Professor Dwijendra Tripathi, considered as the doyen of Indian business history, passed away in Ahmedabad on Wednesday night. He was 88.
Born in Azamgarh on July 29, 1930, Tripathi had a close and long association with the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad (IIM-A) for almost three decades — from 1964 till 1990. A former faculty member at the prestigious business school, Tripathi was dean for four years and was on the Board of Governors for three years, till 1990. He was also the General President of the Indian History Congress in 2002-03.
“He is the father of business history in India and gave birth to this discipline which is today adopted as a part of the curriculum at several business schools. Sadly, he left us on Teachers’ Day,” said 58-year-old Jyoti Jumani (58), Tripathi’s long time friend and co-author.
His biography of Kasturbhai Lalbhai (1981) and the Bank of Baroda (1985) and the seminal volumes of Oxford History of Indian Business (2004) and Concise Oxford History of Indian Business (2007) are considered to be landmark literary works in Indian business history.
A post-graduate in History and Economics from University of Allahabad, he went on to pursue his doctorate from the University of Wisconsin. Tripathi was not only associated with academics but also in sectors like banking. He had briefly worked as the research officer at Historical Research Department of State Bank of India in Mumbai.
His latest research and literary work was Oxford History of Contemporary Indian Business in 2013. He had also launched a new programme Succession Planning for Entrepreneurial Continuity (SPEC) in 1993 at the EDI for training younger members of business families for entrepreneurial endeavours.
While he had taught subjects like Indian Economic and Business History, Indian Entrepreneurship in Historical Perspective, International Business History even American history and Asian Studies, he had also taught in foreign institutes including University of Utah Salt Lake City as a visiting professor.
Even after retirement, he had an active working life as he held various positions as senior faculty member at Entrepreneurship Development Institute of India (EDI) for six years. He also wrote several papers and monographs on Indian economy and business history.
“He was a great follower of gurukul mode of learning,” said Jumani.