strategy in Relation to Iran, Saudi Arabia, Libya and Algeria ( ); (b) Prospects of India s Economic Cooperation and Trade Expansion with Nigeria (April, 1977); (c) Market Opportunities for Selected Engineering Goods in Petroleum Exporting Countries of Saudi Arabia, Libya, Algeria and Iran (October, 1977); (d) Impact of Oil Price Hike on India s Terms of Trade and Balance of Payments ( ) etc. Over the decade, the Institute also gained competence to provide services of training from its platform to other developing countries of Asia, Africa and Latin America as well. The opportunities are being utilized under the programmes of WTO, UNDP and Commonwealth, and under bilateral agreements. For example, to create enlightened public opinion on development issues identified for discussion at the Fifth UNCTAD held in Manila in May-June 1979, the Institute at the instance of UNCTAD Secretariat 8

9 Shri T. Balakrishnan Shri P. H. Trivedi Shri C. Venkataraman organized a 2-day National Seminar on New International Economic Order and UNCTAD-V on November 27 and 28, 1978 at Vigyan Bhawan, New Delhi. As a prelude to UNCTAD-V, another 10-day Regional Seminar on Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) was organized by the Institute during April 2-12, 1979 in collaboration with the UNCTAD/UNDP GSP Project, Geneva and the Ministry of Commerce, Civil Supplies and Cooperation, Government of India, New Delhi. 28 participants from different Asian countries participated in the deliberations. This decade saw widespread acknowledgement of IIFT s expertise in International Trade and marked its entry in the fields of consultancy and case research. It can be looked upon as an era of increasing momentum in IIFT s growth trajectory. In 1970s, IIFT continued to excel in its advisory role as a foreign trade facilitator for the country. The twin pillars on which the entire edifice of the Institute s activities was structured continued to be (i) training, and (ii) research, including market survey. 9

10 The Decade of Eighties: Growing Beyond Training and Consultancy into an Academic Institution Shri P. H. Trivedi Ms. Roma Majumdar Shri V. P. Rama Rao Shri Anand Swarup Recognizing the dynamic aspects of international business management and ever-growing complexities of the functions of international business executives, the Institute felt the need to grow beyond the trade domain. Looking at the changes in global economy, it was decided to train the young professionals in the area of International Business. Thus started the two-year Masters Programme in International Business in A healthy exchange of ideas and opinions provided IIFTians with a unique world outlook and esprit-de-corps that transcends all cultural boundaries. Later, when IIFT became a Deemed University, the title of the Programme was changed to MBA in International Business MBA (IB). Today MBA (IB) offered at Delhi, Kolkata and Institute of Finance Management (IFM), Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania, is the flagship programme of IIFT where keen competition for enrolment is witnessed, year after year. The growing interest in MBA (IB) is understandable in the context of widening of markets and governance challenges around the world and consequently the growing complexities of International Business. In line with the country s cooperative endeavour, which developed into an institutional framework of cooperation in South Asia, the Institute was appointed as a Consultant by IDRC, Canada for a study on Trade Channels Systems and Procedures (A Synthesis Study of India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal and Maldives) during The Study provided an in-depth analysis on the similarity as well as differing aspects of import channels and mechanism in the South Asian countries and was considered as an essential prelude to the subsequent formation of SAARC in December Recognizing the growing importance of the service sector to India s GDP, for the first time in the country a Study on Trade in Services was taken up by the Institute in , at the instance of the Ministry of Commerce. Attempts were made in the Study to evolve a comprehensive definition of services and data, mapping international trade in services with statistical profile of the service sector with particular reference to developing countries, including India, was compiled. The Report received wide coverage and appreciation from economic dailies and follow-up action with regard to detailed study of various service sectors was subsequently undertaken. In the Silver-Jubilee year of the Institute, IIFT organized a one-day National Seminar on Indian Service Economy in the 21st Century and International Trade in Services. The Seminar held at the instance of the Ministry of Commerce, 10

