OUR PARTNER’S JOURNEY OF DETERMINATION AND PERSEVERANCE
Nimesh Shah MD & CEO ICICI Prudential AMC Dear PIFAA members, Over the years, as the mutual fund industry grew exponentially, financial advisors, distributors have played a vital role in helping cover the last mile. With time, Pune Investment and Financial Ambassadors Association (PIFAA) emerged as one of the well- known Mutual Fund Distributor Association in the country. The various initiatives carried out by PIFAA, for more than a decade, to empower investors and the MFD community as a whole have been exemplary and well recognized by the industry. PIFAA time and again has succeeded in developing skills and technical knowhow of the members of the Pune based MFD community. These constant advisor, distributor development measures have resulted in investors receiving a more comprehensive guidance in matters related to investing and financial planning. I would like to extend my congratulations to PIFAA for taking this initiative with ICICI Prudential Mutual Fund to bring out the success stories of the various leaders from the Pune based MFD fraternity via this book. Each of the member's journey featured here is a story of sheer grit and persistence which has managed to triumph against all odds – be it personal, professional or transformation which was led by regulatory changes. I firmly believe this will be an inspiration for all the existing and future financial advisors who wish to be a part of this community. While the last decade was monumental for both fund houses and financial advisors, we at ICICI Prudential believe there is still a long road ahead that needs to be traversed before mutual fund is known and understood by each and every investor in the country. Towards achieving this objective, I wish the very best and success to the exemplary members of the PIFAA community.
Sankaran Naren ED & CIO ICICI Prudential AMC ABCDEF your way in the year ahead cash, use features which allow investments to be deployed in a calibrated manner basis where the equity It has been generally observed that investors tend to market is. forget the basics in an up-trending market and make mistakes which could prove to be detrimental to their C = Conservative financial health. As a means to help investors not make In an upward trending market, it helps to stay these mistakes, we have the ABCDEF investment conservative. What I mean by being conservative is philosophy which is very easy to recall and understand. sticking to one's asset allocation and maintaining a balanced approach to investments. A = Asset Allocation Portfolios must rest on the bedrock of asset allocation. There is no quick rich scheme. Keep away from leverage. Ensure that you have optical allocation across asset classes like equity, debt, gold etc. While at it ensure that D = Debt the allocation remains within the set limits at all times. Do Invest in debt. Debt is a capital protection tool, not a not let the sharp rally in any asset class lure you into going return tool. The aim here is to protect what you already all in. have. There are times in the market cycle when you invest to be cautious. The returns could be low or moderate, but Historically, it has been observed that during bull market capital protection takes dominance. investors often forget about asset allocation. But, if you want to reap gains over the next 5 years, be careful about E = Enjoyment asset allocation. Those who were careful about their What is the point of investing if it is devoid of any asset allocation in earlier bull markets (1994, 1999 or enjoyment? It is important to enjoy the money you make. 2007) were the eventual winners. F = Fund of Funds (FoF) B = Balanced Approach If investing confuses you, opt for a FoF and leave the Investors much opt for a balanced approach when decision to the fund manager. There are a variety of FoF investing and keep away from pockets which could be in strategies that has the flexibility to invest across various vogue at a particular point in time. For investors who may asset classes, geographies, ETFs and schemes offered be having second thoughts about where to deploy their by various fund houses.
About PIFAA Enter to Learn, Learn to Serve The 2008 Global Financial Crisis and its aftermath had a long-lasting bearing on the mutual fund distributors' fraternity. One of the positive outcomes of this roller coaster ride which both investors and distributors faced amid various regulatory changes was the formation of Pune Investors Advisors Association (PIAA) in 2010. The organisation in keeping with the times was later rechristened as Pune Independent Financial Advisors Association (PIFAA). Given the panic among investors during the 2008 crisis and the inability of majority of distributors to tackle these challenges, a handful of distributors with long-standing commitment towards investors and a strong belief regarding the future prospectus of the industry came together every week to discuss the best approach to address the challenges faced by the distributor community and ways to address investor concerns in an effective manner. Constant deliberations around successful business models led to a realisation of the need for a group wherein distributors can benefit from the collective wisdom to bring about a robust distribution business. This led to the formation of PIAA, a first of its kind. Its primary objective was to upgrade the skills of the distributor community so that they are future ready. For this, the association started organising several certification programs which focused on enhancing technical and soft skills. Along with this, there were sessions which helped members come up the knowledge curve, equipping them to face any challenge pertaining to their day-to-day business. The success of the association can be gauged from its very popular mega investor awareness meetings which has created new benchmarks in the industry. Live webcasts ensured that investors across the globe could connect and benefit from the initiative. Given the rising popularity, in 2021, the organisation was renamed as Pune Investment and Financial Ambassadors Association to widen the spectrum of members. Today, Registered Investment Advisors (RIAs), Chartered Accountants (CAs) too are a part of the fraternity along with MFDs, as a result of which PIFAA has turned into a much bigger association with a larger cause. To inculcate and encourage healthy competition among its members, PIFAA on a regular basis recognises the achievers in the investment fraternity. PIFAA visualises each of its members as an ambassador of prosperity who creates a meaningful and positive impact in the financial lives of common investors. This aids in making PIFAA a Brand which symbolises ethical practice. PIFAA strongly believes that being ethical is the bedrock of financial, distribution business. That's why in its Mission statement, the Association categorically says,\"To make honest efforts to safeguard the interest of PIFAA members, upgrade their knowledge and to create awareness about the importance of wealth for all sections of society.”
Striving Success Stories Bharat Phatak Wealth Managers (India) Private Limited, co-founded in 2003 1. Doing fewer things well by two second generation Chartered Accountants, Bharat This allows you to go deeper into the domain, and at the Phatak and Ajit Khasnis is one of India's leading independent same time, it gives you brand recognition. Clients want to investment firms. Wealth Managers is privileged to be deal with specialists. If you open many fronts, you end up associated with some of the top corporate and promoter with a higher number of competitors. We resisted the families, successful businessmen and reputed professionals temptation to go into insurance, corporate finance and kept in Pune, together with some valued relationships in Mumbai our focus on fewer products which we believed will serve and NRIs. They are registered with SEBI as Portfolio Managers the interest of our clients. (PMS), Investment Advisors (RIA) and with AMFI as mutual fund distributors. 2. What do you enjoy doing? There may be several money-makingopportunities,but they Wealth Managers believes in a long term, responsible, may not provide personal satisfaction. So, ask yourself conservative, non-speculative yet effective approach to these questions - Is it worthwhile? Is it beneficial to the investments, where the client's interest always comes first. We client? Is it within my level of competence? The answers to believe we are on the same side of the table as that of the these will helpin finding areas that you enjoy. investor. We serve them as an alert, active, trusted friend, helping them choose appropriate investments to fulfil their 3. On the same side of the table goals. Alignment of interest with clients is crucial. Only Win-Win approach works in the long run.We exist to help investors Bharat qualified as a CA in 1982. After 10 years of conventional choose the right solution for their problems, goals and tax and audit practice with his father's firm, he changed to aspirations. investments as a full-time career, starting as a sub-broker in Pune Stock Exchange in 1991. Ajit completed CA in 1987, and 4. Are all customers equal? after a brief internship with institutional brokerage house in Different clients have different needs. It is useful to segment Mumbai, he started as a Member in Pune Stock Exchange. clients on factors like age, nature, risk tolerance, active Bharat and Ajit were among the ten friends in the brokerage andpassive, and size of the portfolio. Complexity and needs business, who came together and pooled money to get the increase as the size of the corpus grows. This also brings membership of the then upcoming National Stock Exchange in along the need to collaborate with other domain experts. So, 1994. However, with a view to move away from a transaction- create segments and fine tune services accordingly. based brokerage model to a AUM based business model, they separated from the broking company to set up Wealth 5. Expectation management Managers (India) Private Limited. We need to implement investment decisions in different client portfolios. Understanding psychology and setting It was an upcoming field then. We understood the tax realistic expectations is as important as making good effectiveness of mutual funds – particularly fixed income investment decisions. schemes. This helped us address the needs of corporates and high net-worth investors, while keeping the safety of capital in 6. Building client trust and confidence mind. It was a field with low penetration and low competition. Making promises and keeping them builds trust and This also created the DNA of the company with trail-based confidence. Markets are unpredictable and outside our revenue model. Due to this, the discontinuation of entry load control. But consistency of contact, ability to listen and and upfront commissions did not have a negative impact on understand, punctuality, humility is in our hands. their business. Avoiding mismatch of time horizon, investing long term Some key learnings from their 40-year journey in financial field money in long term avenues and handholding during and 30-year in investment arena are summarized here. volatility go a long way in strengthening relationships.
Striving Success Stories Amit Bivalkar Relationships always work when trust is bigger than doubt, counterintuitive strategy - we recommended debt as the love is bigger than ego and mutual respect is bigger than preferred asset class. expectations. We suggested clients to shift the profits earned from debt The greatest value of having good people around you is not investments to equity as a long-term strategy. We acquired what you get from them; but the better person you become assets in debt from clients who were largely parking their just because of them. That is the power of Association. money in fixed deposits. So, by going against the grain, we found our bearing. Since debt funds delivered nearly 9.5% Amit is a testament to this power through his association with return then, client experience was extremely good which illustrious names like Dhruv Mehta, Roopa Venkatkrishnan, paved way for the future “happy” customers. Parag Karia and Pallav Bagaria & group in Guwahati in his firm Sapient. Most of our clients have been with us for over a decade and have graduated from Debt to Equity products. Even today we Early Days continue with the same strategy and the average duration of liquid funds in our client's portfolio is over 2 years. What has After working for three and a half years with Wealth Managers, been designated as “emergency funds” is treated exactly as Amit joined DSP AMC for about two and a half years across what it is meant to be. Pune and Bangalore regions. Thereafter he returned to Mumbai for a brief stint with Kotak Wealth and Fidelity Asset Another significant strategy was to believe in the business and Management as their Mumbai head. ourselves despite regulatory changes. Back then entry load had been abolished and while many advisors were wondering When AIG started their India operations, he opted to manage what to do, we went about doing our work of meeting and East & West regions. The global financial crisis of 2008 created educating potential clients. The changes in regulation never several orphaned investors since there were no advisers to stood in our way of growing customers. help them. Sensing an opportunity for an advisory company, Amit started Sapient from a modest 350 sqft office in June Then & now 2009: 2022 2009 with Janakand Rahul whom he had met in Pune. We believe expectation management is the foremost need of a Contributors to Success client. Those who succeed in providing a service-oriented experience will always be relevant. Today, we are looking at The journey began with sacrifices as none of the founders took structuring products to suit the needs of the customer. This salaries for the first six months, despite having to service loans has been possible through specialised offerings like PMS, AIF, etc. This was because of the belief that they were on the right Structured Products etc which can be white labelled. These path as the opportunity was large enough to handsomely services are available to even smaller MFDs who have the reward their efforts in the future, a call which played out well. option of collaborating with platform providers and offer such products to their clients. Amidst all these building a reliable As a strategy we believed we should focus on the pain points brand is important. of the clients who were indiscriminately sold infrastructure funds during the boom period and were suffering because of Regulatory Angle lack of guidance. Whenever there are excesses, the regulator will step in. All the So, we went and met people, understood their needs, and measures by the regulator are towards protecting the client's presented solutions. We soon realised the prevailing practice interest. And hence in the long run is good for everyone. What then was to encourage clients to invest large portions of their one needs to be focus on is the abundance of opportunity and corpus in equities. This set us thinking and we offered a delivering massive value.
If you can identify, structure the right product, offer the best customer most often are those who are already saddled with service and provide right value, the client will always pay the EMIs, so do not fret about such investors. Those with serious right price. Most often, the challenge lies in the inability to offer money will always be very apprehensive to invest directly and and articulate this value. hence will seek the services of an advisor. Challenges Hence, quality customers will need servicing so focus on delivering value and quality advice. While most of the MFDs are client centric, there are day to day challenges that one needs guidance on. Given the endless Technology internet scrolling, clients can come up with questions which can throw one off-balance. So, it is important to be always Technology is the easiest, fastest, and cheapest way to scale prepared and know what not to sell. We believe such up business and there is no running away from it. So, learn, information is the need of the hour. adopt, and adapt to the technology and make the most out of it. Experience has shown that our primary responsibility is Vision towards simplifying client's life by providing products that are simple to explain and easy to understand. If one achieves this, I have been managing investor money for over two decade and then you can be rest assured that the client will not only remain it gives me immense joy to see my customers achieve their loyal but will also be happy to pay the advisor. The quantum of financial goals without taking any loans. this payment would vary from client to client and will depend on how much value the advisor can bring to the table. Over the years I have come to realise that this is a business which brings happiness in the life of clients and delighting Here, it is important to remember that no one ever won a game customers is my ultimate desire. of chess by only making forward moves. Sometimes you have to take a step back before moving forward. That's life. My Learnings Collaboration No matter how good or bad your life is, wake up each morning and be thankful for what you have. Every condition and every Collaboration and synergies are likely to be the way forward in experience in life is the result of our mental attitude. What we this business. This is because it will bring in fresh thoughts, can do, what we are and what we have all depend upon what new energy, varying point of view, all of which ultimately adds we think . We can never express anything which we have not to the business strategy. thought about in our mind first. Since we were our own bosses, we felt the need to connect It is a given that we will all make mistakes and will hit rough with individuals who are successful and can challenge our patches periodically. The secret to overcoming these thoughts. Otherwise, there was always a risk of us making obstacles is to not let these obstacles define you. Instead use mistakes. We were fortunate to find such individuals who not them as stepping stones to achieve much greater success and only understood the business but also helped us in refining our accomplishment. thoughts, provided a different and at times even contrasting perspective. This certainly aided in our business growth. The idea is to reflect upon past difficulties and emerge stronger from it. Never make the mistake of thinking that your Besides collaboration aids in saving costs on operations and current situation is permanent as never trust your fears for they technology front and enabled us to invest in better technology don't know your strength. and processes without it being a burden. Remember whatever you pay attention to grows. Research Future shows even a plant grows faster when you pay attention to it. Similarly exponential success can be achieved by Having a client first approach, servicing them, and providing concentrating on your goals and working relentlessly to bespoke value is the model which will thrive. The 'do-it-yourself' accomplish them.
Striving Success Stories Aashwiin Shah the transaction in a very smooth manner,” he said. Shah believes that more than achieving a large AUM, it is helping the Aashwiin Shah, 51, is the Founder and Director of Pelican clients in such times that he really cherishes and values in his Investments, a Financial Advisory Company based in Pune that business. was set up almost three decades ago in 1993. Focusing mainly on equity broking for more than 25 years and mutual fund The approach of his company towards any new client is very distribution or the last 8 years, Shah's firm caters to almost straight-forward and clear. “Whenever a new client comes, we 1,500 clients presently spread across India and abroad. He has first ask him his purpose, goal and time horizon for which the assets under management of over ` 225 crores and a monthly investment is to be made. These questions help us understand SIP book of ` 2.20 crores in mutual funds. the client's perspective and why he wishes to invest,” he said. Based on this information, Shah and his team analyze and Prior to starting his business, Shah was a Sub-Broker in equity suggest proper asset allocation to the client. broking at Pune Stock Exchange. With this valued experience and an educational background in Commerce and Business Shah emphasized on the role of an MFD is to provide guidance Management, he started his own firm Pelican Investments in about the need for the right asset allocation to their clients. “In 1993 which dealt with equity broking and various activities in general, people are not aware of what proper asset allocation the Capital Markets. It was in 2014 that he decided to diversify means. Being an advisor, one must make the client understand and started the mutual fund distribution in a full-fledged in detail the process of asset allocation. This will build the trust manner. With an impressive career of about 30 years now, of the client on the investments that are being suggested to Shah has many crucial experiences to share which have him,” he said. contributed to his position and success in the industry today. Talking about the scope of the industry, Shah believes that best In 1993, when Shah started his company, most of the dealings is yet to come for the industry. The penetration of MFDs is still were done physically. One of the major challenges was to work quite low, if the growing population of India is taken into with all kinds of technical advancements that were to come in account, he said. According to him, if one takes into account all the following years. “It was a major transformation for us to the demographics and scalability, there is a lot of scope for shift from physical means to digital ones. It required active new entrants in the industry today. efforts on our part to learn and grasp all these new changes in technology and to change our approach of work,” he said. He Furthermore, he believes that technology, if used and his team worked really hard in the years that followed to appropriately, can really help the new MFDs to succeed, given become adept at using the new techniques and cater to the that they are always updated about the new rules in place. They clients in a more efficient manner. need to work hard to build a good client base by giving them proper guidance about asset allocation. Shah has always considered his work as a means to help people to achieve their financial goals and remain financially While sharing his views about many people investing in direct secure in times of need. He shares a personal story about a equity through the new-age DIY apps, Shah strongly believes client which he considers to be a major achievement of his that the role of an advisor is inevitable. “The major amount of career. “One of my clients was seriously ill and hospitalized. earnings in the industry comes through an advisor even today. She required money immediately to settle her hospital bills she If someone uses the online platforms, there is no one to guide was not able to access her banker during covid time,” he said. about the right asset allocation or which fund would be suitable to invest as per their goals,” he said. According to him, At such a difficult time, it was Shah who helped her to redeem there will always be a gap without a financial advisor, who can her mutual fund units which were her contingency fund. “It is guide through proper research based on analyzing the goals immense gratitude to the NSE platform which helped to trigger and risk appetite of the client. “Saarthi Zaroori Hai,” is something that he firmly believes in, which is true even for investments.
