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Striving Success Stories_II

Published by tarakkitimes, 2021-12-17 05:42:00

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Aniruddha Chaudhuri Head - Retail Sales ICICI Prudential AMC The last one year has been momentous for everyone in the investment related domain and we at ICICI Prudential Mutual Fund would like to thank you for partnering with us through this journey. Over the years, we have increased our product bouquet across asset classes. Through these offerings we have been able to deliver a good investment outcome for all our investors. In this journey, you have played a critical part in the form of handholding investors. Thanks to your perseverance, mutual fund today has created an edge for itself in the personal finance space. For many of you, some of the most defining moments in personal space set course to be where you are today. Through the ICICI Prudential Mutual Fund Striving Success Story Series, we present 11 success stories of individuals who have not only trail blazed in their journey but also have emerged to be an inspiration and mentors to several more around them. Through this series, we bring the human element of a successful journey. Behind the numbers, is a story of grit, determination and an iron will to make best of the circumstances life throws at them. In this Series we are sharing the stories of Deepak Goyal, Hitesh Jain, Mahesh Gokuldas Gattani, Mohit Beriwala, Nikhil Vasudev Thakker, Pankaj Bansal, Parmanand Devnani, Prasad Dharmadhikari, Pratikkumar Ashokbhai Shah, Raunak Ramuka, Rishabh Satnalika and Tejpal Singh Bagga. In the quarters ahead, we will be sharing more of such inspirational stories. We hope these experiences shared become a beacon of light for all the members of the distributor fraternity. Finally, if you have any feedback or suggestion, feel free to reach me at [email protected].

Striving Success Stories Deepak Goyal and fulfillment of clients' financial goals. Money is important but it is secondary. Honestly speaking, we are Patiala getting satisfactory payouts to maintain our quality services\" he says with a serious tone. Deepak Goyal, 40, is a Rajpura (Patiala) based MFD with an investor asset base of ` 85 crore and a SIP book of ` 65 The years post the financial crisis made Goyal a mature lakh. He serves 1,300 retail clients with a conviction that investment professional. Earlier he would anticipate that mutual fund is the path for wealth creation. Since financial if markets did not do good for a year, it would do better the distribution was a family business, Goyal had an next year. “That perception changed during this phase as I inclination towards this profession. saw markets behaving in a different way. Managing investors' behaviour gained more importance than simply After a year in the job, he joined the insurance sector in managing their money,\" he reminisces. 2004 but was not happy with the work ethics. He registered as an MFD in 2008 when the crisis hit the A longer than usual dull phase also helped Goyal learn the global financial market. With a value erosion of nearly two handholding aspect of financial product distribution, third in stock markets, Goyal had a tough start. He irrespective of the market conditions. He educated laughingly jokes, \"It was as if I got my head shaved and a himself about asset allocation strategies while hailstorm began.” distributing mutual funds. As the upswings came in the market post 2013, Goyal's continuous hard work showed Being a newcomer amid a crisis, it was difficult for him to benefits. His conviction that mutual fund is a long-term build trust among investors. However, the events which business further strengthened. unfolded during that phase helped Goyal learn the nuances of mutual fund distribution faster. For him, The Upfront Ban in 2018 briefly made Goyal rethink mutual funds offer a 'principle of equality' to all investors - whether he could survive in this sector. \"But when I big and small alike. considered the other perspective, I could see a reduction in competition,\" he smiles. Despite initial hiccups, Goyal was clear that he needed to make investors believe in India's growth story. He has a He stayed put and today \"people in Rajpura know Deepak firm belief that mutual funds are not for months or few Goyal as Mutual Fund,\" he says happily. years; rather it is a long-term story. \"That's why, I categorically ask clients why they are investing.” He is proud that already over a dozen of his clients have turned millionaires. \"It's a great source of happiness when He gives credit to his parents for the ethics and honesty you groom your clients for years and see them achieve he could bring in his business - with sole focus on goal their financial goals,\" says an emotional Goyal. and need-based investing for clients. \"Business means trust, I learnt it very young. I knew that challenges were Despite being in the mutual fund business for nearly one- part and parcel of any business and I should endeavour to and-a-half decades, Goyal considers spreading remain relevant to my customers while adapting to awareness about financial products a big necessity. \"I changing times,\" he explains. can't find any alternative to mutual funds; there is still a great need for making people aware about it,\" he says. According to him, a distributor needs to nurture the client like a kid for the first three years - a crucial period. Once His advice for newcomers in mutual fund distribution : this phase gets over, clients are like mature adults which One should not think about earning for the first 5-7 years. helps build long-term relationships, he adds. Concentrate on learning and improve yourself on a daily basis while offering only need-based solutions through The entry load ban in 2009 did not let Goyal deviate from mutual funds. \"Focus on relationships, build trust and be mutual fund distribution. \"I work for my own satisfaction honest. If you focus on payouts, this business is not for you,\" he pinpoints.

