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  • Currency Carnage: Unraveling the Chaos of Currency Exchange

    In a surprising move, India's central bank made a major announcement on 19 May 2023 revealing its intention to bid farewell to the Rs 2,000 notes merely seven years after their debut on 8 November 2016. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) emphasized that while the notes would lose their place in circulation, their status as legal tender would persist. Beginning May 23, the central bank has announced that individuals can exchange their notes at 19 regional offices of RBI and various bank branches. They have the option to swap the withdrawn currency for lower denomination notes or deposit it directly into their bank accounts. This exchange or deposit facility will be available until September 30 2023, allowing ample time for transactions. To ensure smooth operations, the central bank has set a limit of exchanging notes valued up to Rs 20,000 at a time. These guidelines are alluring enough that the note would cease legal tender after that date. The Clean Note Policy implemented by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), which seeks to ensure that citizens have access to fresh and crisp currency notes and coins while withdrawing worn-out notes from circulation, quickly gained significant attention and was cited as the rationale for this action. Routine Too Mainstream In an effort to combat illicit activities such as black money circulation, tax evasion, terrorist financing, and counterfeit currency, the economy underwent a demonetisation process in November 2016 in which two of the highest-value currency notes ceased to be considered as legal tender. With time, the introduction of the Rs 2,000 note was highly criticised as it made storing black money even easier and the instances of black money seizure continued. If the objective was to remove soiled notes from circulation, then they should have been replaced with fresh notes of the same denomination. No matter how much the central bank and the government accentuate its Clean Note Policy, this move may be the economy's way of rectifying mistakes done in the past. As per the central bank's statement, the Rs 2,000 notes aren’t commonly utilized for transactions. They highlighted a significant decline in the number of these notes involved in transactions, from a peak value of Rs 6.73 lakh crore in March 2018 making up 37.3% of the circulating notes to Rs 3.62 lakh crore in March 2023 representing only 10.8% of the circulating notes. This not only raises questions about the rationale behind the introduction of the new note, but it also prompts us to contemplate the government's decision-making abilities. People endured the unfortunate fate of standing in never-ending queues, while hospitals turned into currency exchange centres, denying treatment when presented with old currency notes. Amidst this turmoil and distress, the underlying purpose and justification behind these actions still remain a question. Barely a Blip According to the government, no perceptible effect on the economy is expected till now as the currency will either be replaced or deposited. No significant increase in bank liquidity, tax collection and seizure of black money is expected as people have numerous avenues to change the colour of their money. Also, newspapers reported an anticipated rush to jewellery shops to exchange notes. Likewise, the initiative is not expected to have a significant effect on MSMEs or the agriculture sector. Since the majority of MSMEs operate within the GST network, they are not heavily reliant on large denominations like Rs 2000 currency notes. But if an economy suddenly chooses to eliminate its highest denomination currency note, it would be highly unlikely for such a decision to have no discernible impact. This significant change is poised to impact multiple facets, prompting the question of its potential consequences. Matter of Faith The central bank holds a paramount position within a nation's financial system. The public has high expectations for the bank's unwavering integrity. However, beyond integrity, the central bank also demonstrates competence, transparency, and equity to effectively fulfil its role. Although this move doesn’t seem to show instant effects on banking, agriculture sector, MSMEs, inflation, money supply etc. it may still erode the value of the currency over time. Inflation and exchange rates are the two things which come to mind when we talk about the value of the currency, but there is a more fundamental sense in which the value of a currency is to be understood, and it has nothing to do with prices. It has to do with the confidence that citizens have in its continued acceptance as a medium of exchange and store of value. This confidence is based on the trust that they repose in their monetary authority, which is the central bank. The demonetisation measure implemented in 2016 sparked inquiries and had a detrimental impact on the economy. Now, as the central bank introduces another plan of uncertain value, it invites further contemplation and assessment. By revisiting its own decision to introduce the Rs 2,000 note, the central bank inadvertently draws attention to its past lapses in judgment. The amendment of the RBI Act 1933 in 2016 aimed to redefine monetary policy in terms of inflation control. Despite not achieving the targeted 4% inflation rate for 14 consecutive quarters, the central bank's consistent messaging creates the impression of unwavering dedication to combating inflation. Perhaps this commitment is genuine. However, the unintended consequence of raising doubts about the public's perception of legal tender in India undermines their confidence in the stability of the rupee. Sources: RBI The Economic Times The Hindu Outlook Author: Priyansh Kotiya Illustrator: Ojas Arora

