COBCAM 2017 Inauguration Ceremony

The Inaugural Ceremony of COBCAM 2017 began with the ceremonial lighting of the lamp by the Director, Dr. Madhu Veera Raghavan, Admissions Chair, Professor Aditya Mohan Jadhav, BKFS Representative Mr. Dhanyakumar Malali and the Key Note Speaker of COBCAM 2017, Mr. Deepak Reddy, Group Head HR, Bajaj Finserv.

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Professor Aditya Mohan Jadhav emphasized the grounded industrial exposure the students of TAPMI get by the very structure of the curriculum. Dr. Madhu Veera Raghavan opened COBCAM 2017 by sharing his dream for TAPMI to be one of the top 10 Business Schools in India and for BKFS students to play an integral role in the financial services sector. He stressed on continuous revival and revamping of the curriculum to keep in constant touch with the changes in the industry.

The Key Speaker, Mr. Deepak Reddy refreshed on some of his fondest memories and biggest learnings as a TAPMI student. He urged the students to learn as much as possible in as many diverse sectors and fields. He noted the change in the perception of the consumers towards the banking industry and how that the most important factors that influence the success in the banking service sector are customer’s ease of obtaining information and customer fulfillment.

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He praised the change from the traditional banking practices to modern digitized methods which vastly reduced the processing speed. While this has greatly increased customer satisfaction, it has simultaneously reduced employment requirements; replacing man with machine. A case in point, he reminded the students that the financial sector is highly volatile with uncertainty around every turn.

On what he expects from students and future leaders, he demands that we find our purpose in life; a field where we can create an impact and lead change. He also stressed the importance of being socially aware and developing capabilities to collaborate with other individuals. He urged the students to work hard and learn continuously.

The insightful and informative speech set the tone for an evening of learning at COBCAM 2017.

Manthan 2017: Day 2: Guest Lecture 2: “How to analyse an investment idea- A true life example”- Mr.Ravi Sundaram, Senior Development Manager, iNautix Technoogies India Pvt Ltd.

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Mr. Ravi S. started the discussion by quoting “Don’t invest for the sake of making money, but to gain an understanding of the market.” By taking the example of the pharmaceutical sector he is closely associated to, he explained concentrated vs. diversified portfolio. According to him, all guidelines need to be strictly followed while considering each of them.

He went on to explain the process related details while making investments. He mentioned that the duration depends on the nature of the investments. The holding period depends on the nature of stocks you are holding in the firm. Right issue needs to be carefully considered while going through with the decision. He further elaborated the investment decisions by citing an example of the life cycle of the drug which goes through various stages namely pre-clinical, clinical, NDA Review, Post marketing, launch, generic.

He went on to explain the road ahead for the pharmaceutical sector, through which he explained the important considerations like “Am I paying too much?.” Here, we mentioned that more than numbers, judgment and expertise matter while making investments.

While considering investments in a start-up, sustenance with consistency is a takeaway. He also explained few standpoints including government’s involvement in policy making. He said that the government looks at it holistically, not based on individual investor’s interest.

He also explained certain concerns while making investment decisions, few of which include life cycle phase wherein it possibly still be in early investment phase involving high R&D cost. Management’s strategy of in-organic growth, low tax%- take has its subsidiaries in countries where they book R&D expenses and outspoken management i.e. the number of media interactions include some of the other concerns. He ended the discussion by quoting wise quoting as an requisite to good investment decisions.

Manthan 2017: Day 2: Guest Lecture 3: “Credit Rating Perspective”- Mr. Shaik Mohammed Haneef, Deputy Manager Business Development, ICRA.

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Mr. Shaik Mohammed Haneef from ICRA enlightened the students about the various types of credit ratings and how it is evaluated from the point of view of ICRA in his session on ‘Credit Rating Perspective’. He stated that ICRA majorly evaluates and provides credit ratings and non-credit ratings which are used by clients for understanding a corporate’s credit state.

