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ISBF Newsletter

ISBF Newsletter

ISBF Newsletter

Volume 5; Issue 1, February 2021

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Editorial Board

Prof. Aryapriya Ganguly - Editor-in-Chief
Prof. Soumitra Mookherjee - Associate Editor

Prof. Navni Kothari - Associate Editor
Kritika Gadhvi - Creative Editor

Contents
Letter from the Editor

The end of a calendar year often makes us reflect on the ‘old’ that we leave behind and the ‘new’ that we hope for. When most of the economic, social and political problems that India and the whole world faced in 2020 due to the dreaded coronavirus COVID-19 and, or even over the last few years, remain firmly in place, it makes little sense to hope for a better 2021. The pandemic of course, gives us reasons to be even more pessimistic. No doubt, we really do not know how 2021 will unfold! But in the learnings from the last year, the advancements made in becoming more responsible as businesses, more empathetic as human beings and more sensitised to our communities’ needs, we sense hope.

The year 2021 will be decisive in creating the momentum for victoryin the next decade, and all the more so because of the world’s ongoing struggle against the COVID-19 pandemic. Where there is hope,there is victory, and where there is victory, there is hope.

While 2020 saw India’s economy facing a sharp blow in the April-June quarter, the Indian economy is certainly recovering at a faster pace. Most high-frequency indicators are looking positive although at a slightly slowerpace than in recent months and easier financial conditions, unlocking of the economy and recent Govern- ment measures are likely to lead to better 2021.

This market optimism can be correlated with the announcement on January 1, 2021, which gave Indians reason for cheer. A committee of experts recommended to the country’s drug regulator that it approves the vaccine developed by University of Oxford and AstraZeneca, and made locally by Serum Institute of India, clearing the main hurdle before the country receives its first coronavirus vaccine. Once approved by the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI), which is expected to heed the committee’s advice, the vaccine will become India’s primary weapon to tackle the coronavirus. In coming months, India will carry out a long and painstaking process to give the country the immunocapital it needs, starting with 300 million identified as those who need it most urgently. A labyrinthine infrastructure has been rapidly readied by building on a decades-old one that at present reaches 27 million newborns a year for life-saving inoculations, but how wellit copes with the pressure will only become clear when the first big volumes of vaccines arrive from the facto-ries.

This edition of The Inquirer takes you along the multiple journeys and promises that the Covid-19 Vaccine will be making, the kind of challenges that we, in our fashion, will look at through multiple disciplinary angles in our Jigsaw Piece. There is also a Quiz on “A Brief History of Vaccines” to get your brain juices flowing as you get a sense of the immense responsibility that medical professionals have historically shared to get humanity back on its feet. We found this history rather humbling, and hope you share our sentiment, as we don’t repeat old mistakes in this new year.

(Editor-in-Chief)

Multi-Disciplinary Analysis

India contemplates and dreams regarding the successful execution of the biggest vaccination drive ever, and the general consensus is that the success of the vaccination drive will rekindle hope and aspirations of normal life emerging in the forthcoming year, with restrictions on mobility easing and people looking forward to a mask less world.

The launch, storage, preservation and distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine throws up enormous challenges as the government attempts to cover all sections of society gradually in phases. This entire operation requires prudent application of innovative ideas and critical managerial skills for facilitating the process of achieving the objectives of the vaccination drive. The critical implications can be explained using various concepts that young graduates learn while pursuing a degree in economics, finance and management.

The Lens of Finance

The COVID 19 vaccine manufacturers like Pfizer, AstraZeneca and Bharat Biotech have invested a significant amount of money for discovering these drugs and that hints towards sizeable R & D investments. However, given the nature of the product and the unprecedented situation, the pharmaceutical companies cannot anticipate huge profit margins for manufacturing and distributing the drugs to the target audience.

Under present circumstances, overpricing is not warranted and on ethical grounds pharmaceutical companies need to keep prices of these vaccines under control. In the short term, one cannot anticipate any substantial profit margins for discovering and launching these drugs. Therefore, although profit margins would be under pressure due to the price cap, the volume scalability would more than compensate for the reduction in profit margins. Hence, the focus would be on volume rather than on value at the initial stage.

