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Importance of India’s Foreign Trade Policy
Importance of India’s Foreign Trade Policy

Foreign trade, as the name suggests is trade between different countries, this can also be referred to as International Trade, or Inter Region trade. It is basically a guideline around import and export trades. The reason to have a foreign trade policy is to maintain a mutual agreement of wants and needs while trading. For a successful economic development of a country, a robust foreign trade policy is crucial. Foreign trade policies are essential of two types,

Free Trade Policy and Protective Trade Policy. As the name suggests in the free trade policy there are no restrictions on areas such as Exchange of Goods or Services, between countries that are trading, there are no bars or limitations on production or consumptions, neither are there any taxes, subsidies or tariffs to adhere to. The arrangement of free trade works quite well for developed countries.

The Protective Trade Policy overall protects the domestic economy from external competition in goods, that might threaten the domestic market for their products and goods. Such a policy is ideal for developing economies like India.

Similar to this there are many other factors due to which the foreign trade policy becomes extremely vital for a country and its economic development.

Appropriate Distribution of labour – through the Foreign trade policy, a country can create a division of expertise and specialisation over a global platform. It assists in producing commodities at a lesser cost, so assume a country has huge natural resources, it can outsource the labour, which means export raw material and import finished goods to countries which have skilled labour. Thus they reduce the cost of production.

Stable Pricing – with the help of Foreign trade policy a country can lead to equality of pricing, to ensure a stable demand and supply situation. A foreign trade policy also enables us to import certain products at the time of a natural calamity when demand is high, this ensures the scarcity is managed without taxing the end consumer.

Consumer Advantage – by proving better quality and quantity of goods. It also assists in raising the standard of living especially for underdeveloped countries.

Foreign trade policy of India is very important from the viewpoint of developing economies. For example, in India, we have a strong Iron and Coal reserve, these are established industry opportunities, However, for the growth of this industry, we need to import the technical know-how from other countries who pioneer in it. Assuming that we as a country, did not have a foreign trade policy, then it would become both, a daunting task and an expensive effort.

Another area which would bring our country to a standstill is the inability to fulfil the demands of the petroleum products. An absence of a foreign trade policy would massively hinder the economic development of our country.

India, during the recent years, is referred to as one of the most important players in the global economic setting. There are many factors contributing to this, the present trade policies, economic reforms, also India’s intrinsic strengths are most sought after in the global space.

The country is also promoting infrastructure and technological developments, which are promising for the economic sector in the years to come.

With the forthcoming foreign trade policy, our exports are expected to reach US$ 750 billion by the year 2018-2019.

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Nikhil Barshikar, in conversation with The Week about Online Education
How Online learning has created a paradigm shift in the realm of Indian education. Read more
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What is Data Analysis and Who Are Data Analysts?
What is Data Analysis and Who Are Data Analysts?

The process of assessing data using analytical and logical rationale, to inspect each detail and component of the data, can be described as data analysis. For example, you get a jigsaw puzzle and sort it in groups, it then becomes important that you analyse how the pieces in the group fit and progress towards the larger picture. Data analysis is the process of breaking down data, evaluating it for trends over a time period, comparing it with other sectors. Visualising the data in different perspectives and intuitively accessing it, are all efforts put into data analysis. Data analysis starts from asking the right questions, about the past, the present, and where do you want to be. Data analysis thus can also be described as the primary element of data crunching, data mining and business intelligence, as it becomes a process of acquiring insight that initiates business solutions and decisions.

Data analysis as a process might differ from company to company, however, it does have some steps which remain common.

In data analysis the objective has to be set by the data science team, then they need to identify the levers and metrics that need to be evaluated, methods of data collection along with the channel of data collection should then be finalised. To improve the quality of the data and to avoid making incorrect conclusions, the data should be checked for any inconsistencies. And lastly, the data science team will apply advanced analytics, where large-scale data analysis platforms are created to automate and optimise the process for future purposes.

Through data analysis, organisations get better insights and gain information that helps them in making informed decisions, to better serve their customers, predict customer behaviour, and relatively increase productivity and overall revenue of the organisation.

By now we all understand that companies need data analysis to help them make better decisions and the person of importance in this process is the Data Analyst. after all, they are the people who give meaning to values and numbers, So, in short, a data analyst’s job is to take the data and help companies make better decisions, but how do they do that???

As you see there are many types of data analyst, they work in a wide range of areas, like, Business Intelligence, Data Assurance, Data Quality, Finance, Higher Education, Marketing, Sales etc…, they can be involved in many parts of the analytics process.

Essentially they will be involved in building systems for collecting data and compiling their findings into reports and dashboard for better navigation of the organisation.

