Dr. Praveen Bhasa Malla
Ph.D. 2006 Shailesh J. Mehta School of Management

Dr. Praveen Bhasa Malla is the Managing Director of AM Innovations, Hyderabad and is a Strategy and Innovation Consultant (focusing on Higher Education). He obtained his Ph.D. from the Shailesh J. Mehta School of Management, IIT Bombay in 2006.

Recalling his time spent at IIT Bombay, he said, “I joined my Ph.D. program about five months before Prof. Shishir Jha joined the Institute. Alongside my mandatory coursework, I was already authoring conference papers. By the time I got to work with Prof. Jha and we embarked on our working relationship, I was eight months into the program and was done authoring my second conference paper.”

Dr. Malla recollected a conversation he had with Dr. Jha back in the day: “I had submitted a paper on Corporate Corruption to a marquee conference in Australia. The paper was accepted. I was ecstatic. I requested Prof. Jha to attend the conference and present the paper. He looked at me with his usual calm demeanor and asked, “Why should I?” “Because you are the co-author.” “How did I become one if I have not contributed to the paper?” “It is a common practice for scholars to share credit with the supervisor” I said hesitantly.

Dr. Jha said firmly, “Praveen, I am sorry. Your paper is your intellectual property (IP). I do not wish to steal credit unless I have contributed. Please get my name deleted from the paper. Also, do not add my name to papers you author. If you wish to do so, allow me to contribute. We can decide on author sequence based on how much each of us has contributed,” he said.

“That interaction is still fresh in my mind. I learnt a big lesson that day. Huge respect to him. IIT Bombay is about values, integrity and empathy. I religiously follow them in both my professional and personal life, no matter how lucrative the opportunities are on the other side,” said Dr. Malla. Dr. Malla’s hobbies include book reading; managing the 40+ IITBAA SIGs; mentoring youngsters and long drives.

Special Memories

“I was coerced into filing my nomination by my good friend and alumnus Dr. Piyush Mehta (Singapore Chapter). I wasn’t very keen to participate in chapter activities since back then I headed a reputed organization that demanded my unqualified attention. I got elected to the chapter committee, not because I had more votes than other candidates but because no one contested. A meeting of the chapter committee was organized by chapter veterans and Shashi Mantrawadi unilaterally decided that I should be made secretary of the chapter. Other members concurred. I was startled as I knew no one in the committee. But when I went back home and reflected on the meeting and the discussions we had, I promised myself that I will not disappoint the veterans that have reposed so much faith in me without knowing much about me. The second committee meeting saw the participation of more veterans including Bakul Desai. And that’s it. His energy was contagious and I knew that if I had his support, I could make the chapter a vibrant one. And then everything seemed to work like magic. Without contributions from veterans like Shashi Mantrawadi, R Srinivasan, Bakul Desai, Feroze Bote, Deepam Morparia, Tejinder Singh, AK Rao and without active support from the entire chapter committee including then President Sanjay Bhardwaj, I guess I would not have had the mojo to consistently keep the ante up. They were the MVPs of the chapter. Just that they propped me as the front-line worker and made me the most visible face, I ended up getting traction from other chapters and the larger alumni ecosystem”.