Dr. Rajiv Krishna Sinha
Founding Dean, MYRA School of Business
We are saddened to share the news of passing of our founding Dean-- Dr. Rajiv Krishna Sinha on July 17, 2015.
As the founding Dean of the MYRA School of Business, Professor Rajiv Sinha understood that he was a pioneer and was venturing into an uncertain terrain of launching a new business school in India. He was chartered not just with leading an organization, but with creating an entire academic model. A defining feature of MYRA is the presence of a stellar group of instructors from across the world, spending short durations of time on campus. This mode of instruction serves students well, but takes an enormous amount of organizational skill, global connections, and capacity to influence. It is easy to imagine and hard to execute. That MYRA has been able to make it work is largely due to Dean Sinha. His successors have large shoes to fill.
Rajiv Sinha was a very good teacher. His course on "New Product Development" was one of the most popular courses at MYRA. He made sophisticated things like the Bass model easily understandable; he empowered students to use software like SPSS with skill; and he made marketing an intellectual discipline in addition to being a business function. He was a leading researcher in his field, globally recognized, but he wore his recognitions lightly and students approached him at ease. His course may well continue, but his style is irreproducible.
Leadership is not always visible and Rajiv Sinha’s leadership was not always visible. But it was always there beaconing us. He joined us on our MYRA journey exactly 4 years back in July 2011 and helped build brand MYRA and laying the enduring foundations of excellence.
Dr. Sinha was a multifaceted person--playing table tennis with students and colleagues so as to know them better (and enjoy their company). A music lover, he enjoyed food and fine things of life. He went shopping in Mysore and used his experiences to encourage prospects to join the MYRA team. He was always connected, even in the depths of severe illness. His positive attitude to life was infectious and during his painful last days also he was enormously courageous and full of kindness (as recounted by a close friend who was with him during his final days). At Arizona State University, one of his last responsibilities was to lead the committee that decided on faculty promotions, across the University (not just the Business School). That is a reflection of the trust and respect his long-time colleagues had for him.
He loved his work; he loved his family; and he loved what life had to offer. We will miss Rajiv Sinha – Dean, Professor, and Friend to MYRA.
Biography of Dr. Rajiv Sinha
Dr. Rajiv Sinha, Founding Dean, MYRA School of Business, expired on July 17, 2015 in Tempe, Arizona after a prolonged illness. He was 56.
Dr. Sinha wore many professional hats —in addition to being the Founding Dean of MYRA School of Business, he was Professor of Marketing, Lonnie Ostrom Chair in Business at the W. P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University, USA.
An authority, a pioneer and a leader in the scholarly understanding of Marketing as a discipline, Dr. Sinha received his BA (Honors) in 1978 and M A in Economics (1980) from the University of Delhi, and a PhD from Smeal College of Business, The Pennsylvania State University, USA.
His professional career took him across the globe to University of Canterbury, New Zealand; University of Warwick UK; Kellogg Graduate School of Management, Northwestern University; Catolica Lisbon School of Business, Catholic University of Portugal, Lisbon, where he held the position of a Fulbright Distinguished Chair.
He served in the Office of the Provost, Arizona State University as a Leadership Fellow and was responsible for developing future University leaders.
He also served on the University Promotion and Tenure Committee; University Regents’ Professor Selection Committee; Dean’s MBA Advisory Committee; College Promotion and Tenure Committee and as Academic Director of Custom Corporate MBA Executive Program.
He was on the Editorial and Review Board of journals such as Marketing Science, Journal of Marketing, Management Science and Information Systems Research.
His contributions to academia is further complemented by his consulting services to industries such as Apple Computers, Intel, Motorola, American Express, PriceWaterhouseCoopers (PWC), Honeywell, AT&T, MasterCard and others.
His research interests include new product development, technology diffusion, software and music piracy, product pricing, public policy issues related to tobacco and alcohol addiction, Internet based brand communities, and marketing strategies for digital products.
His publications on these and related topics have appeared in leading marketing, management, engineering and environmental economics journals such as Journal of Marketing Research, Journal of Marketing, Marketing Science, Information Systems Research, International Journal of Research in Marketing, Strategic Management Journal, Journal of Operations Management, Production and Operations Management, Supply Chain Management Review, IEEE Transactions in Engineering Management, Ecological Economics and others.