Striving Success Stories Hitesh Jain Reaching an AUM size of ` 245 crore within 4 years looks no mean feat. However, it was not a smooth ride. Kolkata Regulatory changes in October 2018 which mandated a trail-based model impacted Jain's business adversely Hitesh Jain, 35, a Kolkata-based mutual fund distributor which was in its initial phase. \"This move did break the manages investors' assets worth ` 245 crore. With a back of the business,\" reminisces Jain. strong client base of over 10,000 - majorly retail, he commands an SIP book of ` 3.7 crore. He is proud to have \"It took us 6 months to actually hold on to our business, over 40 percent of his clients as first time investors. our partners and motivate them about what lies ahead. Many got disillusioned and had no patience and After doing MBA from the prestigious Faculty of perseverance to see the long-term positive implication of Management Studies Delhi in 2009, Jain started off his trail. But as days passed and AUM grew, so did the trail career as a Business Planner for Aviva Life Insurance in and partners soon realised that all was not lost,\" Gurgaon. elaborates Jain. By 2011, he shifted to his hometown Kolkata to join By mid of 2019, Jain's business was back on track. But Ashika Stock Broking Ltd. Here, Jain was instrumental in then, the pandemic came. \"The challenge then was how developing the mutual fund division and gained to handhold investors and sub-brokers given the rout in significant experience in this line of business. He realised equity market,\" says Jain. His AUM slipped from ` 124 that there was a huge market for mutual funds; a crore to ` 101 crore within a month. Jain lost no time and tremendous opportunity which he could not afford to swiftly upped the gear and went ahead with incessant miss. calls and online training for sub-brokers and educating investors. For him, mutual fund is all about wealth creation. His observation over the years taught him that investors tend It worked. Majority of his investors stayed put, only 5-6% to choose financial products which hardly make money of his SIP book was lost in the mayhem. The steep rally for them. \"With the kind of India story which will unfold after the corrections during the first lockdown helped Jain over next two decades, I could see that people will miss reach an asset size of ` 245 crore within 18 months. out on this wealth creation opportunity if they are not \"Investor trust improved significantly thanks to this invested in mutual funds,\" an excited Jain shares as he episode,\" Jain says happily. outlines the contours of his distribution business decision. Having gone through the ups and downs, Jain suggests MFDs to be consistent with their work and outreach. The He quit his full-time job in 2017 to establish his own firm aim is to survive the first 3 years which could be very Finomatic Fintech Services a year later and adopted a B2B challenging. The focus should be to tap a market which is business model. Jain's firm has 225 ARN holders as sub- untapped. brokers. \"I always believed in training my sub-brokers. Whatever businesses they do is tagged to their codes and \"If you are honest with your work and put clients' interest we have a brokerage sharing mechanism with them,\" first, your interest will automatically be taken care of,\" he explains Jain. His endeavour is to be in places where emphasises. Success to Jain means upgrading the lives AMCs are yet to venture in. of people he works with and works for - his employees, partners and customers. Jain extensively leveraged on technology from day one. He knew that this would not only cut costs and reduce Jain strongly believes that AUM is an outcome of your time but also increase his firm's efficiency when it comes hard work. \"Increasing SIP book is a sure shot way of to onboarding and servicing clients. \"We don't encourage attaining success in mutual fund business. And I want to physical transactions,\" says a confident Jain. build my AUM 'SIP by SIP' to avoid any abrupt increase or decrease in assets,\" Jain outlines his success mantra.

