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Financial Wizards Inc.

Real time fin labs, innovative exams, sylvan campus... life at IIM-C’s exciting Mou Chakraborty Reports

education Updated: Nov 04, 2009 09:30 IST
Mou Chakraborty

Bull runs and bear hugs are pet subjects here. Gourav Chatterji, 23, a second year management student, keeps one eye on the Bloomberg terminal and the other on the Bombay Stock Exchange numbers flashing on the audiovisual monitor near which Professor Ashok Banerjee is explaining the reasons behind the spike in share prices in the morning session.

His classmate Rahul Dasgupta, 23, says ever since his summer training at an investment bank, he has been waiting to crunch financial data with real numbers. “Bloomberg has a comprehensive database that the I-Bank I interned with used. It is exciting to work on the same numbers in the classroom.”

This is just one of the ways in which the Indian Institute of Management, Calcutta (IIM-C), considered the Mecca for aspiring finance managers in the country, trains its students in stock and commodities market strategies.

“It gives students hands-on experience in financial market data analysis and facilitates applied research,” said Ashish K Bhattacharyya, Professor, Finance & Control.

Although there is no floor trading in the lab, but students use the ‘almost real time data’ for analysis, project works and research. “Till date we relied on intuition. Now we can click on the ticker of any listed company in the world and get all its details. It helps us make accurate predictions,” said Dasgupta. The best B-schools around the world, especially the eight Ivy League institutions, also have such financial labs.

Established in 1961, the IIM-C has blossomed into one of the finest business schools in Asia, said Saibal Chattopadhyay, Dean, Programme Initiative. “Globalisation of business has led to a greater world focus in the curriculum, incorporating courses on global leadership, diversity management and managing across cultures, etc. We are also seeking accreditation of international ranking organisations such as The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools to improve academic quality.”

Prafull Agnihotri, professor in-charge of the placements cell, explained how the institute gets its students ready for the competitive world: “Beyond classroom teaching, we help students groom their personality. Our dramatics cell, for instance, helps them overcome stage frigh and shed inhibitions. That’s what makes our students the coveted by recruiters.”

Asian Paints has been a regular recruiter. “Though it is known as the financial campus of the country, our IIM-C recruits have displayed great people skills, too,” said Asian Paints CEO K. B. S. Anand, IIM-C alumnus from the class of 1979.

Former Steel Authority of India Limited director Mrinmoy Roy, 61, who graduated in 1969, said studying at IIM-C was the best thing that could have happened to him.

“I was shocked when we took our first exam. Students were allowed to go to the library and consult books in the exam hall! The idea was to see how much we had learnt and not how much we have mugged. These lessons in ‘learning’ helped me at every stage of my life.”

If the class of 2010 can take a leaf out of Roy’s book, they’ll help the B-school realise its goal of global accreditation.

The campus
The 135-acre lush green campus on the outskirts of Kolkata houses seven lakes (fishing and boating is banned here).
From any point in the campus you can see at least one lake — or so goes the college lore.

The campus has 1,100 students and an equal number of trees. On May 26, when the Alia storm hit the Bay of Bengal and 240 trees were uprooted, the institute immediately replanted all of them.

The lakes and the migratory birds that come here in winter make it one of the most romantic campuses among all the IIMs

Factfile

Highest salary
2009: Rs 60 lakh
2008: Rs Rs 65 lakh
2007: Rs 40 lakh

Batch size
2009: 265
2008: 291
2007: 251

Placement season days
2009: 10 days
2008: 3.5 days
2007: 5 days

High-profile alumni
Ajit Balakrishnan
Founder, Chairman and CEO of Rediff.com

Shantanu Khosla
Managing Director, Proctor & Gamble, Hygiene & Health Care Limited

Harish Nim
Founder and CEO of Emerio

Varun Bajpai
Managing Director, Marquarie Bank

Krishna G. Palepu

Ross Graham Walker Professor of Business Administration, Harvard Business School

High-profile recruiters
Boston Consulting Group, Barclays Capital, Bloomberg, BNP Paribas, Deutsche Bank