He was the recipient of various awards — the most significant ones being the W.P. Carey Outstanding Research Award (2011); Leadership Fellowship for developing Transformational Leaders (2010, 2011); the James W. Creasman Award for Excellence— a quadrennial award given for outstanding contributions to Arizona State University & the community (2009); W.P. Carey School of Business Outstanding Teaching Award Full Time MBA Program(Inaugural Award) (2007); the Penley Teaching Award (2001), the Outstanding Teacher Award for an MBA track (four times 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001); the Governor’s State Award for Excellence(1998), and the Faculty Research Development Award for Outstanding Research, (1992).
The Business Week’s Annual Rankings of the major business schools have listed him as the “Most Popular Professor” in the MBA program and listed his E-Commerce and the New Product Development courses as the “Best Electives” in the MBA program (1996 & 1997).
Dr. Rajiv Sinha Memorial Service
Remembrance and Homage
July 29, 2015 | 4:15 PM
Athena Auditorium, MYRA School of Business
MYRA School of Business, Mysore mourned the untimely demise of its founding Dean, Dr. Rajiv Krishna Sinha who expired on July 17, 2015, at Tempe, Arizona, USA, after a prolonged illness. He was 56.
MYRA’s founders, faculty, students and the entire MYRA community lost a prominent educator, teacher and leader in the true sense. The MYRA Team paid their respects to their Founding Dean by observing a one-minute silence in the Athena auditorium.
Dr. Sinha was a pioneer when he took up the responsibility of launching a new business school with a unique academic model in India. As the Founding Dean, he offered his academic vision and gave more than his professional expertise to drive that vision into reality, said his batch-mate, colleague contemporary and friend, Dr. Sudhendra Seshadri, a Visiting Professor at the MYRA School of Business. In his touching memorial address on July 29, 2015, Dr. Sudhendra Seshadri briefly outlined the research contributions of Dr. Rajiv Sinha based on his close association with his approach and methodologies of marketing research. He paid tribute to Rajiv Sinha’s academic and research accomplishments. He narrated how Dr. Sinha, who had developed enormous expertise in econometric approaches to analyzing competition, began his academic journey in the United States under the able guidance of Professor Gary Lilien who was then the President of the Management Society. A special mention was made of his contribution to strategic management problems— specifically his articles on strategy in Journal of Marketing, where Dr. Sinha has linked strategic orientations of firms to their performance over a period of time. Dr. Seshadri emphasized the point that such articles have been cited more than 700 times and is still counting; this speaks volumes of the significance of such work. Dr. Seshadri deliberated on the scope of Dr. Sinha’s research which spanned operational and strategic management, and touched public and private enterprises. Dr. Sinha was courageous despite his personal tragedies and practiced professionalism till his last days. MYRA is privileged to have been guided in its nascent years by such a dedicated educator, gifted scholar, and an academic leader with the highest accolades, Dr. Seshadri concluded.
Dr. Abhinanda Sarkar, Associate Dean and Director of Research, MYRA, dwelt upon two abilities of Dr. Sinha — Competency and Responsibility. Dr. Sinha was able to positively impact a number of lives during his time through his roles as leader, teacher and researcher, said Dr. Sarkar. He made a special mention of Dr. Sinha’s role in the vast academic community of Arizona State University, where he led a team to develop future University leaders. In one of his last assignments at ASU, Dr. Sinha lead the committee that decides on faculty promotions across the university, not just the Business School, and this is a reflection of the trust and respect his long-time colleagues had on him, he said. Dr. Sarkar described Dr. Sinha as a personality who did not believe in short cuts and who practiced simplicity in his thinking. For MYRA, it will indeed be a herculean task to find a replacement for Dr. Sinha, he concluded.
Dr. Wolfgang Messner, Professor of International Management and Director of Globus Research, in his brief sentimental address said that his interest in joining MYRA was triggered when he found out that an American Professor is leading the academic community at a new Business School in Mysore. He made the decision to join MYRA when he realized Dr. Rajiv Sinha will be at the helm of the academic community at MYRA.
Prof. Sumant Bakshi, Advisor, MYRA, recalled his last meeting with Dr. Sinha during September 2014 in Coonoor and emphasized that his decision to join MYRA had already been made after this meet, and that he did not even care then, that MYRA leaders may or may not want him.
Prof. Shalini Urs, Chairperson, MYRA recalled her various meetings with Dr. Sinha and how he has continuously guided her through the initial journey of building this ambitious and unique institution. His global connections and capacity to influence have brought the best of teachers from management schools across the globe, she said.