Main responsibilities of a data analyst include……

  • Producing Reports
  • Spotting Trends
  • Inter-Process Collaboration
  • Collecting Data and Setting up Infrastructure for the same

A toolset for a data analyst would comprise of, strong working knowledge of Excel, SQL, Google Analytics, Visual Optimizer, Tableau, Knowledge in programming languages like R, Python etc…,

Data that is collected and not evaluated it worthless. A data analyst adds value to the data so that the organisation or the client can move their business in the right direction based on their strategic goals.

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Cities to Consider for A Career in Finance
Cities to Consider for A Career in Finance

The global demand for professionals in finance is on the rise. Specifically, as the global economy is rising from the downtime. As it continues to recover, there are gaps being discovered by the human resource development teams, in skills requirements and expertise. Now there are finance jobs that can be found in most cities around the world, but there is a huge difference in the skill set and sector where the opportunity arises. A career in finances in most cases is considered very lucrative. A move to a new city will only be worthwhile for a financial professional if the place they plan to shift to has good opportunities, and to simply put it, you are able to increase your take-home considerably after paying off all the taxes and housing expenses.

London, Germany, Canada, Hong Kong, Japan are the most competitive countries, ideal if you are looking for a stable career in finance. The financial sectors in these cities are best, where plenty of jobs exist in the financial sector almost across all levels. For example, London has the largest financial sector in the world, Germany represents the economy in the Eurozone, as a result, it has the financial sector to set policy for the massive union of economic interest. Canada is a viable option because of the geographical advantage it presents, by being closest to the world’s largest economy. Hong Kong hires the highest number of financial professionals because of the central position in the Asian financial sector. Also, Japan’s stock market and financial sector offer a significant area of employment. The US is also the most sought-after destination for financial professionals.

For professionals, seeking a job overseas, in the financial sector, Dubai is turning out to be a lucrative option offering similar career opportunities like in the countries mentioned above. It gets you the feel of working in a truly cosmopolitan environment, with job opportunities that pay well for experienced and fresher’s equally. In Dubai’s International Financial Centre, one will find the best financial and banking services jobs.

Some common titles sought after in Dubai are Account Manager, Finance Associate, Finance Officer, Financial Analyst, Research Analyst, Relationship Manager, Financial Advisor and so on. The financial sector in Dubai will also see a rise, because of the introduction of a VAT. And the availability of employment is across verticals in the financial sector, from Asset Management, Treasury Sales, Transaction Services, Loans and so on.

Imarticus Learning in association with EY, a global leader in advisory and consultancy have together designed a comprehensive course, which is industry-aligned, called The Financial Analysis Prodegree in Dubai

With EY as its knowledge provider, the course offers an online training mode, using a practical hands-on training methodology. The Financial Analysis Prodegree covers a wide range of Financial Accounting and Statement Analysis, Financial Modelling and Valuation, Equity Research in Corporate Finance Strategy and Transaction Execution. The program also focuses on building technical and soft skills expertise in Microsoft Office, Aptitude Training, Resume Building and Interview Preparation, making an applicant Job Ready at the end of completion.

The program equips you with skills and knowledge essential for a successful career in Investment Banking, Equity Research, Corporate Finance and in Consulting and overall Financial Management.

The course is designed to match the growing demand in the Global Markets. So if you are interested in building your career overseas, specifically in Dubai, and are interested in learning Accounting, Financial Modelling, Valuation or/and Equity Research, enquire now with Imarticus Learning and build your skill set.

We also offer online Data Science Prodegree courses in Sharjah, and Abu Dhabi

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Data Scientist – Most in Demand Jobs in Dubai
Data Scientist – Most in Demand Jobs in Dubai

Dubai is known for its wealth, and also is referred to as one of the most populated cities in the United Arab Emirates. Dubai is synonymous with new technology, innovations, and is considered as one of the richest countries in the world. If you have the right skill sets, then there are many opportunities that you will be able to bank on.

In the age of the internet of things, where technology is fast integrating with people’s lives, proficiency in computer science, software programming, data science and data analytics are skills which are really sought after. Such skill sets become crucial if you are seeking to build your career based on current and future trends. Dubai targets on becoming a global innovation yardstick.

Due to its high tech infrastructure and implementations of several smart initiatives, Dubai has been declared as the Middle East’s leading smart city, by Huawei and Navigant, who studied the strategy and implementation of smart city campaigns in the region. According to a research based on UAE’s employers, 88% of them indicate that they need specific skill sets in the Analytics domain, showing an incline by 47% from the year 2014.