Striving Success Stories Ajay Laddha diljodna ka kham he hamara. We must treat our work with SEVA BHAV, like the Sikh's give SEVA in the gurudwara,” he Ajay Laddha, 52, Pune-based mutual fund distributor, manages says. a mutual fund AUM of ` 1,250 crore and handles over 300 families. Becoming a mutual fund distributor took a very “We receive almost 6 to 8 referrals in a month, and we can natural trajectory. He got interested in stock market investment convert 99% of these prospects into clients. When people in 7th grade and knew that he had to pursue a finance career. reach out to us because their family or friends have suggested them, half of our work is almost done. They know what they do “I was influenced by my father, who was the CFO of Bajaj Auto and like our work. We onboard our clients when we have built a and used to bring annual reports of various companies and the financial plan to achieve their financial goals and mapping their financial dailies like The Economic Times and Financial Times cash flows and fixing on an asset allocation plan,\" he adds. home. I became interested and used to look at them and other financial documents. This encouraged me to become a CA,” Ajay Laddha is supported by a strong team of eight people, out Ajay said. of which five are in sales, and three are in operation. Four of the team members have been with the firm since its inception. He After studying for his Cost and Chartered Accountancy, he set trusts his team members to do a great job. Ajay believes his up an equity trading desk in Pune in partnership with a leading team is one big family. He also feels that distributors shouldn't Mumbai-based stockbroking firm. be wary about hiring people. “In stock broking, my primary duty was to get my client to buy \"If you support them like a family, there is very little chance that stocks of outstanding companies and hold them for 5 to 10 they would leave and take your clients with them. I would like to years. I was compensated only if my clients flip those stocks advice new distributors with a few years of experience to build instead of holding them. So, there was no financial incentive a team. It is not important to hire someone with MBA. With the for a stockbroker to align themselves with their client's goals. right training and guidance, graduates and undergraduates can We can see a stark difference if we compare this to the mutual also do good work,\" says Ajay. fund business. Here, the trail model compensated me for making my clients think long term and hold their assets for the As a part of team building, the entire team visits different long term,\" says Ajay. countries every year. They visited Spain for ten days in November and plan to visit Italy in the coming year. They stay in In 2003, he and his brother set up the mutual fund distribution hostels where many people can share a room. This gives them business and an insurance broking business, which they bonding time and helps them to stay motivated. subsequently sold to JLT, one of the leading global insurance brokers. Moreover, they organise family outings on weekends with their spouses and kids. In addition to these leisure activities, the He then formed Autus Wealth Management. team also visits Mumbai every month to meet and talk to the fund managers of the top fund houses. From day one, he decided he would not handle any client, and every client will be and handled by his team members. He will Other than work and travelling, he is also an avid reader. On only pay the role of training his team members and acting as a average, he likes to read 8 to 10 hours daily. He reads for two mentor to them. hours before going for morning walks at 6 AM. Ajay reads on a wide range of subjects such as history, philosophy and Ajay Laddha says that taking good care of clients is of economics. He says that it helps him have conversations with a paramount importance. “Our business is 20% about wide range of people. knowledge and 80% about building deep relationships. Dil se Blurb: Managing an AUM of 1,250 crores for 300 families, Ajay Laddha strongly believes that team building is of paramount importance.
Striving Success Stories Anand Sathe but to stay put in the business,\" he categorically asserts. He immediately shifted to trail. Anand Sathe, 60, a Pune-based mutual fund distributor manages assets worth ` 400 crore. He caters to 1200 clients, The period of crash was not challenging for Anand but the mostly retail and HNIs, He commands a strong monthly SIP period afterwards was. \"From 2009 to 2013, the market offered book of ` 1.46 crore. Helping investors create wealth is Anand's very poor returns. Even SIP investments could hardly generate passion and he believes investment through SIP mode is the 2-3 % return. It was a difficult period,\" he recalls. best possible way to meet various financial goals. He recommended his clients to stay put and don't shift to other He passed his medical examination in 1984 and joined his assets as markets would give returns. \"I told them to have father who was a chest specialist. After a few years, a young patience and just wait,\" he says. And patiences paid off quite Anand got curious about the initial public offerings (IPOs) in the well. stock market from various pharmaceutical companies. \"I developed an inclination towards stock markets,\" narrates But as the market bounced back from 2013, the launch of Anand. direct plans made Anand worried initially. \"We realised that we need to do value addition to our services to our customers with Soon, he took the membership of Pune Stock Exchange and continuous hand holding and communication,\" says Anand. As left his medical practice in 1988. It was a new learning for him. a result, some of his investors who left him for direct plans Post reforms, he could see the Indian market opening up to the returned to him. His team increased focus on technology and outside world and its impact on the country's financial markets now they are equipped to service clients digitally and and various changes. efficiently. In 2000, one of his friends sent some books on Mutual Funds to Educating clients is Anand's foremost step. \"I feel that if my him. Anand realised that this could be a great business in India clients are educated, my journey becomes easier and it saves a going forward. A little more research and understanding made lot of time. Moreover, with imparting knowledge, customers' Anand enter mutual fund distribution in 2003. comfort rises,\" explains Anand. This considerably helped during the 2020 pandemic. \"I witnessed no redemptions. Our \"I did my own analysis of the sector and the products before monthly inflows remained intact. Fall in AUM was only due to starting my distribution,\" says Anand who believed in doing his dip in market valuations. We upfront told investors this was an home work well before facing the clients. \"Initially, it was a bit opportunity to buy more. They understood and acted,\" says a difficult to convince people. I told investors only to opt for SIP,\" confident Anand. he explains his approach. Markets did quite well during his initial phase as a distributor and clients' confidence increased. Anand has high conviction in the mutual fund sector's growth and recommends newcomers to face the challenges and The 2008 crash was not a panic moment for the experienced adapt to it with consistency. Anand. He knew the market's ups and downs. \"But it was a time for quick handholding of clients. We put the actual facts and \"Be open to your investors, take the SIP route. It takes time but explained to investors what was happening in the US and its bears great fruits of success. Attempts to taste success in a impact on India. Barring a few, no one redeemed,\" he short time will not lead anywhere,\" he tells new distributors. reminisces. Anand aims to reach an AUM of ` 1200 crore in the next five years. The regulatory actions on banning entry load did not unsettle Anand. \"If I don't cope with the changes, I will not survive. And I Summing up his journey, he says that Passion, Patience and know the industry will grow big time and I have no other option Ethics are important to build long term relationships in this business. \"One should learn to say to a firm 'No', if investors come with unrealistic and unethical expectations,\" he logs off with his success mantra.
Striving Success Stories Anil B Parikh His investors were turning mature as they got used to volatility and Parikh's continuous hand holding kept restoring their faith Anil Parikh, 67, is a Pune-based mutual fund distributor and and focus on their long-term goals. The market was entering a manages investors' portfolios worth ` 140 crore. Looking after bull phase by 2003-04. His investors could see the handsome 4000 clients, mostly retail, he has a monthly SIP book of ` 90 returns. But when the 2008 global crisis hit, it was yet another lakh. He considers investments in mutual funds a better option cycle for a seasoned Parikh and his investors. Parikh's to generate long-term and inflation-beating returns to cater to continuous impetus on imparting education readily came for future financial needs. the rescue and his investors did not lose nerves. \"Since I nurtured investors well and recommended not to invest the In financial distribution since 1980, Parikh started his career as whole amount in equity or mutual funds, the fall was not much an insurance agent. Slowly he kept adding various financial of a problem. I kept their return expectations under check. They products in his basket to cater different needs of investors. stayed put,\" explains Parikh. As the market bounced back within a year, clients' portfolios recovered. A Science graduate and an MBA in finance, Parikh was pursuing CA studies where he understood the taxation impact His diversified product offerings did not impact when entry on investments. The resultant impact of all his studies helped load was abolished in 2009. \"I could survive, thanks to my other him considerably in the financial product distribution business product offerings,\" says Parikh. Within a year, he shifted to trail- and make a strong client base. The learnings post the 90s based remuneration given the future growth prospects. The economic reforms aided Parikh groom his business. He direct plans also did not dent him due to his service-oriented proudly says that he is the first from his family to be into approach to clients. \"Those who left, came back,\" he says with financial business. a smile. \"I always tell people that investments should be for the long- Referral business has played an important role in Parikh's term. It needs patience to stay long to create wealth,\" he business. \"It is all because of trust and relationships. Referral outlines his investment approach. His clients would listen to segment is driving our growth,\" he says with conviction. him. It was not a challenge for him to convince his existing Educating clients for him has been paramount. Currently, he is clients for mutual funds. A knowledge of taxation made serving the fourth generation of his clients which, in itself, is a Parikh's job fairly easy to on board clients for tax efficient great achievement. investments. Various products were hitting the market and Parikh added them in his product basket. As portfolios gained He knows that market cycles will come and go, the persistence size, clients' confidence on mutual funds increased as the to remain in the market always pays. That is why when the market was seeing the late 90s rally. 2020 pandemic took away over a third of market valuations within a month, neither he panicked nor his clients. And the However, when the DotCom crisis hit the market in 2000, there journey continued. was a sharp fall in the market. Parikh knew it was part of the market cycle and one should stay put. \"I assured my clients to Parikh is confident that by 2030 when his financial distribution wait and be patient. I would educate them that nothing would turns 50, his mutual fund asset would cross ` 1000 crore. He remain constant and volatility is the part of the market,\" he advises newcomers to join the industry. \"It's a good business. narrates. As the market stabilised and recovery set in, Parikh, Mutual Fund is the future. Newcomers in the distribution who believed in SIP mode of investment, kept systematic business should join and be like 'lambe race ka ghoda'. Build investment as the preferred way. \"SIP is a good feature which good relationships and stay put with patience to overcome the lets investors average out the accumulated units,\" he initial challenges,\" he says. pinpoints. Summing up his over 40 years long journey, Parikh says, \"My success mantra is service, ethics and long lasting relationships.\"
Striving Success Stories Anil Tabib of reference from my existing clients. I meet them and have a detailed discussion for about two to three hours to gain an in- Anil Tabib, 54, is a Pune-based mutual fund distributor with depth understanding about their educational and financial assets under management worth over ` 150 crore. An background and their long-term goals,” Tabib said. electronics engineer by training, Tabib has now been a financial advisor for over 25 years, and runs his financial advisory firm, Accordingly, he explains the types of mutual funds available Foresight Inad in Pune. and recommends the best one to suit the client's needs in particular. Tabib emphasized that this way of working closely After pursuing his education in engineering in Mumbai, Tabib with the clients helps in making the right decisions about went on to enroll in Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) Program. investments. After that, he started advising clients for investments in the stock market in Mumbai. In 2011, Tabib became a Mutual Fund While talking about the growth prospects of the mutual fund distributor and shifted to Pune. industry, Tabib feels that there is an infinite scope in the industry. But for this to happen, it is crucial that clients are The prominent challenge for Tabib when he started as an MFD made to understand the value which a mutual fund distributor was to build a client base in the new city. Most of his stock can add to their financial decisions. market clients were based in Mumbai. “Building a good reputation and onboarding clients in the city of Pune was the “The point is, many people are trying to invest in direct equity, major challenge,” Tabib said. Gradually, he has been able to trying to avoid distributors,” Tabib said. According to him, this build a good client base across Pune and other parts of India, as is surely going to pose a challenge for those who will start as well as in the United States and Europe. MFDs now. Tabib explained how most of his clients are high achievers with In such a scenario, when asked about the key qualities to busy and demanding schedules in their own profession or become successful in the mutual fund business, Tabib said, jobs. Hence, they hardly get time to invest their hard-earned “We as MFDs need to recognize our position in the customer money for long-term or short-term gains. This is where Tabib journey. We are not marketing people. We are knowledge- steps in. based advisors. We need to have an updated knowledge about the markets, the available products, and the implications of any About his clients, Tabib said, “Most of my clients are well- development on these products due to factors like emerging placed individuals in business or white-collared jobs. For them, economic challenges, changes in laws, and rules around having a good Mutual fund distributor is like somebody who is taxation.” ensuring that their hard-earned money is invested in the right places, and in line with their financial goals and risk appetite.” According to Tabib, if one is competent in giving satisfactory answers to clients' queries regarding anything happening in He feels that his greatest achievement has been to become an the world which is impacting the markets, he can become a advisor on whom the clients can rely without second thought. successful MFD. Thus, building a trustworthy reputation, “My clients always express gratitude for the much-needed based on knowledge, is crucial in this business. guidance that I provide for their investments. This trust, built over several years of hard-work, is something that I cherish,” Tabib is passionate to help anyone who is in need of guidance he said. for investing in the future. In fact, this is his future goal. “I do not have an active goal for my AUM right now. I feel for me, this is Tabib's approach while dealing with new clients is to meet the time to help whoever is interested to invest in the industry. them in-person first to know more about them, their lifestyle Whoever wants to go ahead to achieve their financial goals is and financial goals. “Most of my clients now come on the basis always welcome,” Tabib said. Tabib's journey has also inspired his son to get started as a mutual fund distributor in 2021. He wishes the best for his son and aims to guide him in his future endeavors.
Striving Success Stories Arvind Mahale career. He says, “One of my clients who has been availing my services for about 15 years now, married off his daughter last Pune-based Arvind Mahale, 44 has been in the mutual fund year during the pandemic. Due to COVID restrictions, only 50 distribution business for over a decade now. Being an MBA, people were allowed to attend the wedding. I, along with my Arvind worked in various capacities in different organizations family, were invited with all the arrangements made for us to including a bank, where he worked for four years before he reach the destination safely and back.” started advising clients on suitable insurance instruments according to their requirements. Arvind considers being among those 50 people as a milestone in his career and emotionally says that “one can earn money It was only in 2011 that he diversified and became a mutual but to earn that kind of respect is something that I cherish.” fund distributor. Presently, Arvind has assets worth ` 130 crore under management in mutual funds and his monthly SIP book Though now a successful name, Arvind's path to success was is around ` 1.25 crore. not always so easy to tread. He shares the challenges that he faced in the initial phase of his business when mutual fund With over 250 clients in India and abroad, Arvind adopts a goal- penetration was quite low and people were not aware about based approach in which he tries to gauge their objectives, and what exactly mutual funds are. then guides them to invest in suitable mutual fund schemes. It was also a time when most of the services which one can find “The advantage of a goal-based approach is that whenever the online today, had to be done physically. markets are unfavorable or volatile and the clients wish to withdraw their investment, I remind them of the goal for which “This meant a lot of legwork had to be done so that everything the investment was initially done. This is in fact an opportunity was done in a timely manner for the clients,” he said. Now, to convince clients that it is the right time to invest rather than according to him, investments and gaining knowledge about withdraw their money,” he said. any kind of financial instrument has become quite easy with the improvement in technology. Arvind believes that the most important thing to keep in mind while dealing with most clients is that they would not This has also led to a greater scope in the mutual fund industry understand all the financial jargon. in general. He emphasizes that “it is just the beginning.” He believes there are ample growth prospects in the MFD Thus, it is important to make them understand everything in business. the simplest manner or as Arvind puts it, “in their own language.” “As more people will choose it as their career, the industry as a whole will benefit because it will simply mean an increased He explained, “I ask my clients that if the rate of gold falls, will awareness about mutual funds in the society. Hence, a larger they purchase it or sell it at such times. And the answer is number of clients would require suitable services,” he said. always that they will purchase it as they will be able to get more units of gold. Thus, the approach of investing in mutual funds As a result, he advises all those who wish to be mutual fund when markets fall becomes clear to them.” distributors or who have just started as one to have patience and to work whole-heartedly in the client's interest. “If you Such simple examples, according to Arvind, are crucial to help focus on your client's goal then you will automatically grow the clients understand investments in an easy manner. along with them,” he explains. From his decade-long experience as an MFD, he narrates a Arvind wishes to expand his business to newer cities in the personal story which he considers to be a milestone in his future, with some steps already taken in that direction “I have started my expansion in Indore and Mumbai already, where I have full time executives doing client servicing. In the next two years, I am aiming to expand to other cities as well.”
