Lady Doak College

About - Department of Economics

We offer

  • parallel B.A. Economics classes in Tamil and English medium of instruction
  • courses that develop core competencies in Economics aptly supported by quantitative and computer skills
  • learning-by-doing opportunities, rural camps, field and industrial visits
  • access to online journals and databases to promote active research
  • career-oriented undergraduate and postgraduate programmes

We have obtained

  • UGC Postgraduate Development Grant – IX, X, XI Plan
  • World Bank Grant for Environmental Economics
  • Support for major and minor research projects from the Indian Council of Social Science Research (ICSSR), University Grants Commission (UGC), Malcolm & Elizabeth Adiseshiah Trust and United Board for Christian Higher Education in Asia
  • Support for building up infrastructure in the teaching of undergraduate Economics courses from the Malcolm & Elizabeth Adiseshiah Trust
  • Support for the conduct of extension activities such as Rural Camps and Service Learning Programmes from the District Collectorate and local NGOs.

Our Collaborations

  • Summer training for students in banks
  • Industrial training for students in local small scale industries
  • Prominent Industrialists and Alumnae as resource persons for Board of Studies, Academic Council, Department Club programmes and Guest Lectures

Future Collaborations

  • Video-conferencing between faculty and students of the Department of Economics at Lady Doak College and top Universities in India and abroad to establish collaborations for student and faculty projects



Lady Doak College established – the first women’s college in Madurai District


Bachelor Degree in Economics introduced


Introduction of Independent and Group Projects for undergraduate students – only department offering parallel Baccalaureate (BA Economics degree in Tamil and English medium of instruction)


Only humanities department offering a special Economics course under the affiliating system of the Madurai Kamaraj University


Autonomous status – innovative and application-oriented courses offered


Postgraduate programme in Economics initiated


Introduction of Computer Courses in the undergraduate and postgraduate Economics curriculum


Publication of textbook on Microeconomics in Tamil and publication of a monograph on Child Labour


Introduction of career-oriented programmes in the postgraduate curriculum


World Bank Book Grant for Environmental Economics


UGC – Post Graduate Development Grant under IX Plan


Golden Jubilee Celebrations of the Department


Shift in focus of undergraduate curriculum to the study of Corporate Economics and introduction of new courses such as Economics of Business Strategy and Corporate Finance


Introduction of M.Phil. Economics


Recognition of the department as a full-fledged Research Centre offering both full-time and part-time Ph.D. programmes


Introduction of M.A. Economics with Computer Applications


Restructuring of UG Curriculum as Integrated Curricular Model, Change of Title: B.A. Economics


Change of Title: M.A. Economics


Visalakshi Kannan (B.A. Economics 1996-99)

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Student Union President

Lady Doak Prize for Best Outgoing Student


Went on to pursue:

  • MA Economics, Cambridge University, UK (Specialization in Development Economics)
  • Certificate in Management from The London School of Economics, UK

Professional Experience (in the US)

  • Worked as Stock Market analyst at Agora Financial, one of the largest internet-based Equity Research firms in the world. Her work focused on international and emerging stock markets.
  • Speaker at several conferences about international stock markets, including one conference in Vancouver, Canada, where she spoke alongside Steve Forbes of Forbes magazine and several other distinguished speakers. She was the only female speaker and the only speaker below the age of 30, despite which she got the highest speaker rating from the audience.
  • Co-founded an IT Services company (with a revenue generation in millions of dollars) - Raman Technologies Inc., along with her husband, Sanjeev Raman.

What Visalakshi says about the Economics curriculum at Lady Doak College:

I enjoyed the curriculum - especially Macroeconomics and Development. I wasn’t very fond of Microeconomics and Maths. But that’s only because I was really bad in those subjects! I understand now that the LDC curriculum has the essential mix of Micro and Macro.

Foreign universities focus heavily on Mathematical Economics. In that light, the Statistics syllabus in our department was also very good. I think we should have more Maths and Mathematical Economics. That’s what is taught abroad - and with good reason. Economics has evolved into a highly mathematical discipline abroad.  Subjects are taught not in English, but in Mathematics. Because of that, Economics degrees are highly respected, unlike in India.

