If truth be told, “anyone who decides to make a career in the field of finance or economics needs to devote few hours every day towards augmenting his / her learning in a more detailed manner,” came the advice from Amit Nigam, Head –Equities, Peerless Funds Management Company Limited. Amit was the Chief Guest for Jaipuria Institute of Management, Lucknow’s first National Level Finance and Economics conference. Alongside Amit, were names like with Rahul Mitra, CEO, Margdarshak Financial Services Ltd., Sonjai Kumar, VP-Business Risk, Aviva India, Gurgaon and Ravi Kumar Arora, Director, ASP Management Services Private Limited, Lucknow, Former GM, Bank of Baroda and Anupam Jindal, CFO, Sterlite Technologies Limited.
The stage was set at Jaipuria, Lucknow for its First National Level Finance and Economics Conference that was held on 9th and 10th December. It was a huge occasion as the conference aimed to promote research and development activities in the Economics and Finance domain, brought together noted researchers, practitioners and policy makers working in the area on one platform. Thereby it set up important discussions and knowledge sharing on relevant and timely topics that offered valuable insight to the participants.
With the convener and co-convener, Prof. Sushma Vishnani and Prof. Mahima Sharma at the helm, the conference sought to make a marked contribution to the body of knowledge in the fields of corporate finance, banking & financial services, macro-economics, international economics and labor economics. The two day conference had several crucial discussions in carefully chalked out sessions that dealt with various sub themes. Thus it made the tricky topics of Finance and Economics more relatable to the students in the gathering.
Mr. Amit Nigam, Head –Equities, Peerless Funds Management Company Limited was the Chief Guest of the inaugural session. He made students aware of various aspects of the domains in Indian Economy and urged them to learn from others’ experiences besides course studies. Sharing his own experiences, his engaging talk covered topics like equity investment, compound interest, balance sheet, and offered students useful tips that they benefit from throughout their careers.
The well-received session was followed by a tea break where participants mingled with the guests and shared their thoughts. Then it was time for the first Plenary Session with Rahul Mitra, CEO, Margdarshak Financial Services Ltd. He offered important statistics to drive his points home and said, “Long term policy framework needs to be designed to improve infrastructure facilities so as to boost rural economic growth.” Sonjai Kumar, VP-Business Risk, Aviva India, Gurgaon offered a broader outlook on the factors that impact the economy through various examples. He believes, “In today’s times it is vital for research to identify the key dependencies of economic parameters on financial institutions to help in creating fore-warning systems to take proactive action in managing the emerging risks.”
Ravi Kumar Arora, Director, ASP Management Services Private Limited, Lucknow, Former GM, Bank of Baroda further upped the relevance quotient of the talk by focusing on demonetization. He discussed its pros and cons, the impact on Indian SMEs before concluding, “It is a bold step that will help India become corruption-free but it has come with some advantages and disadvantages.” That brought the session to an end and made way for the Technical sessions where participants presented their papers that offered fascinating perspectives on various topics in these areas.
The enthusiasm of Day 1 was carried forward to Day 2, which began with the second plenary session. It had noted academics, Prof. B. V. Phani, IIT Kanpur and Prof. Sanjay Dhamija, IMI, New Delhi on stage. Prof Phani carried the demonetization discussion forward and enlightened the audience by stating that the next big step would be online registration of assets. Prof Dhamija spoke about how capital markets went from being beneficial to brokers to betterment of investors after SEBI came into play.
It was an eye-opening session as Prof. Dhamija delved into latest trends and topics like decline in primary markets, lack of retail participants and impact of various reforms on IPO pricing and performance. Finally it was time for the Valedictory session that was held in the presence of Mr. Anupam Jindal, CFO, Sterlite Technologies Limited. Prof. M. Ashraf Rizvi summarized the learnings from different sessions and highlighted the importance of hosting these conferences for dissemination of happenings in different sectors.
In his talk, Mr. Jindal used real life examples to stress on the difference between mergers and acquisitions. He talked the audience through steps involved in acquisitions and enlightened them about the risks and challenges along the way. His talk was followed by an interactive Q and A session that drew a huge response. The conference ended with presentation of Best Paper awards for the participants.