Striving Success Stories Atul Rameshwar This attitude helped him tide over the crisis. \"I rather used the Rathi crash to increase my business. Moreover, many investors who were not serviced by their distributors also came to me for my Atul Rathi, 50, is a Pune-based mutual fund distributor and guidance and I catered to them during the time of crisis,\" manages investors' assets worth ` 115 crore. With a client narrates Rathi. base of over 1000, he has a monthly SIP book of ` 40 lakh. Rathi looks at mutual funds as a part of everybody's life and a must A hand holding during times reinforced clients' trust in him and have for complete financial inclusion. relationships grew stronger. \"Informed investors do not panic during tough times. And this can be achieved only through A commerce graduate, Rathi began the business of clothes in continuous education,\" says Rathi with emphasis. A year later, the early 90s with one of his relatives. But his interest was in when the entry load abolition came into play, Rathi capitalised the financial world and he always wanted something of his upon the opportunity. \"I immediately shifted to trail while own. In 2000, he left the cloth business and tried his hands in understanding the long-term positive impact of this move. I network marketing. Soon he shifted to insurance distribution in worked hard to increase volumes,\" explains Rathi. 2002. As his understanding about financial products grew and his circle expanded, one of his friends Krishna Pandhare Being transparent and keeping clients' interest above all made suggested that he should look after the mutual fund Rathi a dependable name among his investors. That's why distribution as well. direct plans had no material impact on his business. \"I tell clients clearly about regular and direct plans and what payout I Following Pandhare's suggestion, Rathi's journey in the fund will get,\" he says with confidence. distribution began in 2005. Initially, he faced the challenge of poor awareness about mutual funds among masses. He In 2015, Rathi got his mobile investment applications started putting up road side stalls and focused on SIP. \"I made developed to assist his clients do the digital transactions. sure that I do not go to my close circle and added clients from \"Technology has played an important part in my financial unknown circles as friends and relatives were cozy about their distribution journey and going forward it will be a game investments,\" he says with a smile. changer,\" says Rathi. His entry into fund distribution was at a time when the capital Rathi's overall assets dipped to ` 52 crore from ` 80 crore market was in its bull run of 2004-08. A continuous rising during the 2020 pandemic. \"Majority of my investors did not market helped his clients see phenomenal returns. Slowly, lose nerves as they too had turned mature over the years. A Rathi could see referral business also kicking in. He was quick few clients, who redeemed, regretted later when markets to understand the growth potential and adopted digital ways to bounced back strongly,\" he recalls. keep a track of his clients' investments and also to continuously service them. According to Rathi, unless investors are made aware of their needs and goals, they won't invest and stay put. \"I emphasize Since he had seen the 90s economic reforms, NBFCs' crisis of first on why investments. This helps me understand investors' the late 90s and the Tech Bust of 2000, he had a fair aims and accordingly I recommend products,\" he adds. understanding that downtrends in the market are part and parcel of the market and one should not panic. Having a firm belief in the mutual fund industry's future growth, Rathi says prospects of the distribution are very bright. He When the 2008 global financial crisis hit the market, Rathi was advises newcomers to be consistent in their approach and well prepared mentally to handle and navigate his clients. \"I build long-term relations on trust and confidence. believe in regular communication with my clients as it not only builds trust but also helps in keeping investors educated and Rathi sees himself at over ` 500 crore in the next five years. focused on their goals,\" says Rathi. Summing up his journey, he adds, \"If you have patience and passion, belief in ethics and want to do good to clients, nothing can stop you from touching new highs.\"
Striving Success Stories Balvir Chawla Chawla feels that one of the qualities for being a successful MFD is to put the clients' needs first. One needs to empathize Balvir Chawla, 49, is one of the co-founders of the financial with the clients and their requirements must be one's top advisory firm, Finnovators Services Private Limited, based in priority. Pune. It has assets under management worth ` 750 crore in mutual funds and monthly SIP book of around ` 4 crore. Apart from that, he said, “An MFD must be able to somewhat foresee the impact of new rules and regulations and thus, help The company aims to provide suitable investment solutions to the clients to plan their investments accordingly in the future.” its clients based on their long-term goals. Now running a company, Chawla explained how their company Started in 2014, the company was set up by Chawla and two of has come up with certain standardized procedures to deal with his friends who were also working as independent financial the clients and their investments. “Whenever any new client advisors. comes to us, we have a detailed discussion about the reason, time period and the amount he wishes to invest,” he said. “All of us had a good AUM and impressive client base when we were working independently. We opened this company Then, the team gauges whether the client is clear about his together for our clients' advantage because we wanted to future goals and the reason for which he is investing. If not, the ensure a continued support system for them in the long-run,” team provides a clear perspective to the client about what he said Chawla. Now, the company has gradually grown into a would achieve by a particular investment option and also give seven-member company with a team of 22 people. him time to think about it. As for Chawla, he has been a mutual fund distributor for more “If the client wishes to take 15 days to think about it, we do not than 15 years now. Starting initially as an insurance agent in have a problem. This is because we wish to retain him for a 2001, he realized that it is important to diversify and provide long-term,” Chawla explained. varied investment options to his clients. This is when he started working to get the necessary certifications to sell other Chawla feels that one learns many new aspects in this financial instruments. He became a mutual fund distributor in business. Instead of trying to onboard every person who 2005 and a Certified Financial Planner (CFP) in 2006. comes to them, he believes it is crucial to onboard those with a clear vision for their future. This will help one to build a He shared that there is a lot of difference in the way the mutual sustainable client base which becomes a strength in this fund industry functioned when he started as an MFD and the business. present times. Chawla's company currently has around 4,000 families as “When I started in 2005, there was a lack of awareness about clients which includes both retail and HNIs. mutual funds. On top of that, there was minimal or no support system for those in the business. We had to work a lot harder to He believes that the MFD industry is a growing one with a lot of keep up with every new rule that was introduced and apply it scope for young entrepreneurs. “We are in for an impressive while dealing with our clients,” he said. growth as an industry for the next 10 to 15 years. None of us must have thought when we started that we would be earning According to him, now, there is a fantastic peer group system so well at this point,” he said. He feels that one must genuinely in place in the form of various organizations and training dream big and work hard for it. sessions. These help new MFDs to share their queries and remain updated about current developments or changes in the As for the future of the company, he said, “The driving force for financial laws or rules. us now is to create a team which can look after the clients in the long-run. We wish that the company must have a bright future based on the guidance and philosophies of the present directors, even in their absence in the future.”
Striving Success Stories Bhushan Mahajan average out the cost of investments. Despite hand holding them firmly, nearly a tenth of my clients redeemed and left,\" Bhushan Mahajan, 66, a Pune-based mutual fund distributor says Bhushan. Those who stayed put recovered their losses in has an asset under management (AUM) of ` 185-195 crore of a year when the market bounced back. his 1000 clients - mostly retail. A Science student, Bhushan did his MBA in Finance and Marketing in 1978. Since he was in Barely he could come out of the crisis, the ban on entry load graduation, he earned to pay his fees. was very unsettling. \"It was a big disappointment. We all went through a very demoralising period,\" he adds. Bhushan realised \"Those days there were very few job opportunities. I started a that he needed to increase competency and look at debt side small factory to manufacture solder wire in 1979. I am still of the market also. running it,\" says Bhushan with a sense of pride as his first venture is as old as his professional career is. It was then the IFA association, PIFAA was born. He has been core team member and pioneer of PIFAA which was aimed to During that time stock markets were coming of age. Soon take advantage of various training programs from the AMCs Bhushan developed a strong inclination towards stocks and by and worked towards improvement of morale of peers and mid-80s he entered in the stock broking. \"I was very passionate promote transparent, ethical mutual fund distribution. He about stocks. I could see India's economy opening post understood the importance of asset allocation and followed it reforms, in 1990-91 and various financial changes,\" he religiously. He shifted to trail-model in 2014. The direct reminisces. However, the Ketan Parekh episode, in 2000; schemes appeared like a setback, but it did not do much which culminated in huge losses for his speculative clients, damage to Bhushan as he maintained transparency with forced Bhushan to introspect. \"It was painful to see the clients and had good relationships. destruction of my clients' wealth,\" he recalls. By now, Bhushan's clients were mature and knew the market \"Though my passion for stocks is still there, I could realise that cycles. He kept on educating his clients on a regular basis as he wealth creation was possible in direct stock markets only with understood well that informed clients didn't lose nerves during patience. I started educating investors about the perils of day tough times. During the 2020 pandemic, Bhushan's investors trading without discipline,\" narrates Bhushan. Wealth creation stayed put. was his focus and he could not find any better product than mutual funds. “Rather, we added assets during the June-July period of the year. I told investors that it was once in a lifetime opportunity In 2002, Bhushan entered the mutual fund distribution and and should not be missed,\" he asserts. An experienced faced the initial challenge to make people aware about mutual Bhushan did not panic after seeing his AUM slipping from funds. Since he was inclined towards professional money ` 120 crore to ` 91 crore. management, mutual funds were the answers. As years passed his clients gained confidence in mutual funds and his Strongly believing in India's economic growth, Bhushan says growth graph rose. there is an immense growth prospects of the mutual fund sector. \"This is the opportunity. New distributors should come The markets entered the bull run by 2003-04. \"Investors made to the market with a holistic, client-centric approach and a lot of exponential gains during that time. It appeared to most that the patience,\" he adds. In the next five years Bhushan sees himself party was never going to get over,\" explains Bhushan. As the more like a mentor to investors while touching an AUM of ` 500 2008 crisis hit the market, investors were in panic. crore. \"It was a challenging time. For many, it was their first He says his success mantra is investment in team building, experience. I kept telling my clients it was time to stay put and technology, relationships and ethical approach while keeping clients at the centre. \"Mutual funds are a tool which can earn me a lot of goodwill from my clients. I want to create happy investors, it gives me immense pleasure,\" he concludes.
Striving Success Stories Bhushan Wani “Remarkably, there was no redemption during this time,” he said. Bhushan Wani, 40 is a Pune-based mutual fund distributor with assets under management worth ` 348 crore and active His approach towards his clients is very unique. He works hard monthly SIP book of ` 3.83 crore in mutual funds. on research and analysis of the schemes available and out of the hundreds of schemes available, he has filtered 48 schemes Wani's mother used to distribute small postal savings products which he primarily recommends. “I try to analyse the holdings since the time he was an infant. The challenges of the family of schemes and understand the business cycle of companies. I grew when around the same time his father became think investors should remain invested for at least 6 years to differently-abled. Since his childhood, Wani started realizing get the best experience,” he explains. Fulfilling his clients' the financial pressure that his family was going through. He financial goals is his utmost priority. He feels satisfied when he recalls, “When I was in Class 4, I used to pick up collections and is able to “provide a good investment experience to the meet the customers. We had a financial crisis to deal with.” clients.” A computer teacher by profession, Wani joined his uncle's Also, Wani emphasizes the fact that handholding clients is financial products distribution business in 2004. Having a important in the mutual fund distribution business. “An knack in mathematics and economics, the financial market and informed and educated investor gets the best experience and everything related to it excited him. as per my learnings in all these years, guiding and educating clients is a continuous process in order to be successful in this However, there was a big challenge waiting for him in the form industry,” he said. Currently, Wani has around 3,132 families as of the 2008 global financial crisis. “Even though everything active clients spread all around the world. went well till 2007,” Wani said, “When the 2008 crisis hit, there was a massive crash in our business. A monthly SIP book of With fully digitalized operations, Wani strongly recommends ` 1 crore before 2008 was reduced to just ` 35 lakh- a decline of averaging of investments since inception. A monthly 65%. That was a challenging situation for us.” investment of ` 5000, for instance, is divided into 5 parts and he makes sure investors get units on five different days. “If the Wani further explained, “We were certainly not prepared and investment amount is higher, I try to allocate it throughout the were definitely not experienced enough to handle the situation month so my investors get the best cost averaging,” he says. then, and hence, could not prevent redemptions and SIP terminations. It was a time when I learnt a lot of practical Wani is amidst business expansion mode right now. He plans aspects about the business and how to handhold clients at to opens offices in Chiplun and Nashik and expects to reach an such times.” AUM of ` 2,000 crore in the next five years. Among his future goals is also to work for the marginalized sections of the Gradually, with experience and increased learning, Wani society. “I want to encourage economically weaker sections of started implementing the same in the business. “I learnt that the society to at least start an SIP of ` 1000-2000. It's a though HNI clients are important for the business, one cannot phenomenal and emotionally enriching experience when you rely completely on them for the sustained growth of the see your investors reach their financial goals. It is immensely business. It is important to improve the retail participation as satisfying and that is what keeps me passionate about my well,” he observed. business,” he says proudly. The experience gained during the 2008 crisis came in handy at He expresses deep gratitude towards his uncle, Mr. Dinesh the time of the Covid-19 pandemic. During the first lockdown in Kothawade who brought him into the business and owes his the early 2020, Wani and his team were able to collect a SIP success to his mother who helped him become an effective contribution of ` 48 lakh and a lumpsum of ` 22 crore. speaker, a crucial skill required to onboard and maintain clients. Summing up, he shares his success mantra, “Change is the only constant and one needs to follow the change to remain relevant and grounded.”
Striving Success Stories Dhananjay Manohar He told investors that fixed income products would make their Kale lives challenging going forward. He pointed out the issue of inflation and how it can dent their pockets in the long run. \"I told Dhananjay Kale, 53, is Pune-based mutual fund distributor them to have faith in mutual funds and invest for the long- managing investors' assets worth ` 530 crore. Catering to over term,\" says Dhananjay. His consistency worked. Slowly 4000 retail clients, he commands a monthly SIP book of investors started coming onboard. As years passed and ` 2 crore. Dhananjay, who started alone in mid-90s and today markets entered the bull run by 2003-04, gain in portfolios size has a team of 13, considers mutual funds as people's life line to helped his clients gain confidence in mutual funds. create long-term wealth. However, when the 2008 crisis broke out, clients' trust, once Being a pre-reforms college fresh out, Dhananjay did not find again, was broken. \"It was quite a challenging time. I told them many opportunities. His father took voluntary retirement in to stick to their investments. Those who listened to me, their early 90s and invested in stocks only to see the Harshad Mehta investments made a strong bounce back within a year in 2009. scenario. \"He lost money which shook me. It was not our fault This time their trust not only strengthened on mutual funds but but we were the sufferers,\" recalls Dhananjay. Finding no also on me,\" Dhananjay says happily. There was no looking intermediary to help, Dhananjay thought the financial world back as referral business kicked in. would be a prospective sector. By now the 90s economic reforms were unfolding. In 1995, he got into the post office The 2009 entry load abolition did throw financial challenges but product distribution and took agency of UTI and was mainly Dhananjay's passion to do good for his clients did not digress into fixed income products. him. \"I never chased commission. I knew if I did good for my clients, I would grow,\" he says with strong conviction. He He came across a 96 year old investor who cut costs on daily shifted to trail as he understood the long-term benefits of this essentials like milk to survive. \"This incident left a lifelong business. Meanwhile, he kept educating clients that markets impression on me. Despite being a disciplined depositor in do not perform in a linear way. Staying invested was the key fixed instruments, he could not meet his bare essential needs,\" which Dhananjay kept pushing for. narrates Dhananjay. Launch of direct plan did no damage to him given his trust- He realised that people were not understanding two factors - based relationship with clients. Dhananjay, an avid reader, kept increasing life expectancy and menace of inflation. \"I was enhancing his knowledge and read a lot about Charlie Munger determined that my clients should not face this. I could see and Warren Buffet. The market fall during the 2020 pandemic fixed income products were not going to help my investors,\" he did pose a challenge yet again. \"I felt bad for some investors explains the scenario which shaped up his entry in mutual fund because they chose to redeem since they panicked as distribution. lockdown was a first time experience for all. But I stood strong with my clients and tried to convince them to believe in India's By now Dhananjay understood the effectiveness of equity growth story. Hand holding clients during crises is extremely linked products in creating inflation-beating and sustainable important,\" he adds. wealth. He attained various workshops and acquired knowledge about professional money management. With a strong belief in the mutual fund industry's growth, Dhananjay says 'Sky is the limit' and sees his AUM to more than In 2001, he entered fund distribution. He faced initial double in the next five years. He advises newcomers to join the challenges of poor trust factor in equity and market-linked industry. \"We definitely need good distributors who are client products like mutual funds. The recent events of NBFC crisis, focused. There is a tremendously large market to cater to,\" he Ketan Parekh incident, the Tech Bust and US-64 and high adds. interest rate in traditional instruments acted like hurdles for Dhananjay. \"This business demands patience, ethical values and client- first strategy. Without any one of these, one can't work for long- term,\" he logs off while summing his success journey.
