in the world is Dipak Jain?
are the dean of the Kellogg School is, quite literally, surveying
the MBA world from 30,000 feet as he travels the globe in his
relentless effort to build the Kellogg brand and keep alumni
with him in the airport; he's right there in front of you,
wheeling his luggage toward security. You take a moment to
fumble for your identification and he's gone. The dean of
the Kellogg School has disappeared around a corner or, with
ninja-like dexterity, has found a way to navigate a throng
of people, leaving you looking on in bewilderment. You wonder
if the next time you will see him will be in Bangkok or Bangalore
or one of a dozen other international destinations routinely
on the dean's prodigious itinerary.
as quickly he reappears at your side, having transacted some
business impossibly fast (perhaps a seating upgrade for you).
And again you're off together toward the gate, you making
a silent vow to once and for all keep up with Dipak C. Jain
as he jets off on yet another mission to build the Kellogg
in putting every minute to use," says Jain, stating what is
obvious to anyone who has crossed time zones with the man.
But this is also his straightforward advice to alumni whose
professional lives demand they be road warriors. It's often
on long flights that he finds he is best able to contemplate
management decisions, design strategy or revise a lesson plan
or lecture, since he can momentarily escape the entreaties
of email and cell phone.
even catch a nap en route to Nairobi, as he did in March when
he visited Kenya to serve as keynote speaker at the 2005 Ghandi
Memorial Lecture. But Jain seems congenitally averse to slumber.
with a natural constitution that requires little sleep," he
admits. "If I sleep five hours, my wife worries that something
can easily keep pace with the dean's marathon workdays.
Cervantes, director of corporate relations at Kellogg, jokes
that Jain "often forgets that most people require more than
five hours sleep."
a recent trip to Thailand with Jain, Cervantes "was amazed
at his energy and momentum." He would teach all day at the
Sasin Graduate Institute of Business Administration, which
has a long-standing partnership with Kellogg, and then begin
making calls into his Evanston office about 10 p.m., since
the day was just beginning in the Midwest.
spend hours on the phone and sending email," says Cervantes,
"sleep briefly and then head back to the classroom."
School of Management. Peking University, China, 10.02
Hori, Kellogg School assistant dean and director of the Career
Management Center, sums up the situation, saying, "Traveling
with Dean Jain is not for the faint of heart."
Jain has a reputation among colleagues as indefatigable, a
man who is always on the go. He can be in San Francisco or
Seattle visiting alumni or networking with corporate recruiters
in the morning and then jet off to New York for additional
meetings that evening with friends of the school, stopping
in Philadelphia along the way to handle even more business.
some would balk at making a weekend trip from Evanston to
Milwaukee, Jain has made day-trips to India, the country
of his birth. Much of his extended family still resides there
and the vast nation is one of several where he has worked
to enhance the Kellogg brand. He also has traveled recently
to Hong Kong, Shanghai, Beijing, Singapore and Tokyo, teaching
or visiting Kellogg alumni.
may eventually devise a calculator that can figure Jain's
total Frequent Flier Miles. He will only say the tally is
"embarrassing" and that the statement sent by the airline
requires several pages to itemize travels that have increased
during the last four years.
of all these excursions is consistent with Jain's objectives
since he became dean in July 2001, after serving as associate
dean for five years under Donald P. Jacobs.
I began as dean, there were three key integrated priorities
I established: to build the Kellogg School brand and differentiate
ourselves as management leaders; to enhance the school's alumni
network and keep our alumni engaged with us; and to build
our global reputation by having a presence in key markets
such as Asia, Europe and Latin America," Jain explains.
the school continues to develop its goal to establish what
the dean calls "global Kellogg centers of knowledge" in strategically
important locations worldwide. This is a work in progress,
but already there are tangible results. In a push to better
serve executives from Latin America and the American Southeast,
for instance, the school has launched its Miami-based Executive
MBA program. The first class will begin this January. (See
will continue exploring ways to create flexible, customized
programming that delivers on the school's brand promise of
unparalleled leadership training and meets the needs of students
wherever they live, which means the dean will likely keep
logging more time in the sky.
that the Evanston operations remained smooth even when he
was a world away, Jain expanded his office upon assuming the
deanship, establishing two new senior associate dean positions.
But he says that alumni, recruiters and others expect "more
of a personal touch" and the chance to interact with the school's
top leadership and faculty, a fact that has also contributed
to him becoming intimately familiar with some of the world's
travels have taken him to Thailand, his "favorite destination"
despite making a narrow escape in December when the tsunami
devastated Phuket where he and his family were vacationing.
He has also visited several countries in Latin America, including
El Salvador, Brazil, Chile and Guatemala, over the past months
as part of a special effort to bring greater awareness of
Kellogg there as the school launched its Miami program.
is also an academic ambassador for the Kellogg School. He
frequently augments his administrative duties when traveling
by spending time in the classroom, teaching subjects such
as "The Future of Marketing" and "Understanding Brand: A Marketing
Mindset." In May, Jain joined other Kellogg marketing experts,
Philip Kotler, Gregory Carpenter and James Anderson, in Amsterdam
to deliver an exceptional seminar on the subject. Then too,
the dean plays a quasi-political role, bringing his insights
to bear on the branding efforts of countries including Thailand
and El Salvador. He is, in fact, an adviser on foreign affairs
to the Thai prime minister.
various roles often overlap, resulting in Jain assuming a
Bergstein, CEO of DiamondCluster and a recent companion with
Jain to India: "It was a great trip. We covered four cities
in three days
Vintage Dean Jain. I'm not sure he needs to sleep. He was
tour guide, raconteur, travel agent, facilitator, insightful
adviser and rock star all rolled into one. He gets enormous
adulation among the business and academic communities in India,
so when you travel with him you get a lot of attention."
that, as passionate as he is about leading the Kellogg School
to greater heights, his schedule is one that requires compromise
and understanding from his wife and three young children.
Nevertheless, he finds ways to remain a good husband and father,
even if these efforts occasionally result in unorthodox arrangements,
as when he recently found himself reviewing his children's
math homework at four-thirty in the morning, a full 30 minutes
earlier than the normal tutoring routine that takes place
from 5 to 6 a.m.
was some confusion with the timing of a conference call I
had to take," says Jain, smiling. "As a result, my family
and I were up earlier than anticipated."
fact that Jain's children were willing and able to bend their
attention to their schoolwork, even at that hour, suggests
they too may one day follow in their father's footsteps as
leaders who work tirelessly to bring exuberance to their professional