The Institute of Business Administration Karachi, Pakistan – commonly referred to as IBA – is the oldest business school outside North America based on the American MBA system. Established in 1955 with the support of Wharton – University of Pennsylvania, IBA has enjoyed the prestigious status of being Pakistan’s premier business school for almost six decades.
Known for its high academic standards, IBA has a record of producing top talent that has played key roles in leading anything from multinational corporations to the country itself (see: Shaukat Aziz, Mamnoon Hussain).
Dr Ishrat Husain (a highly regarded banker, economist and former Governor of State Bank) took charge as Dean and Director in 2008, and set out on a mission to bring the school into the league of the top 100 business schools in the world. Since setting sights on this goal, IBA has embarked on an extensive and ambitious overhaul in which the school has changed dramatically; with brand new campuses, redesigned courses, a focus on entrepreneurial development, and new strategic partnerships, IBA is enroute to being a major player in business education internationally.
Everybody knows it and there’s no need to emphasize it- The world is changing constantly. And rapidly. New realities are being created and old ideals are being challenged. In this fast changing world, standing still for any brand, or in this case, institution, is akin to suicide. IBA, interestingly, occupies a unique and exciting place in this new reality: it is the first US-MBA-model business school outside of North America, has a number of important partnerships with global and regional leaders (Babson, ISB), and has a proactive focus on entrepreneurship. IBA, in fact, has the best of both worlds: prestige & regard and a confident vision. In only a few years, IBA has come a long way in every meaningful aspect. The facilities, talent pool and confident vision are contributing more than ever before in shaping an exciting future for Pakistan and the world.
It is said best at the school’s own website and prospectus:
With the world changing rapidly, IBA is constantly redefining its playing field. Aspiring to be ranked amongst the top 10 Business Schools in South Asia and in the Middle East in the next five years (2009-13), we are committed to retaining our essential characteristics of nurturing camaraderie and teamwork, in balance with a spirit of healthy competition.
The competitive landscape is diverse: there are the established global leaders – INSEAD, Wharton, and IE; there are the emerging leaders – HULT, LUMS, Koc, Vlerick; and then there are numerous new competitors. IBA competes with each of these on different fronts. The moment from which a potential student, employer, or scholar starts considering business schools to study at, hire from, and teach at, IBA is in a contesting position with all these competitors- established and emerging, and regional and global.
The real challenge now for IBA is to communicate the strides it has made in these past few years which have helped shape it into a modern, world-class business school. With this exciting new reality, it is the perfect time to announce to the world its bold new vision for the future, guided by its strong roots in the past.
The last update to the IBA brand came in 2005. IBA’s current reality presents compelling reasons to undertake a rebranding effort. And we have undertaken this effort. At the core of this effort, we have captured the confidence and optimism that defines IBA.
The Place for Possibilities:
Like every successful brand, we have a core brand idea that highlights our purpose and defines our vision. It inspires and supports everything we do. We are ‘The Place for Possibilities’.
The new IBA brand is built on the founding values of confidence and optimism. These values are central to our core idea (The Place: Confidence; for Possibilities: Optimism). Our values are brought to life with: a bold mark that spells out our prestigious name, a vibrant color palette, and confident typography.
In addition to the primary mark, the brand system consists of dynamic windows that serve as multi-purpose graphic devices: as containers of information, highlighters of content, and more. The modern approach with the clean, straight lines are a nod to the design language manifest in our new architecture. The decision to focus on our acronym as the central brand asset is natural: we have great equity in our acronym and leveraging that equity allows us to root the brand in IBA’s prestigious past and unsurpassed reputation, and then grow from there.
The brand is built with flexibility in mind.We realize that an enterprising business school’s brand needs to be similarly resourceful. It must lend itself to creative and inventive use by many stakeholders. After all, the brand will endorse conferences, adorn merchandise, support internal brands (societies, clubs, etc) and much more.
A successful brand system should address all these different use cases while consistently and effectively upholding the core brand values. To ensure this, we put an emphasis on making the brand simple and easy to adapt. A construction inspired by modular design allows the logo to be easily adapted for many uses and there is even the possibility for a computerized system to create custom versions of the brand mark.
The brand’s visual vocabulary is distinctively bold and modern, with a focus on clean, sharp lines and vibrant colors.
In a nutshell, The Place for Possibilities goes beyond being a tagline. It is a new way to perceive IBA and to be inspired to make great things possible.
While he wears many hats, Najwat is a design thinker at the core. He loves anything and everything to do with design and has a special interest in branding and user interaction/experience design. He is also the Founder & Editor of The Desi Design.
DISCLAIMER: This is an entirely self-initiated project by The Desi Design and is in no way endorsed by the Institute of Business Administration Karachi (IBA) or its authorized representatives.
It seems a good effort but too much info on a single page which leaves user confused. At the first sight I couldn’t get what is this site is all about! Which is bad for any brand let said a university.
Background graphics look good but again the same picture is repeated so many times that it loses it’s charm…
Liked the concept of putting some statistical information in small windows … Can you make those pictures interactive and relate it to some other links it will be very good
thanks for commenting and sharing your feedback!
In my three minutes bird eye view, I couldn’t guess what this is all about, except that it is something related to and contributed by an IBA student of Alumni
thanks for commenting! give it a read, it explains everything in detail!
Chunky. Blocky. Boring. And inflexible. Is that possibilties??? I would think possibilities would be a much more liquid, flexible and ergonomic platform that can be a springboard to the future. The design looks like the IBA building. A little stuffy and boxy. Hmmmmm.
Sorry, not good.
Thanks for sharing your thoughts, nonetheless.
If anything, the new proposed visual identity is a departure from too much information on any single canvas i.e. website, mobile screen etc. So, I am not sure if anyone actually went through the process and final output. I, for one, liked the approach and need for a departure from the old and embracing the new possibilities.
I am not sure if the big, bold type signifying the powerful rigid structure was deliberate because of the old history and this being an academic institute esp. from Pakistan. The second coating of the colors emphasis these structures even more profoundly so that’s kindda scary for me. But this is only wrt personal taste since I am more in favor of breaking old power structures and giving way to slightly chaotic and free-form lines and planes. But overall, a very good effort.
thanks for the interesting feebdack!
Love the concept. You could easily set up a center for design & innovation at KSBL right now. They are more flexible to new programs.
Sorry to say this. But Horrible Logo!!!! HORRIBLE!!!!
It would be a worst disaster for IBA if it ever happened. (in my opinion)
I am guessing your an IBA graduate. Do you even slightly feel ashamed for the blatant slant you have given your own alma mater????
The design is beautiful and minimalist. I love the contrast of the colour against the b&w shots of the new buildings at Main Campus, but I really think you need to reconsider the direction you’re attempting to take with rebranding IBA.
First of all, you need to clarify what the actual mission/vision of IBA is.” The place for possibilities” doesn’t quite sound like IBA – either in terms of what it achieves or how it operates. It’s very vague. You need to be more specific and/or professional. Of course, it does have an aspirational tilt to it that may attract the ‘leaders of tomorrow’ – but then you’re going to have to go back to your target audience. Who are they? What are they looking for?
Both these aspects – What IBA really is, and what the target audience will be seduced by – need to be kept in mind.
Also, I think you should stick to the red and white. It’s part of IBA’s brand. It’s all over their newly constructed buildings. The logo cannot be any colour other than red. Also, study the font used for the building labels. Maybe incorporate that somewhere?
The design is lovely for someone younger, more tech savvy, but then again you need to create an image which is not only geared towards the smartphone generation, but also somewhat professional. Good attempt though. (Y)
thanks for sharing your thoughts!