Striving Success Stories Ganesh Zarkar Mr. Zarkar adopts a straight-forward approach while dealing with his clients. “I educate my clients beforehand to invest With a commendable career of over fifteen years in various keeping a goal in mind rather than the returns,” he said. This organizations providing core services in financial instruments enables him to onboard such clients who would actually invest like mutual funds, stock broking and insurance, Ganesh Zarkar, when the markets fall and have enough patience for long-term 40, is now a successful mutual fund distributor. In his stint as returns. an MFD in Pune, he has gathered assets worth over ` 150 crore under management and has an active monthly SIP book of With around 320 clients (retail and HNI) onboard presently, he approximately ` 1 crore. believes that a goal-based approach always helps to retain the clients and build the trust that is necessary for being a When Mr. Zarkar resigned as an Area Manager from his 10-year successful MFD. However, some of his corporate clients also long service at a reputed Asset Management Company in avail his services for certain short-term goals. As a result, he March 2018, he decided to apply his expertise and skills believes, “The amount of 'Assets Under Management' is acquired during his full-time jobs to use for his own mutual always volatile. It can easily change in a short period of time fund distribution business which he started in July the same and at no time can it be a fixed amount.” year. An educational background constituting an MBA in Finance and prominent certifications from National Institute of He also shares the fact that even though many investors are Securities Markets (NISM) was like a'icing on the cake' for him now-a-days investing in direct equity, “the role of MFD is when he started his entrepreneurial journey. eventually inevitable.” He believes that if a mutual fund distributor is doing his job properly and providing satisfactory He believes that his practical knowledge always helps him to services to clients, he will automatically get client make a wise selection of mutual fund schemes for his clients. recommendations. “Also, the new-age DIY apps are actually a He explained this with an example. great source to attract more investors in the market who will require an advisor at some stage,” he said. “During the initial part of 2020 when the Covid-19 pandemic began, I advised my clients to invest in debt-based funds as the Talking about the growing mutual fund industry, he said, “There return was comparatively better on them. For the next two and is a lot of scope in the mutual fund business today and it will a half years, 95% of my AUM constituted investments in debt- remain so in the future as well. I believe that mutual funds have based schemes which also proved to be profitable for my the potential in the future to contribute to almost 10 % of our clients. Now as the situation is getting normal post-pandemic, I GDP,” he said. am utilizing this time for equity allocation,” he said. He attributes these successful decision-making skills purely on his He insists that more MFDs should be there to increase the experience during his full-time jobs which helped him gain financial awareness in the society and gives a valuable advice practical experience. to those who aim to be in the business. “Knowledge is the key to becoming successful in the business. Acquiring various Apart from the multiple awards that he has received from certifications from various sources and attending seminars various reputed organisations like Pune Investment and surely helps. But at the same time, one must always try to Financial Ambassadors Association (PIFAA) and several AMCs, sharpen his technical skills to be more aware about all the he considers that the biggest milestone for him is client nuances of the financial instruments,” he said. satisfaction. Currently, Mr. Zarkar is working with a small team of five “Keeping the clients happy and gaining their unwavering trust people. Going forward, he wants to expand it to at least a has been the most important achievement for me which I twenty-members team and also increase his AUM by five times would always like to keep intact,” he said. in the next financial year. He believes that the key to achieve the goals in the mutual fund business is a good performance portfolio which he already holds and so, in the near future, he is confident that his hard work will pay off.
Striving Success Stories Girish Wani Building long-term relationships is my strong area, he says. \"Especially during bad times, the more you communicate with Girish Wani, 47, a Pune-based mutual fund distributor clients, the better it is. In this business, your growth is in clients' manages investors' assets worth ` 190 crore. Looking after 450 growth. It is impossible to grow at the cost of your clients,\" clients, he has a monthly SIP book of ` 80 lakh. Girish firmly Girish says emphatically. believes that no other financial instruments can do meaningful wealth creation but mutual funds. His strong services and impetus on trust and confidence building helped him to avoid the brunt of direct plans in 2013. An electronic engineer, Girish had his business of networking \"By now, I knew that clients need continuous hand holding. In and hardware after he graduated in 1995. He had an inclination the long run, what client losses in DIRECT due to unavailability towards the financial world and spent a lot of time studying of proper guidance and hand holding is far higher than what finance related literature. clients pay out in terms of brokerages. Very few clients shifted to direct till date,\" he says proudly. \"I always had a passion for the financial sector, but never thought of it as a business. During 2005-06, I thought of giving \"Digital transformation during the last few years also means it a try,\" says Girish. He started with broking and insurance that this business can be scaled up even higher in my lean business. In due course of time, he got a fair idea about mutual model,\" pinpoints Girish who is single handedly managing his funds. \"During 2008-09, I thought it's better to start with mutual clients. fund distribution as it has far higher potential of wealth creation for clients\" he recalls. Since then he has focused fully on fund As the debate over upfront and trail gained momentum, Girish distribution. shifted completely on trail by 2015. \"It's a long-term business and if clients remain invested for 10-15 years, trail will generate \"It was a good time to start as the markets were at lows. I took it adequate earnings for me,\" he says. Therefore, the complete as an opportunity to help build investors' portfolios from a long- upfront ban in 2018 was a non-event for him. term perspective, says Girish. However, for him the initial challenge was to change people's perception about himself as During the pandemic in 2020, Girish's AUM slipped to ` 85 he was from a different background. crore from ` 130 crore. \"The good part during the pandemic was that the majority of my clients were not in panic mode. It However, he had barely started when the entry load abolition was all a result of my regular communication with them,\" he came into existence in 2009. \"It was just a change in the format recalls. of remuneration. I had the conviction in the future growth prospects of the fund industry which made me stay put. In fact, He recommended his investors to at least stay invested, if earnings improved after that,\" he says happily. unable to invest more during the crash. \"It was an amazing feeling to see my clients' wealth grow when markets bounced The phase of sideways movement in the markets during 2009- back strongly,\" he says with a smile. \"Praises and comments 13 gave a great opportunity for Girish to build his clientele and from clients is what satisfies me the most,\" he adds. gain trust. \"It was difficult to justify as there were no returns for nearly 4 years. What saved me was my long-term investment His suggestion to the newcomers in the fund distribution approach which I would tell my investors upfront while on business is crisp and clear. \"Think long-term with a primary boarding them. The real business took off in 2014-15,\" he adds. objective of building the trust of clients. One would realise it is Girish believes in educating clients while regularly a beautiful business to be in,\" emphasises Girish. communicating with them. \"Educating them helps raise their conviction which, in turn, aids in building larger corpus over Summing up his journey, he says, \"Communication and trust of time for investors,\" he shares his thought process. my clients are my strong pillars which helped me traverse so far. According to him, growth prospects of the mutual fund industry are quite bright and thus the fund distribution business.
Striving Success Stories Hemant Satyavan clients, Hemant did not shy away from investors when the Shah 2008 crisis unfolded. \"Crisis differentiates a good distributor from a bad distributor. I told my investors it was not the end of Hemant Shah, 58, a Pune-based mutual fund distributor caters the world. Be patient with your investments,\" explains Hemant. to 500 families and manages portfolios worth ` 200 crore. With His clients understood and stayed put. a monthly SIP book of ` 50 lakh, he believes anybody can create meaningful difference in their financials by investing With a recovery in the market in the very next year, Hemant's through mutual funds. relationships with his clients grew stronger and referral business took off. The entry load ban in 2009 made him happy After completing his CA in 1987, Hemant did his practice for a as it largely capped several malpractices prevalent in the year. Soon, he joined a job in a chemical company looking after distribution sector and reduced competition. project finance. Within two years he quit to join a financial firm in 1991 and stayed put with it till 2000 before joining a broking \"I always viewed 2.25% entry load as too harsh for the firm for a brief period as his last job. investors. The change in commission structure actually helped in later years,\" he says. Hemant focused on volumes to \"This one decade of experience in the financial world offered compensate for the income. me a lot of insights, experience and I handled various financial products,\" recalls Hemant. By now, his investors had turned mature and developed conviction. This helped Hemant during the lull period of 2009- He realised there was a dearth of good financial advice. It 2013 when markets remained sideways. \"Asset allocation and triggered the idea of a business opportunity and he decided to continuation of SIPs was my priority. I devoted a lot of time to quit his hefty package job to start on his own. educating clients. They now understand that in the long-term patience pays off quite handsomely,\" he pinpoints. His family had reservations against this decision. But Hemant was confident that given his professional background and his Launch of direct plans was an opportunity for Hemant to relations, he would be accepted by people in a new Avataar. \"I showcase his relevance to clients. \"I believe that human factors was also sure of the fact that if I do not take a decision now, it will remain a necessity in any service oriented industry. It is would be too late,\" he narrates. here that the 'Hemant Shah' factor plays the role and clients know I am there to take care of their portfolios,\" he says with In 2001, he entered the mutual fund distribution. During those conviction. He shifted to complete trail much ahead of the times, higher returns from traditional investment instruments 2018 ban and hence eschewed any sudden impact. did pose a challenge to him as it was difficult to convince clients. The steep fall in market during the 2020 pandemic hit Hemant's AUM as it dived to ` 140 crore from ` 175 crore. It was a difficult \"I asked investors to start with a small sum to get the taste of situation but neither Hemant nor his clients were in panic mode mutual funds,\" says Hemant. Slowly, people gained trust in him as they were quite learned and knew about market cycles. His and as valuation of their investments increased they started investors did additional purchases. becoming confident about mutual funds. Hemant knew the power of SIP and focused on it. Hemant strongly believes in the growth of the Indian economy and thus the fund industry. He advises newcomers that fund By 2004-05 markets entered the bull phase and his investors distribution offers a great business opportunity. \"You just need could see phenomenal returns. But Hemant stressed on asset patience and do the right things for your clients,\" he suggests. allocation and kept making investors understand the risk factors. “There is never a problem if investors are aware of the Summing up his journey, Hemant says he enjoyed working for risks,\" adds Hemant. A believer in continuous hand holding of the last two decades. \"The truth of this business is, if you take care of your clients, it will reciprocate. There is no doubt about it,\" he logs off.
Striving Success Stories Ishwar Bhatewara experience for Ishwar. \"Luckily, the majority of my clients invested and forgot. So, they did not chase me as the market Ishwar Bhatewara, 68, is a Pune-based mutual fund distributor was seeing capital erosion,\" explains Ishwar. managing investors assets worth ` 105 crore. With a monthly SIP book of ` 50 lakh, he caters to nearly 1700 clients - mostly When Ishwar started selling mutual funds, he made sure retail. He believes that all long-term financial goals can be clients' investments were for long-term goals. His clients achieved through mutual funds. stayed put and when the markets recovered after a year, the bonding between Ishwar and his investors got stronger. \"This After his masters in agriculture in 1975, Ishwar started farming business is about relationships and patience. Trust is the base,\" in his village, 50 km away from Pune. He continued farming till he says emphatically. 1990 as his family had a big farm spreading across acres. However, over the period of time as the property got The entry load abolition in 2009 did reduce Ishwar's income, partitioned among kins, Ishwar was left with a mere 13 acres of but he was not perturbed as he continued with his farming and agriculture land. \"Since it was quite a small plot of land, I insurance business simultaneously. \"I was determined that this thought of doing something else,\" he recalls. was my last profession. So it never occurred to me to quit fund distribution,\" he points out. He even shifted to trail after two For the next one decade, Ishwar ventured into different years as he understood the power of trail income. businesses ranging from fertiliser to sugar and bagasse industry. In 2002, he had a severe car accident and had to He realised he needed to get into the volumes and focus on SIP undergo a complicated brain operation. He took a year to for sustained incremental flow. As the markets got into the recover fully. \"My doctor told me that I have been bestowed consolidation phase, Ishwar increasingly started adding SIP with a second life. Decide well how to live it,\" he reminisces. accounts in this AUM and told clients to use the volatility to acquire more units at lower rates. His clients were on his side. In 2003, he met a colleague at a private insurance company. \"I They had the confidence in Ishwar that he would not do wrong liked the distribution business and thought to give it a try, to them knowingly. \"I was always client centric and was not marking my entry into the financial industry,\" narrates Ishwar, driven by commission,\" he says confidently. This approach in who is also a CFP. distribution saved him from the brunt of direct plans. He continued with his business in fertilizers and focused on the During the 2020 pandemic, Ishwar's AUM declined temporarily financial sector which involved Mutual Funds, Insurance but his online presence helped him service his clients services, Capital Bonds Investments options. As years conveniently. \"Rather we ended up doing more business passed, he got to know about mutual funds and joined a during the pandemic period,\" he says with a smile. national distributor in 2005. Ishwar communicated with his clients and made them \"At the national distributor I learned the basic concept of understand the situation and recommended to stay put. mutual funds and understood its importance,\" says Ishwar. He Barring few investors who pressed the panic button, majority did not shy away from learning and acquired knowledge before of Ishwar's clients stayed put as they were for long-term and approaching clients. \"I did not go to my old contacts in the were used to the temporary nature of market corrections. industry. Rather I started with unknown circles and started building my client base slowly,\" he adds. With a firm belief that the mutual fund industry is set to grow multi-fold from here on, Ishwar's advice to newcomers in the Markets were amid the bull run. Though he knew about SIP, distribution is simple and crisp - \"Have patience, knowledge Ishwar was more inclined towards lump sum. When the rally about products and do consistent hard work.\" Summing up his fizzled out in the 2008 crisis, it was altogether a new journey, Ishwar says, \"There are no shortcuts to grow this business. To be successful, do good to investors with a client first approach.\"
Striving Success Stories Jayant Yewale Jayant thinks that he has been successful as a mutual fund distributor because he has strong relationships with his clients Jayant Yewale, 49, is a mutual fund distributor based in built on complete trust. In 45 years, not a single entity has ever Pradhikaran, Nigdi in Pune with Assets Under Management of come up with the statement that they have received “wrong ` 140 crores and a monthly SIP book of ` 2.25 crores. advice”. That is a very tall claim for any person or company from any business across the world! Having worked in London for 14 years, Jayant came back to India and started working as a mutual fund distributor in 2014. Most of his clients are reference-based. His existing clients The financial advisory business was set up by his in-laws 45 have been with him for a long time and more importantly, he years ago. Now, he works along with his wife and his mother- knows each client and their family members very well. He also in-law, to cater to their clients' requirements. has many multi-generational clients where 3 or 4 generations of the same family take advice from him. Jayant always had planned to come back to India and his father-in-law's untimely demise in 2012 proved to be a decisive Jayant also credits his clients for keeping the basics in mind factor for the couple to take the leap. when transacting i.e. invest more when markets correct or as Warren Buffet has said “be fearful when others are greedy and He and his wife, Sonali both have an MBA in Finance from greedy when others are fearful”. So, in case of any uncertain Symbiosis Institute of Business Management, Pune. This event leading to markets falling, he gets even more busy as proved beneficial for them when they decided to join the more clients look to invest. business. Giving advice to the newcomers in the MFD business, he said, “Both of us understood the nuances and opportunities of the that though there are challenges in any business, but nothing is business and since it is an old family business, it was insurmountable. He emphasizes that one should be patient necessary to run it with the same understanding, integrity and when starting a new business as it will take a couple of years of companionship just like my family had done,” he said. hard work to onboard clients and gain their trust. Jayant absolutely loves his current role and never regrets his Also, he feels that there is a lot of scope in the mutual fund decision of quitting his full-time job in London. “Helping clients industry today as only a small percentage of people are to achieve their financial goals, systematically and in a presently investing in mutual funds. So, there is ample disciplined manner is something that he takes pride in”. opportunity to educate and encourage more people to invest in mutual fund schemes. Currently, Jayant has around 250 clients. This includes a host of NRI clients and at the last count, he had clients from 18 Talking about his initiatives to improve the literacy about countries investing into Indian mutual funds. mutual funds in India, he said, “I believe that mutual funds are a relatively safer option than direct equity for retail investors. We Most of his clients are from the industrial suburb of Pune conduct regular investor awareness sessions and encourage where he resides. That really works for him in terms of time our clients and their friends to attend them.” management. Early adoption of online transactions has been very beneficial to him and his clients. Jayant shares that the biggest milestone for him as an MFD is to achieve an AUM of over ` 100 crore in just six years. He believes that the job of a mutual fund distributor is to give priority to clients' future goals. “We have always put client Talking about the future goals for the business, he said, “We interest first” he said. are aiming to achieve up to ` 500 crore worth assets under management in the next five years.” He is confident he will achieve this goal through his sheer hard work and unwavering support of his family.
