What Next? - Dr. Farrukh Iqbal, new Dean & Director, shares his vision for IBA


After an intensive extra/co-curricular and infrastructural revamp, what should we expect next at IBA? Dr. Farrukh Iqbal shares a few thoughts in his interview with the Alumni Affairs Team.

IBA has changed substantially over the last eight years. What are your aspirations for the next phase of development?

IBA has indeed undergone substantial transformation in recent years. In particular, it has experienced rapid growth in student enrollments, faculty hiring and the opening of new centers and programs. In line with the classical pattern of successful organizational development, IBA now needs to enter a period of consolidation. The initiatives that were launched in recent years need to be reviewed and adapted as necessary. For example, we need to see how the market is receiving the offerings of some of our new centers and programs and whether these need to be tweaked in any particular direction to better meet the needs and expectations of our clientele. We also need to integrate new courses and faculty into our programs in a way that best meets the needs of our students and better equips them for productive careers.

Among my priorities in the consolidation process will be the further strengthening of our faculty. I hope to see our faculty recognized inside and beyond the Institute for excellence in both research and teaching. The mission of the Institute can best be served by creating an environment where both scholarship and practice are given adequate weight.

In your opinion, what are the major challenges ahead to sustaining recent changes as well as the vision that you hold for IBA? How can they be best overcome?
I am too new in my job to have well-defined views on the challenges and opportunities facing IBA. So I propose to take advantage of the knowledge and experience of existing faculty, staff and alumni in this regard. By engaging in a process of listening and learning over the coming months, I hope to determine how best to build on the existing strengths of the Institute, how to convert areas of weakness into new areas of capability, and how to seize the available opportunities for improving teaching quality and student performance.

You possess a rich background in development economics and political economy issues. How do you plan on capitalizing on your past experiences in your current role as Dean & Director IBA?
In recent years, IBA has been transformed into a mini-university focused on business and public policy matters. The addition of departments of economics and social sciences in particular have broadened the scope and potential role of IBA. It is in this broader domain that I hope to use my own previous experience at the World Bank to shape IBAs future contributions in the public policy arena, in the design of curricula, and in outreach to the development community of Pakistan which includes government officials, NGOs, the media, the private sector, international donors and of course our own students.

As IBA focuses inward on its development plans, new institutions are vying to take IBA’s spot. How can IBA sustain its competitive edge in such times?
I feel that the reputation of an educational institution is ultimately determined by the jobs that are obtained by its graduates. In turn, this is determined by student quality as perceived by potential employers. To maintain or enhance our reputation we must pay attention to producing high quality graduates. Many inputs go towards creating student quality but the most critical one is good teaching. The quality of teaching experienced by our students is our responsibility and we must ensure that we continue to do well in this area. I plan to work with our faculty to find ways to attain this objective systematically and continuously.

IBA Alumni have played an instrumental role in resource mobilization efforts in the last few years. In what capacities can alumni continue to contribute to IBA's growth?
Alumni are important to high-performing educational institutions in several roles. For example, they contribute to resource mobilization efforts which sustain scholarship programs, faculty development programs and capital projects. They also play an important role in the placement of graduates. A well-functioning alumni network is probably among the cheapest and most useful investments we can make in our future. I look forward to involving alumni more effectively in our job placement and career development efforts.

Since many of our alumni are well-established in business careers, we should continue to benefit from their experience and knowledge by engaging them as visiting faculty and having them contribute ideas and content for business case studies.


The Alumni Community sent in messages congratulating the new Dean on his appointment and wished him all the best:

It gives me immense pleasure to hear about the induction of Mr. Farrukh Iqbal as Dean & Director IBA. My only request being a thorough professional executive in one of the well-esteemed financial organizations is to inculcate the culture of following time meticulously as it was in the period of Dr. Abdul Wahab – a golden period for IBA in terms of punctuality, meritocracy and discipline. I am highly blessed that I was the part of IBA graduating batch of that period. Two things that I learnt from IBA which gave me great success in my professional life: value time, and institutions are always supreme than individuals. Without IBA, I would not have been who I am today. Thanks to my IBA.
-Rana Shaheen (AVP/BM Askaribank Ltd.)

My best wishes to Dr. Farrukh Iqbal and all well-wishers of IBA Karachi.
-Prof. A. G. Saeed (Director ORIC, Dadabhoy Institute of Higher Education, Karachi)

Congratulations on appointment of Dr. Iqbal! We hope that Dr Iqbal will be an asset to IBA. - Syed Masroor Hasan

More than pleased to learn Ma Shaa ALLAH. - Faisal Khalid (Alumnus 2006)

We wish him all the best in his future. - FAZAL UL HAQUE

We give Dr Farrukh the best wishes. - Vinod Kumar