11 Government of India, provided a curtain raiser for thorough preparations for the multilateral trade negotiations under the Uruguay Round of Multilateral Trade Negotiations under GATT. Shri S. K. Modwel On an assignment from the Apparel Export Promotion Council, the Institute undertook a desk-based study on Export Prospects for Readymade Garments Implications of the Multi Fibre Agreement (MFA) in The major objectives of the study included an in-depth examination of the important developments in the Indian export garment industry during the last decade since inception of MFA in 1974, and an analysis of export prospects in the framework of varying alternatives. The Study opined that India can safely press for a switch-over to the GATT system, when it has sufficiently enlarged and strengthened its supply base and technological capabilities to withstand the rigours of open competition. The Report provided a time-schedule for India s eventual liberalization in the international policies towards textiles and clothing. Thus the decade of eighties recorded notable contributions by IIFT in consultancy related to international trade further strengthening its position as a leading Institute in this area. This was the era of IIFT scaling greater heights. Dr. S. S. Saxena In 1980s, IIFT felt the need to grow beyond the trade domain. The decade marked IIFT s emergence as an academic Institute imparting quality training in ever-growing, but challenging complexities of international business management education to young professionals. 11

12 The Decade of Nineties: Towards Academic Excellence Shri A. Hoda In 1991, India found herself amidst the worst Balance of Payments (BoP) crisis which was coupled with high inflation and low growth. This forced policy makers to rethink India s development strategy and as a consequence, India launched an ambitious reform programme in early nineties. As India started opening up to the world economy and the process of globalization began, IIFT became the first Institute in India to reach out to various participants who were not located in and around Delhi. In 1993, IIFT started the first batch of Executive Masters in International Trade (EMIT). The participants were expected to visit the campus only for two days, in a fortnight. It was a one-year long programme and the participants from as far places as Kolkata, Salem, Mumbai, Jammu were attending the programme. In 2001, the duration of the programme was expanded to 18 months and the title of the programme was changed to Executive Masters in International Business (EMIB). The same programme continuing with similar zeal and vigour is known as Executive Post Graduate Diploma in International Business (EPGDIB). Shri D. K. Chatterjee Against the background of the economic reforms package of 1991, the Institute, during , conducted two important studies on attracting foreign capital flows into the country. These are: Policy for Enhancing the Share of FDI in Total Capital Flows (sponsored by the Ministry of Commerce, Government of India) and Policy Impediments to Trade and FDI in India (sponsored by USAID). Both the studies opined that further steps need to be taken for systemic improvements, greater transparency in the policy, simplification of procedures, reforms in labour laws and judicial process, etc., towards promoting India as an attractive investment destination. These Studies provided strong foundation for subsequent bolder moves towards liberalization aimed at integrating the Indian economy with the world. Dr. Y Venugopal Reddy The establishment of World Trade Organization (WTO) as an organization that intends to supervise and liberalize international trade, on January 1, 1995 under the Marrakesh Agreement, replacing the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT), which commenced in 1948, was a landmark event in the area of global trade and investment. IIFT undertook initiatives in undertaking research projects during this period in GATT and WTO-related domain and conduct of seminars and symposiums, viz., GATT Agreement and Emerging World Rice Scenario (22 June, 1994), General Agreement on Trade in Services and India (4 August 1994), The Impact of Uruguay Round on Agro-Exports (11 August 12

13 1994), WTO Agreement on Agriculture vis-à-vis Global Food Security (16 August 1996), etc. A book entitled Trade in Services: The Uruguay Round and After was released by the then Commerce Minister Shri Pranab Mukherjee in August This book continues to be a precious starting point on understanding the nuances of trade in services, even today. Shri Ashok Kumar As India started its journey towards liberalization and its interlinkage with the rest of the world strengthened, the Institute successfully established its strong relationship with regional as well as international organizations in terms of research, training and collaborative projects. The Institute s expertise was utilized by the ITC, ESCAP, UNIDO, UNCTAD, GATT etc. for organizing seminars, training programmes, export management development programmes and market orientation tours, etc. The decade also saw IIFT s intellectual inputs being considered for selection as a Regional Training Centre for International Business Training under ESCAP. The nineties can be looked upon as an era of expansion when IIFT spread its wings in the arena of globalization. Shri Ashok Pradhan Dr. P. L. Sanjeev Reddy In the 1990s, IIFT continued to excel in the domain of international business management education recognition as the first B-School in the country offering specialized courses in International Business. At the same time, the Institute emerged as the country s premier Think-Tank in GATT and WTO-related domain. 13