Striving Success Stories Krishna Pandhare increased. So was the case with his clients. Soon, he started pitching equity funds. \"The market was in an upward cycle. It Krishna Pandhare, 56, a Pune-based mutual fund distributor was a good going,\" he adds. In 2006, he left the cleaning looks after investors' portfolios worth ` 135 crore. Servicing material business and reduced insurance distribution while 2,500 retail clients, his monthly SIP book stands at ` 1 crore. fully focusing on mutual funds. Krishna believes there are no financial goals which can't be achieved through mutual funds. The 2008 crash posed a big challenge to him. \"It was difficult to convince people to stay invested. Many were in panic and After graduating from Amravati, his birth place, Krishna, a redeemed their investments. But those who stayed invested farmer's son, shifted to Pune in 1988 and did his post graduate are sitting on huge wealth now,\" says Krishna with excitement. in Biomedical Technique. He joined a hospital as a technician in By 2009, as the market recovered from lows, Krishna's AUM the laboratory. reached ` 60 crore. One of his friends suggested him to invest in a mutual fund \"I could get reasonable income even through trail which was a scheme which he did and got his first taste of the financial big relief and I stayed put in the business,\" he explains. Krishna world. \"I was attracted towards the financial market,\" he recalls. encouraged some of his clients to do mutual fund distribution. He quit his job in 1992 to join a steel company's unit as \"I take pride in saying that I gave three good distributors to the production supervisor. industry,\" he emphasises. Krishna worked there for nearly 6 years before calling it a day as With low margins, Krishna realised he needs to get into the he was blamed for something he did not do. \"I chose to quit volume business. The markets were sideways during 2009 to rather than apologising. I was clueless about what to do. I had a 2013. \"I focused on SIP and inculcated it as a habit among my 2 year old baby and didn't know how to make ends meet,\" he clients,\" he says. reminisces with a heavy voice. According to him, retail SIPs keep assets intact. Krishna was He came across one Ajaz Qureshi, who was in the clear that investors need hand holding and believed in his manufacturing of cleaning materials. \"He did not know how to relevance. He remained unperturbed with direct plans. In 2015, sell. I told him that I will market,\" narrates Krishna. This was his he completely shifted to trail. \"I understood that trail was a entry into a marketing job. He would travel distances on his better business proposition which compounds\" he stresses. rickety scooter and sell the cleaning materials to hospitals and corporate offices. During 2020 pandemic Krishna's assets dipped to ` 75 crore from ` 90 crore. But given his two decades of experience, he A year later, Krishna's wife read an insurance advertisement. did not lose nerves. He proudly says that only one investor \"Given the tough finances back home, my wife pushed me to redeemed. \"My clients had turned mature as they had seen the join the insurance distribution,\" he says with a smile. He already previous cycles. Those who had surplus used the dips to buy had a hang of finance which helped him start the insurance more through STP mode,\" says Krishna. business in 1999. A banker friend told him about mutual fund distribution in 2000. \"He categorically told me that mutual He has a strong conviction for future prospects of the mutual funds are the future,\" Krishna says. He stepped into fund fund industry and aims to touch ` 500 crore of AUM in the next distribution and started selling liquid funds. \"People thought 5 years. Krishna suggests newcomers to get experience and equity means risks. So I did not push equity funds,\" he explains. training before starting mutual fund distribution on their own. \"A focused and client-centric approach can do wonders,\" he Two years later, Krishna took his own ARN. As years passed, advises freshers. Krishna's confidence and knowledge about mutual funds “Now, I am catering to the second generation of my clients which in itself is a big success for me. It gives me immense satisfaction,\" he concludes with a big smile.
Striving Success Stories M Ramchandran thereafter. And in 2016, completely shifted to trail as all my clients had a long-term horizon,\" he adds. The lacklustre market M Ramchandran, 65, a Pune-based mutual fund distributor performance during 2009-13 did make his clients raise manages investors' portfolios worth ` 150 crore. Catering to concerns about no visible returns. \"I told my investors that 100 families, he has a monthly SIP book of ` 30 lakh. markets, at times, behave this way and they would reap Ramachandra feels that investment portfolios are incomplete benefits if they stay put,\" he narrates. without mutual funds. Ramchandran could not get much fresh investments during A commerce graduate, Ramchandran joined the government's this period as the 2008 crash was still fresh in investors' minds. telecom department before shifting to a bank in 1980. He But he made sure that clients continued with their holdings and remained as a banker for two decades before taking voluntary focused more on clients' education. This helped him when the retirement in 2001. The experience in the banking sector made direct plans were launched in 2013. \"Only two of my investors him aware about financial products. went direct. Rest stayed with me,\" he says proudly. Ramchandran entered the financial distribution industry in Ramchandran was already reaching close to ` 100 crore of 2002 and began with insurance and mutual funds. Being an ex- AUM when the complete ban on upfront came in 2018. As he banker, finding clients was not a challenge for him. \"Clients in was already on trail, he faced no sudden dip in his income. the banking sector gave me the initial push,\" he says. Markets were already in the bull run by then. This encouraged him and During the 2020 pandemic outbreak which hit the market hard his clients to invest more in mutual funds. in a short span of time, he was pleasantly surprised that barring one investor, no clients asked to withdraw. \"My AUM dipped to \"I kept on expanding my client base mainly through lump sum ` 90 crore from ` 120 crore. It temporarily worried me,\" he says investments. It was quite a good going as returns were with a smile. But he was relieved upon finding his clients did handsome,\" reminisces Ramchandran. In 2007, he dropped not panic as most of them had seen the 2008 crisis. insurance from his product basket and completely focused on mutual fund distribution. “They were now comfortable with such wild market movements as they were mature enough to understand the However, the 2008 crisis came as an unexpected shock. \"I had importance of time spent in the market,\" he says happily. offered high risk products and was selling new fund offers (NFOs). People were in panic when the market corrected,\" he Ramchandran aims to reach an AUM of ` 600 crore in the next says. Ramchandran, too, was in a panic stage. \"It disturbed my five years. He has firm faith in the growth prospects of the fund sleep as I was seeing my clients losing money,\" he admits. It industry. \"A fraction of people in India are into mutual funds was a great learning point for him. \"I understood the which clearly suggests the unstoppable nature of growth importance of asset allocation and risk-adjusted returns,\" he potential in the distribution business,\" he confidently explains. adds. He advises newcomers in the distribution to first understand After the rough phase of 2008-09, when the entry load abolition the power of the mutual fund industry. \"They should get a struck the distributors, Ramchandran focused on increasing mentor, experience the industry with their own personal volumes. \"I was clear that this business was a growth-oriented investments and increase knowledge. This will increase their business and staying put was the key,\" he puts his thought commitment,\" adds Ramchandran. process. Summing up his success mantra, Ramachandran says, Since he had a sizable AUM, Ramchandran could manage even \"Politeness and ability to listen to clients carefully without with a reduced brokerage. \"I opted for a mix of trail and upfront interrupting and offering good schemes backed up with reliable service.\" AUM and brokerage is the outcome of your hard work - focus on it, he adds. \"I feel lucky that I came to the Mutual Fund distribution. I have no regrets at all,\" he signs off.
Striving Success Stories Makarand Vishal help and we knew our relevance,\" they add. By 2014, Makarand Aundhekar Pathak and Vishal made a conscious call to focus on SIP and STP mode of investments. Steadily their monthly SIP book grew strong MakarandAundhekar (40) and Vishal Pathak (39) are Pune- and those investors who did not commit monthly payment but based partners in mutual fund distribution business. They gave one time hefty cheque were made to invest through STP manage assets worth ` 280 crore and cater to 250 families. mode. With a strong SIP book of ` 1.2 crore, the duo believes that mutual funds are effective in attaining financial freedom. As the market was in strong momentum, they made sure investors' assets are well diversified across assets. \"Balanced Being childhood friends, Makarand, a computer science Advantage Funds came to our rescue. We recommended graduate and Vishal, a science graduate, gelled quite well. hybrid schemes to our clients and kept their debt allocation at Makarand joined mutual fund distribution in 2003 with an around 10-20%, irrespective of the risk profile of investors,\" established distributor and he insisted Vishal to join in 2005. they explain their strategy. In 2017, the duo adopted Both worked with the senior distributor and learned the technology and went digital. nuances of distribution while gaining knowledge and experience. The 2008 crisis was a big learning for them as they This helped in the 2020 pandemic. As the market sharply understood the importance of asset allocation, relationship corrected, their AUM declined to ` 120 crore from 160 crore building and long-term nature of this business with focus on \"Since we had the digital presence, transactions and back clients' interest. office work was not impacted. But what really helped us was our asset allocation approach. We shifted investors' assets In 2010, the duo began on their own as partners with an AUM from debt to equity as markets dipped and asked clients to top size of ` 10 crore. With no more entry load, they realised the up their investments,\" they say with confidence. importance of trail-based business. \"The abolishment of entry load was the best thing which could happen for the fair growth Since they had the experience of the 2008 crisis, they were of this industry. \"In fact, our growth trajectory improved after better prepared. \"We stood with our clients during the the ban and we immediately shifted to trail in 2010,\" they say corrections, did a lot of video calls to make them understand with a smile. \"As the markets were in a consolidation mode and it helped. Since the recovery was strong and fast our call of since we were on our own till 2014, we used the period to additional purchases and allocating more to equity schemes expand our client base. Referral business aided their growth. worked,\" they say. During that phase we pushed lump sum investments as we knew that markets would break out,\" explains Vishal. Both agree that they complement each others' strength and that's why they could build up their business. \"Having partners This period tested patience. They faced questions from clients in this business does help especially in times of crisis as we as not much returns were being made during the range-bound know there is someone to bank on,\" says Makarand. The duo movements. \"It was a challenge and a learning experience for have great conviction about the industry's growth prospects. both of us. But we would remind investors about our According to them, the industry's overall assets would double conversation while on boarding them that the minimum in the next 6 years. investment horizon should be not less than 5 years in equity,\" they narrate. Over the next five years, they see themselves crossing AUM of ` 1000 crore and touch 1000 families as they are confident With the breakout in the market post 2014, the accelerated about distribution business. They advise newcomers to know pace of wealth creation in investors' portfolio helped them about the product, adopt technology and work for clients' further strengthen trust and confidence. This led to more benefits with a long-term vision. referral inflows. Launch of direct schemes did not dent their business. \"Direct was never a threat to us. Investors needed Summing up their success mantra, they say, \"Our integrity, client first approach, impetus on continuous education of investors propelled us to reach so far.\"
Striving Success Stories Manoj K Munot single mother. She is my client since 2008 and started with a SIP of ` 10,000. Her goal was to provide foreign education to Manoj K Munot, 54, is one of the founders of the Pune her children,” he recalled. Investment and Financial Ambassadors Association (PIFAA), an organization formed in July, 2011, that aims to provide the This year, her daughter has completed her education in the UK training and guidance to mutual fund distributors and also to with more than ` 1 crore being paid for it through the address the issues that are faced by the mutual fund investments that Munot recommended to her. She still has community. A Certified Personal Financial Advisor (CPFA), ` 1 crore for her retirement. “The satisfaction that I see in her Munot currently has ` 115 crore worth of assets under eyes is my biggest achievement. She is still my client with a management and a monthly SIP book of ` 45 lakh. larger amount in SIP now,” he said. With an educational background in electrical engineering and He advices those who have just started this business to not get telecommunications and having worked in India and abroad in disheartened by the thin margins at least for the first three the corporate sector, Munot decided to start his own mutual years of the business. According to him, it is necessary to build fund business in 2006. He had been investing in various the client base, work on one's knowledge and to become more financial instruments for personal gain since 1988 and that is tech-savvy to be successful in the mutual fund industry in the what led him to choose mutual fund distribution when he present scenario. decided to do something of his own. “One must not think of leaving the business just because there “Even though the first two years were fine when I started my are low returns during the initial years. It takes time to build a business in 2006, the real challenges in the business started in reputation and trust among the clients and one needs to work the year 2008 when the economic crisis hit,” he said. really hard for it,” he emphasized. But, Munot was not going to get disheartened and started to When asked about more people investing in direct equity these build his client base in the most unique manner at that time. “I days, Munot said, “The mutual funds are becoming popular started delivering lectures on mutual funds in various this way. However, according to me, the investors become companies at that time. It was a testing period. I put up stalls in panicky quite easily and after a certain point, they need the the parking areas to educate the people. There, I started much-needed guidance that a mutual fund distributor can meeting new people and thus, focused on increasing my client provide.” base in the year 2009 and 2010,” he said. Munot expressed gratitude for being blessed with a With over 500 active clients presently, Munot is happy that now supporting family which includes his senior-citizen parents and most of his new clients are reference-based. his wife who is a commerce graduate. Not only this, Munot has immense pride in both his children who have also become According to Munot, the most important job of a mutual fund mutual fund distributors and started working since 2019. distributor is to handhold clients and understand their goals. “A mutual fund distributor needs to ask the clients about their He wishes that they will also become popular in the business goals, judge whether the client is clear about what his future achieving more than ` 100 crore AUM in the future. goals are along with his risk-taking capacity. This helps in suggesting suitable schemes that will be profitable for the Summing up, Munot shares his success mantra, “In this clients,” he explained. business, one has to handhold clients and help them realize their goals. It is as good as doing something good for the Munot also shared a personal story about a client, which he society. So, as long as one is doing good and giving to the considers as a milestone of his career. “I have a client who is a society, one will achieve great success in his life. I pray and wish everyone must be healthy and keep emotion aside and just keep on doing good for other people. Success will automatically follow.”
Striving Success Stories Nikhil Suresh discussed the dilemma with one of his good colleagues in the Khatiwala industry- Vijay Dinkar. \"During those days we were the source of the much needed motivation to each other,\" he narrates. Nikhil Khatiwala, 50, a Pune-based mutual fund distributor has investors' assets worth ` 155 crore. Catering to nearly 1200 To make ends meet, Nikhil got into health insurance to support clients, he has a monthly SIP book of ` 85 lakh. Nikhil considers his income. Meanwhile, he cleared CFP in 2013, which helped mutual funds as a good child, when nurtured well, helps you Nikhil manage clients in a more professional way. take care of future needs. \"The lull market phase of 2009-2013 was a learning which A Science graduate, Nikhil started as a photographer but soon tested the patience of him as well as his clients. The market ventured into printing and advertisement business. With acted as if it was a crocodile and gulped down all the fresh shrinking margins amid rising risks, he quit in 2005. He was sales I was bringing in without showing any returns,\" he laughs. determined to do business only but was searching for His clients thought to shift to fixed deposits. \"I told them the something wherein there was no requirement of capital. market would break out and the best way to reap the benefits is by staying put,\" says Nikhil. One of his friends suggested insurance distribution to him in 2006. \"I decided to try it but my family had reservations as it And as the market bounced back in 2014, there was an was completely a different sector,\" recalls Nikhil. His father accelerated pace in clients' wealth generation which restored gave him a piece of advice that 'never do any business at the their confidence and trust in him. \"It was here that references cost of customers, he adds. poured in and my business shifted to top gear,\" he reminisces. But his wife, Aparna, stood with him and lent strong support. In 2015, he had an AUM of ` 51 crore. It doubled to ` 100 crore \"She encouraged me to focus on my new business and asked within the next five years. Nikhil shifted to trail and saved me not to worry about home. It is because of her that I could himself from the sudden impact of the 2018 complete upfront focus completely on my business,\" says Nikhil. ban. Within a few months, he got to know about mutual funds. After A seasoned market participant now, Nikhil comfortably studying more, Nikhil figured out that mutual funds were the managed the 2020 pandemic crisis. \"In my note to investors, I best product to create wealth for clients. told them to expect a 'V' shaped recovery in the market and asserted that the deep fall is an opportunity to invest more,\" In October of 2007, he ventured into the mutual fund he explains. Majority of his clients acted upon his distribution and joined a national distributor. Nikhil focused on recommendations. SIP and recommended goal-based products. In the first year, he did a business of ` 2 crore - a considerable amount being a Nikhil firmly believes in the growth potential of the mutual fund beginner. industry. Five years, hence, Nikhil sees himself crossing an AUM of ` 500 crore. But the market crash of 2008 for a newcomer like Nikhil was a setback. \"It was a very difficult period. I pushed myself hard and \"Hardly 6-7% of the people invest in mutual funds currently. ended up with ` 3 crore of new business in my second year,\" he The industry's future is bright,\" he adds. According to him the says happily. He tried to convert every possible lead into an industry needs new distributors to cater to the untapped investor. potential. But he advises them to join an established distributor to learn the nuances of this profession first. Barely the market had recovered in 2009 when Nikhil faced entry load abolition. \"My first impression was now what? How Summing up his journey, Nikhil says that this business requires would I earn if there is no incentive,\" explains Nikhil. He knowledge and proper guidance of investors. \"You need to work for clients' interest. Continuous communication with clients helps build sustainable relationships,\" he logs off.
