Dr. Bala V. Balachandran

July 5, 1937 - September 27, 2021
HABEN Funeral Home & Crematory
8057 Niles Center Rd.
Skokie, IL 60077
847.673.6111 | Map
Wednesday 9/29
Hindu Pooja Service

All Services Are Private

[Please note:  In compliance with CDC, State, and local COVID guidelines, face masks are mandatory indoors regardless of vaccination status.]

Those wishing to participate virtually may do so using the following Zoom link:

Meeting ID: 811 4859 1079

Memorial Contributions

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorial gifts be made to:

NorthShore University HealthSystem Foundation

Designation: Community Health Center

1033 University Place, Suite 450

Evanston, IL, 60201


Bala V. Balachandran (J.L. Kellogg Distinguished Professor of Accounting & Information Management (emeritus in service), Northwestern University and Founder, Chairman & Dean (emeritus) of Great Lakes Institute of Management, India, passed away Monday, September 27, 2021, at his residence in Northbrook, IL, after a brief illness. He was 84. Beloved husband of Vasantha, nee Dandapani;Continue Reading

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Robert Fong left a message on October 14, 2021:
Bala was the professor of CEO's of Intel, Motorola and every big bank and many great leaders. He was not only my favourite professor when I was doing the Kellogg International Executive MBA, he was my lifelong dear friend. He was different. He was a maverick and a loving Uncle in every way. He inspired me more than anyone has in my life including my parents and all teachers and mentors. A few words I heard from Bala have made me everyday try to live up to them and I will share these with you in memory of this GREAT TITAN!Those who were in my KS02 Kellogg Schulich class will remember that when he was giving one of his life changing lectures to our class one time he "ripped out" the sheet that he was teaching in his binder and said "Robert stand up and please educate your fellow classmates as your bleeding edge research into the 4sights model you created makes what I'm about to teach obsolete". He then proceeded to tear up his lecture notes and invited me down to teach my then advanced proprietary financial trading and strategy research that I had just shared with him that same morning when he invited me for breakfast. Me, just a student of his. I will never forget you Bala when you gave me such high praise over breakfast that I will never ever forget these kind words. He said "Robert you are a Visionary, a Scholar and Astute Global Leader". He called me a Scholar! Me? He for those of you who do not know was one of the founding fathers of Activity Based Costing (ABC) with his professor also legendary Robert Kaplan! ABC is taught all around the would to every single accounting student ever to live. This Bala was a GIANT, no man, no mere mortal could be in a room with him and not feel inferior (except this young arrogant man) but that is the type of amazing leader and friend and UNCLE he was. He was the most friendly person did not discriminate anyone nor fault people for being intellectually arrogant and was a friend to everyone in the room. Believe it or not, because of this, he had his haters initially who were basically LAZY and didn't want to do the work. But those haters would eventually be shut up due to Bala not only knowing his stuff but TOUCHING THEIR HEARTS.I was just a young senior executive (head strong and intellectually arrogant due to significant advancement in a short period of time - was youngest Adjunct Professor at York University at 24 while keeping full time leadership role at Deloitte) ahead of my time and couldn't believe the pure LOVE Bala had for true innovation. Unlike others like Michael Porter or Clayton Christensen who are giants but arrogant. Bala didn't have to be the one who invented it, even a (then lowly) student could be more advanced than this great great man because he FOSTERED INNOVATION. He BRED it. He NURTURED it. He LIVED and BREATHED it. He CARED about every single person he met and he truly wanted every single person to be the best versions of themselves all the time. A man who advised US Presidents including US President Jimmy Carter. US President Barack Obama. Yes, Bala was SUPER Bala and I am proud to say not only was he my professor, teacher, Uncle but also my buddy.Bala taught his students about Management Accounting but more importantly he taught his students about LIFE. Your legacy at Kellogg and around the world will live on.We became incredibly close friends (buddies as we "understood" each other intellectually (mind meld) which he said there was no one who could keep up with "me" another compliment I need to live up to every day!) after that and not only kept in touch, we co-write articles and a book together about various pursuits including Stranded Assets, Fusion, Nanotechnology Self-Assembly Economics and Green Finance. These are top shelf "technology" as they are more than academia, they are proprietary trading algorithms.When I was in Chicago giving an internal conference as the new Chairman and Chief Investment Officer, previously Worldwide Managing Director, Chief Operating Officer of a Hedge