  • The Generative AI Race

    The next big thing in tech isn’t the blockchain or the metaverse—it’s a mind-bending wave of algorithmic content machines. Imagine software conjuring up entirely new cities from scratch, inventing new languages and generating images of people who don’t even exist! It seems like a far-fetched dream, doesn’t it? The mighty power of artificial intelligence, however, has made this our new reality. Artificial Intelligence has been popping up everywhere in the mainstream and making headlines in leading news articles. It is most certainly the latest buzzword on everybody’s lips, but not an entirely new concept. The AI revolution has been taking place for quite some time now, although the pace has been steady. Unknowingly, it has crept into our daily lives, our streaming habits for instance. Netflix and Spotify make use of AI to suggest content based on the stuff already watched and listened to. This is only the tip of the iceberg. From making its presence known in multiple avenues from Siri to Alexa, self-driving cars to predictive marketing, AI is making its mark in modern times and we are at the cusp of a tech revolution. Decoding the enigma Generative AI, one of the most promising areas of Artificial Intelligence, has been wowing the internet with its ability to push the boundaries of what's possible. One could consider it a genie, granting our wishes for efficiency and precision with a wave of its digital wand. With the capability to read text, images, audio, and video data, it creates new content that is uncanny in its resemblance to the original. Generative AI functions using unsupervised or semi-supervised learning to process large amounts of data and generate novel outputs. For instance, if we want the AI to be able to paint like Picasso, it needs to be fed as many paintings by the artist as possible. The neural network at the base of generative AI can learn the character traits or features of the artist’s style and then apply it on command. This process is replicated for models that write texts and even books, create interior and fashion designs, non-existent landscapes, music, and more. The popularity has been maximized as a result of the proliferation of AI-powered chatbots ChatGPT and Bard. They have taken the internet by a frenzy, blurring the lines between man and machine. AI assemble! The chatbot search wars have begun. Two of the biggest tech giants, Microsoft and Google, have been kept busy in the race to build a generative artificial intelligence tool. Microsoft’s market capitalisation has reached 2 trillion dollars for the first time in nearly six months after it added ChatGPT to its search engine Bing. The company has also planned to integrate its artificial intelligence technology into its productivity apps including Word, PowerPoint and Outlook. Meet Bard, Google’s answer to ChatGPT. It is an experimental conversational AI service, powered by the Language Model for Dialogue Application (LaMDA). It had initially tried to give equal competition to ChatGPT. But the bot isn’t off to a great start, with experts noting that Bard made a factual error in its very first demo. Even Quora and Alibaba have entered the competition. Generative language tools mentioned above will undoubtedly change what it means to search the web, shaking up an industry worth hundreds of billions of dollars annually, by making it easier to dig up useful information and advice. The algorithms they use are designed to predict what should happen after a prompt based on statistical patterns in huge amounts of text from the internet and books. The AI search wars may have begun, but perhaps the winner won't be the most powerful chatbot, but the one that messes up the least. Let AI do the work for you In addition to producing paragraphs of solidly written English (or French, or Mandarin, or whatever language you choose), this AI can also generate blocks of computer code on command. Besides students generating entire essays using ChatGPT in the classroom, hackers have begun developing malicious code with it as well. Some universities have also banned the use of ChatGPT as it is considered an unreliable source. The ability of this impressive bot to clear competitive exams like medical and law has taken the world by surprise, and many believe that people are going to see years as pre and post-ChatGPT. Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates said he believes that OpenAIs chatbot ChatGPT is as significant as the invention of the internet and it will “change the world”. Such new programs will most definitely make many office jobs more efficient by helping to write invoices or letters but whether they will replace search engines is a different question altogether. Double-Edged Sword ChatGPT is truly a game-changer in the conversational technology industry, but also raises important questions about the potential risks and challenges associated with this technology. Some have claimed that the bot is limited to the knowledge and choices that are already on the internet. One should be aware that it is not capable of verifying the accuracy of the information in training data and may generate responses that are false or misleading. The use of AI language models also raises questions about the privacy and security of personal data used to train and improve them. It is very evident to state that ChatGPT and other AI models have the potential to displace jobs by automating repetitive tasks such as data entry, customer service, etc. However, the displacement of jobs due to AI automation is a complicated issue that can cause economic disruption and impact several industries. While there may be job losses in certain industries, AI will also create new job roles in related fields. Fast-forward to the Future As the generative AI era is now duly anointed, what might the next leap or epoch look like? It is a comforting thought to believe that we are capable of adapting in pace with the changes coming with generative AI. However, like a foreshock presaging a large earthquake, this new epoch could be a precursor to an even larger event, the coming AI singularity. The multitude of AI tools now at our disposal accurately represents that there may come a time when AI surpasses human intelligence. Keeping in mind, these are just a few of many models that are in the works, from both companies you know, like Google, and others you may not. It is possible that within the next couple of decades, there could be another ChatGPT-like moment when the world shakes again, even more than it has with generative AI. Source: thePrint Hardvard Business Review Digitaltrends Authors: Vanshika Mittal and Riya Sethi Illustration By: Muskan Bansal

