Warwick Economics alumna on a mission to share her knowledgeTuesday 12 Sep 2023
Class of 2016 MSc Economics alumna Ankita Pathak got in touch with the exciting news that her book on Macroeconomics is a best-seller in India.
Since graduating, Ankita has been working as an economist in the Indian capital markets. The questions she encountered every day from clients, colleagues and managers inspired her to write The Macro Faire, which introduces macroeconomics in simple language with a specific focus on the Indian economy.
“While textbooks are great, they never offer a practical perspective. Additionally, very few books cover the Indian economy in particular. I felt the urge to write what I know as an answer to those questions. It also turned out to be a great learning exercise for me.”
After 7 years in the capital markets Ankita has returned to study and has been accepted onto the MBA programme at INSEAD.
We asked Ankita to tell us more about her publishing success, her reflections on being a Commonwealth Scholar at Warwick, and her plans for the future.
What were your first career steps after graduating?
I was a Commonwealth Scholar at the University of Warwick. Staying true to this mission, I chose to contribute to India and its economy. I came back right after graduation and started working as Senior Economist at an institutional equity broking firm. I also worked very closely with organizations that contributed towards the education of teenage girls.
Can you tell us more about what being a Commonwealth Scholar meant for you?
The scholarship was an instrumental step in me finding the resources to study in the UK. I felt its mission, imbibed it and - to my best abilities - delivered it.
Warwick has insightful modules in Public Policy and Development Economics. Taking them as my electives made me realize the importance of the mission of the Commonwealth Commission even further, and I was further inspired by the opportunity to interact with Mark Carney, then Governor of the Bank of England, on our farewell dinner.
Being a commonwealth scholar at Warwick was something which changed the course of my life - it accelerated it in the right direction.
What’s the focus of your book?
The focus of my book is macroeconomics and very specifically, the many indicators in the subject such as growth, inflation, trade, balance of payments and many more. The book effectively simplifies these complex topics and tailors their understanding for investing in asset classes- equity, debt, commodity and currency. While the examples are from an Indian context the theory is pretty universal. Also, the book is a toolkit and application of the concepts can still be very individualistic.
How long did it take to write it?
I think it’s fair to say that it took two years of planning and 6 months of actual sitting down to write regime for me to make sure the book sees the light of day.
How did you keep yourself motivated to finish it?
It was something I was genuinely interested in so motivation was an easy find. In fact, finding time was the harder bit but I had the most supportive ecosystem at home and at work which made this an easier journey.
What do reviewers say about it?
While I await professional reviews, this is typical of what I’m hearing from actual people who have read it:
“The Macro Faire is a perfect bridge between the world of Academics and its practical application as far as Macro Economics goes. I wish I would have had the privilege of something like this when I started out my career in Equities. Needless to say it’s a useful read even for professionals who often in the day to day work schedule overlook the basics in search for the complex. And this book is uniquely Indian!”
I feel very grateful that I could contribute to people’s understanding and add some value to my peers.
What were your highlights from studying at Warwick?
I remember it being the most amazing time of my life - so much greenery, clean air, endless opportunities of knowledge enhancement and a fantastic peer set. Warwick still feels like home. It brings a very warm sense of nostalgia.
Among other things, the curriculum was amazing. The choice of electives were relevant. It was a very enriching time of my life. It is impossible to believe the amount of work and travel I was able to fit in one year.
What was your favourite module and why?
I think it was Public Policy. At that time, I was very keenly interested in the differences in public policy in emerging and developed economies. Coming from India, some cases and class discussions were not just engaging but also eye opening. They made me have a very different lens and perspective to the world- something that I did not have before.
Do you keep in touch with your fellow students from Warwick?
Yes, we did an all-girls trip 3 years after graduation. However, then covid-19 interrupted us. I have been to their countries and I have hosted 4 of my Warwick friends in India. We talk almost every week and we keep sharing Instagram stories/other trivia to keep it going. It doesn’t feel like it’s been many years, it always feels like we just were together last week or something.
And finally, what are your next steps now that the book is published?
In my last job, I was the lead economist with DSP Asset Managers in Mumbai. As of today, I’m enrolled in the MBA programme at INSEAD.
This is turning out to be another gruelling but exciting experience! I think some of us just always want to learn and I’m beginning to recognize myself as someone who’s always curious. I’m learning a lot every day and I hope to use the knowledge to advance myself and my country someday.
Here is a link to more information about Ankita's book The Macro-Faire: An Investor's Guide to MacroeconomicsLink opens in a new window