Finance Club At IIM Nagpur – A Confluence Of Classroom Learning & Real-Time Application

The Finance club of IIM Nagpur is not just another club. It works with the core mission of ensuring that students get to explore the practical aspects of different areas from the finance domain on a regular pace and at a higher frequency. The vision behind its functionality revolves around enabling opportunities for the PGP students so that they can apply their knowledge to real-world problems to learn and enhance their skills.

If we look at last couple of years, the club has conducted various in-house and national level events such as Buzzet 2K19, a Financial Budget 2019 analysis competition, IB Pitchbook, an event to give exposure to students regarding how to raise financial capital; Stockmind, an event highly popular amongst finance geeks that provides them with a virtual trading platform to get close to the actual feel of trading, etc. In IB Pitchbook, students could easily apply concepts learnt in classes such as the popular and basic concepts of NPV, IRR and the DCF model for valuation of investments to name the few. Additionally, this competition gave the exposure of the stages an investment bank goes through to raise the financial capital for the client using IB Pitchbook.

In addition to these, the club hosts many renowned executives from the industry, who comes on campus and delivers sessions that gives insights about the current industry trends, opportunities and challenges and hence, helps in bridging the gap between academia and industry. Some of these sessions held so far were focused on Blockchain and its disruption in the financial market, Supply Chain Finance (SCF), which was focused on giving students the exposure to the basic concepts of SCF like Vendor Financing and Channel Financing and various nuances in the industry, etc.

Apart from organising competitions and guest sessions, the club also collaborates with Faculty to facilitate the doubt solving sessions and to provide continuous feedback on the concerned subjects. Additionally, some of the initiatives taken by the club have been to start Student-run Mutual Fund and a discussion forum for stock trading.

The work and the responsibilities of the club do not end here. The club has been working towards the continuous pursuit of enabling students to apply their in-class learnings in National level competitions like CFA Institute challenge, RBI Policy Challenge (IIM Nagpur team was the National Finalist of RBI Policy Challenge 2018), Credit Research Challenge (IIM Nagpur team was the Semi-finalist for CRC 2018-19).

Reading and learning concepts in the class is different from applying them practically. The concerned students got a real taste of this in the Credit Research Challenge, in which they applied in-class concepts of financial statement analysis, company valuation, trend analysis of Bharti Airtel. The students came to know about the real implications of the choice of depreciation method and company dividend policy and worked on a horizontal & cross-sectional analysis of financial statements, cash-flow analysis, and application of ratios for analysis of company profitability, activity and liquidity. In the classroom, though students were taught these concepts in the case study of Financial Accounting of Southwest Airlines, it was in this CRC competition when they recalled these concepts and hence, felt comfortable to work through the analysis.

In coming years, the club focuses on building a strong knowledge base of students via knowledge sharing discussions over financial market affairs, live project, and to take forward the student-run mutual fund from conceptualisation stage to an active stage.

Last but not the least, the success of any club, especially Finance, is dependent on the students, where they are required to have not only a good knowledge in Finance but also a marketing bent to promote the club activities, a strategic mindset to plan for not only short term but also long-term events and activities, and the operations to execute them well.

Eventually, it’s the people skills which will then be required to cross the finish line.

About the Author

Saurabh Bhatia, an alumnus of NIT Surat, is a PGP candidate at IIM Nagpur. He is a CFA level 1 and is specialising in Finance area from IIM Nagpur. Prior to his MBA, he worked with ZS Associates and Rescon Management Consulting. Apart from IIM Nagpur, he had also converted IIM Amritsar and IIM Sirmaur.