Striving Success Stories Nilesh Karkare He enjoyed immense trust and confidence of his clients. This helped him not only during the crisis but also throughout the Nilesh Karkare, 51, a Pune-based mutual fund distributor dull period of 2009-13. \"Handholding of clients is very manages investors' assets worth ` 120 crore. Catering to important in this business. I believe that our work is more of nearly 800 clients - mostly retail, he has a monthly SIP book of behavioural management. Once we do it, investors make ` 40 lakh. His strong belief on India's growth story gives him the money automatically,\" says Nilesh. confidence that mutual funds are one of the best tools to create long-term wealth. He focused more on asset allocation and got predominantly into debt schemes and shifted to equities in 2013. This did After completing his MBA in 1993, Nilesh got a job in the NBFC quite well. He feels proud of successfully navigating his sector and looked mainly after fixed deposits. His comfort with investors during the crisis and thereafter. finance and inclination towards stock markets made him learn about the markets' cycles. In 2000, Nilesh joined a financial The launch of the direct plan in 2013 had no bearing on Nilesh's distributor and started learning the nuances and gained business. \"Investors need handholding and continuous practical experience of handling clients. services. Some investors left for direct only to come back,\" he says with a smile. He entered mutual fund distribution in 2003. \"I began with a focus on the SIP route. Those days awareness about mutual While offering investment distribution services we need to funds was poor which made convincing clients a tough task think investor should get his money whenever he needs, he initially,\" recollects Nilesh. While the markets had entered the adds. \"Transmission and legacy process are points where bull run, he never lost his focus on SIP and STP mode of investor require services and our help,\" he pinpoints. investments. By 2005, he stopped distributing all other products and focused on mutual funds. Nilesh shifted to the trail model by 2014. \"For long-term players like us who understand our growth is inbuilt in clients' success, However, by the beginning of 2007, Nilesh developed an trail is the preferred business model,\" he narrates. Having seen uncomfortable sense given the sharp rise in markets. \"I was so many cycles, Nilesh always made it a point to educate his thinking whether the past downturn would hound the market clients at all times. again,\" he says with a smile. He was not wrong in thinking so. “This helps both of us in the long run as mature and informed The 2008 crash eroded investors' wealth. Since majority of investors don't panic and are equipped to create wealth,\" he Nilesh's clients' investments were through SIP route, he was explains. The 2020 pandemic was no more a challenge for him fairly at less risk. \"Situation was difficult and the market as well as his investors, despite the fact that his AUM fell from situation was quite lull for several years. I told my investors that ` 85 crore to ` 70 crore in a short span of time. SIP should not be stopped as these were the times when one could accumulate units at cheaper rates,\" he explains. \"No client moved out during the crisis. They understood the market cycles and developed the understanding of staying put The 2009 entry load ban posed a little bit of a challenge to during the volatility period,\" says Nilesh with a sense of pride. Nilesh. Thanks to his hard work over the past 7 years which He sees a bright future of this industry and advises newcomers helped him build a sizable AUM size, he did not feel much of a to do hard work and stay put to see the compounding benefits. problem. Nilesh, who knows this business is only of trust and relationships, aims to reach an AUM of ` 300 crore in the next \"There was a bit of a financial crunch as I was relatively saved. five years. Secondly, I always knew that regulatory actions were always for the betterment for the industry,\" says a confident Nilesh. Summing up his journey, Nilesh says, \"Invest in your investors.\" He adds that one needs to be efficient and have a client-centric strategy. \"There are no shortcuts to success. Success demands tremendous patience and ethics,\" he signs off.
Striving Success Stories Nilesh Kashinath with pride. This business is completely based on trust, nothing Mahajan else, he adds. A passionate Nilesh told his clients to stay put. Nilesh Mahajan, 45, a Pune-based mutual fund distributor “Those clients who gave heed are still with me and have a huge manages investors' assets worth ` 130 crore. Catering to corpus now,\" he says. As time passed clients' trust on Nilesh nearly 1300 retail clients, he has a monthly SIP book of ` 63 was on the rise as they could see the positive impact of his lakh. Nilesh has a strong belief in the capability of mutual funds recommendations. to help anyone meet his life's various financial goals. When the entry load was removed in 2009, he met all his clients Coming from a financially weak background, he understood and explained the situation. Some agreed to increase their the value of money from his childhood days. A student of investments while others paid him a separate cheque as fees. industrial electronics, Nilesh joined an electronic company but quit the job within a year in 2001. He realised that he was good Meanwhile, he shifted to trail given the future growth potential at convincing and wanted to start a venture with minimal of trail-model and continued his focus on SIP as he believes it is capital investment. more like a habit. Nilesh understands that a healthy SIP book keeps AUM intact, irrespective of the market situation. Meanwhile, he came across a family which suffered due to inadequate insurance. This shaped up Nilesh's mind to look at Nilesh believed in client education from day one. When insurance distribution, not with a motto to earn commission, markets entered the consolidation phase during 2009-13, his but to help families by taking care of their finances as a service clients stayed invested. This helped them create wealth when provider. markets broke out post 2013. His strong ties with investors did not let the direct plans impact his business. \"I knew that direct He entered the insurance business in 2003. Upon seeing his plans will help clients understand my relevance as a service dedication, his senior colleague Krishna Pandhare suggested provider,\" he smiles. Nilesh to add mutual funds in the product basket. \"He was like a torch bearer for me and under his guidance I ventured into a The market crash in the 2020 pandemic pulled Nilesh's AUM to mutual fund in 2004,\" he says. ` 48 crore from ` 72 crore. He was not perturbed as he already had experienced 2008. But he was worried about his clients Nilesh started from scratch. \"As I came from Jabalpur, but my whose financial goals were approaching. client base was in Pune, people had questions whether I would be able to service them. Those days I did not have a house, \"I thought if markets do not recover, my decade old planning for vehicle or mobile phone in Pune. So people did not accept me,\" clients may go haywire,\" he outlines his concerns. Some of his he narrates his initial struggle. clients did panic, but Nilesh firmly hand held and kept them invested. The better than expected recovery in the market He went door to door and made over 70 clients and offered within a year helped him cater several goals of investors. good products based on their needs. These clients helped Nilesh get referral business as the relationship grew. \"I had the Nilesh has no doubt about the growth prospects of the belief that if I do good to my clients, I will be successful,\" he industry. He sees himself at ` 500 crore AUM in next five years. says with conviction. In his suggestions to new distributors, he advises them to know the purpose behind entering this business. As the market was amid a strong rally, Nilesh made sure that his motto was not compromised for commission. When the “If you only want to make money, it may not be a suitable 2008 crisis hit the market, Nilesh was slightly demotivated as venture. This business is of making relationships on trust and sales declined and his investors' portfolios eroded. \"But no confidence with sole focus on investors well-being.\" clients told me that I sold a wrong product to them,\" he says \"My success mantra is simple. Be honest with yourself, have patience and think clients' interest first,\" he logs off.
Striving Success Stories Prabhakar Shidhaye From day one, he treated financial distribution as a noble profession. \"I had conviction in the mutual fund industry and its Prabhakar Shidhaye, 64, a Pune-based mutual fund distributor growth potential and I am still bullish on its future prospects, takes care of investors' portfolios worth ` 130 crore. Catering to no doubt about it,\" he says with emphasis. Moreover, while nearly 550 retail clients, he has a monthly SIP book of ` 25 lakh. leaving job he had a fair calculation at the back of his mind that For him, mutual fund is the best investment vehicle which even if he did not earn a penny, he would survive. helps a layman reach life's various financial goals. That's why when the entry load was abolished in 2009, A mechanical engineer by education and a merchant navy Prabhakar was least bothered. \"My business was never officer, Prabhakar quit his job in 2004 as circumstances commission-driven. I focused on wealth creation of people demanded his presence at home. An avid investor since he while keeping their benefits at the centre,\" he says. He, started earning in early 80s, Prabhakar already had quite an however, adds that the move capped the prevalent understanding about investments. malpractices of brokerage-driven sales, ensuring long-term growth of the industry. “I was interested in the financial world and since I was a long- term investor myself, I had the knowledge about most of the Meanwhile, Prabhakar did his CFP in 2011 which helped him financial related things,\" he narrates. get a holistic approach to financial distribution. He kept his focus on SIP-based investments during the lull period of 2009- As he was contemplating leaving his job, Prabhakar's financial 2013 and intermittently used lump sum investments whenever advisor suggested him to enter the financial distribution as he the market crashed meaningfully. had 15-20 years of working life. \"I followed his advice and a year before calling it a day, I was in mutual fund distribution in 2003\", Already into the profession for over a decade now, the 2013 he chuckles. direct plan launch posed no threats to Prabhakar as he was strong on the service front and clients depended on him. \"My Since Prabhakar had a strong social circle in his hometown, he clients know that they don't know,\" he quips. They would be enjoyed a good rapport with his friends. \"I had the relationships worried if I was doing this for commission, he adds. Prabhakar and trust of my people, so it was relatively easier for me to start had already partially shifted to trail and played safe as trail was fund distribution as it was not difficult to find clients,\" he says. still an evolving change. \"I did not get any knee-jerk reaction As the market entered the bull run of 2004-08, he gained when the upfront was banned in 2018,\" he adds. investors' confidence and soon referrals kicked in. The nosediving of markets during the 2020 pandemic did hit However, when the global financial crisis hit in 2008, there was Prabhakar's assets. But having seen the 2008 crisis, he havoc all around. Prabhakar, a seasoned investor, had a firm recommended clients to invest more if they had the money as belief that investors should know what they are investing into. such crashes are always buying opportunities. \"Many listened \"And for that a continuous education for investors is vital\", he to me and accordingly acted. Those who did not, regretted says. later,\" he says with a smile. He proudly adds that his daughter has joined him and five years down the line he sees himself as Since it's human behaviour to panic, he admits that a few of his \"retired\". clients did lose nerves. Despite him telling them that things would be okay in a few years, those who got nervous, Summing up his success mantra, Prabhakar says, \"Keep your redeemed. \"Majority of my clients stayed put though. I had told business client-centric and you will succeed.\" His advice to them that markets were unpredictable. What best we can do is newcomers in the distribution business is that they should asset allocation and stick to it while never stopping the work initially with some senior distributors and get the investments,\" explains Prabhakar his thought process. experience. \"There is huge growth potential in this sector from here on, but newcomers should first have the knowledge and they should be convinced about this business before entering,\" he logs off.
Striving Success Stories Prasad Sangam Prasad took the 2009 Entry Load abolition as an opportunity. \"I immediately shifted to the trail model with only one thought Prasad Sangam, 50, is a Pune-based mutual fund distributor that competition would be less and business will be more,\" he who manages assets worth ` 380 crore of nearly 1200 retail says. With high conviction about long-term business and clients. He commands a monthly SIP book of ` 2.5 crore. With understanding the compounding impact of trail, Prasad did not an unshakeable belief in mutual funds' wealth creation worry about the wafer-thin margin he was working with. potential, Prasad aims to make all his investors crorepati. His strong servicing helped build trust among investors and He entered the financial world in the early 90s by getting into references followed. The direct scheme did not bother him as sub-broking and insurance distribution. However, due to some Prasad knew that clients needed personal touch and support. personal reason, he joined a job in an auto company in 1996 but \"Direct was never a concern. I upfront tell clients about direct continued with his financial distribution. plans only to find they get associated with me,\" he chuckles. Prasad, who saw the evolution of financial products quite early Prasad does not look at the brokerage. \"Rather, I focus on good as the Indian economy was opening up, entered the fund products which have the lowest expense,\" he says while distribution in 2003. \"I saw there were high commission highlighting his client's first approach. products but investors did not make money. I was determined that I would sell only those products in which investors made He is of the view that fund distribution is like a social service in money. And mutual funds filled that gap,\" he recalls. making investors financially equipped. Taking training from the financial firms about goal-based and In the 2020 pandemic, Prasad aggressively shifted funds from need-based investment, Prasad focused on long-term debt and liquid funds to equity. \"Clients were happy to see their relationships with clients. He did quite well as he had the base money getting more than doubled as the market bounced back of clientele and markets also supported. \"People's conviction handsomely,\" he says. However, seeing this several other on mutual funds was rising and I did not face any objections investors came but he bluntly told them that it happened with from clients,\" he narrates. In 2007, Prasad could see his income the existing clients and would not happen with you. \"So keep from fund distribution was nearly double of his salary. \"I your expectations low,\" he quips. decided to quit my job and get into full-fledged fund distribution,\" he reminisces. Prasad is confident and says there is only one way for the industry - northwards growth. \"You just keep adding zeroes in From day one, Prasad was into objective-based selling. \"All my the industry's assets. It is an unstoppable industry,\" he clients' investments were with a minimum tenure of 10 years. I categorically says. would ask my clients about their goals before pitching them the suitable products. I told them, it is their duty to commit and He encourages new people to join the fund distribution sector, stay invested for the tenure and my work is to ensure their \"Young people must join this industry as benefits and growth goals are achieved. So there was no question of timing the prospects here are unmatchable. You can multi-fold your market,\" Prasad explains. business if you take the pain of the initial few years of building the base with patience, transparency and client focus This strategy helped Prasad pass all the market cycles with strategy,\" he says inspiringly. ease. \"I never faced any problems in any market corrections - be it the 2008 crash, the 2020 pandemic or the current ongoing Summing up his success mantra, Prasad says, \"Look at corrections due to the Russian-Ukraine war scenario,\" he investors' benefits. If they get what they want, you are points out. At times when some of his clients questioned him, successful.\" According to him, people should come to mutual Prasad would remind them of their goals and tenure. funds to become crorepati and not participate in the TV show where you may or may not become one. \"The blessings and respect which I get from clients when you become a medium to their wealth creation journey is beyond words,\" he signs off.
