Sundeep Vira

Visiting Assistant Professor of Business and Director of Strategic Innovation

Education

MBA, University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois, 2010
MBA, California State University, Northridge, California, 1991
B.A. University of Bombay, Mumbai, India, 1987

Associated Academic Programs

Business

“Social entrepreneurship promotes teaching us how to fish so we can eat every day, and not giving a fish so we can eat only today. Students can learn these skills with an experiential approach to bring deeper meaning to their lives.”

Prof. Sundeep Vira focuses his academic interests around social entrepreneurship and sustainable business models for doing good. “I have pursued these interests for the past seven years, both as an entrepreneur and also in academia. I also teach wealth management to formerly incarcerated adult students, with insights from spending 20 years on Wall Street.”

Vira is originally from India. After graduating from the University of Bombay, he moved to Los Angeles to pursue an MBA at California State University. He worked in the day and took evening MBA classes to financially support himself. “One of my finance professors suggested I consider the field of financial planning and asset management. I looked up an asset manager in the Yellow Pages and cold-called her. In order to gain experience, I worked for no money for a few months before she started to pay me.” In the time Vira was at this firm, he learned the ins and outs of the industry.

From there, he went to work at Morgan Stanley in Los Angeles, where he was a senior investment analyst. After five years with Morgan Stanley, he decided to move to the asset management side and joined a small company where he eventually became a partner and head of marketing. Chicago-based Nuveen bought the company, and Vira was asked to move to Chicago. While at Nuveen, he was a managing director and product manager responsible for growing separately managed accounts totaling some $60 billion while overseeing the centralization of the back office functions with 180 staff members. During that time, he also earned an MBA from the Booth School of Business at the University of Chicago.

In 2009, Vira decided to take early retirement and move to Singapore to be closer to his family in India. While working for Oclaner Asset Management, he became involved social entrepreneurship and began to read the Bible. “I started working in social entrepreneurship endeavors in Cambodia, Vietnam, India and Nepal.”

In 2014, he moved back to Chicago and became more deeply involved with social entrepreneurship, including co-founding SAFEBillion, a collaborative mission designed to realize the potential of community-based technology solutions towards contaminated drinking water. He also coaches an MBA class in social entrepreneurship at the Booth School of Business.

Vira also currently serves as a consultant with The Academy Group, a non-profit educational organization that works to build a national pipeline of young leaders from underserved communities.

He hopes to make an impact at Trinity by getting students to change their thinking, beliefs, and behaviors. “One former student of mine decided to pursue his passion and start his own financial company, and has also taken my course material to teach others. I’m excited for him and to see him make further impact to the Chicago community where he lives.”

What drew him to Trinity:

Vira’s desire to express his Christian faith though teaching business classes and develop real-world experiences for students inspired him to join the faculty at Trinity. “Here, I have the chance to merge my passions, including my Christian faith and social entrepreneurship. I also have a deep network in Chicago, and I want to more closely connect Trinity to Chicago, and Chicago to Trinity.”

Along with teaching, Vira serves as Director of Strategic Innovation. “I am keen to develop long-term strategies for the Business Department. I’d like to see more experiential learning and inspire students to pursue their passion, as my professor did with me when he first suggested I explore the field of financial and asset management.”

Research interests:

His research interests are linked to partnerships. “I believe that creating networks of partnerships can greatly improve the results of your company or mission. There is little research that organizes this thinking in a formal theoretical way and addresses and measures the value of combined leverage.”

When he’s not teaching:

Vira enjoys family time, church, squash, walking, Bible reading, skiing, cooking, music, and movies.

AWARDS & MEMBERSHIPS

Duke of Edinburgh, Gold Award

+ Expertise

Prof. Sundeep Vira focuses his academic interests around social entrepreneurship and sustainable business models for doing good. “I have pursued these interests for the past seven years, both as an entrepreneur and also in academia. I also teach wealth management to formerly incarcerated adult students, with insights from spending 20 years on Wall Street.”

Vira is originally from India. After graduating from the University of Bombay, he moved to Los Angeles to pursue an MBA at California State University. He worked in the day and took evening MBA classes to financially support himself. “One of my finance professors suggested I consider the field of financial planning and asset management. I looked up an asset manager in the Yellow Pages and cold-called her. In order to gain experience, I worked for no money for a few months before she started to pay me.” In the time Vira was at this firm, he learned the ins and outs of the industry.

From there, he went to work at Morgan Stanley in Los Angeles, where he was a senior investment analyst. After five years with Morgan Stanley, he decided to move to the asset management side and joined a small company where he eventually became a partner and head of marketing. Chicago-based Nuveen bought the company, and Vira was asked to move to Chicago. While at Nuveen, he was a managing director and product manager responsible for growing separately managed accounts totaling some $60 billion while overseeing the centralization of the back office functions with 180 staff members. During that time, he also earned an MBA from the Booth School of Business at the University of Chicago.

In 2009, Vira decided to take early retirement and move to Singapore to be closer to his family in India. While working for Oclaner Asset Management, he became involved social entrepreneurship and began to read the Bible. “I started working in social entrepreneurship endeavors in Cambodia, Vietnam, India and Nepal.”

In 2014, he moved back to Chicago and became more deeply involved with social entrepreneurship, including co-founding SAFEBillion, a collaborative mission designed to realize the potential of community-based technology solutions towards contaminated drinking water. He also coaches an MBA class in social entrepreneurship at the Booth School of Business.

Vira also currently serves as a consultant with The Academy Group, a non-profit educational organization that works to build a national pipeline of young leaders from underserved communities.

He hopes to make an impact at Trinity by getting students to change their thinking, beliefs, and behaviors. “One former student of mine decided to pursue his passion and start his own financial company, and has also taken my course material to teach others. I’m excited for him and to see him make further impact to the Chicago community where he lives.”

What drew him to Trinity:

Vira’s desire to express his Christian faith though teaching business classes and develop real-world experiences for students inspired him to join the faculty at Trinity. “Here, I have the chance to merge my passions, including my Christian faith and social entrepreneurship. I also have a deep network in Chicago, and I want to more closely connect Trinity to Chicago, and Chicago to Trinity.”

Along with teaching, Vira serves as Director of Strategic Innovation. “I am keen to develop long-term strategies for the Business Department. I’d like to see more experiential learning and inspire students to pursue their passion, as my professor did with me when he first suggested I explore the field of financial and asset management.”

Research interests:

His research interests are linked to partnerships. “I believe that creating networks of partnerships can greatly improve the results of your company or mission. There is little research that organizes this thinking in a formal theoretical way and addresses and measures the value of combined leverage.”

When he’s not teaching:

Vira enjoys family time, church, squash, walking, Bible reading, skiing, cooking, music, and movies.

+ Courses, Publications & Research

AWARDS & MEMBERSHIPS

Duke of Edinburgh, Gold Award