Managing money and adding value

PATHFINDER

Managing money and adding value

Finance has been one of the preferred career choices for Indians since time immemorial. Government jobs were always in great demand. However, with economic liberation and globalisation, the scope of a career in finance has grown manifold and the industry now offers various new career opportunities.

Increased competition has made companies focus on reducing overhead costs to strengthen the bottom-line. This has resulted in increased demand for trained finance professionals.

Finance has gown beyond accounting and audit to executing cash management activities, guiding investment activities and managing investor relations. The function has become more futuristic and the finance consultant has assumed the role of ‘fortune teller’ for clients.

The changing role of Corporate Finance has resulted in more and more MBA graduates becoming financial officers, a role that was once reserved only for chartered accountants (CAs).

While CAs maintain the financial history of a company through accounting and audit, MBA graduates are responsible for the future as they strategise, make investments and  manage money.

An MBA in Finance can offer multiple career opportunities, with most prospective jobs falling within banks, corporations, securities firms and the consulting industry. A large number of graduates are also absorbed by the KPO industry, where they are expected to conduct research for clients both within and outside the country.

Roles & responsibilities

Financial Managers or Financial Analysts: The role of Financial Manager is to oversee the generation of financial analysis reports, to help his/her company in decision-making, business development and strategic planning.

Financial analysts help design the company’s investment and growth plan. They also help develop cash management, and merger and acquisition strategies. 

The role of a Financial Manager/ Analyst is common in most consulting firms. However, in recent times, a large number of such professionals are required by KPO companies that support businesses outside the country.  

Treasurers and Finance Officers: Their main responsibility is to formulate and implement strategies to raise capital, oversee cash management and manage a company’s investment activities, including mergers and acquisitions.

Risk and Insurance Managers: Professionals in this position are responsible for mitigating exposure-to-risk, to minimise possible losses for the company.

Management Consultants: One of the most coveted jobs is the Management Consultant’s position. Candidates will oversee and supervise a wide range of financial decisions, profitability improvement, corporate restructuring and strategising.

Investment Bankers: This is the dream job for MBA graduates. An investment banker works closely with companies that need capital to grow. They bring together  venture capitalists and clients.

Wealth Managers / Financial Planners: They provide clients with investment plans and strategies, mainly HNIs (High Networth Individuals) on how to maximise returns on investments. The role has very high potential for growth as domestic savings in India are high and growing. Experts provide assistance on how to manage bonds, stocks, equity or debt funds with the objective of maximising returns.

Roles in branch banking

Branch banking is an upcoming division in the financial market. It could vary between branch services and branch operations to branch credit roles. Finance graduates may look for positions such as:

*Sales Managers in Insurance Companies

*Analysts, Traders and Sales Managers in Securities Companies: A growing economy, a resilient stock market and an increasing number of Indians who can invest in direct stocks have enabled this industry to add lakhs of jobs to this.

Industry overview

Over the last 10 years the BFSI (Financial Services) sector has created not less than a million jobs.

With Indian GDP projected to grow at more than 10 per cent per annum and financial reforms still awaited, the sector is still to experience its peak.

Growth in this sector slowed down due to the economic downturn in 2008. But companies have managed to survive the slowdown. Growth in this sector is directly proportional to number jobs created in this sector.

The financial services sector has created jobs that provide competitive compensation and a high growth rate. A professional would typically be higher in both compensation and position as compared to his/her contemporary in other divisions like FMCG and Consumer Durables.

Colleges that offer an MBA in Finance include:

*Indian Institutes of Management

*Indian School of Business & Finance, New Delhi

*Faculty of Management Studies, New Delhi

*MDI, Gurgaon— XLRI, Jamshedpur

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