Since UAE has great plans of becoming a smart hub by driving digital transformations, with specific requirements in skill sets like coding and analytics, which are directly connected with digitizing industry verticals, will be high in demand. Due to the rise of Big Data, huge volumes of information can be collected from various channels.

Accurate analysis and interpretation of trends and insights from this data can benefit almost any organisation. Specifically, in Dubai, Big data is ever-present, especially since the technology to store this data is evolving and can be seen covering a wide range from collecting Salik (Toll payments) tags data, to online shopping trends.

Dubai faces the same challenges that other technology-driven institutions face, that of analysing the data in the most efficient and accurate manner, correct identification of areas of improvement and then selecting or prioritising, based on the substantial value and understanding, requires expertise. There is a dearth of data analysts in Dubai and hence jobs in this domain are great in demand there.

Dubai is also known to be a good paymaster, a junior analyst’s position can start from AED

20K per month and go up to 30 or even 40K AED.

Some specific skills along with job titles for IT-related roles in Dubai are:

  • Statistical Analysis and Data Mining
  • Algorithm Design
  • Web Architecture and Development Framework
  • Middleware and Integration Software
  • Data Scientist / Data Analytics / Data Architecture
  • User Interface Design
  • To touch on these professions, and skills sets, it is essential to have a perspective and knowledge of SAS, Python, R, Tableau, deep understanding of Data Analysis, Statistics, etc…,

Keeping the trends and requirement in sight, Imarticus Learning, in association with Genpact as a knowledge partner, co-created a cutting-edge industry-aligned curriculum, an online training, using a practical hands-on learning methodology.

The course is called ‘Data Science Prodegree’. It is a 180 hours course, which includes hands-on training with 6 industry projects, covering the essential requirement in the field of data science. The course also offers career assistance, which will make you job ready, by providing mentorship, in resume building and mock interviews by industry experts.

So if you wish to make a career as a Data Scientist in Dubai, consider doing a course with Imarticus Learning, known as industry stalwarts for skill enhancement in the data science circuit.

We also offer online Data Science Prodegree courses in Sharjah and Abu Dhabi

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Python for Data Analysis Data Wrangling with Pandas
Python for Data Analysis Data Wrangling with Pandas

Python is soon gaining a lot of popularity as a tool for data analysis. Python has evolved as a more mature tool offering flexibility, which one can enjoy without really sacrificing the functionality of older programs. Python is considered as the language for people working in the field of data science more specifically for data analysis. The objective of initiating any data analysis project is to create the highest quality of data, in the shortest possible time. On understanding the basic concepts behind what you are doing, anyone can perform the data analysis by almost using any language, however, the USP of python is that it is one of the best options available for beginners.

For data analysis the two most popular languages of choice are R’ and ‘Python, both of them are easy and simple to install, are available for free, and to an extent are easy to get started. However, there are a few variables where Python takes over as the most preferred language, to begin with.

Python is a general-purpose programming language, which translates into the fact that it can be used for almost all purposes like, data munging, data engineering, data wrangling, also for web scraping, web crawling, to build a web-based application and many more uses. If you have any prior experience in object-based languages like Java or C++ then, it will be easier to gain flexibility in Python than in R.

Python is again preferred, as because it is an object-based language it is easier to write codes, especially in scenarios where one has to write large scale codes, which are sustainable and strong. One can duplicate the prototype code in python from your private computer, to be used as the production code if needed.

Python might not have libraries or an all-inclusive set of data, as compared to what other programming languages have to offer. Nevertheless, one can use python in collaboration with tools like Pandas or Numpy etc.., to get you the desired results.

Data Wrangling with Pandas:

Pandas is one of the most popular python libraries for data wrangling, which is used to deal with some of the most common data formats and their transformations.

Data wrangling is an essential part of any data analysis. Before any algorithms are applied to the data set it is crucial that the data is checked and ready for consumption. For example, if your data set is incomplete, or has null values, the analysis will not be complete and correct.

Data Wrangling with Pandas will help you drop Null Values, Filter Data.

Data wrangling with pandas can also be used for Grouping data, which is slightly more challenging than filtering data. Through Grouping one can find ways to correlate the data and discover trends. If you are working with financial data or weather data, with Pandas Time Series Analysis Tool, one could analyse events by hours or even by the minutes

Lastly, you can Export cleaned and filtered data to Excel or another format, basically share the data and present it in the best possible format.

So preparing the data is the first and most crucial task for data analysis, data wrangling with Pandas assures that any treatment that is applied to the data set will be effective.

