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IIM-A students game for portfolio mgmt

April 02, 2008 12:34 IST
Students of the country's premiere B-school, Indian Institute of Management-Ahmedabad (IIM-A), are busy playing games, literally. These students have started learning tricks of financial markets by playing online games.

Known for its case study method of teaching, IIM-A brought in online gaming to teach portfolio management to its students. Also, it used tradecracker.com, a financial trading simulator providing mock trading platform, as part of its curriculum for the second year Post Graduate Programme (PGP).

Taking a cue from the country's premier management institute, a host of other B-schools have initiated talks with tradecracker.com for teaching stock and commodity trading fundas to students.

IIM-A is the first management institute in the country to use tradecracker's simulation programme for educational purposes. Though tradecracker may be termed as an online gaming platform, it's not purely for fun.

It is a comprehensive financial trading simulator, where members can create their own mock portfolio, have online mock trading sessions with real market prices.  Members can also trade NSE-listed equities (including futures and options), NCDEX & MCX-listed commodities and mutual funds using mock money. Price feeds come directly from NSE, MCX and NCDEX.

"It helps members understand price movements, risk and returns associated with various financial instruments in a realistic environment," said Vaibhav Morarka, director of Global TradeCracker Ltd.

Samir Barua, director, IIM-Ahmedabad, confirmed the use of tradecracker's  market simulation in the second year Post Graduate Programme (PGP) curriculum. The institute had taken up the financial management simulator to teach portfolio management on an experimental basis last year.

"The game was very useful for students since they were able to deal with the nitty-gritties of actual trading with real money," Barua added.  The students were even graded on the basis of how they played the game. The institute took up around 70 subscriptions for students and may take a decision for continuing it in the next session.

Taking a leaf out of IIM-A, around 15 business schools from Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore have shown keen interest in availing the tradecracker services. "In April, we also plan to approach Indian Institute of Management-Bangalore (IIM-B)," said Morarka.

He said that in the US, BBA and MBA institutes used similar online simulations. In fact, some of the bigger institutes have developed their own simulation programmes. Now, Indian management institutes have realised the potential of online simulator.

"Next year, 99 per cent B-schools, including IIM-A, will integrate it in their curriculum," he hoped. Barua also added that under the Sebi regulations, the online quote available on the tradecracker website has to be delayed by half an hour. While playing, students are barred from checking actual quotes either through the internet or television.

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