Centres of Excellence
IMI-Kolkata has four Centres of Excellence aimed at fulfilling the gap of research, engagement and capacity building in the areas of Financial Markets, Retail, Corporate Governance and Social Responsibility and Asian Studies.
Centre for Financial Market Studies (CFMS)
The financial sector in an economy plays an important role in channelizing the resources into productive uses. A well organized, efficient, smoothly functioning financial system is an important component of a growing economy like India. The financial sector in the Indian economy has undergone significant transformation since the liberalization measures undertaken in the 1990s. Financial sector reforms were aimed at enhancing efficiency and profitability, while maintaining stability in the financial sector.
There are several issues and concerns that have come up with the process of transformation in recent years. Regulation of financial institutions in banking and non-banking sectors, like mutual funds, insurance and non-bank finance companies, has become an important aspect for the smooth functioning of the sector. Introduction of new products like derivatives and other hedging instruments, and investments by foreign institutional investors in the Indian stock market, have sparked debates in India and abroad. In other financial markets, like the money market and the foreign exchange market, too, there are several policy issues that need to be examined. This is because the sectors are closely linked with the macroeconomic environment and hence have some bearing on the conduct of monetary policy.
Objectives of the Centre
The CFMS focuses on training, research and consultancy in areas related to banking and financial sector, with emphasis on the following:
- Meaningful research on ongoing debates related to the financial sector;
- Research on the financial sector in relation to the macroeconomic environment;
- Policy prescriptions for policymakers on the basis of research;
- Building competency of the executives working with banks and other financial institutions in areas like risk analysis, business forecasting, etc.;
- Providing consultancy related to banking and finance.
Centre for Retail Management (CRM)
The retail sector is a vital contributor to the economic growth of a country and provides significant employment to the country’s workforce. The enterprises performing in this sector are required to develop an understanding of the activities that will streamline efficient distribution functions and the interaction with firms selling goods and services for their resale or use. Retailers have to plan, function and adapt to a complex and changing business environment. Both opportunities and constraints have to be considered for prioritizing investments, focusing on areas that need efficiency, reducing costs while preserving brand and shopping experience.
The Indian retail environment is considered favourable because of the growing economy, high saving and investment rates, labour force growth, significant population, perceptive middle class and increased consumer spending. Growth opportunities are evident as organized retail is predominant in urban cities and retailers contemplating early-mover advantage are focusing on Tier-2 and Tier-3 cities. The issues in regulatory frameworks, like FDI in multi-brand retail, as well as improvements in backend infrastructure, development of an efficient supply chain network, availability of trained manpower and access to suitable real estate, are causes for concern and impact sectoral output.
Objectives of the Centre
The CRM focuses on addressing emerging needs in the retail sector, including:
- Capacity building.
- Policy decisions on developmental issues.
- Research in critical retailing practices.
- Research in consumer behaviour.
- Global research on the emerging markets.
The Centre provides solutions for implementing better industry practices through industry forums, annual conferences, executive workshops, development programmes, industry projects and education and research.
Centre for Corporate Governance and Social Responsibility (CCGSR)
The global economy has been going through phenomenal turbulence, owing to the US financial crisis, the Euro area debt problems, and apparent concern about asset bubbles forming in some parts of the emerging markets. Although sound macroeconomic management is the domain of the government, and of the regulatory and financial institutions, many of the recent events have been triggered by failures in corporate governance of individual organisations. India has been no exception and has witnessed erosion of shareholder value and stakeholder issues with the existing set of corporate governance mechanisms in vogue.
The Indian corporate governance policies have gone through various stages. In the early nineties Securities and Exchange Board of India was established with jurisdiction over corporate governance issues. Several committees were constituted to provide recommendations on corporate governance, namely the Bajaj Committee, the Birla Committee, the Murthy Committee and the Chandra Committee. The Birla Committee’s recommendations were adopted as Clause 49 of the listing agreement by SEBI, which along with other recommendations, led to increased role of independent directors and strengthening of the audit committee. However, in spite of all these mechanisms, it was not possible to prevent corporate governance failures that have wiped out shareholder value and thrust the future of a growing company into uncertainty. The Companies Act,2013 that replaces the earstwhile Companies Act,1956, has therefore placed greater emphasis on corporate governance measures. There is therefore an urgent need to understand the application and effective implementation of corporate governance mechanisms by the government, institutional investors and corporate managers to prevent corporate failures.
Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is also gaining prominence in india The Company Act 2013 has come up with various CSR provisions and mandated spend on CSR for companies that fulfill certain criteria .
The center is actively engaged in research and projects on CSR.
Objectives of the Centre
To serve the increasing requirement for training, research and consultancy in corporate governance, the CCGSR focuses on the following across various sectors:
- Application of corporate governance policies and mechanisms for practising managers;
- Understanding reporting mechanisms in the context of corporate governance;
- Benchmarking of global good practices in corporate governance;
- Approaches to optimising stakeholder value creation;
- Techniques for balancing separation of ownership and control;
- Assessment of state of corporate governance and implications for investors;
- Understand corporate governance issues within the institutional, regulatory, legal context;
- Examine the interplay between the external environment and firm-level governance practices.
- Exploring linkages between CSR and firm performance and various other variables.
Centre for Asian Studies
Asia led by China and India have been increasingly playing a leading role in the global economy. The increasing importance of Asia has created increasing importance of research around Asian management and policy and will create many partnership opportunities for governments, corporate and academia for common benefits. The centre for Asian Studies at IMI-Kolkata has been developed to take up original research on contemporary issues in Asia particularly with reference to East Asia, South Asia and South East Asia. The institute has collaborations with Sichuan Academy of Social Sciences and Sichuan University, China and North South University, Bangladesh and plans to nurture and create further collaborations in this region. Affiliated members of the centre have wide experience in studies in this region which have deep policy implications.
Objectives of the Centre
- The centre shall develop knowledge through original research.
- The centre will disseminate knowledge through use of Asian materials and innovative pedagogy.
- Carry out research on the infrastructure sector, including its regulations.
- The centre will develop and leverage international collaborations through studies having high policy impact.