Indian School of Business (ISB) and Microsoft join hands to advance AI skilling in India

ISB Hyderabad Campus
  • Introduce “Leading Business Transformation in the Age of AI”: a new program for C-suite executives under the purview of Microsoft’s online AI Business School
  • Set up AI Digital Lab to accelerate research and innovation in AI

Hyderabad, August 23, 2019: The Indian School of Business (ISB) and Microsoft India announced a new partnership to take forward their shared vision for an AI-empowered India at an event in Hyderabad today. Through the creation of the AI Digital Lab, the two organizations will collaborate in research which will use Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) to study issues that are relevant for business and public policy. In addition, the partnership will also jointly introduce a new executive program titled “Leading Business Transformation in the Age of AI” in October 2019 which will equip business leaders with tools and strategies to transform their respective organizations to AI-driven organizations.

The rapid development of AI implies that the ability of business leaders to creatively use AI to improve business decisions and enhance productivity will become a very important precursor for businesses to stay competitive and be successful. AI-readiness is therefore an important skill that business leaders should acquire sooner than later. According to a recent  Microsoft and IDC Asia/Pacific study, ‘Future Ready Business: Assessing Asia Pacific’s Growth Potential Through AI, lack of a coherent AI-strategy is among the top three challenges that Indian business leaders face while trying to accelerate the growth of their respective businesses.

Professor Rajendra Srivastava, Dean, Indian School of Business and the Novartis Professor of Marketing Strategy and Innovation, said, “Business Schools are attempting to redefine management education by making it more future-ready and relevant for opportunities and challenges that businesses will face in the future.  Transforming organizations guided by Artificial Intelligence and augmented by frameworks integrating analytics with human behavior and management issues will be an important imperative for business leaders.  Our collaboration with Microsoft India will enable us to use AI to understand new phenomena that are relevant for business as well as policy and subsequently disseminate the knowledge to business leaders who will need to transform their businesses through artificial intelligence to compete effectively “.

Anant Maheshwari, President, Microsoft India said, “AI is a gamechanger to drive new business models and transform today’s businesses and workplaces. With this coming together of ISB and Microsoft, it is a unique opportunity to increase the innovation with AI in business. Our new partnership with ISB will empower business leaders to increase their tech intensity and do more with AI.”

Professor Anand Nandkumar, Associate Dean, Indian School of Business (ISB), who is leading ISB’s collaboration with Microsoft said, “By augmenting decision making and fostering collaboration between humans and machines, AI will soon emerge as an important tool that will drive the competitive advantage of businesses. It will also enable social science researchers to derive new insights from data and explore phenomena that were hitherto unexplored. For faculty members at ISB, this collaboration hence presents a very exciting opportunity to produce research that is very unique and impactful. This collaboration is also a big boost to our aspiration to equip business leaders to transform their respective organizations into AI-driven organizations.

We believe the power of collaboration and joint research endeavors among the industry, academia and data scientists will be key to drive breakthrough advances in AI. We look forward to the AI Digital Lab at ISB Hyderabad emerging as a worldwide reference point in AI research,” added Dr. Rohini Srivathsa, National Technology Officer, Microsoft India.

Leading Business Transformation in the Age of AI

AI spans every major industry and is likely to dramatically transform industries. With better algorithms and large amounts of data, AI has the potential to perhaps outperform human decision making. Performance differentials between firms on account of their proficiency with AI will likely intensify over the coming years and will shake up most industries. The winners will likely to be firms that can quickly adopt it – not just the technology but effective use of it in all aspects of their businesses to aid or substitute human decision making. In order to do so, managers and executives, however, need to develop a basic understanding of the technology to imagine its utility in their respective contexts apart from developing strategies to adopt and benefit from AI.

ISB’s executive program, titled “Leading Business Transformation in the Age of AI” in collaboration with Microsoft will enable C-suite executives to come up with a coherent strategy to transform their respective organizations into AI-driven organizations.  The 3-day non-technical program is done under the purview of Microsoft’s online AI Business School, which provides executive-level insights and practical, actionable guidance to build an end-to-end AI strategy. It will focus on managing the impact of AI on company strategy, culture and responsibility. The course will cover:

  • Defining an AI strategy: Establishing a framework for thinking strategically and holistically about the role of AI in an organization.
  • Enabling an AI-ready culture: Driving the key changes that are necessary across the organization with solutions for finance, marketing, sales, and customer service
  • Responsible AI in business: Developing and deploying AI systems in an ethical manner
  • AI technology for business leaders: An overview of AI concepts and technologies and understanding how and where to begin implementing AI within organizations and across industry.

AI Digital Lab

Dedicated to research in social sciences that utilizes the potential of AI, the virtual lab will enable ISB to explore new phenomena that is relevant for Business and Policy using the vast array of AI tools and infrastructure provided by Microsoft. The lab powered by PlatiFi technologies (a Microsoft partner) will provide an opportunity for ISB to enhance its research eminence through unique insights that will be derived from the research conducted by the lab which will also likely have a significant impact on businesses and policy not just in India but all over the world. Microsoft will support ISB with best-in-class infrastructure, access to cloud and AI tools.

Note to the editor:

Microsoft believes that Al holds power and potential to amplify human creativity and expand capabilities.  The Microsoft AI Business School complements other AI learning initiatives across Microsoft, including the developer-focused AI School and the Microsoft Professional Program for Artificial Intelligence, which provides job-ready skills and real-world experience to engineers and others looking to improve their skills in AI and data science.

About the Indian School of Business

Indian School of Business (ISB) is a global business school offering world-class management education across its two campuses – Hyderabad and Mohali. The School has grown at a rapid pace over the past eighteen years since its inception and already has several notable accomplishments to its credit – it is the youngest school ever to consistently rank among the top Global MBA programmes, one among the select 100 global b-schools to have AACSB and EQUIS accreditation, one of the largest providers of Executive Education in Asia, and the most research-productive Indian management institution. A vibrant pool of research-oriented resident faculty, strong academic associations with leading global b-schools and the backing of an influential Board, have helped the ISB fast emerge as a premier global business school in the emerging markets. For details visit

About Microsoft India

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT” @microsoft) is the leading platform and productivity company for the mobile-first, cloud-first world, and its mission is to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more. Microsoft set up its India operations in 1990. Today, Microsoft entities in India have over 9,000 employees, engaged in sales and marketing, research, development and customer services and support, across 11 Indian cities – Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Chennai, New Delhi, Gurugram, Noida, Hyderabad, Kochi, Kolkata, Mumbai and Pune. Microsoft offers its global cloud services from local data centers to accelerate digital transformation across Indian start-ups, businesses, and government organizations. In 2016, Microsoft opened one of its eight Cybersecurity Engagement Centers in the country, to address security needs of both public and private sectors.

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