14 The Decade of 2000: Emergence of A Globally Networked Institution Shri K. Dharmarajan Shri Vinay Bansal The decade marked IIFT s transformation from a mere foreign trade facilitator to a globally networked institution in international trade and business. IIFT expanded its activities outside India and set up an off-shore Campus at Dubai in January The Off-Shore Programme Executive Diploma in International Business conducted in collaboration with Al-Ghurair Academy, Dubai with 24 successful participants, was the first of its kind in the country. Following the success of the off-shore Campus at Dubai, the Institute continued to expand its territories outside India and signed an MOU with the Institute of Finance Management (IFM), Tanzania in 2001, for providing support to IFM for one-year and two-year programmes in international business management at Dar-es-Salaam. The Institute s successful association with IFM Tanzania continues even today with a large number of executive participants benefiting from such academic collaboration. In line with further economic reforms and India s greater integration with the rest of the world both in terms of trade and investment, IIFT, as a world class academic institute, took major strides in reaching out and forming network with the best institutes in the world. It was felt necessary to network with leading global business schools, as international collaboration and capacity development were identified as strategic areas for the growth of the Institute and become an institute of global recognition. In December 2006, the International Collaborations and Capacity Development (ICCD) division was set up. The Division remained actively engaged in enhancing and promoting the skills, knowledge and innovation of faculty as they rigorously participated in the training programmes conducted by developed countries, such as the US, Germany and France in their respective places. Their significant participation in conferences and seminars also helped widen the knowledge base and skills of the faculty. Faculty s resource base capacity and training were adequately used in the training programmes of various emerging economies and least developed countries. Training officials and academicians of the SAARC countries at the Institute also helped the Institute to grow as a knowledge centre in South Asia, South East Asia and African region. IIFT was able to network with more than 30 leading business schools and universities in the world, besides major capacity building initiatives in Africa, Mekong Sub-region and SAARC countries. The research activity at the Institute was intensified with the setting of specialized centres focusing on specific core areas. The Centre for International Trade in Technology (CITT) was set up in 14

15 2001 with financial and technical support from the DSIR, Government of India, with the primary objective of supporting the Government to the importance of India s potential in technology trade and addressing the complexities involved. The Centre for WTO Studies was established in IIFT in 2002 to provide research, analytical and informational support pertaining to the WTO to the Department of Commerce, Government of India on a continuous basis. Since its inception the Centre has taken up research projects in areas pertaining to Intellectual Property Rights, Services, Agriculture and Industryspecific implications of WTO Agreements. As the MSME sector is being increasingly recognized as the backbone of Indian Industry in the era of Globalization, the Centre for MSME Studies was started in May 2005 at the Institute with a view to initiating, supporting and promoting internationalization of the Indian Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs). At the international level, the Centre for MSME Studies has established a wide network in Greater Mekong Sub Region (GMS) including Lao PDR, Cambodia, Vietnam, Thailand and China in collaboration with institutes and organizations including Mekong Institute and International Institute for Trade and Development (Thailand), SMEPDO (Lao PDR), Vietnam Chambers of Commerce and Industry & Young Business Associations (Vietnam) etc. The Centre has signed an MOU with Mekong Institute, Thailand to facilitate towards its initiatives on enhancing trade competitiveness within GMS region. The Centre in collaboration with CBI Netherlands (Centre for the Promotion of Imports from Developing Countries) has been conducting training programmes for SMEs on certain core areas like Export management; Market knowledge; Product and production improvement etc. 15