Striving Success Stories Mahesh Gokuldas By then he had already spent a decade in the financial Gattani market and witnessed various ups and downs of the market. This added up to his learning and experience. The Amravati next couple of years till 2008, markets were in a bull run. With every passing year Gattani grew more energetic and Mahesh Gattani, 49, an Amravati-based MFD has passionate about mutual funds. investors' assets worth ` 200 crore. He has an SIP book of ` 1.5 crore and caters to 1800 clients - mostly retail. A In 2008, as the global financial crisis unfolded, the Indian farmer's son, Gattani shifted to Amravati which is nearly equity market lost two-third of its value. \"Times were 70 km away from his village for schooling. India was tough. I realised that customers needed handholding and opening then to the outside world with economic reforms consistent engagement. That was my prime objective of the early 90s. Amid a booming stock market, Gattani during those years,\" he elaborates. thought of investing in the financial market. He borrowed from relatives and invested in the stock market only to see Barely when signs of the market were round the corner in a crash due to the Harshad Mehta scam. It was his first 2009, distributors were hit by the ban on entry load. taste of the financial market. \"Shutting down the mutual fund business was out of the question. Several of my competitors moved out, but He joined a tyre company to run his expenses with a those who stayed put got more business,\" he smiles. salary of ` 6,000 per annum. However, as the financial market was spreading its arm, Gattani, who was always However, the ensuing years of 2009 to 2014 were a great attracted towards the market, tried his hands on IPO learning phase for Gattani. \"The experience gained during distribution business. \"I roamed on cycle to distribute IPO times of crisis helped me navigate my investors during forms. That year I earned ` 80,000 from IPO business\" such phases.\" But he admits that doing business during says a happy Gattani. Finding the financial market too volatile times is very difficult; his persistence to continue lucrative, he quit his job and started - Balaji Investments in with mutual fund business helped him reach the place 1994. where he is today. Soon, Gattani got introduced to mutual funds and started It was he who started the trend of SIP drivein Amravati with mutual fund distribution. He liked the product but during September 2017 wherein he was instrumental in financial illiteracy and several market crashes in the 90s starting 500 SIPs in a single day. He has been the recipient posed a big hurdle to growth. \"People looked at me with of numerous awards including CNBC Financial Advisor suspicion,\" he says with a smile. Since investors had lost Award (2011), MFRT Samman (2018) and Economic money in the previous crashes, they were hesitant to Times Award (2020). invest in mutual funds, adds Gattani. \"I always knew that I was doing something good for During 1997-2000, Gattani focused on creating somebody. If I do good for others, it will turn out to be awareness about SIP. \"I would explain to investors about good for me too,\" he explains. He welcomed the upfront the benefits of monthly payment in the long run. I was ban and feels it did good in controlling mis-selling as confident that small contributions on a regular basis in distributors' focus shifted to sustaining clients from mutual funds can help clients build a sizable corpus going churning their portfolios. \"It was a win-win situation for forward,\" he explains. Soon, the financial market was all,\" says Gattani. flooded with private mutual funds. \"It was here that my real journey with mutual funds started,\" recalls Gattani. Having seen several crises over the last two decades, Gattani was not much perturbed with the fall of 2020 due For him, mutual funds meant the one and only solution to to Covid. He asked his clients to stay put and use the reach any financial goal if an investor is regular, corrections as an opportunity to invest more. \"Those who disciplined and has patience. \"This is the beauty of mutual did not panic got their assets trebled,\" he says. Gattani fund and that's why I was attracted to it and considered it succinctly outlines his success mantra as, \"Keep working a good business opportunity,\" he says passionately. hard with honesty and keep customers' interest first.\"

