Badri Narayanan, Founder, Equity Levers

Badri Narayan is the Founder & CEO at Equity Levers – the world’s first online financial skills library for real-time Indian projects for skill training and testing. He is a qualified Chartered Accountant with 25+ years of extensive career experience in the domains of investment management, private equity, turnarounds, and investment banking.  Notably, he was a former Partner at Ernst & Young, and a former Member of the Financial Sector Legislative Reforms Commission (FSLRC) commissioned Task Force on setting up of Resolution Corporation, under the chairmanship of M Damodaran, Former Chairman, Securities, and Exchange Board of India (SEBI).


Everyone is different and unique, not only in terms of how they look but also in terms of how they read, understand and learn. Some can grasp a concept easily while some would need additional assistance. This is where Adaptive learning or Adaptive Teaching comes into play. It upholds the idea that when everyone is different why do we use the same method of teaching to everyone. The context and the skill set can be universal but the method of teaching that skillset shouldn’t be!

Adaptive learning is just like your own personal tutor. It uses various computer algorithms tools to customize your learning material to suit your learning style. Not only is the experience personalized, it caters to your strengths and weaknesses making you grasp the concept faster and retain the skills. The interactive tools via adaptive learning makes it even more fun and relatable. Especially in a remote environment, learning is now made easy, efficient and accessible. The adaptive learning simulation is the next gen of learning and also the building block of the next technological revolution. It becomes even more useful when it comes to skills that need you to combine practical and theory.

Anew adaptive learning based skill technique offers   real-life situation, problems and case study sets in finance subjects that were implemented with students at leading colleges like, IIMs and ISB. This approach has also received approval from the Ministry of Education, under the National Educational Alliance for Technology Program.

Here are some important aspects of the approach and benefits of adaptive learning:

  1. Learning through music beats V/s learning through reading or listening

Practice makes a man perfect. As per McKinsey, adults can recall almost seven times more content by doing than by reading or hearing alone. In the study, learners are given specially curated large sets of real financial tables and asked to solve questions  with the adaptive learning program. The situations are developed by practitioners based on real time  work skills that will be required. Learners are provided with real financial data and ratios just as any other specialized work software provides. The learners have to make observations and analyse companies which are performing well, and support with evidence in the answers. Similarly, they are required to highlight problems by doing a quick audit of the financial statement. For eg if excessive working capital days or cash flow from operation is being reported much lower by the company. They are also required to make a financial forecast based on the available statistics and subsequently compare it with what transpired within such companies.

  1. Allows learners to make mistakes in their own space

Adaptive learning simulations delivered online allow participants to comfortably make mistakes without risks. Research shows that breaking up extended learning journeys into increasingly challenging modules enables better retention. In the study, the learners solve each problem at their  own pace in increasing order of difficulty, for the correct solution or repeated the problem based on adaptive learning inputs, ensuring strong skills.  Also, it is always better to make mistakes while you are learning in a hypothetical situation than to be making in the real world. You become more prepared and confident in your approach while also gaining experience.

  1. Saves resources:

Adaptive learning frees up multiple resources in organizations providing cheaper alternatives to conventional courses.

Instructor’s time is costly and it is impossible for an instructor to keep reviewing multiple attempts by a learner. Also instructor-led processes cannot be implemented at scale and remotely. In the study, practitioners curate and customise and assign multiple projects and reviews are automated through embedded adaptive evaluation reducing the instructor to be present at all times. As a result, students can learn at their own pace, anywhere in the world and can go back to their simulations lessons as many times they want.

  1. Learners are willing to use adaptive learning:

Research has shown that learners willingly engage when they believe the program gives feedback and helps them learn better and more efficiently, as this will enhance their level of confidence. The outcome in the study is very similar to experience in finance apprenticeship roles, and has received positive and encouraging learner’s engagement and feedback. Learners see value in solving multiple projects and get their own Eureka moment of understanding. They also get to be Up close and personal to the real world situation. This is especially true when tasks are assigned with immediate adaptive score feedback.

Adaptive Learning will help students, industry professionals and learners by customizing the teaching-learning experience through tailor made techniques. Thus, ensuring each learner acquires the skills required to progress in the field with confidence and a minimized scope of error. It is not only time efficient but saves up resources, a true testament of Smart work over hard work.

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