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Skills Required for Business Analyst
Skills Required for Business Analyst

A role of a business analyst is very crucial in a company’s productivity, efficiency and most importantly in its profitability. Like in any other role, a set of technical skills, a mix of hard skills and soft skills, is a prerequisite for a business analyst. Along with a predefined set of skills, the ability to change, adapt and evolve is a key for a business analyst to thrive. A business analyst uses a combination of tools and techniques so that they can build business intelligence solutions which align the data, and the required technology to deliver actionable insights, and support the decision making process on a whole. A business analyst might be involved in all or most of the stages in the business intelligence processes. Data mining, analysis, etc…,

The list of skills is quite exhaustive, and a blog or an article will not be able to cover all of them, however, it can definitely list down a set of must-have skills for a successful business analyst.

Business Expertise

It is practically impossible to give input or to get involved in the life cycle of business intelligence without business acumen. A business analyst has to acquire the domain-specific knowledge, so that one can understand the industry and organisation that they are involved in, to contribute effectively. With sound specific business knowledge, the analyst can comprehend the impact of any strategy implementation, and assist in tactical day to day understanding of the business.

Conceptual Thinking, Data Analysis, and Modelling

A business analyst has to dive deep into data to extrapolate valuable insights for the business and assist in strategy implementation. They need to have the ability to understand data, with the use of data models. They need to understand the flow of data within the organisation so that it can be used effectively for decision-making purposes by the management.

Business Intelligence Software and knowledge in Analytical Programs

Besides exceptional knowledge in Microsoft office and most specifically in Excel, it is an added advantage if they have a working knowledge of Visio for data modelling and specifically, if they know SharePoint, it will come handy when building custom input lists. Back in the days, MS Asses was sought after but not any longer unless there is a specific requirement, however, fluency in querying languages like SQL is highly preferred.

A much-needed capability is to understand and analyse data, its formats, structure, and flow, from intangible to tangible. Finally, any business analyst working in the analytical space should be aware of commercial off the shelf analytics software applications like Tableau, Qlik etc…,

Inquisitive and Detailed Oriented Mind Set, Visualising the Big Picture

Ironically a business analyst needs both the skill sets, ability to see the big picture yet to have the patience and discipline in understanding the finest grain of data and intuitively picking up the subtle details. So they need to understand the Key Performance Indicators of each title and processes, yet have the maturity to understand why certain steps are crucial and cannot be skipped, keeping in mind the organisation strategy, and vision along with detailed data elements.

Exceptional Communication and Emotional Intelligence

Not only should a BA be very clear and concise in communication, should also be a good listener, and should be able to translate technical terms or deep concepts effectively, with not only the stakeholders but with others as well.

A Business Analyst should also be able to manage face to face interactions with extreme maturity, unite teams working in silos to come to common solutions, using data and its insights as a point of argument. A BA should navigate the politics and align the departments towards the business objective.

Self-discipline, Documentation Skills, and Stake-Holder Management are some other essential skills which sharpen with experience. Analytical Skills, Negotiating Skills and Problem Solving along with any other skills specific to the business domain can be acquired through training and educational programs.

We at Imarticus learning offer an IIBA-endorsed business analysis certification program. This program helps you to gain in-depth exposure to Business Analysis, techniques and frameworks as prescribed by latest BABOK 3.0. After completing the skill-building certification.

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How Do We Determine Techniques in Strategic Analysis?
How Do We Determine Techniques in Strategic Analysis?

When an organisation formulates major business goals and initiatives by the top management and decides on the implementation of the said devised strategy, it is participating in the strategic analysis initiative. There are as usual many definitions available that explain strategy analysis, but to simply put it, the Strategic analysis is a method to facilitate, research, analyse, and map a company’s ability to achieve the future target or threshold based on current reality and resources. This can be achieved by bridging gaps that exist between the strategic, and operational features of the organisation.

There are many tools and techniques that can be applied to the strategic analysis. As the strategic analysis is a process of conducting research on the current business environment so that a sought-after business strategy can be formulated. There are certain factors which will help you in picking up or determining the right technique to get to the desired goal effectively. Analytical tools and techniques are key in formulating a strategic plan. There are many important considerations that you need to be aware of to make an informed decision.

Simple yet important factors to consider would be……

  • Does the tool assist you in asking and more importantly answering the right questions aligned to the need of the organisation?
  • Is the expected benefit of using the tool defined? Will the tool be capable of assisting you with actionable insights? Absolute clarity at this stage will guarantee that the analysis is successful.
  • Applying a choice of different tools and techniques to analyse a current situation is also an option.
  • Does the tool help you in understanding, where you are today, where do you wish to go, and how do you get there?

