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Managing the treasury

Q: I am doing an MBA (finance and marketing). I am very keen to work in an international bank. What are the marketing jobs that one can apply for in the treasury department of a bank'

Chetna Srivastav

A: Every commercial bank has a treasury department that basically performs the following functions: Trading (in currencies, securities and now, derivatives); and balance sheet management (borrowing and lending the bank's funds on a daily basis, investing in securities, etc.)

However, MNC banks and the new private sector banks also have sales teams, which basically help corporate clients in selling or purchasing foreign currency. So, basically in terms of products, treasuries mainly deal in foreign currencies, bonds, government securities, etc. But, a few years back, RBI allowed banks to deal in financial derivatives (which are essentially products derived from underlying currencies, and securities). As a result, banks can now trade in as well as sell derivative instruments like swaps and options. Some of the leading banks in the country (that sell derivatives to corporates) have sales teams catering to corporate clients for both currencies and options. And since most commercial banks have been making losses on their investments, sales ' essentially corporate ' has been an important source of income for treasury.

So, where would you fit in' Well, you could be manning the 'Institutional Sales' desk in the treasury department which focuses on other commercial banks and financial institutions. But what do you sell to institutional clients' Starting with distribution of bonds (i.e. buying bonds in the market and selling them at a premium to other banks) to the most 'happening' thing in the market ' financial derivatives. So you could be selling derivative instruments to banks for their own balance sheet as well as to sell them to their corporate clients.

MBA (IT) is a happening field

Q: What is an MBA IT' Can commerce students do the course'

Arnab Ghosh

A: In the last five years, technology has become a driver of business strategy. Corporate requirements have now shifted beyond hiring traditional management graduates to those who combine management acumen with expertise in technology and related fields. This specialisation focuses on the key areas of technology application, such as problem solving and data management techniques, over such mainstream courses in marketing, finance, HR, etc.

Students opting for these courses require a greater degree of analytical and mathematical skills compared to those enrolling for the regular MBA. A BE (computer science/ electronics) or MCA/BCA/BSc IT is ideally suited for this course. In fact, MBA (IT) has emerged as one of the two most sought after sectors (along with banking and finance) by students passing out of India's leading B-schools this year.

A biotech venture of one's own

Q: I have done an MSc in biotech. I am now thinking of starting my own biotech firm. Is it a good idea'

Piyali Sen

A: An academic degree does not guarantee success in business which is a completely different ball-game altogether. You need the necessary finances, entrepreneurial capability and a solid business idea ' particularly in a hi-tech field like biotech. Some experience of working in the industry would familiarise you with the practical aspects of the business.

Here are a couple of institutions that would help you formulate your plan and provide you the right guidance: Promoted by the department of biotechnology (DBT), Government of India, Biotech Consortium India Ltd. (BCIL) provides linkages amongst research institutions, industry, government and funding institutions, to facilitate commercialisation of biotechnology.

It also operates an industrial training and placement programme through which PGs with the right aptitude for biotechnology are provided industrial training to orient them in commercial biotechnology. The programme provides the following inputs:

Broad business plan: An overview of various aspects (e.g. market potential, aspects of manpower, marketing etc.) relevant for venturing into a particular biotech area.

Feasibility studies: This include the viability of a particular venture in a given set of macro-environment forces e.g. demographic, economic, social environment.

Diversification strategies: Entry level strategies for small, medium and large sized companies planning to enter into biotech. This includes a SWOT analysis of the organisation, identification of suitable product groups and market entry strategy.

Market assessment: This study focuses on the status of the product/product group, size of the market, end-user segments, analysing market needs.

Market entry/marketing and promotion strategies: These include identifying the competition, market segments, market targeting, product differentiation and positioning and designing marketing strategies.

Strategic alliances & partner identification: Involves identifying suitable technology partners in the given area in keeping with the client's needs for joint-venture, licensing, direct/indirect exports or direct investment. Log onto the BCIL website for more details: www.biotech.co.in.


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