He elaborated and explained on various credit ratings such as SME Rating, bank loans, infrastructure projects, and commercial papers. He also put some light on non-credit ratings such as real estate grading, solar grading, ESCO (Energy Services Company) grading which is used to understand energy efficiency, and vendor rating.

Mr. Haneef further elaborated on the four different sources of risk such as industry risk, business risk, financial risk, and management risk. He later gave a practical understanding of the risks to the students through the ICRA website followed by answering some intuitive questions by the students on the same.

Manthan 2017: Day 2: Guest Lecture 1: “Operational risk” – Mr. Lalit Taneja, Regional Director, Global Association of Risk Professionals.

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The topic being discussed in the guest lecture was operational risk. Mr. Taneja explained to the students the concept of operational risk using Basel Committee’s existing definition. It is basically the loss that is incurred due to failed internal processes, people, and systems or from external events. He also explained that individual banks can adopt their own definitions of operational risk if the minimum elements in the Committee’s definition are included. A key takeaway from the discussion was that operational risk is inevitable and cannot be zero.

Mr. Taneja briefly spoke about internal & external fraud, employee & workplace safety, clients, products and business practices, and process management. He emphasized the importance of operational risk indicators. These indicators are vital in identifying potential losses and tend to be specific to organizations.  They refer to lagging/ex-post measures and information on events that have already taken place (examples include failed trades, settlement errors). It is up to the risk managers to transform lagging into leading indicators. This process can be carried out by changing the focus of the indicators or even by adding new information. Thus, the focus of these indicators could be changed to highlight issues that are still outstanding or remain open after a specified period of time. The transformation of these processes is difficult to implement in reality. He went on to explain three types of risks namely:

  1. Legal risk – It is included in operational risk. It refers to the risk of disruption to operations due to unenforceable contracts, lawsuits, adverse judgments and legal proceedings.
  2. Reputation risk – Although this type of risk isn’t usually considered, reputation risk is very critical to a business. It refers to negative public opinion. A fall in a company’s reputation can result in liquidity difficulties and falling share prices.
  3. Business or strategy risk – It arises from an adverse shift in the assumptions, goals and other features that underpin a strategy.

The next part of the lecture was about the latest trends and approaches. Mr. Taneja spoke of the relevance of frameworks, advanced analytics, strategic planning, stakeholder feedback, advanced management approach and the need to forecast “black swan” events. Post the discussion, Mr. Taneja answered questions which were along the lines of operational risk, risk management, and its applicability. He was able to explain the concept exceedingly well because he was able to relate it to real life examples in corporate organizations and financial institutions.

MANTHAN 2017: DAY 1: Inaugural Ceremony

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The inauguration ceremony of Manthan 2017, the annual budget conclave of T. A. Pai Management Institute, Manipal was held today. The theme for this year’s event is “Evaluate Empower Exceed”. It started off with an insightful address to students by the Director-in-chief, Prof. Gururaj Kidiyoor and was followed by an informative speech by Prof. Madhu Veeraraghavan. He spoke about the TAPMI Finance Lab and the intent behind establishing it. It was started in the year 2013 and was established with a vision to position TAPMI as a leader in Banking and Finance education in the country. This goal is continuously pursued by training students in real time trading and investments in one of the finest finance labs in India today.

TAPMI has always strived hard to make its finance courses industry relevant and SMIC is one such course. Students today are neither interested in learning only theories, nor they want to limit themselves to writing papers and journals. They want real world experiences and this is explicitly the reason why SMIC was introduced as a course. SMIC is a course specially designed for students to train them in the art of investment. Students learn the fundamentals of trading and are provided real money for investing. This differentiates TAPMI from other colleges where trading happens only through simulations and lack real-time experience. With the vision to bridge the gap between theory and practice, SMIC provides hands-on experience to the students for growing and developing to become successful investors.

The ceremony was followed by the SMIC presentations. It was indeed an extremely proud day for TAPMI to celebrate and demonstrate excellence through the 11 teams who worked really hard for days and presented their portfolios before the industry experts.  The teams comprised of both PGDM and BKFS students. The students got an opportunity to act as real-world investors and present their investment ideas before industry experts. The judges reviewed each team’s work and provided suggestions after finding out weak areas in each plan. The feedback from the judges was a great value addition for the teams and helped them identify areas of improvement.