Striving Success Stories Mohit Beriwala was a brilliant move as now investors would not distrust distributors. Earlier they thought we sold mutual funds Kolkata because of the commission,\" he opines. Mohit Beriwala, 35, a Kolkata-based MFD has an AUM of He points out mis-selling and churning by distributors ` 275 crore. With an SIP book of ` 1.8 crore, he caters to harmed investors apart from being unethical. According 475 families. An IIM B Alumnus and a CFA, Beriwala has to him, MFDs are in the business of selling products, the been active in the financial market since he was merely 19 benefits of which will be seen by clients after 7-10 years. year of age. He was early to realise that equity is the place \"If we mis-sell, it will be an opportunity lost,\" he pinpoints. where one can create wealth. Such an approach to clients' investment paid off. \"Everything which improves the clients' trust in you helps He got into the mutual fund distribution business at a very grow the business,\" he says with confidence. young age in 2007 just before the 2008 global financial crisis struck. \"I observed that most people didn't have the The 2008-13 phase was a great learning phase for time, patience and were at an information disadvantage,\" Beriwala. \"We made mistakes, learnt from them and he shares his thought process about entering into the endeavoured not to repeat them. Asset allocation gained distribution business. Though Beriwala was well aware importance. The major part of the learning was the about the basics of markets, what he did not know was behavioural perspective of investments,\" he chuckles the operational aspects. \"I knew about the economics of while admitting that markets teach you. products but lacked the know-how of practical challenges,\" he admits. However, the introduction of direct schemes did put a stress on him. \"We were not sure at that time what to do. Learning from his fellow distributors, Beriwala focused Training by fund houses restored our confidence and the on the best investment products initially. \"I didn't focus on journey continued,\" he says. In 2015, Beriwala's firm behavioural finance and forgot about volatility related Shree Rama International shifted to a full trail-based concerns my clients might have,\" he says openly. model and thus was saved from the shocks of upfront Gradually, he realised that to do mutual fund distribution ban of 2018. managing clients' financial behaviour is a must. Covid was a big challenge for Beriwala. Since his 14- Back in 2008, nearly 85% of his AUM was in debt. But member team was not completely online, he faced the when the liquidity crisis hit Fixed Maturity Plans (FMPs), brunt in the first month of the pandemic. \"It was a there was panic. Sensing the aggravating crisis, Beriwal stressful time for me. Operations were online but 10% of gradually moved assets to equity only to see a deep value the documentation work was still offline. So, operational erosion. challenges prevailed in the first month of lockdown. Thereafter, things turned smoother and we emerged Soon the situation turned gruesome. Investors were positive on net sales,\" he recalls. But he admits that client asking a young Beriwala all sorts of questions. \"I was handling during that phase was of paramount pretty okay with that as I had very few clients then,\" he importance. \"Covid was a complete game changer. This recalls. That was the time he got exposed to human made us stronger,\" he admits. emotions around investment. Prior to that he was only looking after the technical aspects of investments. For newcomers to mutual fund business, Beriwala advises that a good quality customer centric approach is Having seen crises in debt as well as equity within a year, absolutely essential. \"They should get into it for the right Beriwala's initial journey as an MFD was a rough one. reason. Stay put with all efforts for 7-8 years and then Soon, the entry load abolition hit the MFDs forcing several compounding effect will bring in a win-win situation for distributors to down their shutters. On the contrary, all,\" he says. According to him, in a country of 1.4 billion Beriwala was full of praise for the regulatory change. \"It people he can't cater to all and so there is a need for more good distributors.

Striving Success Stories Nikhil Vasudev in this business investors' behaviour management is the Thakker most important aspect. Anand The first hurdle which made him re-think about mutual fund distribution and his future was the banning of entry Nikhil Thakker, 41, an Anand-based MFD, manages an load in 2009. After calculating trail-based payout, he AUM of ` 509 crore with an SIP book of ` 2.5 crore spread concluded that there will be short-term pain, but business across 4,600 retail clients. He completed MBA in 2003 will be better over the long run. \"But let me admit that for a and worked briefly in Delhi. Within 8 months he shifted to few months, I was confused about going ahead with the hometown and joined his parents' financial distribution MF distribution. As time passed, I got back my conviction business which was mainly into fixed income and realised I needed to work harder,\" he says candidly. instruments. Hence, when upfront fees were banned in 2018, Thakker was 'very happy' as he saw it as a factor which could Mutual Fund was relatively a new product then. Thakker improve the value of good distributors. wasted no time and joined a national distributor with his ARN. For him, investment in mutual funds is an indirect It was in 2013, that the real journey started as he entered means to participate in the economy. \"I had a belief that if full-fledged mutual fund distribution on his own. With someone has faith in Indian economic growth, he must nearly a decade experience now, client trust was no invest in a mutual fund,\" he says. longer a concern. When direct schemes were launched in 2013, Thakker was a tad concerned. \"I knew that financial Passionate