Reliance Industries Limited and the Stanford GSB recently established the Reliance Dhirubhai India Education Fund to support promising Indian students with financial need in obtaining an MBA at Stanford. Dean Robert L. Joss visited India in April and joined senior executives from Reliance Industries at Reliance corporate offices in Mumbai to formally announce the program.
Each year, the GSB may award up to five Reliance Dhirubhai Fellowships. The Fellows will receive full financial support for the two-year Stanford MBA Program.
“A global perspective is essential to successful management,” says Joss. “In preparing the next generation of leaders, Stanford recognizes the importance of India’s voice in the global marketplace and within our classrooms. This fellowship program allows the Stanford MBA Program to extend its outreach within India to the best and brightest MBA candidates.”
“With India now a truly globalized and rapidly growing economy, good management talent developed at both India’s top universities and at institutions abroad will be essential to supporting future innovation and growth,” observes Mukesh Ambani, chairman and managing director of Reliance Industries Limited, who also is a member of Stanford Business School’s Advisory Council.
As part of the two-stage application process, fellowship applicants completed the Reliance Dhirubai Fellows application during the summer. Finalists are selected based on merit, commitment to developing India, and financial need based on a review of each individual’s personal resources. In the second stage, those finalists go through the standard application process by the October 2008 deadline for admittance to the MBA class that will matriculate in fall 2009. Stanford may select up to five Fellows from among the finalists based on its primary admission criteria of intellectual vitality, demonstrated leadership potential, and personal qualities and contributions.
The Reliance Dhirubhai Fellows will receive full financial support, including tuition, course-related fees, living stipend, and travel allowance—an estimated $83,000 total value per Fellow per year. Funding is automatically renewed for the Fellow’s second year if the student maintains good academic standing and community citizenship at Stanford GSB. After graduation from the MBA Program, the Fellows are bound to return to India for a minimum of two years of employment in the private or public sector.
Ambani notes, “I am honored to help India’s next generation of leaders attend Stanford Business School, an academic institution with an international reputation for innovation, diversity of student experience, and the highest quality of faculty and students from around the world.”