Striving Success Stories Ramkumar Agrawal knew that trail would compound with the growing value of AUM,\" says Agrawal. Ramkumar Agrawal, 51, is a Pune-based mutual fund distributor and manages investors' assets worth ` 150 crore. During the long sideways and range-bound movement in the He services nearly 500 families and has a monthly SIP book of stock market post the Lehman crisis, Agrawal was focused on ` 75 lakh. For him, mutual funds are extremely flexible financial debt assets which did quite well during the 2009-13 period. products capable of catering to any needs of an investor. Having said that, he kept educating clients through awareness programs on a regular basis. An engineering student, Agrawal was a professor in an engineering college. While in the education field he started the \"I believe in educating them about the nuances of the market mutual fund distribution in 2005. Initially, Agrawal could not and why staying put is more important than timing the market. focus much on the business. But he kept enhancing his We are not only in managing clients' investments but also their knowledge about the financial market and the various nuances emotional behaviour and biases, especially during panic of successful investments like asset allocation and goal-based phases,\" he describes his philosophy. In between, he investments. completed his Certified Financial Planner (CFP) course in 2014. \"Initially, it was a slow start. I was more into the debt side of the Direct plans, prima facie, appeared as a threat in 2013. business,\" he recalls his initial days. He adds he could convince \"Already, our relationships with clients had grown stronger. We people as his learning and knowledge readily brought in the focused more on value additions, used technology to assist trust factor. In 2008, he called it a day to his teaching profile and and service them on a real time basis,\" reminisces Agrawal. fully concentrated on financial distribution business. This was This worked and clients stayed put with him. Meanwhile, a time when the global financial markets were facing the brunt Agrawal also trained his team members to adapt with the of the sub-prime crisis. But Agrawal had the passion and evolving changes with focus on clients' interest. conviction about the wealth management sector and knew the sector would grow big time. During the 2020 market crash owing to the pandemic, Agrawal's AUM dipped to ` 55 crore from ` 80 crore. \"It was a \"Since I had focused on debt investments, the crash of 2008 challenge as income was reduced and clients faced losses. did not have much impact on my business,\" he says. With a Our digital presence came for our rescue for transactional and recovery in the market within a year, a learned Agrawal did not servicing purposes. My team communicated with our clients digress from asset allocation and kept his investors' portfolio and took them into confidence while making them understand fairly balanced. \"Asset allocation strategy does help investors the situation,\" he explains. The dips in the market were used to not panic beyond a point,\" he explains his thought process. switch from debt to equity. The entry load abolition in 2009 did pose some challenges to Agrawal firmly believes in future growth prospects of the Agrawal. \"Since I had a long-term vision of this business, mutual fund industry. He already has registered as a Corporate despite intermittent hiccups, I stayed put with the conviction SEBI Registered Investment Advisor and entered into fee that business will do good,\" he says with confidence. based financial advisory. He advises newcomers in this business to first learn the basics by joining an established firm In the absence of an entry load, Agrawal started charging fees before starting on their own. \"Inadequate earning in the initial to his clients. \"I would give them the receipts of the same which phase may disappoint them, if they start on their own. This helped me gain validity and confidence of investors,\" he would probably force them to exit from this great business narrates. Thereafter, he shifted to trail-based model as he opportunity,\" he says categorically. understood the importance and benefits of trail income - a function of AUM. \"I entered this business for the long term and Summing up his journey so far, Agrawal says, \"Focus on building relationships, trust, integrity and continuous hand holding and adapting to changes with focus on clients' benefits is helpful in making financial distribution a success.\"
Striving Success Stories Sandeep Bhushetty situation as it will add up to your wealth,\" Sandeep narrates how he navigated and hand held his clients. It was a learning Sandeep Bhushetty, 52, is a Pune-based mutual fund experience for his clients as they understood that markets do distributor managing ` 125 crore worth of investors' assets. He not always perform in a linear fashion. The recovery within a caters to nearly 4000 retail clients and has a monthly SIP book year reimposed clients' confidence and their relationship with of ` 85 lakh. For him not investing through mutual funds is like Sandeep got firmer. missing the bus of India's growth story. Having a clear understanding about long-term growth Being from a family where parents were involved in financial prospects, Sandeep immediately shifted to full trail upon entry product distribution for nearly 4 decades now, Sandeep load abolition in 2009. \"Though remunerations declined for understood the importance of investments. After his college in initial six months, I realised it was a revolutionary change which 1991, Sandeep joined a media publication. After working for 11 would boost the sector's growth,\" says Sandeep with years, he quit the job to do distribution business. \"I could see conviction. the growth potential of the fund industry. It was time to apply my experience,\" he recalls. He focused on volumes and added values. Sandeep started tapping the fixed instruments of his clients and told clients it is When he joined his father, he brought two value additions - the right time to put in equities to benefit whenever the market money management services for senior citizens and services breaks out post the 2009-13 consolidation. His clients did not to NRIs. Finding clients was not an issue for Sandeep given the hesitate to act as told and acquired units at lower rates huge clientele his parents built over the years. However, the throughout this period. challenge was to convince clients about mutual funds. \"Clients were apprehensive about the high returns probability from Launch of direct plan was like opening of an excessive mutual funds. They thought whether it was an illusion and competition for Sandeep. He told his clients that in their would it sustain or not,\" reminisces Sandeep. absence, he would be there to service his dependents by passing on their wealth. He explained to them that if they can keep investments in traditional investment instruments for as long as 20-40 years, “For technical changes like bank mandates and adding mutual funds are a better option, which offers liquidity, tax nominees, clients may not have time. Moreover, they just look efficiency and long-term wealth creation. at the NAV and are unaware of what is happening in the fund house,\" he explains. Such illustrations made clients By 2003-04, as the market started rallying, looking at the understand Sandeep's relevance and none left him for direct. generation of returns, investors' confidence on mutual funds grew. Meanwhile, Sandeep enhanced his knowledge about By the time the 2020 crisis amid pandemic unfolded, several of the products and focused on clients' education as he knew that his clients were mature and understood market dynamics. informed investors behave rationally during market cycles in Sandeep's AUM cracked from ` 65 crore to ` 42 crore. Though the long-term investment period with focus on goals. The bull disheartening, he used the dip as an opportunity using his run continued and investors' portfolios gained size. digital presence. He told his clients that this was a once in a decade kind of opportunity and they should shift their fixed However, when the rally ended in the 2008 crisis , Sandeep's income assets to equity. \"I could convince them and within a clients had a lot of questions. He did not shy away. He showed year, their investments more than doubled,\" he says with pride. clients their returns and explained that despite such steep fall they were still in profits. Further, he reminded them about the Confident about mutual fund growth prospects, Sandeep says goals they started with. \"I asked them, have they reached their the industry will grow 10 times over the next decade. He sees goals? If not, stay invested and better invest more in such a distribution as a great opportunity for newcomers in the long term. It is an extraordinary sector to work with, he adds. Summing up his success mantra, Sandeep says, \"Think long- term, think positive and believe in your country's growth.\"
Striving Success Stories Sanjay K Kotkar After 2015, he completely distanced himself from the real estate business which was very volatile. After that, his AUM Sanjay K Kotkar, 55, is a Pune-based mutual fund distributor has increased manifolds specially since he has opened his new with assets worth ` 115 crore under management and a office in 2021. monthly SIP book of ` 1 crore. He runs Opulence money, a company for financial advisory services, which is registered Kotkar now has approximately 1,500 clients, which includes with AMFI. many who belong to economically weaker section of the society. He proudly shares stories of clients who have invested The company aims to provide a wide array of products and with his company. This includes his barber, an auto rickshaw services including financial planning, wealth management, tax driver and a sweeper, who Kotkar knew from his time in the consultations and, insurance and mutual funds advisory. construction business. A civil engineer by profession, Kotkar was inspired to enter into “My barber who used to do jobs at two different shops to make the mutual fund distribution business after a long and arduous ends meet, today owns two shops and a house and that is journey. He initially started as a builder and developer in the because of the investments done as per my advice. I wanted growing city of Pune. The field of construction had its own him to invest his hard-earned money and grow in his life rather share of challenges and learning. than always being dependent,” he said. He realised that to invest in real estate at any point one would Kotkar has many such clients. He feels proud that he has been have to have a lump sum of 30-40 lakhs at any point. He wanted able to bring about a positive change in the lives of people who to make investment accessible to all, for smallest of small have weak financial backgrounds. “The auto driver that I sums. He saw potential in the financial industry to materialize mentioned about has been my client since 2007 and today, he his ambition. is not dependent on his daily income to survive,” he said. Kotkar also obtained an insurance distribution license in 2006. Not only this, Kotkar has also set an example through his He found it a suitable extension to his plans. However, company which now provides internships ranging from three insurance has always been difficult to pitch and to be accepted to six months to interested students from reputed colleges in for clients. and around Pune. He has already been successful in training about 60 students and provided certifications to them. “After trying my hand at various business opportunities, I found that the safer business option was to become a financial “It is important for those who wish to start working as financial planner and a mutual fund distributor. As compared to other advisors to work on their theoretical knowledge as well as to financial instruments, one can start investing in mutual funds gain some practical on-the-job experience of at least one year,” with an SIP of just ` 500,” he said. He obtained his ARN in the Kotkar said. year 2006 and after that, also got the necessary certifications to be a financial planner. According to him, times have changed now as the tasks that used to be done physically about less than a decade ago now Now, Kotkar holds the record of the fastest-growing AUM in can be done online. the city of Pune. He has also received several awards from different organisations like PIFAA (Pune Investment & Financial Though this has made it easier for new MFDs, it has also made Ambassadors Association) and various AMCs for the same. it crucial for people to remain updated not only about the new Kotkar said, “From 2006 to 2015, my AUM reached ` 10 crore. I financial products and developments but also about growing was also into real estate business. I was not seriously pursuing digital avenues to get things done. the Mutual fund business.” Kotkar's aim is to build a team for his company in the future with young people like his students. He also encourages the trainees to continue working with him.
Striving Success Stories Sanjay M Khanwelkar recommended clients that better returns are made when they stay put in odd times,\" he narrates the worrisome situation. He Sanjay Khanwelkar, 63, a Pune-based mutual fund distributor, adds that those investors who stopped their SIP realised the manages investors' AUM worth ` 165 crores. Catering to over mistake and restarted. 800 retail clients, he has a monthly SIP book of ` 55 lakh. Sanjay considers mutual funds as a fast becoming contemporary Learning from the crisis, Sanjay made sure that his clients were mode of investments for wealth creation which investors can't briefed and explained about the benefits of long-term ignore anymore. investments. \"Educating clients during the course of their investments is of prime importance,\" he asserts. As the market An engineer by education, Sanjay worked in various sectors recovered after a year, Sanjay touched an AUM of about ` 20 since the early 80s. In 2001, amid a recessionary scenario, he crore. It was a reasonable sum to tide over the impact of the lost his job. For some time he got into solar equipment entry load ban. \"Despite a decline in income, I had no second installation but was not comfortable with that. \"I was searching thought about continuing this business as I owed a for something which required minimal capital,\" he recalls. He responsibility to my clients,\" says Sanjay with conviction. entered into insurance distribution and added nearly 100 clients. Meanwhile, he invested in Mutual Funds and saw his His focus on SIP remained undiluted as he understood the corpus grow. \"The idea clicked that why not give a try to Mutual incremental compounding nature of such monthly flows which Funds,\" says Sanjay. help build business. Over time, Sanjay's relationships with clients grew stronger. This greatly helped him when direct His reading of the factsheets gave him insights about the schemes came into existence and not a single investor left him market. Sanjay wanted strong fundamentals before reaching for direct. A continuous learner, Sanjay shifted to trail much out to the prospective clients. In 2004, he attended an before it became the norm in 2018. He was already on the awareness program where it was elaborated how investments digital platform for ease in doing business and effective client through SIP can build capital and felt he missed this servicing. Clients' interest remained his priority and he avoided investment type during my working years,\" says Sanjay with commission-driven sales. regret. The sudden and steep crack in markets during the 2020 In 2006, he entered the Mutual Fund Distribution. His initial pandemic was just an opportunity. His clients, who already challenge was not to find clients but changing the mindset of were running over 12 years of SIP, got used to market volatility. investors. \"It was tough to move clients from the exempt \"No one panicked and stopped investments as was the case in category to market-linked investments,\" he reminisces. the 2008 crisis,\" he says with a smile. \"My digital presence came to my rescue. We actually did better during that time,\" He started with his Insurance clients through SIP in Tax Saving Sanjay pinpoints. He hit the milestone of ` 100 crore asset size Schemes. \"They slowly moved from the traditional Tax Saving in December, 2020 as the market showed a sharp recovery. instruments to ELSS and our association started building up,\" says Sanjay. Markets were amid a bull run and investors could He says as long as the economy and industries grow, mutual see an accelerated increase in the portfolios. From day one, funds' growth prospects remain strong. Given the massive size Sanjay pushed SIP and STP mode of investments as he was of untapped potential, Sanjay suggests new distributors to mainly into retail business. acquire knowledge and understand the importance of long- term SIP/STP Investments. \"If newcomers work patiently and The 2008 crisis brought everything to a standstill. \"There was a acknowledge the value relationship which can be built with panic. SIP closures were rampant. My SIP book shrank 35%. I investors, nothing can stop them,\" he says emphatically. learnt the hard way about asset allocation and that there should be a mix of products in investors portfolios. I He looks forward to serving his existing clientele with an aim to make 500 crorepati clients in the next five years. \"When I look back at my journey, I feel good that I made investors and not traders,\" he signs off with satisfaction.
Striving Success Stories Santosh Eknath business will take care of my future needs. Moreover, investors Pardeshi too had turned mature by then,\" narrates Santosh. Santosh Pardeshi, 51, is a Pune-based mutual fund distributor He shifted to the trail model given his long-term focus. Since and manages investors' portfolios worth ` 150 crore. Catering his strong relationships with clients were based on trust and to 850 retail clients, he has a monthly SIP of ` 1.47 crore. With a confidence, they did not leave him for direct plans. \"Since I belief in concept selling, Santosh considers mutual funds as played an important role in their lives and made them aware strong tools to create long-term wealth which can address the about long-term investments and benefits of goal-based future financial goals. planning, direct plan was never a concern for me,\" says Santosh. An IT professional, Santosh started his career in the financial world by getting into the insurance distribution in 1999. After a “My work is not only to manage clients' investments but their decade, he could see his income from insurance business emotions and behaviour especially in bad market times. And matching with his salary. \"Despite doing part time, the clients know I am helpful to them,\" says Santosh with a smile. insurance distribution was dwarfing my salary. I thought why He is a firm believer of interactions with clients and endeavours not do it full time,\" he recalls with a smile. He quit his job and to make investors educated to make them mature and got into a full-fledged insurance business in 2009. It was then seasoned investors as their investment grows with time. that he got to know about the benefits of mutual funds and decided to include mutual funds in his product basket. This client servicing approach immensely helped Santosh during the 2020 pandemic crisis when markets steeply His entry into the new venture was after the entry load corrected. His assets fell from ` 75 crore to ` 47 crore in no abolition, so the payout was marginal. \"My income from time. \"Fall was severe, no doubt about it. But so was the insurance sustained my expenses and I focused on adding surprisingly strong recovery within a year,\" he joyfully says. I SIPs,\" says Santosh. His existing clientele from insurance saw the power of educating clients throughout their distribution offered him the initial push and soon references investment journey during the pandemic, adds Santosh. followed. \"I did not face any redemptions. I effectively communicated to \"I told my investors that they should come with a 20 years all my clients that if they have surplus money, they should horizon and focus on their retirement, children's education and deploy more in equity schemes. I sent them the historical data their marriages,\" explains Santosh about his thought process. and chart of the last two decades which showed how market This strategy worked. He built a strong base of investors during crashes, if utilised well, can help pace up wealth generation,\" 2010-2013. \"I put in a lot of effort. It took me 6 years to reach an he categorically says. AUM of ` 10 crore,\" he says passionately. He proudly narrates that his investors acted upon the By 2014, Santosh witnessed his income from mutual funds recommendations. \"The surprising bounce back in the market became equal to insurance payouts. \"I could see that this raised investors' faith in mutual funds by many bars and our product was a better option to create wealth. From the income relationships grew stronger,\" Santosh says with great point of view also it turned out to be a better proposition than satisfaction. insurance,\" he says with excitement. Santosh's conviction of growth potential in the mutual fund business grew and he He has no doubts about the mutual fund industry's growth and decided to focus on fund distribution only. sees himself at an AUM of ` 500 crore in the next five years. Meanwhile, in 2015, he had an open heart surgery which made Summing up his journey, he says, \"Patience is the key to grow it difficult to look after both the distribution business. \"I took a in this business. This is all about trust-based relationships, call to go full-fledged in mutual funds. I was confident that this nothing else.\" There are absolutely no shortcuts, he adds. \"If you work for your clients, keep them happy and satisfied, your success is guaranteed,\" he signs off.