I really liked the fact that we could take optionals from other departments. I took optionals from Zoology and Physics and having that freedom across departments was very, very nice. Not only did we get to learn from other departments, but we got to meet and make friends with students from other departments also (which helped me tremendously when I stood for elections).

The absolute highlight of our curriculum (and I will beg you never to change this) - is the final year project. Intellectually, it was the most exciting for me. Dr. Kasthuri Dhanasekar was my advisor, and she was so helpful and I learnt SO much from her doing the project.

The fact that I could chose any topic for my project, was wonderful. Again, all the teachers encouraged intellectual independence. And the one thing that made us work hard on the thesis was the viva by an outside teacher.

Till today, I cherish the experience of doing that project. That is what introduced me to the basics of research and if I were to do a Ph.D. today, I will draw upon everything I learned while doing my BA project.

I think we should have more tie-ups with the industry because this is where you can see Economics in action. Maybe there should be more talks by people working in companies, government, NGOs, etc.

Why I Chose Economics

I cannot tell you how happy I am that I studied Economics. If I had to go back in the past and chose a major again, it will still be Economics. In my opinion, Economics is the only discipline that teaches you how the world works.

Today, I have a clear world view because I studied what I studied. If the reserve bank raises rates, I know what that will do to my home loan. If the US keeps importing from China, I know what that will do the price of things I buy every day. When I put petrol in my car, I understand why it’s so expensive. When my parents complain gold prices are going up, I understand exactly why that’s happening.

Choosing to study Economics, initially, was my way of rebelling. I didn’t want to study what everybody else studied. Everyone in my 12th class went to B.Com. And that was a major reason why I didn’t want to do it. Besides, I knew early on that Economics is what I'll be good at.

It’s really sad that we fail to appreciate what an understanding of basic economics can do for us. The field of Economics is so much larger and so much more encompassing than the field of Commerce.

Agora Financial hired me as a stock market analyst only because I had 2 economics degrees. Because I understood macro financial systems and how they worked, I travelled to developing countries like South Africa, Botswana, Indonesia and Mexico. There I met with investment bankers, chairmen of companies and finance minsters. And I was able to hold my own while interviewing these people only because I understood economics. Development Eco and Macro came in really handy here.

Today, in my business, I understand why our Average Cost curve looks the way it does. I understand the market, different types of competition, demand, supply and elasticity. Economics makes me a better entrepreneur.

This is something I always say: "If I had studied B.Com., I would be working as an accountant at Raman Technologies. Because I studied Economics, I own it!"

What I gained from LDC

LDC put me on a stage in front of hundreds of people. Till today I’m grateful for that exposure. LDC encouraged us to participate in competitions, and opened up so many opportunities to go to inter college events. That’s where I learned that being good at studies alone is not enough.

LDC encouraged me to become a well rounded and complete individual. I learned that it’s important to have interests outside of academics.

The 3 years in LDC, I worked towards one thing every single day - The Lady Doak Prize. By setting my eyes on that coveted prize, I had an incentive that made me participate in every possible competition. If that prize wasn’t there, I probably wouldn’t have worked as hard!

I could ramble on, but that’s the gist of it. Maybe when I visit India next we can do a talk for the students.

In the meanwhile, if you need anything else please don’t hesitate to ask me.



Renuka Sundar (nee Krishnan)

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  • Director of Human Resources at International Executive Service Corps (IESC), Washington D.C. Metro Area


  • HR Network and Training Manager, Population Services International
  • Director of HR, Levi Strauss & Co.
  • Director of HR, SoftBrands an Infor Affiliate

Feedback Given in 2008

I was a student of Maths, Science and Computer Science in pre-degree school and when I came to meet with Dr.Prabha who was the then Head of Department for Economics, I had no idea of what this subject dealt with.  The only reason I opted to major in Economics was the print of two subjects on the prospectus – Statistics and Computer Science.  Dr. Prabha offered me a seat to this course only because of my marks in Maths.  Some of my acquaintances and friends from school scorned at me for having taken Economics.  The assumption was that I wasn’t good for any other subject.

