Interview with Tanuj Nandan, Prof MNNIT India - Business Financial Education, Statistics, Fintech, Macro Economics

By Hernaldo Turrillo - Jun 05, 2020

Dinis Guarda interviews Tanuj Nandan, Professor, School of Management Studies Motilal Nehru National Institute of Technology Allahabad

Dr. Tanuj Nandan is Professor and former Head, School of Management Studies, Motilal Nehru National Institute of Technology Allahabad, Prayagraj, Uttar Pradesh, India. His areas of interest include Financial Derivatives, International Finance and Corporate Finance. He possesses twenty-four years of research and teaching experience. Tanuj has a Background in statistics, economics and finance.

Interview questions

1. Personal background
2. Education and university background
3. Career highlights and development
4. Research focus and main areas
5. How do you see the present challenges in your industry expertise area
6. How Covid 19 is impacting the world and the areas of your expertise
7. What message of hope do you highlight in these times?

Quotes and highlights

About India's cultural and economic background. India multi pot of hundreds of cultures, languages, social background.

In history India never tried to conquer other countries but was a powerhouse in ideas and social background.

India has the 2d railways network in the world.

In energy, India is trying to improve its capacity and enhance manufacturing capacity.

One of India's strength is in human capital.

Overview of education and the economy in India. I would say education in India is better than the average worldwide, especially in high school levels. We are working from academia and the government to improve literacy and education throughout the country. There is a gap between what industries need and the education we provide to the students. Industries are now improving training programs to close that gap and ease the transition between school and work.

We are trying to tailor education regarding what major industries’ needs. For example, in India, the software and mechanical engineer sectors are important so we are pushing education in those sectors. However, providing proper education in these areas takes time so we need that time to catch up.

India, in terms of modernization, is still considered an emerging economy where more than 60% of the working population is employed in agriculture.

In my opinion, the existence of commodity exchanges help small businesses and farmers above all as exchanges are mechanisms that allow for people to invest in these businesses as well as producers to go to these exchanges for investment. This is a model that is followed in India and I personally believe it works.

Fintech and digital banking in India. The importance of financial inclusion. We started a new research about this in 2006, in the beginnings of this fintech trend. We decided to do a test about how traditional banking and online banking could impact people and the most important takeaways. We found that one of the main concerns was about how secured was credit card and normal transactions using traditional banking. And in fact how online banking could actually improve these transactions in terms of security.

Another important improvement that Fintech and technology can bring to financial inclusion is bringing financial services, payments, loans, etc, to any of the more than 600k villagers that there are in India, which many of them don’t have physical bank branches. One of the main solutions we use is the micro-atm model.

Economic strategy in India. We are promoting a startup economy and the entrepreneurs behind them through various initiatives. Among the initiatives, we have accelerators that help these new entrepreneurs and their ideas with business models, finance, networking, etc. We believe that helping these entrepreneurs can help boost innovation in India. Sectors that are thriving in this economy are Fintech, technology, manufacturing, etc.

About COVID-19 and the future in India. Before COVID-19 we were entering a stagnation in economic growth as it is normal in economic cycles. But this pandemic has accelerated the halt of the economy. For example, normal migrations within India have been modified as people need to stay at home and can’t travel to industrial areas of the country.

But I want to see the optimistic side, after every economic crisis there is a comeback of the economy with a new cycle of high growth so I strongly believe that once people and industries regain that confidence again, they will drive the economy to the growth path.

Education after COVID-19. We now have the advantage of the technology that allows for e-learning and edtech solutions. Although with the level of population and different villages and towns in India, it would be very hard to get a centralized platform in place. However, the smartphone penetration in the population allows for opportunities to connect students and make sure they follow the online programs and courses we provide.

The Future of Finance and Education. Analytics is gaining traction as data is becoming more important in today’s digitized world so gathering, understanding and using that data properly would play a huge role in the future of finance and education, not only in India but in the rest of the world too.