It is always a good practice to ponder on these points before you embark on your strategic analysis journey

  • Always involve a broad group in strategic planning so that the responsibility for successful implementation is for everyone.
  • Irrespective of the tool you use, understand the value, vision, and mission and develop clear objectives on what you desire to achieve.
  • Have a mixed approach, just applying a top-down approach to strategic planning might not always be successful.
  • Account for the tangibles and non-tangibles, such as company culture and quality of management, especially while assessing strengths.
  • While identifying threats, it is always good to look for internal and external threats along with future possibilities that might work against your objective.
  • Lastly, it is always important to devise a plan which can be measured, is broken down into small actionable goals, eventually working towards the larger plan. Clearly, defining the action plans and performance metrics.

Here are a few popular tools

SWOT Analysis is a strategic method that will help you identify the Strength, Weakness, Opportunity, and Threat to your business or a project venture.

PEST is a well-known macro framework that analysis the Political, Economic, Social and Technological developments. This model can be further expanded to include Legal and Environmental Concerns as well.

Root Cause Analysis, is a recommended tool, which can be used in isolation and with a combination of other tools as well, whenever a requirement arises to dig deeper into a situation. If you have identified the problem correctly, this technique will then come handy as a systematic approach to identifying the cause and resolving the situation.

There are many tools and techniques available, this article does not even touch the tip of the iceberg. An individual or organisation, faced with a challenge or with the intention to achieve evolved goals in the future will be the best judge on the tool to use.

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Bridging the skill gap

Nikhil Barshikar – MD Imarticus Learning, talks about how online platforms can help students equip themselves with the right skills needed to get a job..Read more

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Knowledge Series: What is the need of AML and KYC?  How is it Monitored?
Knowledge Series: What is the need of AML and KYC? How is it Monitored?

If you are familiar with the financial sector, then terms like AML (Anti Money Laundering) and KYC (Know Your Customer) would be common to you. For many financial institutions and for organisations working in the financial sectors, AML and KYC are initiatives which have emerged as vital focus areas. Organisations in the financial sectors need to adopt initiatives like AML and KYC, as not doing so could attract hefty penalties. In addition to this, applying initiatives like AML and KYC gives these institutions a chance to overcome the challenges of acquiring the ‘Right’ set of clients, there are certain factors like digitally emerging competitors and low-profit margins that are forcing institutions to rethink their AML and KYC programs. Read on to understand the nature of these programs and their importance in recent times.

What is KYC?

Know your customer as the name suggest is a set of procedures and screening criteria’s that a financial institution invests in, to identify and understand the customer. It is a set of steps as per the law to basically assess and monitor any customer risk and any legal requirement, to comply with anti-money laundering Law (AML). KYC procedures are also important to mitigate any risks of fraud and losses due to illegal funds and their transactions.

Financial institutions take steps like

  1. Putting in place a Customer Identification Program (CIP), under which they can establish a customer identity so that they can evaluate that the source of the customer’s fund is not illegal.
  2. Customer Due Diligence is essentially done to build trust with a potential client. This becomes a critical element for banks to protect themselves from terrorists, criminals and Politically Exposed Persons (PEP).
  3. Continuous Monitoring mitigates risk as ongoing monitoring of the customer and their transactions will identify financial oversights in transactions if any.

An example of KYC according to the Government of India, is the requirement of six Officially Valid Documents as a proof of identity, like Passport, Driving License, Voters Identity Card, Pan Card, Aadhaar Card and NREGA Job Card.

What is AML?

Anti Money Laundering like KYC is also a set of procedures and regulations that have come into existence to eliminate any illegal actions used to generate income. AML essentially targets activities that include any trade of illegitimate goods, market manipulation, tax evasions and corruption of public funds. It also includes any act or effort to hide the aforesaid activities. Illegal activities generate illegal income that further needs to be cleaned, money launderers use series of steps to create a mirage, such that it seems the money is sourced legitimately.

The onus of identifying any potential risk factors is on financial institutions who issue a credit to customers. They need to ensure that the finances are not being used as a part of any money laundering scheme. Financial institutions should not only follow the AML laws but should also guide their customers on it.

Both KYC and AML monitoring is the financial institution’s responsibility. Monitoring differs in the jurisdiction and is country specific. Since the risk of noncompliance is very genuine, there is an increased business pressure on financial institutions to be compliant on AML and KYC.

Advanced analytical solutions using Descriptive, Prescriptive and Predictive Analysis in AML and KYC have emerged thus reducing the costs significantly. There are some obvious and clear benefits of leveraging analytics to support KYC and AML, it is still considered in the nascent stage.

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