“Digitization in Finance” – Mr. Rahul Malhotra, CFO and Vice President, BFSI Vertical, Genpact.

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In an informative session with students, Mr. Rahul spoke about how drastically the expectations from finance have changed in the recent past and how digitization has played a major role in achieving this. Today every facet of the industry is being impacted by word Digital. Digital is commonly confused with technology but it comprises of much more. It is how a firm’s function, processes and structure is being transformed. “Digital is coming up with ideas to make the work you are doing more refined, organised and simple”, he said.

He spoke about how everything today from organization’s processes and basic foundations to the structure is being automated resulting in a completely digitally driven business. Companies are eager to implement new ideas and things are changing so fast that you can never apply the same concepts. Therefore it is very important for us to quickly adapt to this change.

Digitization can mean different things to different organizations at different times. With numerous technological changes happening, an organization will get confused if it doesn’t have a clear line of vision on what it wants to achieve. Digitization has to be driven precisely by the need and vision of the organization.

Moving further, he talked about the importance of human touch while digitizing. Firms in the aim to digitize are removing the human factor completely. An example of this is how Neural Chat is being worked upon as an experiment by banks to change customer experience completely. In an era, where everything is being automated and robots are taking over, firms must realise that the human factor is still important to deliver customer experience. Digitization is of no use if it doesn’t translate to superior customer experience. The main aim of any business is to make the customer happy. You may have the best system, processes but it will not work if the customer is not happy with the services you provide.

Companies also need to ensure that their front end and back end are streamlined and work hand in hand. Today companies are trying to be objective and use analytics and science in every process. A firm’s customer interaction might be superior but if your backend is weak the process will fall apart.

Moving on he spoke about how Digitization is impacting three broad areas of any business: customer service, operational processes and business model. He talked about how Genpact is helping its clients with their strategy that can help them impart the customer experience and type of operational processes they desire.

He concluded by telling how the world is changing to a digital world which reduces jobs but increases capacity. Today, expectations and roles of Finance in an organization have completely changed. Finance has a role in every major decision of the firm irrespective of the department. The main reason which has led to this change is that with the amount of data available, you need tools such as predictive analytics and forecasting for taking a decision and that requires the help of Finance.

FINOMENAL 2016: DAY 2:”CAREERS IN FRM”-Mr. Lalit Taneja, Regional Director, Global Association of Risk Professionals

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In an interactive session with students Mr. Lalit Taneja, Regional Director, Global Association of  Risk Professionals gave the students insights about the various career prospects in the field of Financial Risk Management. The session started off with him telling the students about the key forces driving the demand for risk managers. Before 2008 financial crisis market was driven by sales then post the crisis operations took over and presently the focus has completely shifted to regulation. This demand is the result of many historical drivers some of which are globalisation and integration of markets, increased product complexity, technological advances, regulations and market crisis. Sovereign risk, commodity market volatility, increased focus on organizational risk are some of the factors that have recently further accelerated the demand for risk managers.

He further stated why people are increasingly shifting to jobs in the field of FRM. Financial Risk Management assesses an individual’s ability to measure and manage risk in a real-world environment. What sets FRM apart is reliability, maintenance, validity, and acceptance. In the recent years, new trends have been constantly emerging in FRM. Due to current issues like cyber risk, liquidity risk, and regulatory stress, FRM has become a prerequisite for every organisation. GARP plays an active role in monitoring the work of certified FMR practitioners.

As the session approached its end, he concluded by stating some of the latest trends shaping the role of risk management which includes regulations, technology, advanced analytics and the emergence of newly arrived risks such as model risk, cyber security risk, and contagious risk. With these emerging trends, companies are gearing up to tackle these risks. Organisations are imparting risk education to their employees and are encouraging them to learn by providing benefits like exam preparation leaves, study groups in office and in-house course instructor.