Catching up with Prof.Ravi Kashyap
We caught up with Prof. Ravi Kashyap, who recently joined SolBridge as Assistant Professor (Financial Management, Financial Derivatives, and Corporate Finance). He worked as a Qualitative Strategist/Product Manager at various financial service firms in New York and Hong Kong including Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, Merrill Lynch and Citigroup, and most recently IHS Markit. His Doctoral thesis is about uncertainty and unintended consequences in the financial markets. He also holds a Master of Business Administration degree from the Leonard N. Stern School of Business, New York University and an undergraduate degree from the National Institute of Technology Calicut, India. He has several publications in the finance discipline.
What do you do when you’re not teaching?
When I am not teaching, I am learning. This is simply because we don’t know most things and also, perhaps because the best way to learn is through teaching. Hence we never stop learning. Just to clarify, learning doesn’t just mean reading textbooks or doing assignments, although they are essential components. Learning can happen when we are doing anything that we enjoy doing. So a lot of my learning happens, when I am traveling, skiing or playing volleyball. Other than that, I enjoy reading and watching movies.
How did you choose to study finance and accounting?
I don’t think I chose finance, and I am even more certain that I did not pick accounting. I do not mean that these are not exciting topics. They are great subjects with some excellent ideas. You see, I am an engineer by training from my undergraduate days, and a Hedge Fund (Financial Firm) gave me my first job; therefore, I had to study finance (and some accounting) to do my job. You can thus say, I was chosen to study finance.
What qualities make a great professor?
I believe a Professor, is someone who realizes, that the roles of students and teachers are continually getting interchanged. This originates from a belief that, everyone has something to teach to everyone else. Also, an essential duty of a professor is to ignite curiosity within students. Because, once we get inquisitive, learning happens, almost by itself after that.
What do you value most in teaching students?
When we start learning a new concept in class, there is usually confusion, on everyone’s faces. But, as soon as that puzzled look starts changing to satisfaction, it becomes priceless.
SolBridge is a remarkably unique institution in many ways. I have not come across such a diverse body of participants (student, faculty, and staff) anywhere else. This diversity brings many different yet fascinating perspectives to anything we are doing. Besides, the fact that all members are always looking to help one another, putting aside their ego, (that is, without getting overly competitive, though we have a strong competitive spirit), means we achieve amazingly outstanding results in whatever we do.
What is your first impression about SolBridge?
WOW (Way Out of this World)
How would you like to contribute to SolBridge’s future?
In every way possible, but my main focus areas are to teach and to conduct research in finance, economics and other social sciences.
What is the best thing about being a professor?
The chance to interact with and get to know the future stars of tomorrow within a few feet of your office. Where else can we get an opportunity like that?
What is the one thing students can do to be successful in your class?
Success is a very relative term. In the extreme case, which we study a bit about in our financial class, one person's success (profit) could be someone else's failure (loss). That being said, to triumph in class and almost everything else, I think it is important to know where we are and start the journey towards where we want to be.
Any word of encouragement to SolBridgers?
Unfortunately, I will need more than one word. In short, “Get Confused, Get Frustrated; but Please Don’t Panic.” To elaborate; Confusion and frustration, though scary and ugly, to begin with, can be powerful motivators as long as we don’t let them bother us. Because confusion is the beginning of understanding and necessity the mother of all creation/innovation, however, the often forgotten father is frustration.
What we learn from the story of the Beauty and the Beast is that we need to love the beasts to find beauty. Hence, if we start to love these monsters (Confusion and Frustration), we can unlock their awesomeness and find genuinely stunning solutions.