An interview with Mr Siddharth Bagri, Director, BIFM (BLB Institute of Financial Markets)

(Interviewed by Arvind Passey)

Why is a solid understanding about money and financial education necessary today?

Most of us simply want to live life on our terms — have a lifestyle we can enjoy and do what makes us happy. Financial education helps us with this aim as it is a process, not a product. Simply put, it is the process of determining how an individual can meet life goals through the proper management of his or her financial resources. A financial planner delves into the hopes and goals of prospective investors to create a comprehensive financial strategy to help achieve them. At BIFM we create professionals who are market-ready to take up challenges that the industry faces today as well as live the life that they dream of.

Understanding money and managing money is what the youth today need. Let me quote Ashish Jain, an ADFP student with us, who has made this aspiration clear: “Entering the stock market was what I wanted to do. Management is fascinating… but money management is better. And BIFM helped me understand this form of management better than any management institute would have done.”

Are MBA courses imparting financial education that ‘market-ready’ professionals need?

You will agree that money runs our society. Those who have and control money enjoy life more. They have more privileges than people without money. Obviously then, understanding the way wealth is created is a necessary precursor to what the recruiters are looking for. This is what spells a great career!

One of our students pursuing her ADFP has aptly remarked: “No MBA knows much on equity analysis. The financial world needs people who are having knowledge about these aspects. And I am lucky to have completed a course in financial planning from BIFM because what they teach is what the industry needs.”

Thus, MBA curriculum, as we all know, has a limited focus on the financial component. More important here is the fact that hard-core finance can be grasped only when all essential theory is backed by adequate and exhaustive practical training. This is precisely the area where the role of BIFM courses begins.

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Can you now tell us something about BIFM please?

BIFM was conceptualized under the chairmanship of Mr Brij Rattan Bagri who succinctly encapsulates the success mantra for students: ‘The way to learn to do things is to do things. The way to learn a trade is to work at it. Success teaches how to succeed. Begin with the determination to succeed, and the work is half done already.’ BIFM has adopted this principle in its right spirit.

BIFM is a leader and a pioneer in introducing job-oriented fast-track Diploma and PGD programs for providing the most relevant financial market education. Its fast-track training programmes have already taken the industry by storm and have created a huge talent pool of qualified manpower for the industry. BIFM today has over 95% market share in the fast track programmes for stock, commodity and derivative markets, making it a market leader in this segment.

Students today have access to a lot of educational institutes. How is BIFM different from them?

The aim of education should be to teach us how to think, than what to think – rather to improve our minds, so as to enable us to think for ourselves, than to load the memory with thoughts of other men. BIFM began as a way to help bring value to aspirants wanting to become experts in the tenets of financial markets. We rose to challenge the conventions of our industry, redefining delivery mechanisms in teaching and accomplishing what others call impossible!

This is what every student gets at BIFM. The institute is committed to provide TQT – Total Quality Teaching. It imparts not only the basic knowledge in contemporary theoretical concepts but also the newest practical orientation to enable every student to become a qualified market professional. The differentiator here is our Learn-by-doing approach that catalyzes abstract theory through the hands-on approach and gives them the real-world skills so vital to success!

As you said earlier, BIFM has courses in stock market operations as well as financial planning and wealth management. Our readers will want to know something about your courses.

BIFM is the leading approved education provider of FPSB for CFP programs. CFPC is rated as Gold Standard by Wall Street Journal and is recognized in over 20 countries. Long term courses from BIFM include ADFP (Advanced Diploma in Financial Planning) and PGD-FPWM (PG Diploma in Financial Planning and Wealth Management).

Our fast track courses in stock market have taken the industry by storm. More than 1, 40,000 stock market professionals look forward to learning about stock markets through our fast track courses which range from 1 – 4 months. These courses include Diploma in Stock Market Trading and Operations, Diploma in Stock Analysis and Portfolio Management, Commodity Arbitrage Trading and Operations, Equity Arbitrage Trading and Operations, Technical Analysis, Derivatives Trading and Strategy, Sales and Marketing of Financial Services, a Foundation Certificate in Stock Market, and Training in NCFM | NCDEX | MCX certification.

e-BIFM gives you the most modern distance learning experience and is ideal for working professionals and students who want the best financial education. ADFP and PGD-FPWM are available as distance learning programs.

We also have I-score that is the leading brand for the Charted Financial Analyst (CFA®) Program).

Besides the above courses, BIFM also gives world-class customized corporate training solutions in financial markets.

Besides course content, what else will make students who have done a course at BIFM more desirable to top financial recruiters?

“My dream was to enter the corporate world and so my parents insisted that an MBA will be good. But my seniors at college told me that unless I get into some IIM, the job prospects will not be so bright.” This is what Pankaj Goyal, a PGD-FPWM student at BIFM has to say about the job scenario after completing MBA from an institute other than those at the top.

The financial world offers much more in terms of pay as well as career. This sector offers lucrative opportunities for those who are market-ready. You will agree that unless one has trained himself for an opportunity, when the opportunity presents itself, one finds oneself unprepared. The job opportunities today require aspirants to have dynamism in their personality. We ensure this through personality development sessions and executive finish workshops.

Do you have any message for the aspiring youth today?

BIFM creates financial wizards. These wizards provide guidance on the financial aspects even to MBA pass-outs. Let me give you an interesting and a shocking illustration here. One of our CFP students, Priyanka Agarwal compares her knowledge quotient with that of her MBA sibling: “My elder brother is an MBA and even this morning I spent an hour explaining to him some details on wealth management. I feel that doing a financial planning and wealth management course from BIFM makes a lot of sense.”

The reason for the above opinion is because at BIFM our focus is on extensive practical training which makes our students confident of their knowledge base. Thus, students must opt for institutes where learning principals and practices are imparted in relatively simple but effective ways. The real value for money comes when you have practical training complimenting theoretical concepts. Students must opt for such programs that make them more employable and more recruiter friendly. What follows as a results of this is better growth options and better salaries!! This is the surest way to becoming a sound professional in whatever field you choose.

For more details, SMS <BIFM> to 54646

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BIFM courses:

Fast Track Courses

Diploma in Stock Market Trading and Operations (DSMT)

Diploma in Stock Analysis and Portfolio Management (DSAPM)

Commodity Arbitrage Trading and Operations (C-ATD)

Equity Arbitrage Trading and Operations (E-ATD)

Technical Analysis (TA)

Derivatives Trading and Strategy (DTS)

Sales and Marketing of Financial Services (SMFS)

Foundation Certificate in Stock Market (FSM)

Training in NCFM | NCDEX | MCX certification (NCFM Modules)

Long Term Courses

Post Graduate Diploma in Financial Planning and Wealth ManagementTM

Advanced Diploma in Financial Planning + CFP designation (ADFP)


Professional course for the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA®) Program

Distance Learning Programs

Post Graduate Diploma in Financial Planning and Wealth Management

Advanced Diploma in Financial Planning + CFP designation (ADFP DLP)

Corporate Training

We give world-class customized corporate training solutions in financial markets (CT)

© [Arvind Passey]
Corporate Communications – BIFM

Featured image credit: Chippo-chan