From a small town in Ramanathapuram, Tamil Nadu to the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) premises in South Mumbai, Prabaharan has come a long way. For him, SCMS-COCHIN proved to be the catalyst for this change. After making it to SCMS-COCHIN, Prabaharan found a great opportunity in the form of the United Stock Exchange of India coming his way via the Summer Internship Programme. While Prabahran was unsure of his abilities, his teachers were not.
“It was due to the urging of Professor Srinivasan, a faculty member at SCMS-COCHIN, that I mustered the courage to apply to the United Stock Exchange of India. To everyone’s delight, I was accepted for an SIP between the 25th of June and 14th of September, 2012. For a Finance student, this is probably the ultimate break. A stint with the United Stock Exchange ensures that your understanding of the subject grows by leaps and bounds.”
This was also Prabaharan’s first board-and-lodging experience in Mumbai. With some help from an online broker, he was able to rent an apartment close to his office. It did take him some time to adjust to the new culture, food and the language of Maharashtra; but once he found his footing, it was a very pleasurable and enriching experience.
“The internship involves a research project comparing the derivative markets in India and the US,” says Prabahran about his SIP project. “Since the Indian derivative market is at a nascent stage, while the US market is well established, this project gives me a deep understand of the Indian FX derivative market. Of course, there is the added benefit of learning about the Stock Exchange and Clearing House operations, as well as the importance of SEBI and RBI as regulators of financial markets.”
Prabaharan concedes that this was not easy in the beginning, when he was unfamiliar with the financial jargons of both countries, but with some effort and supplementary reading, he has been able to master the financial language. He feels that this internship in Mumbai has helped him greatly in understanding the corporate working structure in the financial capital of the country. Since his workplace is in ‘Fort’, he is surrounded by some of the biggest corporate offices, which in itself is a great motivating factor.
“The simplicity of it all is rather surprising. Small things like being served coffee in my cabin, wearing a name-tag, and easily walking into a high-security building like the BSE gives me a kick! Also, the broader working culture and discipline of Mumbai, the honesty of taxi drivers and the multiple lifestyles one sees there have been a part of my steep learning curve in this ‘maximum city’.”
Prabaharan feels that had it not been for the support of his faculty mentor at SCMS-COCHIN, Dr. Deepa Pillai, he would not have been able to navigate through the new and exciting waters of his internship as well as Mumbai, and come this far.
“Dr.Deepa Pillai has given me the freedom to call any time and clear doubts. Her advice came especially handy in the beginning of the project when I had many questions. Her suggestion that I maintain a diary helped me learn to organise my work. In fact, you don’t really have to be a mentee to be helped by SCMS-COCHIN faculty. That’s what makes us feel safe and secure even when we are away from SCMS-COCHIN.”
In situations where both work and the city are a new challenge, the importance of a strong academic and emotional backing – like the one provided by SCMS-COCHIN to its students – cannot be stressed enough; and nobody knows this better than Prabaharan.