When I began to learn Economics, I took a liking for Micro Economics, Operations Research and Statistics.  Little did I know where life would take me and where I would end up!  After about 15 years of work experience with different corporates in the IT and non-IT industry, I realize that at the heart of every business operation you can find the economics we learnt in college.  I work in the Human Resource department for SoftBrands a global multination company with offices in over 20 countries around the globe.  In my current role (dated 2008) I am responsible for HR in India, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia and Australia.  That’s quite a handful… decisions on compensation begin and end with HR… so what drives compensation?  Micro economics has the answer – Compensation is the price paid for manpower and price is a function of demand and supply…we learnt that way back in college but seldom did I realize that I will be using this concept on an international basis.  There are several other examples I can give to prove that education in Economics goes a long way in boosting ones career.  Revenue and Cost concepts and break-event…philosophies and strategies are all you learn in books but many of us fail to connect the links.  When I was at college I used to hate macro economics and planning… to my disbelief, working in a global environment requires me to be updated with the concepts of economics of the country, so today I have started paying attention to GDP and exchange rate concepts.  We had a paper in accountancy and I dreaded that subject – now I am dealing with shareholder value and stock options.

This apart I think education in Lady Doak College makes one an all rounder and ready to face the challenges of the world.  I use some of the education from my first semester – psychology classes when it comes to hiring and employee relation management – Maslow’s theory of motivation etc…I would not forget my phonetic classes in English literature.  I am able to articulate nuances of communicating globally based on some very basics I learnt back in college.  Whilst at college we had so many opportunities to participate in extra-curricular activities.  I can never forget Ms.Suganda for having pushed me up on stage for the first time for a Just-a-minute inter-college competition.  I am happy that she did it, because now I have to make presentation to several audiences and have absolutely no stage fear.  The encouragement I got at college to dream beyond what I was expected to do is the basis of where I have ended up today.  Not to forget my friends from college who continue to be there for me and support me all through this journey of life.  When I was at college, little did I know that education in college is the foundation to the value system and direction in your life!  It is at college that we begin to make decisions for life and I am so thankful to God that I could be part of this institution.

Thanks again for giving me this opportunity to be part of the diamond jubilee celebrations of the college and wish you guys have a great time!




SmithaRajalakshmi (B.A. Economics 1996-99)


As regards feedback, I have immense gratitude to the department for helping me gain a strong foundation in Economics. I had a science background in school and learnt economics from the scratch to take it forward into my MBA. Thanks a ton for everything the college and the department in particular contributed to make it happen.  Definitely, Lady Doak has a very encouraging atmosphere than many other colleges I know.




Poorvaja S. (2007-10)

B.A. Economics

Secretary, Student Union 2008-09

Treasurer, Student Union 2009-10

Winner of Visalakshi Kannan Award for distinguished leadership abilities amongst the outgoing undergraduate and postgraduate students of Economics, 2010

I graduated from LDC in 2010 post which I joined Madras School of Economics for their M.Sc. Economics (2010-2012).
Post that I have been working in data sciences in the web analytics space. As a data analyst, I work on building algorithms to improve/optimise the website in terms of user experience and revenue using statistical/mathematical models.
I worked with an US-based MNC,  [24]7 INC., for about two and a half years in their data sciences group. (June 2012 to October 2014)
I worked with as a senior data analyst. It is a Bangalore-based start-up for property search online.  (October 2014-May 2015) 
Presently, I have taken up a position at Hike Games to set up their analytics division.  This is a post that gives me more responsibilities and flexible work options.

Apart from my current position I volunteer for a few NGOs based out of Bangalore.

In the data sciences field, I found that I was preferred over graduates from other disciplines (MBA/BE)  because I majored in Economics with quantitative applications.

I am really glad that I studied Economics!!!


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