London Business School's Nirmalya Kumar honoured for his role in Indian art

India News Bulletin Desk

London Business School’s Nirmalya Kumar, one of the world’s leading authorities on strategy and marketing, has been honoured for his contribution to Indian art.

Kumar, the professor of marketing and co-director of the Aditya Birla India Centre, was awarded an honorary fellowship by the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) in recognition of and for his contribution to the world of Asian art.

He has been a passionate supporter of the arts and a collector of modern Indian visual art for more than ten years.

“We have the opportunity to honour a man who has been one of the most highly regarded in the world of art, culture and education,” said Professor Nirmala Rao, pro-director, Learning and Teaching at SOAS.

“Nirmalya is a passionate supporter of the arts and it is his interest as a collector and enthusiast of modern Indian visual art that brought him to the attention of SOAS and its friends,” Rao added.

Kumar has put together one of the largest private collections of Jamini Roy -- considered by many to be the father of Indian modern art -- and Rabindranath Tagore paintings.

Instead of considering the art as his personal collection, Kumar aims at increasing the visibility of the highly respected, but largely underrepresented Indian artists such as Tagore. He also aims to improve the understanding of the context, part of India’s freedom struggle in the early 20th century, in which modern Indian art emerged. 

Kumar’s collection is open for viewing and is also used for philanthropic purposes.

“As an academic at London Business School, a role in which he has been supporting Indian businesses, Nirmalya has brought a breadth of vision, a deep reservoir of experience and an intense commitment to enhancing innovation and strategic developments,” Professor Rao said.

Kumar has been interpreting India and Indian business for companies in the West.

“I feel privileged to now be a part of an academic institution that has been so critical in helping understand Africa and Asia,” Professor Kumar said accepting the honorary fellowship bestowed on him by the institution of SOAS.

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