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SEBI Chief, Mr. Damodaran at IIM Bangalore

The SEBI Chief, Mr. Damodaran was on campus at IIM Bangalore as part of the pre-placement talks.

Alongside the global investment banks and consulting firms coming down to IIM Bangalore next month for the final placements is the Securities Exchange Board of India (SEBI), the Indian financial markets’ regulator. This was SEBI’s first visit to any IIM campus as part of the final placement process, and spearheading the very senior SEBI team was Chairman M. Damodaran. As part of its aggressive recruitment drive this year SEBI will be visiting IIM Bangalore, along with India’s three top law schools at Hyderabad, NUJS Calcutta and the National Law School at Bangalore.

IIM Bangalore has always hosted highly well-known speakers such as N. Ram of the Hindu, Arun Shourie, Rakesh Jhunjhunwala, Mukesh Ambani, Jignesh Shah and Sunil Mittal among others and yesterday’s special pre-placement talk organized for senior year students by IIM Bangalore’s placement cell in concert with SEBI at the central auditorium was as big a success as the previous events, with students attending in huge numbers to hear the SEBI Chairman speak. During the course of his talk, Mr. Damodaran spoke extensively of SEBI operations, benchmarking them against similar regulatory bodies all over the world.

Students were introduced to SEBI’s soon-to-be-implemented policies like the upcoming IPO-rating system, with India being just the second country in the world to use it, which would allow the average Indian investor to make better informed investment decisions. Mr. Damodaran also spoke about a to-be-introduced capital protection instrument to induce participation and investment in the Indian capital markets, a new real-time surveillance system to monitor every trade in the Indian capital market, currently used in only four countries in the world, the future of the currently underdeveloped debt-markets in the country and other steps being taken by SEBI in keeping with its mission of protection of investors and development of the Indian securities market through appropriate regulatory measures.

The talk was followed by an extensive question-answer session with students asking the SEBI Chief about his views on issues including recent IPO scams, the legal powers of the regulatory body, its plans for the future and the kinds of future careers at SEBI. Mr. Damodaran spoke about SEBI’s decision to come to IIM Bangalore, stating that it was in keeping with its attempts to build interest in and knowledge of regulation, stressing to the students that an experience at SEBI would be invaluable to them in their future careers, should they choose to join.

Given that the placement season is about to begin at the IIM campuses early next month and with the financial industry riding an unprecedented growth wave, it would be interesting to see how many students from India’s premier management institutions choose to join SEBI this summer. But surely it bodes well for the Indian markets that SEBI is hunting for some of the brightest minds in the country at some of its best institutions.

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