The Lens of Supply Chain Dynamics

The Just In Time philosophy advocated by the Toyota Production Systems can be applied extensively to justify the availability of products at all required locations on time. For the product under consideration, the supply chain dynamics have to be given due recognition. The supply chain framework is relatively complex, and the Government of India is examining the protocols and infrastructure creation for sustaining sourcing of the product, storage in cool temperatures, preservation and distribution of the vaccines at desired locations. What is interesting is that the major sea ports and airports in India are gearing up to ease the logistical challenges that emerge from this vaccination drive. Even the national air carrier - Air India- would be deeply involved for distribution of these vaccines across the country. Several private players have evinced interest in providing storage facilities and logistics/ distribution support for improving the distribution efficiency. Accordingly, significant investment in infrastructure is warranted not only for facilitating product storage and distribution, but also for equipping the locations with proper amenities such that the vaccination process is executed smoothly and seamlessly.

The Lens of Marketing and Strategy

From the marketing perspective, one can correlate with the marketing principles and marketing mix adopted by firms for securing competitive advantage in the marketplace and creating value for the stakeholders. Let us analyze the implications of these vaccines from the perspective of the four Ps of Marketing:

Product: It is essential under the current circumstances that the quality standards differentiation should emphasize on guaranteeing success and possible enhancement of immunity. Besides, side effects should be minimal and the success hinges on vaccine recipients confirming that the dosage is effective.

There is no customer segmentation, as the entire world requires this vaccine at different stages, but nations have prioritized customer segments stating that health workers, covid warriors and elderly people should be vaccinated first, before it is administered for the less vulnerable sections of society.

Price: This is a sensitive issue and in fact most governments are planning to sponsor this vaccination drive to some extent. As per WHO and WTO recommendations, the objective should be to reach out to the target audience and ensure that the vaccination drive is affordable for the consumers. Innovative pricing strategies would emerge to ensure that the vaccine is made available to the entire population at affordable rates.

Promotion Mix: The traditional advertising and sales promotion tactics are not applicable for this product. The need of the hour is the introduction of influencer marketing, where eminent personalities may be engaged to convince people to take the vaccine for ensuring health security. It is not a move to educate customers as the whole world is aware of the need for a COVID vaccine, but providing stimulation reminders and information about product launches so that citizens of various countries eagerly plan to avail of this opportunity for being vaccinated are recommendations we make. The Government of India is planning to launch a digital app through which beneficiaries can register and avail of this dream opportunity of being vaccinated.

Place: This is an integral P of marketing and the distribution challenges are enormous. What is vital, pivotal and important at this stage is to ensure market reach, access and visibility. Product distribution through retail chains and ecommerce platforms is irrelevant in this context, as the vaccination can be provided in specific locations and administered by expert technicians. Given the complexity of operations, the mode of transportation is important to ensure that the product is made available in the remotest semi urban and rural areas of India.

Updates

Awards & Prizes for the UOL-LSE Examinations 2019-2020



The lockdown that came with the COVID-19 pandemic proved to be much harder for students. Despite that our students managed to come out with flying colours in the year-end LSE examination, reaffirming our position as one of LSE’s top featured teaching institutions.


Emacity - A Sustainable Alternative to Fashion



Founded by five students of our institution, Emacity is a fashion brand that provides sustainable alternatives to everyday wear. The idea was planted when the students were planning to open a Students Union shop but it grew into something more. The brand has a Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) Certification and a Fair Trade Certificate. They use organic cotton and premium, non-toxic, non-carcinogenic dyes and the clothing is 100% biodegradable and is designed by local women artisans. Their first collection NAKED stemmed from the idea of being transparent with the stakeholders with raw, bold and unfiltered content and designs. They are an ethical and sustainable brand for all the GenZ-ers out there!


Founding Members

Yuktha Bhadane

BSc (Hons) Economics
Batch of 2022

Khushi Mehra

BSc (Hons) Business & Management
Batch of 2022

Ansh Bakshi

BSc (Hons) Economics & Management
Batch of 2022

Aaron Jenson

BSc (Hons) Economics & Finance
Batch of 2022

Devendra Chandani

BSc (Hons) Accounting & Finance
Batch of 2021

Placements


Even though last year was pandemic stricken and the jobs market looked very bleak, our Careers Team ensured a 100% placement record! Here are a companies where our accomplished students were placed last year:

Apart from the multitude of placements, here are a few students who were placed since September 2020:

Sudhanshu Katibettu

Analyst, Finance & Accounts
KPMG Global Services

Mashumi Thakor

Associate, Commercial Banking
Moody’s Analytics

Priyanka Parihar

Analyst, Finance Due Diligence
KPMG

Shreya Gupta

Analyst
Moody’s Analytics

Gauri Atree

Analyst, Valuations
MCUBE Financials

LinkedIn Learning for Students



ISBF from this academic session has provided all students with LinkedIn Learning. An arm of the networking website LinkedIn, it provides students with access to thousands of courses that can aid in their skill-building and enhance their learning experience. ISBF faculty members have also curated a list of courses that the students can study with the programme they are enrolled in.

