Kulbhushan Balooni has been associated with the IIMs for more than 25 years. He was among the first faculty members who joined the Indian Institute of Management Kozhikode in its first academic year (1997–1998). He earned the position of Professor in 2012. He served as IIM Kozhikode's Director i/c from September 2014 to June 2018 and also established and nurtured IIM Amritsar as Mentor Director during the same period. He has been Director of IIM Kashipur since June 2019.
He undertook post-doctoral research at the University of Tokyo and doctoral research at the Institute of Rural Management Anand (IRMA). He has been a visiting scholar at the National University of Singapore, University of Copenhagen, University of Tokyo, Uppsala University, and Wageningen University. He is a Leadership for Environment and Development (LEAD) Fellow.
Kulbhushan undertakes interdisciplinary research on the environment, resources, development policy and sustainability, and agribusiness in developing countries. He has focused on conservation, participatory governance, local institutions, and social entrepreneurship within this broad area. His research has been featured in Conservation Letters, Conservation and Society, Ecology & Society, Economic & Political Weekly, International Journal of the Commons, Journal of Social Entrepreneurship, Landscape & Urban Planning, and World Development, among other journals.