about equity from the beginning, Thakker had literacy was dismal, and most investors were not tech- a deep conviction that if wealth must be created, savvy. Since I operated in a small town, the chances of exposure to equity is a must and for this, investing being adversely impacted was minimal,\" he laughs. through mutual fund is the optimal route. Right at the onset, his focus was on educating clients and SIPs. \"It Thakker considers the 2020 market crash as his 'best year was a time-consuming process, but as investor in the entire career'. Equipped with technology and education improved, so did trust,\" he explains. It took him experience of 2008, he conducted various online 9 years to cross the milestone AUM size of ` 10 crore in education programmes as he was convinced that this 2013. phase too shall pass. While explaining through an analogy, he says,\"When there is no wind and water is still, Recollecting the 2008 market crash, when he was barely everybody on the boat has to row aggressively. My entire 5 years in mutual fund distribution; Thakker says that he team did it while making sure our connect with clients did not know that such a spine-chilling crash was never goes off despite the lockdown.\" Owing to the possible. continuous client handholding, he successfully managed to stop several redemptions while convincing clients for \"I lost several clients as their trust in me was badly shaken. additional purchases. In the same period, he managed to Educating and handholding clients took center stage as I add new investors as well. continued shining light on the benefits of equity investing through the 2008-2013 phase,\" Thakker reminisces. He Under his guidance, today 89 families are financially describes those days as 'the golden days' of his career as independent. This achievement gels well with his firm's the learning curve was very steep. He did campaigns, name We Care Freedom Creators. \"It is immensely visited societies, distributed one-page pamphlets, and satisfying. Now, money has taken a back seat as I am put road-side canopies to spread awareness. working out of passion to make the dreams of financial freedom a reality for many,” says an enthusiastic Thakker. Post 2008 crisis, Thakker's conviction in equities only Outlining his success mantra, he says, \"My parents strengthened. \"I realised that you cannot sell one product taught me that client satisfaction is supreme. Then to all kinds of investors as the investment objectives comes organisation and distributor's interest. I strongly varied from person-to-person,\" he admits. He learnt that feel that if my clients are financially free, so would I.\"

Striving Success Stories Pankaj Bansal his consistent services ensured that there was no impact of direct plans on his business. \"No investor asked about Kolkata my commission pay out and they opportunely continued with me,\" he says proudly. Pankaj Bansal, 40, a Kolkata-based MFD manages investors' assets worth ` 100 crore and caters to nearly After going solo in 2018, upfront commission was 300 families with an SIP book of ` 65 lakh. He is well abolished which changed the dynamics of mutual fund versed in the financial services space given his work distribution. \"There was a thought, what next? But I never experience spread across banking, brokerage houses felt like leaving this business nor will I ever do so,\" says and mutual fund houses from 2005 to 2012. Bansal. \"What I knew was that the faster I adapt to regulatory changes, the better it would be for my It was in 2012 that an accolade distributor had advised business,\" he elaborates. him to try his hands at the mutual fund distribution space and so it was. \"Since being in financial firms endures one Bansal considers himself as not a salesman but as a to solely focus on meeting targets, I was more product- solution provider. When he approaches clients he goes oriented rather than client-centric,\" says Bansal. However, empty handed and focuses only on basic concepts about he was uncomfortable with this approach and realised why one should invest. \"This is my way of generating trust that it would be a great way to nurture one's own among individuals. I know very well that if my clients entrepreneurship skills and start a distribution business. make money so would I. Customers' interest is always first,\" he says confidently. Having had the financial work experience and being a witness to the rally before the 2008 crisis and what Handholding, offering unconditional services and his followed thereafter; Bansal was clear headed about the unceasing thrust on educating clients made Bansal a power of mutual funds for long-term wealth creation. \"My trustworthy name among clients. This tremendously past learnings suggested that mutual fund distribution is helped him during the Covid times when markets moved the only business wherein I can create wealth for southwards. \"I requested clients not to redeem only investors and fulfill their dreams and thus for myself,\" he because of the fall in the market. Believing me, they says emphatically. stayed put. Only for those investors who genuinely needed money, I advised for redemptions and did so,\" Back in 2012, despite