Management guru founded Great Lakes Institute
Bala V. Balachandran, management guru, educationist and founder of the Great Lakes Institute of Management, passed away in Chicago after a brief illness on Tuesday. He was 84. Fondly known as Professor Bala or Uncle Bala, he was born at Pudukottai and completed his college education at Annamalai University, Chidambaram. Then he served in the Army briefly before going to the U.S. to pursue doctoral studies.
From there began an illustrious career as professor, consultant, mentor, author, entrepreneur and life coach. He helped to recruit the first set of faculty members to the Indian Institute of Management-Bangalore in the late 1960s, established the Management Department at the Management Development Institute at Gurgaon through a joint collaboration with the United Nations Development Programme, the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.
He was instrumental in designing MBA programmes at the Indian School of Business, Hyderabad. There, he had chaired the committee to select the Dean and the faculty and curriculum committees.
In 2004, he established the Great Lakes Institute of Management, which now has another campus at Gurgaon. He received India’s fourth highest civilian award — the Padma Shri — in 2001 for his contribution to education.
A post on the LinkedIn page of the Great Lakes Institute of Management said, “With profound grief, we inform you of the passing of our beloved Founder & Chairman, Dr. Bala V. Balachandran. Uncle Bala, as he was fondly called, was an inspiration to many. An educator par excellence, he was the heart of our institute.”
He is survived by his wife Vasantha Balachandran and sons Sudhakar Balachandran and Diwakar Balachandran.
Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M.K. Stalin condoled the death of Balachandran.
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