Dean Dipak Jain Has Plans For INSEAD

After wrapping up an eight-year term as dean of Kellogg School of Management, Dipak Jain decided to postpone his quiet return to academic life and accept the deanship of INSEAD, Bloomberg Businessweek’s No.1 ranked international school.

Jain will officially take over for Dean J. Frank Brown in March 2011. In this Bloomberg Businessweek interview, Alison Damast learns what lured Jain to accept the position, as well as Jain’s plans for INSEAD to expand its presence in Asia and the Middle East.

Here, edited excerpts from their conversation…

It sounds like becoming dean of another business school wasn’t what you had originally planned when you left the position at Kellogg last September. What was it about INSEAD that changed your mind?

I took the job because I liked INSEAD’s emphasis on diversity, its commitment to research, and its global model in terms of how it is trying to be a business school for the world.

INSEAD is the only school in the world that has shown you can create another campus in addition to your own campus with equal vitality and energy.

How did your eight years as the dean of Kellogg prepare you to take on this new role?

The INSEAD program is a one-year program, and Kellogg is the only business school in the U.S. among the top schools that also offers a one-year program. It was important that I had some experience running a one-year program, because you need to believe in the product.

I thought the passion I had for Kellogg and what INSEAD is aspiring to be are synchronized.

INSEAD recently celebrated the 10th anniversary of its Singapore campus. How do you see the campus evolving over the next decade to meet the demands of Asian executives?

Our first task will be to build and expand the Singapore campus, which we will use to increase our footprint in Asia. 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.

What we do want is certain locations where we can practice enough in the region to draw on talent. We’re going to invest more in the Singapore campus and use this as a way of creating links with greater China.

Why did INSEAD launch an Executive MBA program this fall in Abu Dabhi, and what is the school’s vision for the Middle East?

We started this program because we believe there are executives in the region who have not had management education when they graduated.

We already have something there, but…we need to get a better understanding of the product we offer in the region. It could eventually become a big campus.

Are there any plans for INSEAD to develop programs or a campus in the U.S.?

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. But we are taking this one step at a time. First, we’ll build the Singapore campus, and then we’ll see what we want to do in this region.

For more of Damast’s interview with Dipak Jain, read the original article here.

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