Events

ISBF Inter-College Model United Nations 2020



The 7th edition of the ISBF MUN Conference took place on the 21st and 22nd of November, with the tagline “Advance. Elevate. Innovate.” This was also the first edition that was conducted online. There were six committees with highly experienced executive board members. The committees discussed a wide range of topics from the impact of the pandemic on the world tourism in the UNWTO to the assassination of Osama Bin Laden in the Presidential Situation Room. MUN 2020 saw some high quality debating among 80+ delegates in different committees. Thapar University won The Best Delegation award.


Intra-College Events



Despite the unprecedented year we all had, there was no dent in the student extra-curricular activities. Kudos to the ISBF student body to think of innovative ways to conduct all events in an online space. The Events team brought everyone together to celebrate all festivals from Halloween to Diwali and Christmas. The Sports Society held its first esports gaming event the ‘Among Us Tournament’ which was a two-day event. Other activities including lectures, open mics, dance workshops and many more continued to thrive.


Distinguished Public Lecture Series


The Distinguished Public Lecture Series is an attempt to invite highly reputed academicians and industry mentors to the ISBF campus to deliver talks on contemporary issues related to management, finance and economics. These fora provide an ideal opportunity for the eminent speakers to interact with the faculty pool and students for sharing their knowledge, experience and views concerning emerging global business trends. These talks enable students to understand the challenges encountered in the modern era and the acumen, innovative business practices, skill sets required for overcoming these challenges. Faculty members, teachers, students from other colleges are also invited to attend such talks.

14 December 2020
Puneet Singh

Fireside Chat

25 September 2020
Dr. Shreekant Gupta

The challenge of Climate Change: Can Economics Help?

Winter Carnival


This year on Republic Day, ISBF hosted its first-ever Winter Carnival! An invite extending to all ISBF students (current and alumni), faculty, non-teaching staff and their families was sent to have a fun-filled morning, where participants took part in games like Tambola, Quiz, Scattergories, Dumb Charades ad Never Have I Ever, where prizes were offered for each round. The carnival also featured melodious performances from our music society TRIN which had everyone humming along, albeit on mute.

This event provided everyone with an opportunity to unwind for a day and e-meet their friends, teachers, and colleagues. The carnival was a big hit amongst everyone, especially those who won prizes, and the organizers received great feedback from students and faculty alike. The event concluded on a happy note with lots of winners and smiling faces!

News

LSE and ISBF Faculty Members in the News

BW Education, 5 September

Amar Ujala,
2 December

The Hindu,
10 October

The Pioneer,
4 November

The Quint,
16 December

The Statesman

ISBF in the News

Edex Live

Edex Live,
2 December

The Hindu BLOC,
19 October

The Hindu BLOC,
27 October

Alumni Spotlight

Chiraag Sammadar completed BSc
(Hons) Economics from ISBF in 2013 post which he interned with Deloitte, India. He then went on to do his master's in Applied Economics from the National University of Singapore. Post his master's he started working with Koan Advisory Group as a Programme Manager. He was also one of the finalists for the first International Contest for Young Scientists to discuss “Problems of Multilateral Cooperation within BRICS” where he submitted a paper on "Defence and Aerospace Manufacturing Potential amongst BRICS Countries".

Chiraag is currently working as Assistant Director at FICCI, Delhi. He also works with the Nangal Dewat Resident Welfare Association alongside to bring basic public utilities to the village.

Educator Showcase

Ms. Geetha Jayachandran is the Principal of Yuvabharathi Public School, a CBSE school in Coimbatore, Tami Nadu, known for its child-centric curriculum and innovative practices. In a career spanning 20 years, she has held several positions – from teacher to P.G. Assistant in Accountancy and Commerce - before becoming the principal of Yuvabharathi in 2009. Under her leadership, she has brought many changes in the curriculum of the school by fostering it with new approaches & inclusive practices, which has led the school to tread on a unique path.