16 Shri Prabir Sengupta Director Dr. Vijaya Katti Director Shri K.T. Chacko Director A major achievement in IIFT s cross-border activities in the current millennium activities is reflected in collaborative training programmes with the African Government. In 2011 alone, the Institute conducted 3 Executive Development Programmes on International Business in Burkina Faso (in collaboration with Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Promotion of Private Initiative and Handicrafts), Sudan (in collaboration with Development Studies and Research Institute, University of Khartoum) and Mauritius (in collaboration with Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Regional Integration and International Trade, Government of Mauritius). The past decade witnessed a plethora of proposals by India in terms of Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) and Regional Trade Agreements (RTAs) which are significant to diversify and expand its markets for exports and thus fulfilling multilateral trade liberalization objective. IIFT as an academic Centre for Excellence in international trade and business was at the forefront in formulating policy prescriptions for negotiating such bilateral and multilateral preferential trade agreements. In this context, some of the widely appreciated research projects undertaken by the Institute in recent times include (a) India- Canada Free Trade Agreement: Challenges & Opportunities (2009); (b) Feasibility of Entering into Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with Iran (2010); (c) Comprehensive Economic Cooperation between India and Israel: Negotiating Stands for India in Goods Sector (2010); and (d) Assessing the Implications of Existing Free Trade Liberalization Agreements, and Providing Assistance for Negotiations on FTAs (2012). A momentous development in IIFT s academic credentials was realized in 2002, with the grant of Deemed University status by the Ministry of Human Resource Development enabling the Institute to award degrees, start its own doctoral programme and also get higher acceptability and recognition in the internationally competitive academic milieu. To take the advantage of growth in Information and Communication Technology since the late nineties in the country, a decade ago (in 2003) IIFT introduced a dual mode programme combining conventional class room interactions and VSAT based programme delivery. Initially, this programme was available in 25 cities through the technology partner Hughes Communication and currently the reach is in more than 30 cities. Similarly, a large number of Certificate and Diploma programmes were introduced through the online mode. 16

17 With the progress of globalization, a large part of trade and financial transactions now involve cross border flows. A major issue that most emerging market countries thrive to address is how to cope with the world of greater capital mobility. The difficult choice faced by these countries in terms of a trilemma or impossible trinity calls for continued deliberations among academicians, researchers and policymakers towards understanding the intricacies of these flows for trade and financial transactions and its benefit for organizations as well as countries. To facilitate such deliberations, IIFT started its flagship bi-annual Conference on Empirical Issues in International Trade and Finance (EIITF) in 2008 at IIFT, Kolkata campus and is conducted alternatively in Delhi and Kolkata since then. The Millennium marked the commencement of an era of consolidation along with the charting of newer trajectories for the future for IIFT. This decade is witnessing value addition by the Institute in newer areas, enhancement of research activities and focus on innovative approaches to the creation and dissemination of knowledge, earning accolades from industry, policy makers and the wider academic community. The Institute scaled even greater heights, being ranked 21st by the QS Global 200 Business Schools Report in the Asia-Pacific region for In the decade of 2000 and beyond, IIFT emerged from a mere foreign trade facilitator to a globally networked Institution in international trade and business. The portfolio of Research expanded from market surveys/export potential studies to policy research so as to facilitate the Government in preparing country positions and effectively present the country s needs and aspirations in global forum. 17

18 The Journey Onwards: Towards A Knowledge Centre Dr. Surajit Mitra Director From In the fast changing economic environment, both domestic and international, businesses are exposed to ever evolving risks scenario and therefore are likely to reinforce the importance of good risk management practices. It has become imperative for businesses to track the economic environment on an ongoing basis when changes come in such dynamic fashion; when perceptions, where macroeconomic risks lie, are so numerous and so often changing; when the immediate business environment becomes so closely linked with events that are largely beyond our immediate control. In its journey of 50 years, IIFT has achieved a niche in the domain of International Business by blending business knowledge with creative research, pioneering executive development programmes, international linkages and industry interventions and by successfully integrating them into its curricular corpus. The challenge toady is to inspire and empower the catalysts of growth in international business through knowledge and strategy. The vision is to build up a Knowledge Centre. 18

19 Cover Cluster Flowers in Nature comprise many small blooms that stem from the same base and grow out in different directions, eventually dispersing to far off lands. This is a visual metaphor for International Trade, as well as the creation & dispersion of ideas, knowledge, technology, products & services around the globe. A delicate balance of firm grounding and positive growth, these flowers symbolise inter-dependence, teamwork and holistic learning.

20 INDIAN INSTITUTE OF FOREIGN TRADE B-21, Qutab Institutional Area, New Delhi J-1/14, EP&GP Block, Sector-V, Salt Lake, Kolkata Website: 20

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