Reliance Industries Limited and the Stanford Graduate School of Business today announced the creation of the Reliance Dhirubhai India Education Fund to support promising Indian students with financial need in obtaining an MBA at Stanford.
Each year, Stanford Business School may award up to five Reliance Dhirubhai Fellowships. Reliance Dhirubhai Fellows will receive full financial support for the two-year Stanford MBA Program.
"A global perspective is essential to successful management," said Robert L. Joss, dean of the Stanford Business School. "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, made possible by a generous gift from Reliance Industries Limited, 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," said Mukesh Ambani, chairman and managing director of Reliance Industries Limited, who is a member of Stanford Business School's Advisory Council. "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."
Joss, visiting India this week, joined senior executives from Reliance Industries at Reliance corporate offices in Mumbai to ink the agreement.
In the first stage, fellowship applicants complete the Reliance Dhirubhai Fellows application between May 15 and July 15, 2008. Finalists will be 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 will go on to the standard application process for the Stanford MBA Program by October 2008. Stanford may select up to five Reliance Dhirubhai 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 (see full cost summary). Funding is automatically renewed for the second year if the student maintains good academic standing and community citizenship at Stanford Business School. After graduation from the MBA Program, the Reliance Dhirubhai Fellows are bound to return to India for a minimum of two years of employment in the private or public sector.