'Making India' project. The target is to boost industrial productivity to make goods for India but for the rest of the world too and we are betting a lot on that project.

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Dr. Tanuj Nandan Biography

Dr. Tanuj Nandan is Professor and former Head, School of Management Studies, Motilal Nehru National Institute of Technology Allahabad, Prayagraj, Uttar Pradesh, India. His areas of interest include Financial Derivatives, International Finance and Corporate Finance. He possesses twenty-four years of research and teaching experience. Tanuj has a Background in statistics, economics and finance.

Dr. Tanuj Nandan completed his M.B.A. and Ph.D. specialising in Financial Management. He participates regularly in several national and international conferences and seminars, and contributes research articles and papers to journals of repute. He is also a reviewer to several journals. He conducts management development programs and training programs, and is invited to speak at various forums. He also renders consultancy services to corporate organizations.

In addition to his academic responsibilities, Dr. Nandan presently looks after other administrative positions at the Institute level, notably as Faculty In-charge, Training and Placement, Associate Dean, International Affiliations and Resource Generation and Member, Public and Media Relations Cell, MNNIT.

He has represented India under Rotary International’s Group Study Exchange Programme to Indiana, U.S.A., and delivered lectures on International Business at Purdue University’s Calumet Campus. He has undertaken several industrial visits in the US, UK and Western Europe. He was conferred the Bharat Vikas Award in 2019.

Motilal Nehru National Institute of Technology Allahabad, Prayagraj (MNNIT)

Motilal Nehru National Institute of Technology Allahabad, Prayagraj (MNNIT) is an Institute with total commitment to quality and excellence in academic pursuits. It was established as one of the seventeen Regional Engineering Colleges of India in the year 1961 as a joint enterprise of Government of India and Government of Uttar Pradesh, and was an associated college of University of Allahabad, which is the third oldest university in India.

For a short duration of two years (2000-2002), the Institute was affiliated to U.P. Technical University. With over 45 years of experience and achievements in the field of technical education, having traversed a long way, on June 26, 2002 MNREC was transformed into National Institute of Technology and Deemed University fully funded by the Government of India. With the enactment of National Institutes of Technology Act-2007(29 to 2007), the Institute has been granted the status of institution of national importance w.e.f. 15.08.2007.

The Institute had begun with offering Bachelor Degree Programmes in Civil, Electrical and Mechanical Engineering. It was the first in the country to start an undergraduate programme in Computer Science & Engineering in 1976-77. Subsequently, in the year 1982-83 undergraduate programmes in Electronics Engineering and Production & Industrial Engineering were started.The first Master’s Programme of the Institute was introduced by the Mechanical Engineering Department in the year 1966. In all other Engineering Departments, Master's Programmes were introduced in the 1970-71. To add a new dimension to itself the Institute established School of Management studies in 1996, which offers a two year / four semester post graduate degree programme in Management (MBA).

The Institute now offers nine  B.Tech., nineteen M.Tech. Degree Programmes (including part-time), MCA, MBA, M.Sc. (Mathematics and Scientific Computing) and Master of Social work (M.S.W.) programmes and also registers candidates for the Ph.D. degree. The Institute has been recognized by the Government of India as one of the centres for the Quality Improvement Programme for M.Tech. and Ph.D.The Institute has a very progressive policy towards extending all possible facilities to its faculty members to acquire higher degrees and receive advanced training. As a result, majority of the faculty members possess Ph.D. degrees. The entire campus is networked with 94 Mbps leased line.

In the year 1972, the Institute initiated a self employment project and established an industrial estate with 68 sheds with the objective of encouraging entrepreneurs and creating additional employment avenues.The Institute was selected as a lead institution in the Design theme under Indo-UK REC Project (1994-99). Under this scheme a Design Centre was established.The Institute has been selected as a Lead Institution under World Bank funded Government of India Project on Technical Education Quality Improvement Programme (TEQIP) (2002-2007). Two state level institutions are networked with MNNIT under the project.

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