Sudhakar Rao, Director – Branding, ICFAI Group pays his tribute to Dr. Debapratim Purkayastha, Director of ICFAI Case Research Center, who passed away from COVID-19 on 7 May 2021.
Good friend and colleague Dr Debapratim Purkayastha succumbed to Covid and left me in a rude shock, both personally and professionally. An exemplary life was taken away quite too early. Irreparable loss to his family and to ICFAI. May the good soul rest in eternal peace.
Deb and I traveled together extensively in India and abroad. Gentle, accommodative and hard-working guy. Has been the best selling case author in the world for the last 5 years consecutively. Secured top position for himself alongside the brightest in the world competing with Harvard, INSEAD and the ilk. He won 11 Case Method Oscars so far.
Deb headed the most distinguished centre of excellence- ICFAI Case Research Centre, that stood 2nd or 3rd globally.
I am so proud of his nature that endeared him to me and vice versa, stuck as friends. A real brother to me. Known his wife Somali and son Supratim very closely.
As they say journeys foster relationships, we had one too many. On work. And after work.
Apart from the long haul flights to London, Los Angeles, Denver etc to represent ICFAI on the world stage, we travelled to Udaipur and Pondichery to write cases based on primary research. Our stint at the prestigious HiDesign spawned a long drawn interactions, with the founder and the team, at their corporate office and the factory. What entailed from that visit is a set of 7 cases on a variety of topics.
In cold winter we stayed in King’s palace at Udaipur, to wrote a case on the Prince. Interesting conversations and abundant learnings.
Towards the hills of Denver we walked long, strolled in the city parks, discussed the public transport systems and their social security.
Deb is true explorer, whether it is cases of cities or their culture including food, music and commerce. I tagged along with his ready-made plans in any location. A reliable partner for exploring the unknown.
In Hyderabad, pharma city is coming up in the special zone, so we thought we need to understand what’s happening on the ground. Somali also joined us in the drive during the lockdown in 2020. Such was the level of keenness especially on the matters that are not fully clear.
I rejoiced when he stood inform of INSEAD Blue Ocean Strategy Institute or in front of Peter Drucker Program of Management. More importantly when he stood in front of hundreds of aspiring case researchers sharing some award winning tips with them. From IIMs in India to the best B Schools in the world, he trained many teachers and carved a special niche for himself as a thought leader in the world of case research and business management education.
Deb accomplished quite a bit in such a short span of time. He’s a brand owned not just by ICFAI, but by many in the fraternity of case research. Many more in the classrooms of the world. He remains immortal in the text books prescribed by at least 1000s of business schools around the globe.