Dipak Jain Discusses His Plans for INSEAD

Dipak Jain

New INSEAD Dean Dipak Jain

In an interview published by Bloomberg Businessweek yesterday, incoming INSEAD Dean Dipak Jain described his motivations for taking the leadership help at the top-ranked school, and shared some of his plans for INSEAD’s expansion over the next few years.

Jain, who served as dean of the Kellogg School of Management for eight years before stepping down in 2009, says he wasn’t looking to assume a leadership position at another school, but INSEAD insisted on interviewing him for the job. Attracted to Jain for his experience in running Kellogg’s one-year MBA program (which is the only type of MBA that INSEAD offers) and his experience in international management training, the school formally introduced Jain to the the INSEAD community earlier this month.

In the interview, Jain put a great deal of emphasis on INSEAD’s plans for expanding its Singapore campus. The school has done an admirable job of building up its Singapore campus, which it opened ten years ago, but one gets the sense from the interview that no one at INSEAD — including Jain — feels that its work is done here. About the Singapore push, Jain said:

We plan to have more space for faculty offices, classrooms, and student activities. We also want to create space for executive education programs for senior managers. We run advanced management programs three times a year on our Fountainebleau campus, and we would like to have the fourth offering in Singapore once we build the new addition. We’re going to have to launch a capital campaign to raise the funds for this. We are getting support from agencies in Singapore, but we’ll also be trying to put together some other sort of fundraising initiative.

Jain also talked about the school’s new Abu Dhabi executive training center, saying there is an “acute need for managerial talent” in the Middle East. While the Abu Dhabi center only offers executive training right now, Jain hinted that an expansion could be coming, once INSEAD gets “a better understanding of the product we offer in the region.” When the subject of a possible U.S. campus came up, Jain said, “We cannot be a business school of the world if we don’t have a footprint in the U.S., so we are looking for ways to enter the American market.” These plans, however, sound like they have not yet begun to take shape.

Finally, regarding INSEAD’s expansion plans and its commitment to being a global program, Jain made this interesting comment: “We will not set up campuses in China and India, because to be global we don’t need to have campuses all over the world.” We think that’s an important point. While many schools are racing to set up shop in thee countries, INSEAD is already the most global MBA program in the world, and realizes that it doesn’t need a campus in these nations countries just for show. INSEAD knows that its Singapore campus still has a great deal of potential, and is rightly putting its focus there to build its presence in Asia.

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