Striving Success Stories Uddhav Tulshibagwale 2007 - just before the 2008 crash,\" he says. He explained to investors that SIP was good to average out your cost of Uddhav Tulshibagwale, 54, is a Pune-based mutual fund investments in the long run, without speculating markets and distributor, managing investors' assets worth ` 120 crore. He by maintaining discipline in their investments. caters nearly 1500 retail clients and runs a monthly SIP book of ` 45 lakh. Uddhav, who is currently the fourth generation of But when the Lehman crisis hit the market, it was natural for investors, views mutual funds as a good vehicle to create investors to feel nervous as they had come at a time when the wealth and fulfil investors' dreams. market was reaching its climax. Uddhav, in his email communication to investors, urged not to take any decision in a A student of taxation law, Uddhav joined an advocate in 1989 hurry. who looked after taxation. \"There I saw many taxpayers making returns from stock investing. I got attracted towards the \"As Sensex breached the investors' psychological barrier of financial world,\" he recalls. During those days there were very 10,000 levels, I told investors to top up their investments. If that few mutual fund players. He got associated with them and his is not possible, just stay invested,\" he explains. Several of his journey began in 1991. investors paid heed to his thoughts and did what Uddhav asked. Uddhav witnessed various economic changes and various market cycles that helped him gain knowledge and experience. Uddhav had seen the decline in upfront from as high as 6% to But it was not an easy job to start with. 2%. He knew that one day there would only be trail and was mentally prepared. Uddhav was right in his thinking as entry “People did not know about mutual funds. So convincing load got abolished in 2009 and trail based model came into the clients to invest in itself was a tough task,\" he reminisces. He picture. He was staying put in his business with a firm saw the tech boom and the subsequent tech bust in 2000 conviction in the growth potential of this industry. which burnt investors' pockets. He considered himself in the business of offering services with \"The good part was I never sold sector funds. Though I too focus on clients' benefits. He made strong ties with his suffered during the crisis, damage was relatively lesser,\" investors who posed trust in him. This strong bonding dwarfed narrates Uddhav. It was a learning for him that concentrated the impact of direct plans in 2013. \"No client, not even one, left portfolios could be risky at times. me,\" he says proudly as he hit AUM of ` 25 crore. \"Having said that, I had the understanding that any crisis is not Uddhav shifted to trail. Thus he did not face any knee-jerk the end of the world and investors need to stay put and not reaction when upfront was banned in 2018. \"Since it is a long- panic,\" he explains his thought processes. term business, trail is the best possible payout structure,\" he stresses. During those days the concept of SIP was not prevalent. Lump sum investment was the trend. He would ask his investors if A seasoned Uddhav with his long-term clients took the steep they had the surplus amount, they should go invest in one go corrections in the pandemic year of 2020 as a normal course of whenever markets crack. As the years passed and the tech markets. \"The email communication I sent in 2008 was helpful bust was off from investors' minds, a little bit of confidence yet again,\" he says with a smile. It was relatively easier for him was yet again building among investors during 2003-05. to navigate his clients during the crisis as clients had turned Markets were ready to break out after quite a long lull period. knowledgeable and took volatility as an opportunity. \"Markets were doing good, but I could see that most of the Considering the future growth potential of the industry, retail investors started coming in from the fag-end of 2006 to Uddhav sees his AUM doubling in next five years. He advises newcomers in the distribution industry to think long-term, have patience and be client-oriented. \"It is a dynamic industry and one needs to adapt to changes to survive,\" he signs off.
Striving Success Stories Vijay Rajaram Dinkar The entry load abolition did another damage in the very next year. \"I was very frustrated with this move as income Vijay Dinkar, age 56, a Pune-based mutual fund distributor nosedived,\" he recalls. Vijay added health and general manages investors' portfolios worth ` 140 crore. Catering to insurance products. 1200 clients, his monthly SIP book stands at 1 crore. Vijay considers investment in mutual funds as the most suitable way \"I began with the concept of health and wealth for investors. I to take care of the financial goals. did not opt out from any of the businesses, though,\" he narrates his strategy to support income. He focused on A commerce student, Vijay valued every penny given his expanding his offerings and sold various financial products. childhood upbringing. His father funded his studies till graduation in 1986. Then Vijay took care of his further studies. During this tough phase, Vijay did not lose his focus on SIP as He joined a chartered accountancy firm with a pay cheque of he had developed the understanding that markets do not ` 300 per month while doing his BCom. After his masters, he perform in a linear fashion. He had already built an SIP book of got into a private job with a monthly salary of ` 950 per month ` 25 lakh in his first five years. Referral businesses also started but carried on with his work at the CA firm during weekends. pouring in. Vijay was a workaholic for nearly two decades in the field of Since he believed in trust building with clients which resulted in finance and accounts \"My job schedule was so hectic that I told increase in his new investors reach. In 2015, he started doing my wife that I want to get rid of daily routine with no creativity business independently as he had an AUM of ` 15 crore. He left and felt my growth stagnated,\" he recalls. His last and the shifted to the trail model and eschewed the impact of sudden longest tenure was at an MNC animal feed manufacturing upfront ban in 2018. company as a Senior Finance Manager. \"I was pleasantly surprised to see my AUM increasing by more In 2005, he quit and started searching for a business which than three-folds till 2018. It was an incredible speed,\" laughs needs no capital. A clueless Vijay joined a Private Life Vijay. He was now reaping the benefit of his hard work and the Insurance company as Insurance Advisor. It was not an easy compounding nature of investments. The benefits of a strong task for him without any prior experience in marketing financial SIP book were more visible now. products. When the pandemic hit the market in 2020, he was largely “It took me six frustrating months to sell my first policy. unaffected. Though his assets were naturally hit, his strong SIP Probably, being from a senior job profile, I was not at ease with and large client base who continued investments aided pushing a client with a product,\" he reminisces. But as things growth. improved, he ended up selling 133 policies in two years. \"I told my clients it was just a temporary phase which will pass. Soon, he learnt about mutual funds from one of his colleagues. It's like a tunnel, a part of the journey, after which we will see He cleared the AMFI exam and joined a National Distributor in the light,\" he narrates how he hand held his clients. Further, 2006. \"Our mentors taught us a lot and what we can achieve by since he adopted the digital platform in 2017, doing staying put despite challenges,\" explains Vijay. transactions was not an issue for Vijay during the lockdown. He admits that technology has helped him tremendously. He A passionate Vijay started aggressively selling SIP with strongly feels that the fund industry is to grow multi-fold from minimum ten years horizon without knowing the sheer power here on. In the next 5 years Vijay aims to cross ` 500 crore of of SIP book. The 2008 financial crisis disturbed Vijay who was assets. merely two years into fund distribution. But his approach of minimum tenure of ten years saved him. For newcomers, Vijay suggests, \"Start with a established distributor initially, else one may miss the vision and the potential of the business.\" Stay focused and think clients' interest first, success will be yours, he concludes.
Striving Success Stories Vipul Shah consciously pushed SIPs - the sustainable way to grow business,\" he says. Vipul Shah, 38, a Pune-based mutual fund distributor who manages investors' assets worth ` 175 crore. With over 2200 Business growth due to trust and referrals made him think clients, mostly retail, he commands a strong SIP book of ` 2.2 seriously about mutual fund distribution in 2015. It was like a crore. Mutual funds for him are a source of happiness which 'better late than never' kind of situation for him. \"By 2016-17, we make people financially independent. completely shifted focus on mutual funds,\" he says with a smile. He already was on trail as he understood the long-term While he was barely in his mid-20s, Vipul completed his CA in nature of this business. first attempt, MBA in finance and CFA in 2009. After completing management studies in 2008, Vipul worked with a The hard work of Vipul and his 14-member team, mostly his reputed brokerage firm in Mumbai. He shifted back to his childhood friends - young and passionate, paid off quite well. home town and started a financial venture with four partners in With its continuous commitment for social causes like flood 2009 which got wound up within a year. But his parents and relief, covid relief, donations for education, welfare of soldiers' later on his wife, continued supporting him. families, the team had created a lot of goodwill amongst clients. His team conducts awareness programs every He entered into mutual fund distribution in early 2010 while the fortnight. In October, 2018, the monthly SIP book hit the market was recovering from the global meltdown. However, he milestone of ` 1 crore and just before the pandemic, reached did not focus on mutual funds in the initial years. \"I was ` 1.25 crore while AUM crossed ` 100 crores. primarily into fund raising for SME and partnership firms either for their working capital or project loans,\" said Vipul. Due to predominantly equity AUM, Vipul's AUM dipped to ` 73 crore during pandemic. It was a difficult situation but the Since Vipul had a strong professional and social circle, finding continuous education that his team had imparted thus far to clients was easy for him. However, since fund distribution was clients came for their help. not his focus area, his mutual fund AUM was a paltry ` 2.7 crore even till 2013. \"Nobody mentored me. I was not aware of the Vipul's tech savvy team connected with clients on continuous potential of this business and probably because of that I was video calls and hand held them while making them aware not actively pursuing it,\" narrates Vipul. about the market condition and that they should stay invested. The team not only added new clients but encouraged investors When the direct plans were launched, he chose to be to keep doing additional purchases. transparent and made clients aware about direct plans. \"I told them they can switch to direct, but I would not be able to serve As the market bounced back, AUM doubled and SIP book them,\" he adds. So far, less than 5% of his clients have opted crossed ` 2.2 crore. \"It was a remarkable journey. I thank my for direct. team which made it possible. Actually, it did far better than me during the crisis,\" Vipul admits without any hesitation. In 2013, Vipul took a software which turned out to be a turning point for him. \"Things looked organised and got streamlined as Vipul strongly believes in the growth story of the mutual fund I could conveniently track my clients' investments and do the industry and sees his AUM at ` 500 crore in the next five years. transactions and offer swift services,\" recalls Vipul. As the He advises new distributors to start with a bouquet of products market was in the uptrend cycle, he could see assets rise and to sustain initially but adds trust and patience are the key monitor his clients' investments and felt inclined. factors to grow. He attended seminars where successful distributors would \"A good team and digital presence are indispensable factors to share their success stories. This added up to his learning. \"We be successful in fund distribution,\" he says and acknowledges that he is blessed with a great team. \"I believe that money is made through emotional quotient and not by intelligence quotient,\" he signs off.
Striving Success Stories Yashwant Rathore celebration year. Suppose an investor wants to save for their child's future and it is the child's 7th birthday. I tell them they Yashwant Rathore, 52, a Pune-based Mutual Fund Distributor, need to invest ` 7000 a month instead of ` 6000,\" he says. manages ` 320 crores in mutual fund assets. He focuses on the importance of technology in scaling his Born in Raipur and based out of Pune, he now handles around business. In the last two and half years, 100% of the operations 1000 families. were through digital initiatives. Thanks to his father, he always had the aim of having his own He mentions NSE NMF Platform, MF Utilities and NJ business. As finance and numbers attracted him, he knew he Technologies to take care of his backend operations and needed to work in this field. research. He also provides a mobile app Fund Connect to investors to carry out online transactions. \"I was seven or eight years old when my father suffered a heart attack and couldn't take the stress that comes with managing While the pandemic has affected everyone in different ways, it his hotel business. He sold his business for ` 20 lakhs and with has turned out to be an opportunity for Mr. Rathore. He shares this money, he helped me and my five other sisters to complete that they were able to onboard ten new investors on a daily our education. This helped me to understand the importance basis and have done more business in the last two years than in of building a business,\" says Yashwant. the last eight years. He completes his graduate and MBA. During his MBA days in Yashwant says that people have come to understand the value 1990, he worked with a reputed stockbroker, as he wanted to of investing in mutual funds and the power of compounding. gain experience in trading and investing. He says that he didn't Moreover, the low interest in traditional banking products is want any money. He feels grateful that he could gain the another important reason. knowledge and expertise without taking any salary. He feels that investors who have shifted to mutual funds from After his MBA, he joined Kalyani Brakes Ltd as a management traditional products need a different handholding. trainee. While working for other organisations, he got an LIC agent license. Back in his day, he remembers that the cost of a \"I know a doctor who has been carrying out health tests for my LIC license was ` 25. insurance clients. I have known him for the last 24 years. He has put all his money in fixed deposits and I always tell him to \"As it was so affordable, I became a LIC insurance agent. And invest in mutual funds, but he never invested in mutual funds. when my salary matched my commissions from LIC, I quit working and started this business. I figured that if I could match Now, after the pandemic and low interest rate, he shifted 50% my LIC commissions with my salary after working 15-16 hours of his FDs, i.e., ` 1.5 crore, to mutual funds. He is a per day, I could make more money full-time,\" he says. conservative investor and always keeps on asking about markets. He is always anxious and I have to assure him there is Yashwant took mutual fund distributorship in 2004. He has nothing to worry about.” come up with his style of nudging investors to step up their SIPs. His current SIP book stands at ` 1.25 crore per month. Assisted by a team of 10 people, Mr Rathod has big plans for the future. He is aiming to double his AUM every four years. He \"I tell my clients the importance of increasing their SIP amount expects his AUM to reach ` 1000 crore within seven years. yearly. To make it simpler for my clients, I look out for their He advises young distributors to focus on learning before special days such as birthdays, anniversaries and their becoming mutual fund distributors. children's birthday. I try to link their SIP amount with the Blurb: With assets worth ` 320 crore, Rathod says MFDs should look at all areas of financial life and make sure that they take care of every client.
Striving Success Stories Yashwant Zanjage \"From day one, I was ready to work with as low as 30-40 basis points of commission as long as my clients made money. I Yashwant Zanjage, 46, is a Pune-based mutual fund distributor focused on building SIP books and educating clients on a managing investors' assets worth ` 180 crore. Serving over 600 regular basis. I never chased lump sums,\" says Yashwant. He families, he has a strong monthly SIP book of ` 1.8 crore and shifted on a complete trail given the long-term growth firmly believes that mutual funds are the best way to prospects of this industry. accomplish various financial goals. The huge market potential dwarfed any concerns rising out of A farmer's son, originally from a small village near Kolhapur, direct schemes. His trust in himself and his passion did not Yashwant valued every penny. After his 12th standard, he got digress him. Nearly 40% of his insurance clients had started into the insurance distribution in 1993. His father pushed him investing in mutual funds by then and he added fresh investors into industrial training while Yashwant did several jobs who slowly developed confidence in Yashwant. intermittently. \"Basically, the first 10-12 years of mine just got passed without any seriousness,\" he recalls. He believes in making clients understand the importance of investments and gives adequate time while on boarding them. In 2006, he got ARN on his wife's name and entered mutual Aligning investments as per the investors' risk appetite and fund distribution with a national distributor. But as the 2008 goals with insistence on long-term tenure helps. crisis unfolded, Yashwant largely stayed away and focused more on his insurance business. \"I did not pursue it actively and Yashwant says an informed investor ensures long-term the AUM was merely 5 crore while SIP book stood at 10 lakh, in relationships. He attended short term management courses at 2014\" he narrates. His insurance business was growing. In MDI Gurgaon and one on Business Innovation and customer 2014, he happened to go to an international seminar in Toronto. centricity at ISB Hyderabad which proved useful for him. \"There I learnt that I was not actually helping my clients. I was Meanwhile, in 2019, he completed his CFP. making money but my clients were not. It was a wake up call for me,\" explains Yashwant. During the pandemic year of 2020, he was not perturbed by the market fall as was the case back in 2008. \"Many clients lost He refocused on fund distribution and founded Shubbaan their family members while several lost their jobs during that Investments and got the ARN on his company's name. A time. I along with my team ensured that all my investors have passionate Yashwant was now clear about the growth contingency plans to overcome the crisis times. I did not potential of mutual fund distribution. He put in the entire hesitate to stop or pause SIPs of my investors, depending on infrastructure, adopted technology, started building his team their condition. And those who could invest more, I facilitated and began with client first strategy. additional purchases,\" Yashwant outlines his hand holding approach during the tough time. This helped his clients gain \"First few months just went in getting necessary regulatory further confidence. clearances and putting up processes for effective and efficient business,\" says Yashwant. As he reduced focus on insurance, Yashwant has deep conviction in the industry's growth and his income took a substantial hit. \"I took the short-term pain to says it may be tenfold in size over the next decade. He adds build a long-term business prospects. Since I did not have any that the industry needs more distributors. \"They must come to extravagant expenditure, running my house was not a concern this business. Acquire knowledge, be patient and focus on then,\" he reminisces. client growth,\" he advises newcomers. By now, there had been a lot of regulatory changes - entry load Summing up his journey, Yashwant says, \"When you help was history, trail was the new normal, direct schemes were in investors create long-term wealth with the right product, it place and awareness about mutual funds was on the rise. gives immense pleasure.\" Though he has grown with a great pace over the last eight years, he has a sense of guilt. \"I still regret that had I remained focused on fund distribution, a lot more clients would have been wealthier by now,\" he logs off.
STRIVING SUCCESS STORIES
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OUR PARTNER’S JOURNEY OF DETERMINATION AND PERSEVERANCE