She encourages individualized instruction with inclusion as a core value and is open to constructive changes and expansion of knowledge in all spheres. Her focus has also been to facilitate collaboration with institutions like School Cinema, Oxford University and Trinity College, London and the likes to enrich the learning experience of children.

Under her leadership, the school received accreditation by the British Council in 2011 and was re-accredited for 2015-18 for incredible collaboration and gamut of international activities.

While her many achievements and awards speak for her leadership and her immense contribution to education, she continues to have an indomitable thirst for knowledge in the fields of pedagogy, research, educational psychology and humanities and the realisation of pedagogues’ potentials.

We welcomed the idea of initiating the ISBF YBPS EMF Club as it sounded very unique and one of a kind at the school level as it bridges the gap between the school and higher education. Though the inauguration of the club was conducted virtually, it has given a fillip to the grey cells of our budding economists by involving them in the planning and management of the versatile activities of the club.

Hearty thanks to Mr. Chiraag Mehta, Associate Director at ISBF for giving a clear vision to our club. Wishing ISBF YBPS EMF Club to be a thriving hive of activity.

Quiz - A Brief History of Vaccines

1. Which word is derived from the Latin word for ‘cow’ because of the early use of the cowpox virus against smallpox?

2. A vaccine, introduced by Edward Jenner in 1796, was the first successful vaccine to be developed for any disease thus far in history. He observed that milkmaids who previously had caught a variant of the disease did not catch the dreaded disease in question and showed that inoculated vaccinia protected against inoculated virus. What disease was he trying to inoculate against?

3. This cartoon depicts (Image 1)(Image 1) something made mandatory in the first three months of an infant's life. A parent's penalty for not complying was a fine or imprisonment. What exactly is being depicted here?

4. Like a lot of scientific and medical inventions, Louis Pasteur happened upon a method of attenuation by accident: he was studying fowl cholera by injecting chickens with the live bacteria and recording the fatal progression of the illness. He had instructed an assistant to inject the chickens with a fresh culture of the bacteria before a holiday. The assistant, however, forgot. When the assistant returned a month later, he carried out Pasteur’s wishes. The chickens, while showing mild signs of the disease, survived. When they were healthy again, Pasteur injected them with fresh bacteria. The chickens did not become ill. This lightbulb moment resulted in the development of what first?

5. Jonas Salk (1914–1995) became a national hero in the USA when he allayed the fear of a dreaded disease with his vaccine, approved in 1955. Although it was the first vaccine, it was not to be the last. However, there is something very unique about the way this vaccine was announced to the public which is identical to howVolvo announced its invention of the modern seat- (Image 2) belt. What disease did Salk’s vaccine help combat?What was so unique about the announcement?

6. In this viral photograph (Image 2), one can spot Afghanistan’s national cricket team players chasing kids in Afghanistan. What exactly is their objective?

7. This much-heard term from the recent past was coined in 1923. The phenomenon was first recognized as a naturally occurring one in the 1930s when A. W. Hedrich published research on the epidemiology of measles in Baltimore, and took notice that after many children had become immune to measles, the number of new infections temporarily decreased, including among susceptible children. What concept/term is this, one that has often been touted as a remedy to viral contagions?


(Image 3)8. Margaret Keenan recently made history by becoming the first person in the world to get a Covid-19 vaccine outside of a clinical trial, but if there's one name you'll associate with this day, it may not be hers. Enter, pursued by puns, William ___________. Appropriately, BBC News came up with a headline (Image 3) that reads-“___________ gets Covid vaccine: ___’s ____ ____ ____ ____”. The subtitle is a 1623 play, if that helps. Simply tell us what five words, hinting at a sense of eventual hope, appropriately fill the blank, given the name of the second recipient of the vaccine?


9. Staying with the Covid-19 Vaccine,(Image 4) experts want to explore whether the immune response can be strengthened further and made more durable with a mix-and-match "heterologous boost"approach. What exactly is this “heterologous boost”?

10. This map (Image 4) depicts what kind of ‘affirmative policy choice’ , categorised from “general use” to “pending”?


Answers to the quiz will be declared on the ISBF Instagram handle @isbf_edu on 26th February, 2021.

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