Aug. 22, 2012
-- Cycling or reading are common hobbies amongst professors around the world. However, this isn’t the case for Nirmalya Kumar, a marketing professor from London Business School and co-director of the Aditya Birla India Centre. With a great passion for art he has been collecting Indian modern art for over 10 years.
His dedication was recognised and awarded by London’s School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS). He was presented with an honorary fellowship for his work towards Indian modern art. Over the years, Professor Kumar has written articles and delivered lectures on the subject. According to Professor Nirmala Rao Pro-Director, Learning and Teaching at SOAS, Prof. Kumar is “one of the most highly regarded in the world of art, culture and education.” She also added that he treated his hobby as more than just a personal collection. He was determined to spread the name of modern Indian artists and build awareness of the concurrent theme behind the art – India’s struggle to win freedom. Modern Indian art first arose as a result of the freedom struggle.
Prof Kumar leaves his gallery open for viewers while simultaneously using it for charity projects. In a bid to raise awareness, he writes articles and delivers seminars about modern Indian art.
Making people aware of Indian businesses and the economy has been close to Nirmalya. As a marketing professor with several years of experience behind him, he has been supporting Indian business for years and is extremely well known amongst multinational corporations in the West.
Prof Kumar explains that in the 1970 and 80s; India was a difficult place to make a living. It was common for teenagers to leave and make a living in the West instead. Having lived in the United States and Switzerland, Nirmalya is now settled in London. He says, “It is against this personal context that my support for Indian arts should be understood. It is a quest for the meaning of identity in a globalised world.”
Nirmalya has also been given an award for being a position in Thinkers50, a global ranking system for the top management thinkers and leaders in management training.