Fund/Proprietary Trading outfit to my 200+ Vice President's and Partners of which Goldman Sachs Properties we also managed I had him deliver the Keynote address! Bala, you won so many admirers that day that your models were in internal pitches for the next years! Afterwards, he invited me over to his house and there we sat for hours laughing and scheming about new models and absolutely boring his wife but she was also SOOO supportive of her TITAN of a husband GRANDMASTER BALA.Bala, our research and some of our still unpublished research (because it is proprietary but I will now make public) which I will publish but make sure your name is there is responsible for the word FUSION and Stranded Assets being used by companies and products which is now EVERYWHERE. From the Ford Fusion (Matt Holland was BCG CEO and advised Jacques Nasser after I taught him about my models which you called REVOLUTIONARY and you made easy to understand) to Bell Networks Fusion (which Prashant Pathak from McKinsey when I taught him about the models I made). Bala you along with another DEAR Professor Dr. Gary Spraakman of York University are the founding fathers of FUSION and Stranded Assets which has been implemented by McKinsey and The Boston Consulting Group into Global 1000 companies the world over and Goldman Sachs uses it everywhere. And I still use it today! Your impact is you are able to take extremely difficult concepts and make them funny and easy to remember as people have a smile when they see it. That is what I learned from you GRANDMASTER BALA!Bala shared with me that then in the 1980's when Dean Jacobs (Another GIANT of Kellogg) and him planned out how to become #1 in the world as Harvard and Wharton and Kellogg would always tie for 1,2 and 3 him and Dean Jacobs came up with the now legendary Kellogg Team Model of learning that would attack the socratic HBS model by making a FRIENDLY MAFIA. It worked and Kellogg was #1 when I took it and it was always nice to see the origins of how it got there! Even today, if a Kellogg Alum calls me I will get back to him or her in less than 24 hours. That is what Bala has instilled in the now not intellectually and arrogant me!I could go on but that should give you all a sliver of the GLOBAL GRANDMASTER BALA, the TITAN and MASTER OF THE UNIVERSE who tamed intellectual arrogance to HARNESS IT in Kellogg to share together for the betterment of all.Bala, I SALUTE YOU AND YOU WILL BE MISSED!You are still listed in my RESUME and so our work will STILL LIVE ON!Your kindness to all will be remembered and treasured.You taught me a very very important life lesson together with another Kellogg Executive MBAer (you know who you are) who is also your buddy. Hint, he was a US champion professional body builder and a Sears VP. You both sat down with the younger version of me who had a 190 IQ but no EQ to speak of. If you remember, it was shown like this. As a body builder you command a strong presence in every room you walk in and are intimidating so people are scared of you. So you learned to talk and act more gentle and friendly and to not be so intimidating. You both showed me and said that I have the same problem but not a physical body building menacing hulk problem but a powerful beautiful mind that is worse as I can run laps around anyone and they feel inferior or stupid and lash out and thus you both taught me to talk like a grade 8 kid and smile more and play dumb more and only up it when you see there is brain trust in the room. This advice has served me well and has brought me to the highest echelons. Thanks to you I retired early and now pursue Philanthropy, Missionary and Charitable Foundation works. Like you, I dabble in some investments, advisory and efforts I care about. I will name some after you as I know what you would support.THANK YOU BALA!!!YOU WILL BE MISSED!!!!!Now you can take some rest as you have done the work of 50 people in your lifetime!RobertDr. Robert Fong, B.Comm, B.As (York), MBA (Kellogg), CPA, CMA (Ex-Ontario), LL.M (Osgoode 2021 updated), Ph.D (Honourary)
Charu Nair left a message on September 29, 2021:
Bala was a part of our family for the past about three decades. My husband and he shared a very close relationship and he with our family as well. Shortly after our marriage, joining my husband on his convention where Bala was as well, we had many enjoyable evenings bantering after the formal events were done. When he and dear Vasantha graced our home for a weeklong visit, we had many memorable times and conversations. He was very taken with our young daughter who he said inspired his prayers to be blessed with grand-daughters, a wish that has come true. When in India with my daughter, he had arranged for us to be safely transported from the airport at late night. He is very alive win our deepest memories and will remain in our hearts first as a family member, along with his family, as well as a friend, mentor, guide, amazing human. The world has lost a gentle giant, may he rest in peace and divine love in the heavens above. From The Nairs
Haben Funeral Home & Crematory left a message:
Please accept our deepest condolences for your family's loss.
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