Wednesday, 9 October 2013


Dr. Mrityunjay Athreya
Email: Tel: +91-11-26277865, 2627 2154

1.      Management Icon

Dr. Mrityunjay Athreya has been a founder and pioneer in Indian management education.  He joined the faculty of the Indian Institute of Management, Kolkata, as early as 1967.  The IIM-Kolkata along with IIM-Ahmedabad was one of the two first Institutes of Management set up by the Government of India, in 1962. 

Dr. Athreya was one of the outstanding members of the IIM faculty, much sought after by Public and Private enterprises as a Trainer and Consultant.  Since 1967, over the last more than four decades, he has advised enterprises in several sectors, such as Oil & Gas; Power; Fertilizers; Steel; Automobiles; Banking; Insurance; IT; Health etc.  By the decade of the 1980’s, his name became synonymous with management in India.  He has been an icon of Management to several generations of Indian Managers; Management Teachers; Trainers; Consultants; and students.

2.      Management Mission

Dr. Athreya chose Management as his life mission, early in his academic career.  He returned from the US, in 1967, with a Doctorate in Business Administration from the world leader, the Harvard Business School, Boston, Massachusetts, USA.  Before Harvard, Dr. Athreya also studied at the Stanford Business School, California, USA.  Thus he had the benefit of the two best Management schools in the US.  He brought this intellectual capital immediately to India.  He was not for a moment tempted to stay on for a lucrative career, in the US.  He was very clear that his karma bhoomi was Bharat.  Before proceeding to the US, with full scholarship aid, Dr. Athreya had acquired a first degree in Statistics from Loyola College, University of Madras, Chennai.  He is also a qualified Cost Accountant, with all India First Rank and Gold Medals in both the Intermediate and Final Examinations of the Institute of Cost Accountants.

3.      Government Committees

Dr. Athreya has served on many Government policy Committees.  The best known is the 1991 Athreya Committee on Indian Telecom Restructuring.  He chaired the Committee.  Its distinguished members included Dr. Sam Patroda; Mr. N Vittal, IAS; Dr. V. Krishnamurthy; late Mr. M. R. Pai, Consumer Activist; and other very senior professionals.  Over the years, the Committee’s recommendations have been implemented, leading to a cell phone-based revolution in rural-urban connectivity; and applications in entertainment, health, shopping, travel, etc. and many other sectors.  It has been the most successful reform of any Infrastructure Sector of the Indian economy, as compared to Power, Transportation, Ports, Airports and others.

While he was a young professor at IIM, Kolkata, Dr. Athreya was invited by Dr. Karan Singh, then Civil Aviation Minister, to be on the Committee to Restructure Indian Airlines, in 1971, along with Dr. Vijay Kelkar and others. 

He was a member of the Committee to Restructure State Enterprises of the Jammu & Kashmir state government, in 1972.  He has been on several other Committees, including on Coal; Civil Aviation; and Civilian Nuclear Power.  He was, for two terms, member of the RBI Committee for selection of top executives in public sector banks, along with Dr. C. Rangarajan; Dr. Montek Singh Ahluwalia; Dr. YVR Reddy; and others. 

4.      Trade & Industry

Dr. Athreya has been the preferred educator and consultant in Management for Public and private sectors.  He was the youngest Director of the Advanced Management Programme for Indian CEO’s, held annually, by the All Indian Management Association, in Srinagar, J&K.  His first such AMP was in 1968, at the age of 27.  He has also spoken at many Conferences of the apex national Chambers of Commerce --- FICCI, CII and ASSOCHAM.  In the course of his intense travels on Management teaching work, through the length and breadth of the country, Dr. Athreya has spoken at the Regional and State level branches of the above three apex chambers.

Dr. Athreya’s consulting work has evolved through several phases, along with reforms of the Indian economy.  Initially, in the 1970’s, the MNC’s already present in India, like ITC and Levers were more receptive to Management, and called upon his expertise.  In the 1980’s, many PSUs like IOC, ONGC, BHEL, SAIL, HMT, HAL, NFL embarked on Strategic Planning, Organisation Development and HRD, with Dr. Athreya’s help.  In the 1990’s Indian Private Sector, Family and Entrepreneurial Groups were also his clients.

5.      Globalization

Dr. Athreya went abroad on sabbatical leave from the IIM-Kolkata in the 1970’s.  Having already learned about American Management in the 1960’s, he chose to learn about European Management, in the 1970’s.  He was a Visiting Professor at the London Business School, England; and a Chair Professor, at the young age of 34, at the Strathclyde Business School, in Scotland.  With these bases he travelled extensively on training and consulting into the Continent.  He returned to India, enriched with this additional learning.  This has enabled him to help many Indian companies globalize, through increasing their exports; overseas operations; foreign investments; M&A; global procurement, etc.

6.      NGO Sector

Dr. Athreya has also contributed to the NGO sector.  He brought modern management ideas, with suitable adaptations, to the non-profit sector.  He was Founder-President of Sampradaan, The Indian Centre for Philanthropy, whose Mission is to recreate a caring and sharing society, through good giving.  He has been a speaker in many NGO Conferences concerned with inclusive development; health; forestry; disabled; senior citizens and other vulnerable sections. 

7.      Thought Leadership

Dr. Athreya has been an anchor resource person for several all-India knowledge-based Professional organizations.  He has been elected Fellow of the Institute of Management Consultants; All India Management Association; National HRD Network; and Indian Society for Training and Development.  He has delivered innumerable Keynote; Inaugural; Convocation; Valedictory; and Special Addresses in National and International Conferences; Conventions; Summits etc.  In 1996, he was invited to deliver the Gandhi Memorial Lecture at the University of Kenya, Nairobi.  He has been honoured with several awards.  In 2013 he was given the Life Time Contribution Award, by Dr. Shashi Tharoor, HRD Minister, GoI, on behalf of Thinkers50 India.  He has been a Role Model and Mentor for thousands of Indian Managers; Strategic Planners; HRD Professionals; and Consultants in the Corporate and Social sectors.

-          Hoover Fellow, Stanford Business School, 1964-65.
-          Ford Fellow, Harvard Business School, 1965-67.
-          Elected Fellow, All India Management Association, 1982.
-          Fellow, Indian Society for Training and Development, 1984.
-          Fellow, Human Resources Development Network, 1989.
-          Fellow, the Institute of Management Consultants of India (IMCI), 1995.
-          Fellow, Institute of Cost and Works Accountants of India
-         Keynote, Inaugural, Valedictory and Plenary speaker in several national and international professional conferences and convocations. Papers presented.
-          Delivered the Gandhi Memorial Lecture at Nairobi, July 1996.
-          Keynote at the Millennium Alumni Conference, IIM, Ahmedabad, Dec 2000.
-          Talk to the International Institute of Finance, New York, Conference on Asian Infrastructure, Hong Kong, 1992.
-          Keynote at the UN Regional Conference of the Aged, 2003.
-          Keynote at the International Training Conference, IFTDO, 2004.
-          Lifetime Achievement Award, Thinkers50 India, 2013
-          Padma Bhushan Award by Government of India, 2014.
-          Icon of the Year Award by Institute of Cost Accountants of India, Kolkata, 2014
-          Similar several events in later years.