  • From Blocks to Blockbusters

    We are all familiar with Lego, the acclaimed block-building game containing hundreds of colourful bricks and a how-to guide for your dream city. Remember bargaining with your parents for the more expensive 800+ Battleship set, moving furniture everywhere in a desperate attempt to find that grey 3*2 piece or the death cry of stepping into another lego while finding that piece. Lego has surely given us some beautiful childhood memories. However not much is known about how the biggest toy brand was on the brink of bankruptcy back in 2003. The concept of connecting blocks first came in 1962 but it didn’t catch much attention until 1967 when it was released as a complete set. Finally, in 1969 the iconic lego block was released, the exact design which is used in modern day lego! Despite the initial disapproval from the public, Lego saw the potential in its product and kept improving till it became a massive hit. With the rising sales and popularity, Lego decided to diversify with video games and theme parks. But as we’ll see it didn’t turn out the way they expected. Building Blunders Once upon a time, the Lego kingdom was a sprawling empire, stretching across the toy shelves of the world. But as with all empires, the kingdom began to show cracks, and before long, it was tumbling down like a poorly constructed tower of blocks. The root of the problem was a series of missteps, each one chipping away at the foundation of the company. Dispelling the myth: growth ≠ success To put it simply, Lego got a little too big for its bricks. The company was so enamoured with its own success that it overreached, spreading its reach across the globe like wildfire. But just like wildfire, this over-expansion consumed everything in its path, leaving the company with too many products, too many lines, and a brand identity that was starting to look like a jumbled mess. The company had taken reinvention a bit too seriously, in the 1990s. They started venturing into the production of not just their signature bricks but included a lot of different lines of products. They got into the making of merchandise, publishing books, and launching their theme park, Legoland, in the UK (1996) and the US (1999). And this was all in a bid to capture the trends they thought children were now interested in. They overreacted to trends and started over-diversifying. And they did what many other brands did – they expanded from their core, and like many other brands, they lost their heart. What may have seemed like a logical and necessary expansion, was mainly a result of the fear of being outdone. Mismanagement Madness In the early 2000s, the Lego kingdom was facing some serious internal problems. It was like trying to build a castle without knowing how many bricks you had - not exactly the foundation for success. The chief marketing officer, Mads Nipper, admitted that the company was in the dark when it came to their costs, which is a problem when you're dealing with building blocks. It turns out, they had been relying on top graduates from design schools in Europe, who were great at designing but didn't have much experience with the little plastic bricks. The result was that certain sets were costing more to make than they were selling for. It was a perfect storm of mismanagement and poor decisions, but the crazy part was that no one actually knew just how bad it was. It was like a house of cards, but instead of cards, it was made of blocks, and instead of falling down, it was losing money. Missed the tech train The world was rapidly changing, with new technologies transforming the way people played. But while its competitors were jumping on board and exploring the digital world, Lego was still relying on traditional methods, as if playing with blocks was enough to keep the kids of the new millennium entertained. The above mishaps shattered the castle built by the lego masters. The once booming company was now in humungous debt of around 800 million dollars; the future was looking pretty bleak for the Danish toy company. Building a Better Future: The Resurgence of Lego "Simplicity is the silent symphony of solutions." Despite these negative developments, at the heart of things, Lego is a straightforward company that achieved success thanks to its innovative and imaginative product, coupled with outstanding marketing strategies. While expanding in other areas they not only lacked a satisfactory USP but also lost sight of their fundamental product. To make a successful turnaround, Lego simply had to focus on improving its core strengths while eliminating distractions that were not essential. Change In Management Jørgen Vig Knudstorp was appointed as the first CEO of Lego outside the family after serving as the Director of Strategy for three years. Despite the challenges that the company was facing during this time, Knudstorp accepted the challenge and transformed Lego into what it is today. He reorganised the company's structure, streamlined the supply chain, simplified the product line, and introduced five-year plans. He also reduced unnecessary variations and placed a strong emphasis on the power of the Lego brick, which ultimately became a key factor in the company's successful comeback. Realigned Priorities A well-known saying goes: “If you keep doing the same things, you’ll keep getting the same results.” However, in Lego’s case the opposite is true. Despite their initial success Lego lost focus and got distracted by diversification. Thus in order to be successful again they switched back to their tried and tested methods and got rid of unnecessary distractions. First, the company sold all four of its Legoland theme parks, which not only brought in additional cash but also reduced their maintenance costs. In addition, the company simplified its product line by eliminating unnecessary variations, which had previously only added to its expenses. Finally, Lego temporarily discontinued its video games program in an effort to focus on its core business. Thanks to all these changes Lego regained focus and quickly became profitable once again. Marketing & Collaborations Throughout history, we have witnessed several traditional business giants go bankrupt because they failed to recognize the impact of modern technology. Despite the evolution in the gaming and entertainment industry, Lego not only managed to survive but also continued to grow at a remarkable rate. By collaborating with video games and movie franchises, Lego leveraged technology as a catalyst for growth rather than resisting it. The comparison between Star Wars and Lego is often made to that of peanut butter and jelly. With each new Star Wars movie, the sales of Lego Star Wars sets increase significantly. But this is not limited to Star Wars alone. Over the years, Lego has partnered with a wide range of franchises, from Whimsical animes all the way to Classic James Bond. If there's a franchise you enjoy, chances are that there's a Lego set dedicated to it! Universal Audience Most games are categorised as being for either boys or girls, but Lego has shattered these gender and age barriers. Thanks to its numerous partnerships, Lego has been able to build its sets in all genres; be it Marvel, or Frozen, or Harry Potter. Lego sets are also available in a range of difficulties, from sets with fewer than 10 pieces to the challenging 11,695-piece Lego Art World Map or the Lego Titanic containing 9,090 pieces. The latter being sophisticated enough to captivate even adult audiences. In fact, Lego has an entire community of adult fans, known as AFOLs (Adult Fans of Lego). So, no matter your age or gender, there is always a Lego set for you. Happy Ending to the Toy Story Lego's downfall was like a game of Jenga gone wrong—every time they pulled out a brick, the tower seemed to crumble more. But, like any true game master, Lego wasn't ready to concede defeat. They took a deep breath, gathered their pieces, and set out to rebuild. Slowly but surely, brick by brick, they pieced their company back together. Now, Lego is back in the game, ready to take on new challenges and reach new heights. So, here's to Lego, the company that proves that even the greatest of towers can be rebuilt and restored. Author: Esshan Wadhawan, Palak Bansal Illustration By: Ramya Sehgal

