Linking Passion With Purpose: Balancing Academic Duties with Research to Transform Inexperienced Students into Money-Savvy Managers

Undoubtedly, money or financial management aren’t something that most undergrad students really understand or seriously talk about till their mid-twenties, or sometimes even thereafter. In this blog, we highlight the various ways through which FIIB’s Finance Area Head, Dr. Asheesh Pandey, seeds the importance of financial management and self-efficacy into the minds of budding managers to enhance their financial acumen and develop them into skilful and versatile future business managers.

Those who think money is difficult to manage must have not heard about the significance of financial self-efficacy. You cannot manage the financial health of an organization well without exploring the relationship between financial leverage and risk. – Dr. Asheesh Pandey, Area Chair and Professor (Finance) – FIIB.

On bridging the “hush-hush till turns 30” attitude

Majority of college students struggle to understand the basic terms related to finance management and often are unable to manage even their personal finance well. With every new batch, “I discover the utmost need of imparting the basic financial literacy – saving, budgeting, investing and basic financial decision-making skills – in MBA students that should be taught in their respective graduation courses.” In effect, Dr. Asheesh has no other option but to start from scratch with every batch. 

With minimal financial management knowledge and capabilities among the freshman students, Dr. Asheesh feels that “it becomes absolutely necessary for me to rely on the more practical teaching methodologies, and I personally lay emphasis on learning by doing and not mere lectures. This is why I always prefer teaching my students by presenting the real corporate world examples rather than emphasizing on theoretical knowledge.” 

On bringing the real world into the classroom

Dr. Asheesh firmly believes that using the case study learning method into your classroom is one of the smartest ways to set the right knowledge milestones and define for the students the learning outcomes they need to focus on. When asked how he ensures applying this effective teaching pedagogy in his classrooms, he explained “I usually make students learn meaningful financial analysis and risks associated through emerging market case studies.  It gives an opportunity to students to understand how a particular decision taken by the management shapes the performance of the organization.

On combining his passion with profession 

Though being an excellent teacher in the eyes of his students, what drives Dr. Asheesh professionally the most is research work. “I’ve often been asked how you manage to continue to be passionate about research work while working as a full-time Finance Faculty and also conducting timely Faculty Development Programs (FDPs) for the wider academician community.” He believes that the secret sauce of maintaining a balance between your  passion and profession is to combine them both and let the community you’re overseeing learn through the outcomes. According to him, this has been a proven trick for him in guiding many of his students with the right set of knowledge and attitude. 

In words of Swati Sethi (Senior Business Analyst – IHS Markit), “Dr. Asheesh taught me corporate finance, investment analysis and valuation, portfolio management and financial modelling at FIIB. He is one of the few teachers I know who is able to generate interest for all his subjects amid students. He focusses on strengthening the basics which further eases the journey towards advanced concepts. His real-life examples help the students in bridging the gap between theory and practical job scenarios. His teaching helped me a great deal in clearing interviews as well. Lastly, he is a great source of inspiration for me and most students at FIIB.

I still feel immense gratitude for being a part of a community that always strives to generate better opportunities for each other. Believe it or not but the community as a backbone is what drives you to pursue your passion, and this is something that I feel almost every day being part of the FIIB Racers community.” 

On unleashing the fruits of his passion

In the hustle of providing his students with the updated financial world trends, happenings and the right tools for doing market analysis, Dr. Asheesh has also managed to fulfil his passion for research work very successfully. He has a highly distinguished record of publishing research papers and cases on a regular basis. Some of his recent contributions to his passion include:

  1. A Pedagogical Research “AMTEK Auto Debacle: Financial Statement Analysis” published by Emerald and indexed with SCOPOUS.
  2. Applied Research – “Catch Them Young: Impact of Financial Socialization, Financial Literacy and Attitude toward money on Financial Well-being of Young Adults” accepted in International Journal of Consumer Studies published by Wiley, ABDC (A category), indexed in SCOPOUS and Web of Science.
  3. Applied Research – “Financial well-being of young adults in India: An exploratory study” – accepted in Strategic Change by Wiley publisher, ABDC (C category), indexed in SCOPOUS and Web of Science.