As each passing day we push further into the COVID-pandemic, we as a country have realized that the world is full of uncertainty, and monumental changes – including climate change, unexpected crisis scenarios are inevitable and thus preparing together towards adapting to changes is a must. But however, one thing that isnt uncertain are the Sustainable Business Strategies, which are clearly the main in-demand commodities of today, considering the current times of the economies crumbling. Moreover, with a primary goal of leaving a positive impact on society with ingenious strategies which benefit both private and public organizations, the managers of today are a literal hope for all us, who acting as expert generalists can guide us out of this sticky situation. Thereby, shining the spotlight on institutes who are creating managers of tomorrow, redefining sustainability in education, educational hubs like Symbiosis School of Banking and Finance (SSBF), have come a long way catering to the industry demands and trends, and thereby, converting shy, timid students into confident leaders of tomorrow.
Operating as a Deemed University, Symbiosis School of Banking and Finance is an internationally acclaimed institution where students from across the globe aspire to pursue their post-graduate studies, staying well in-sync with the current affairs and trends of the industry. Offering the most relevant curriculum in the Banking, Financial Services and Insurance (BFSI) domain which prepares students to compete in a global environment, SSBF MBA graduates contribute towards the business fellowship from their day one. Also, apart from imparting required domain knowledge, overall development of students is ensured, ensuring students attend guest lectures by international faculty, industry experts via panel discussions, symposiums and so on.
Ideally located in one of the most booming cities of India – Pune, the state-of-the-art infrastructure and the ICT-enabled teaching/learning tools utilized on the school premises are highly resourceful, pushing students to outperform both inside and outside the classroom. Furthermore, promoting a strong sense of community and belonging across all the corners of the campus, all the endeavors carried out as SSBF are student-friendly, making students feel at home every second they spend on the campus. Striving on the lines of promoting international standards and quality education, SSBF envisions inculcating the spirit of ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam’ (the world is one family), at the same time, instilling sensitivity amongst the youth towards the community and environment.
A world of opportunities
In a sincere attempt to understand how SSBF excels as an exemplary place for business learning, we at The Academic Insights got to interview Dr. Manisha Ketkar, the Professor & the Director of the esteemed institute. We posed questions from topics related to academics to research and innovation, and Dr. Manisha made sure she addressed all the important issues and points. Talking in detail about how SSBF has inspired teachers, quality researchers, institution builders and collaborators on the campus, Dr. Manisha also spoke about the importance of teamwork and social belonging to grow manifold, and how the school has been an epitome of mutual understanding and growth. Continuing the conversation, when we asked her about the importance of all-round development of students on the SSBF campus, Dr. Manisha stated – SSBFs wide spectrum of students activities focus on developing the creativity skills for innovative business solutions. Also, she added on how SSBF blooms as a haven for quality research and innovation, by stating – Students publish research and working papers on the contemporary trends in management and finance, and partake in rigorous sessions on Academic writing, Statistics, Research Methodology, R and Python programming and SPSS software growing each day towards enhancing inner research professionals. Via the conversation we also learnt that SSBF hosts an annual research conference called – SymFin, where students showcase their true research acumen and interact with renowned research personnel and scholars.
Adding to the already existing academic excellence at SSBF, the faculty members make SSBF retain its brand value, irrespective of the scenario the world is facing. Consisting of veteran academicians and industry experts heading the whole parade of the faculty on campus, teachers actively involve themselves with the students in their learning process, empowering each one of them on all walks of their respective careers and lives. Additionally, the faculty members are also motivated to attend various Faculty Development Programs (FDPs) and workshops by the Symbiosis Teaching Learning Resource Centre (STLRC) to keep faculty members up to date.
Known for developing students in a holistic way, even during these times of turmoil, SSBF took the whole pandemic in a stride and adapted to the blended learning effortlessly. Having made special efforts to make students understand the importance and relevance of blended learning, SSBF uses Bloom’s Taxonomy, where the faculty is able to impart required knowledge inside and outside the classrooms. Also, various techniques such as discussion of case studies, group discussion, deliberations on the current trends are used to engage students, whereas in normal circumstances at SSBF field trips, company visits, and outbound learning (OBL) activities would have been a norm. In addition to the complete blended learning ethos followed currently, students are given full access to e-learning platforms such as Coursera, e-books, videos, & both offline and online resources.
Empowering endless competencies
Serving as a thorough platform where students are groomed and motivated to embark on the journey of becoming global leaders, SSBF also excels in the space of corporate training. So far, SSBF has successfully delivered domain specific and soft skills training programs for public and private sector banks. Also, in the near future, SSBF is looking forward to conducting leadership development programs for seasoned professionals, and is also in the process of launching a Diploma in Banking and Finance (DBF) and Diploma in FinTech (DFT) for working professionals which will be helpful in their professional growth.
Having an impressive industry-academia connection adds on to the pros of SSBF, facilitating easy collaboration opportunities with reputed organizations for conducting research and industry-relevant growth. Along with having students get placed in top corporates and giving them wings to fly high in this ever changing world, SSBF also promotes entrepreneurship on a large scale, dedicating an E-Cell for students to learn about emerging businesses in the financial sector across the globe. In addition, the regular E Cell activities encourage students to spot opportunities, financing options, risk assessment and managing businesses. The activities of the entrepreneurship cell are aligned with the curriculum to provide adequate know-how and skills to influence entrepreneurial intentions and to develop entrepreneurial careers.
All in all, with a highly ambitious management and the brand-value of Symbiosis University being a major backbone to the b-school, SSBF has indeed pushed managerial competencies in their students. Be it interpersonal communication or stress management, graduates of SSBF are turned into skilled personalities, who are cross-cultural experts, who have love and respect towards mankind, steadily working towards a better society.
Dr. Manisha Ketkar – Professor & Director
A Commerce graduate and a Fellow Cost Accountant (FCMA), Dr. Manisha has done her Masters in Business Studies (MBS) from the University of Pune. Also, after finishing her PhD in ‘Study of supply risk management practices’ with Symbiosis International (Deemed University) under the guidance of Dr. O. S. Vaidya from IIM Lucknow, Dr. Ketkar went on to present papers in International Conferences and also has some published papers to her credit. An individual with 31 years of experience, she has handled the operations of a business unit of a pharmaceutical multinational for over 16 years before her passion for teaching made her join Symbiosis in 2006. Along with academics, she is also known for her innovative approach to improvements, from student related matters to process reengineering.