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Other Pages (33)

  • About Us | Finance & Investment Cell, Hansraj College

    Our Mission The Finance and Investment Cell, Hansraj College is a voluntary group of students aiming to disseminate quintessential knowledge on finance, investment, and related aspects through the conduct of its activities throughout the year. About FIC Hansraj The Finance and Investment Cell, Hansraj College embarked upon its journey to promulgate financial literacy in the year 2014. Since then, we at FIC have been disseminating quintessential information on finance and related concepts. Be it organizing multifarious events or hosting regular speaker sessions with eminent personalities, the Cell has managed to build a significant presence for itself and has lived up to its reputation of being one of the finest societies in the Delhi University circuit. The Cell also curates and publishes its own set of financial articles regularly so that all segments of the public can reap the benefits. Taking into note the need for one roof for finance, we started with our own newsletter, a venture that was ideated and implemented in 2020 with the name “The Finance Gazette” garnering over 8500 subscriptions in a short period of time. Adding a feather to the cap, FIC is now the first society in Delhi University to have their newsletter published on the official college website. Several departments operate in tandem to ensure that the society provides ample opportunities to its members to upskill themselves in all aspects. With enthralling and diverse events like The Finance Platter, the Fellowship Programme for school students, and our flagship event Empresa, we leave no stone unturned to promise an engaging time for our members and the community. We have come a long way from where we started and we aim to scale new heights in times to come. The Finance and Investment Cell, Hansraj College is a voluntary group of students aiming to disseminate quintessential knowledge on finance, investment, and related aspects through the conduct of its activities throughout the year. Since its inception in 2014, the Cell has traversed a great path to grow in size, scope and shape so as to make it more engaging for its members and community. We’ve diversified ourselves from activities eponymous to the name by launching our very own in-house mentorship and consulting wing and social wing two years back. The Cell aims to spread financial literacy in a fun yet holistic way to the underserved community and regularly organises drives to fulfil this aim. From organising multifarious events to hosting regular speaker sessions with eminent personalities, the Cell has managed to build a reputation for itself. With a keen interest in finance and a vision to spread the knowledge to others, we at FIC, Hansraj, are dedicated to provide comprehensive learning of the world of finance to the world. Mission & Objectives Meet Our Team The Core Jayesh Rungta President Harsh Agarwal Vice President Eesha Goyal Vice President Manuj Bengani Joint Secretary Khatwang Gupta Chief Advisor Tushasp Rajput Samay Jain Social Wing Technical Department Ramya Sehgal Muskan Bansal Mentorship & Consulting Department Hardik Jonwal Organising & Sponsorship Department Editorial & Marketing Department Neeraj Aggarwal Mananpreet Kaur Uppal Research & Development Department Aditi Jain Divya Jha Nishitha Bringi Sridhar Soumil De Department heads

