Emphasizing on fundamentals of any education, Dr. Madhu Veeraraghavan, Director of T. A. Pai Management Institute, Bengaluru, shared his insights on education in management and finance. With the Education Post’s Tanay Kumar, Dr. Veeraraghavan enlightened about the knowledgeable resources of these streams.
Corporate Finance and Behavioural Finance are one of your expertises. Would you please explain the difference between these two?
Corporate finance and behavioural finance are not mutually exclusive streams. Corporate finance broadly involves activities such as capital structure, investment appraisal, dividend policy, and managing working capital. While behavioural finance understands the influence of psychology in financial decisions. A new academic discipline has emerged by merging the two i.e., behavioural corporate finance. This stream analyses how the psychological biases influence the decision-making corporate finance.
TAPMI Bengaluru is an AACSB accredited institute. Would you please enlighten about the benefits and leverages that this accreditation has brought for this institute?
The AACSB accreditation for an undergraduate program (BBA) has three important benefits. First, the AACSB accreditation ensures the robust teaching-learning process in a b-school. The BBA (Hons.) program at TAPMI-Bengaluru is one of its kinds in India.
- The program has a flavour of liberal arts courses along with the management courses. The program is comparable to an undergraduate program offered by a top US business school.
- Second, AACSB is an US based accreditation body. The graduate degree from an AACSB accredited university is accepted by employers all over the world. Hence, our BBA graduates will have access to global job market.
- Third, the accreditation will ease the process if our students want to pursue higher education in foreign universities as a degree from a AACSB accredited university is accepted globally.
The institute has good international collaboration, like Macquarie University, Sydney and Rennes School of Business of France. Please tell us some past and current collaborative research activities and achievements of the institute with the global ones?
TAPMI faculty collaborate with researchers from leading research Universities such as Monash University, Melbourne Business School, University of Southampton, University of Hawaii, Macquarie University, City University of Hong Kong, La Trobe University, University of Texas, Arlington etc on research projects. In addition, we have strong links with the Max Planck Institute for Human Development. Our faculty has also obtained several research grants in collaboration with researchers from global research institutes (such as the Max Planck Institute for Human Development) and research-intensive universities.
India’s largest Educational Trading Lab is there at your institute with a capacity of 36 seats. Please enlighten us about this lab and its success ratio, as many from millennials and Gen-Z have started trading at an early age.
TAPMI is home to a world-class Finance Lab, powered by Bloomberg and Eikon terminals. Equipped with 16 Bloomberg and 7 Eikon terminals with a capacity to seat 36, it is India’s largest Educational Trading Lab supported by live data feed from international financial markets. I would like to highlight three important initiatives of TAPMI to provide hands on experience.
It is a TAPMI’s Student Managed Investment Fund (SMIF) with asset under management of INR 2.5 million. The fund is managed by our students and supervised by an advisory board consisting of faculty members, alumni, and industry experts. The student team gets to dabble in the markets with real money, which provides them with unparalleled exposure over two years. Regular brainstorming sessions within the team and mentorship sessions with seasoned professionals from the industry give them a flavour of what it takes to be a successful finance professional.
Student Managed Investment Course (SMIC):
It is the fund managed as a professionally run entity by the students selected through a rigorous process for this course. The objective of SMIC is to provide experimental learning by enabling students to make investment decisions in the BSE/NSE Listed Companies. Furthermore, through the SMIC Finale, we seek to bring together industry experts and our students on a common platform. Teams present a summary of their learning, and an eminent panel of senior capital market professionals judge the presentation. The industry experts question the fund managers’ investment philosophy, stock selection criteria, portfolio performance, and provide constructive feedback. Second-year students are divided into teams of 5-6 students, and each team is given a corpus of INR 1,25,000 to invest.
It is an event where the Bloomberg Champions from reputed B-schools across India battle it out to earn the coveted Bloomberg Champions Trophy. The event offers a unique opportunity to exhibit command over the powerful Bloomberg Terminal while applying and testing the understanding of the theoretical concepts and fundamentals of finance. The Bloomberg Olympiad is organised every year in association with Bloomberg India.
Being a prominent institute, TAPMI facilitates students to do PhD in finance, economics and management related subjects. Please tell us about some important research papers and areas that the scholars of the institute have published.
We encourage our faculty members to publish in top journals in their area. We follow the journal classification by the Australian Business Deans Council (ABDC). During 2021-22 our faculty have published 21 papers in ‘A’ and ‘A*’ rated journals. This, in my opinion, will put TAPMI in the top 10 schools in India in terms of quality research. Our faculty members publish in top journals such as The Accounting Review, Journal of Business Ethics, Journal of Corporate Finance, Journal of Financial Economics, Journal of Banking and Finance, Economic Modelling, Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, etc.
On a massive scale, finance and management have been coupling with the digital technology, which is good. Are the students of finance and management facing any challenge due to this disruptive digitisation? If yes, please explain.
No, we have not faced any major challenges due to disruptive digitisation. In fact, the use of technology in finance has opened a lot of opportunities. We proactively introduced an elective course on FinTech in 2019 in collaboration with the Fintech consulting firm Virtusa. Similarly, we have organised several workshops and guest lectures by industry experts on this topic. As a result, we have witnessed a lot of job opportunities opened during the placement season.
What are some core notions and aptitude that finance students must always heed over?
There is no substitute for sound fundamentals. Over the years, I have witnessed several trends, fashions, and fads in the finance area. Amidst all these, the fundamentals of finance have not changed. Hence, my advice to students is to pick up a sound understanding of fundamentals during the MBA, and this will stay with you for life.
You’re a recipient of the Vice-Chancellor Gold Medal for Teaching Excellence at a prestigious university. What should a good university professor NOT do?
I would like to answer this question a little differently. I subscribe to what Robert Bloomfield talks about in his paper titled “How to be a Good Professor”. Robert highlights a three-part mission for professors – research, teaching and service. He goes on to add that a good Professor will be able to; communicate effectively; craft constructive reviews and effective response memos; put philosophical insights to practical use; motivate students; share in the governance of your institution; and blend work and life so that each enriches the other. This is a must-read paper for every academic.