  • Editorial & Marketing | FIC Hansraj College

    Editorial & Marketing Department The EDM department integrates the public in the FIC family by getting them subscribed and associated with us by reaching out to them. Through the writing prowess of the members, it strives to provide the best content to its special pool of readers and followers. about us The Editorial and Marketing Department (EDM) plays a pivotal role in the daily functioning of the cell. Details regarding any activity of the cell, be it any event, session or publication has to reach the public in the crispest yet intriguing manner so that justice is done to the tremendous efforts put behind curating these articles. Swami Vivekananda rightly said,” Think of the power of words”. The words knitted in a beautiful piece of article on any finance topic can do wonders and go a long way in letting our audience know everything under the sun of finance. This is what the department stands for. The EDM department is responsible for maintaining the social media presence of the Cell across all platforms. This holds paramount importance as every content that goes out on the social media pages constitutes the face of the Cell. Functioning in tandem with the Tech department, especially among the other departments, EDM releases its own set of financial articles through the weekly post and story series. From the recent market trends in news to lesser-known trivia facts about finance, the Cell has got it covered. The Hansraj Finance Gazette was another initiative of the EDM department that started in 2020 and springboarded to success in a short span of time. Marketing is the heart and soul of the department. The elite activities conducted by the Cell should be voiced out to every realm so that the maximum number of people can reap the benefits. The department ensures extensive marketing is done through moment marketing posts, collaborating with other societies, and tapping several other channels. 1500+ registrations in Empresa’ 21 and 400+ registrations in the Young Investors’ Fellowship Programme’21 is a testimony to the efforts put in by the department. CONTACT US Text us on WhatsApp Our Team Neeraj Aggarwal Mananpreet Kaur Uppal

  • Mentorship and Consulting | FIC Hansraj College

    Mentorship and Consulting FIC Hansraj realizes the ever-increasing industry requirements and the challenges that come with it. The Mentorship and Consulting wing was thus set in motion to help students acquire business acumen and to apply their skills by undertaking live projects. The wing has successfully executed several live projects spanning across Financial Modelling, Technical Analysis, Market Research to CSR strategies. The core vision of the society is to provide organizations with high quality and affordable consulting services in order to develop pragmatic as well as sustainable solutions to the challenges they face. With this, the wing aims at setting a benchmark in youth-based consulting. Collaborate with us About Us With a goal to promulgate financial knowledge among the university students, The Finance and Investment Cell, Hansraj College has always aimed to furnish students with a platform that can augment skill development and apprise them of industry needs. Our focus is to develop consulting-oriented thinking among the members and equip them with the tools and resources necessary for careers in the consulting domain. Our objective is to establish a professional body which is directed towards implementing the precise combination of proficiency, creativity and analytical skills to deliver exclusive and extremely economic consulting services. As a student body of budding consultants, each of whom possesses the zeal and strength to make a difference, we aspire towards providing empirical, ingenious and viable solutions to philanthropic organizations around the globe to assist them in transforming their capacity to convey positive social impact. We aim to join hands with these socially conscious institutions who have set out to address some of the world's most pressing issues. Our Domains Operations Management We focus on improving the efficiency of the value chain by devising strategies to reduce costs and optimizing business processes. Market Research We conduct tailor-made research for our client’s unique and varied requirements. This research is carried out independently to provide value added information to our clients for their decision making processes. Growth Strategy We devise an adroit roadmap for our clients to overcome current and future challenges to ensure that they achieve their desired growth rate. Industry Research We conduct industry analysis covering aspects like key players and competitors, growth and industry trends. Marketing Strategy Devising an overall game plan for a business to reach its prospective consumers and turning them into customers of their products or services. ​ Competitive Benchmarking We can help you know your competitive position in the market, to help you work on a strategy to maintain an edge in the market. Our Past Projects Global Phrase Media | Industry Research, Competitive Benchmarking We drew up a comprehensive plan for our client to establish their presence in the Digital Marketing Space. After thorough industry analysis and a detailed study into the competitors’ strategy, we provided our conclusions and recommendations through a detailed report. Contact Us Text us on WhatsApp Our Team Aditi Jain Divya Jha Anchor 1

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