having an industry background, says Bansal happily. Bansal did not have a smooth start. \"Investors trusted big financial institutions and I, being an individual, was What worked in his favour during Covid period was his resisted by many,\" he explains. However, it did not stop online presence. Despite the lockdown, client services him from meeting people. His continuous approach to remained unabated. Though his AUM had dipped to ` 65 prospective clients helped him gain trust. \"Once the trust crore from ` 80 crore in a matter of few months, neither factor was in place, business soon took off,\" Bansal adds. did he panic nor did he let his clients feel the same. \"Proactive hand holding was the need of the hour and it The much needed support came from the family and would not have been possible had I not embraced Bansal joined hands with the distributor who advised him technology,\" explains Bansal. and thus the journey began. However, the partnership could not last long. After five years he parted ways for Bansal strongly believes that anybody in our country can betterment and started on his own company – Avid Future be a millionaire provided one knows what needs to be Care LLP- in 2018. done. Majority of the masses do not even know what should be done to create wealth, he adds. \"If a distributor Barely a year old in this business, mutual funds launched can reach out to people and convince them about the direct plans. But Bansal was unmoved as from day one he benefits of mutual funds, it will be a great successful did not go to big corporates for mutual fund distribution. journey. For this, what is necessary is consistent hard His client base majorly remained retail and HNIs. Given work and keeping away from any shortcuts or having the desire to become an overnight success,\" he signs off.

Striving Success Stories Parmanand Devnani be a great business opportunity going forward. \"Following his advice, I limited myself to only term and Ahmedabad health insurances and my primary focus shifted to mutual funds and it was only then that my real journey began,\" he Parmanand Devnani, 51, an Ahmedabad-based MFD has recollects. an asset base of ` 390 crore with a monthly SIP book of ` 3 crore, but more than the assets, he values the trust of Devnani, who defines himself as workaholic, disciplined, the nearly 2000 clients he services - mostly retail and passionate and punctual; focused on references to grow HNIs. Founder of the firm Indus Capital, Devnani hails the mutual fund side of his business. He has never from the Sindh Province of Pakistan. He migrated to India engaged in active marketing, as his business grew in 1995 and his journey from thereon has been on a tough organically through referrals and word of mouth, which note. Owing to the place he hailed from, no one was keen he believes brings more \"loyal customers through to employ him or provide a residence. reference of happy clients\". \"Somehow I got a job in a plastic packaging unit to which I It is interesting to note that despite being in the mutual clung to till 2002,\" an emotional Devnani reminisces. fund business for 9 years, Devnani had an AUM of only ` While being in the plastic factory, he thought of doing a 25 crore till 2013. His hard work and persistence with business of his own. His elder brother, who stayed back in mutual funds thereafter has helped him reach a his native land, told Devnani that starting his own whopping AUM size of 390 crore. business will provide him freedom and give him opportunities where he can utilise his capabilities in a But the journey had its challenges. Direct Schemes made better way. \"Amidst those difficult times, my brother who him dither a bit. \"I realised that if clients keep away from I consider my friend and father showed me the light,\" says goal based investing and invest based on past returns, Devnani while trying to hold back tears. their experience may not be good. Ultimately, they will come back to me after burning their fingers elsewhere,\" After quitting his job, Devnani started with insurance he explains. He believes it is his Guru which aided him in distribution. As his professional circle increased, he got not going off track due to the impact of direct schemes. introduced to mutual funds. In the year 2005, he got his ARN and started distributing mutual funds. However, his After going big in mutual funds, the first major correction short-term approach made him sell insurance more while came in 2020. His past client handholding of 2008-2013 mutual funds continued to be a secondary business. phase came in handy. \"I managed to control clients' emotions. I told investors to either top up their existing Entry load ban in 2009, post the 2008 financial crisis, was equity investment or stay patient with them. Exiting the first major challenge for him. \"I was not very enthused would be nothing but financial suicide. Those who didn't with the trail-based model as I failed to recognise the listen now admit it was a blunder. These phases create power that approach held,” says Devnani. more trust between us and the client.\" says Devnani. The global financial crisis of 2008 showed him that Summing up his success mantra, Devnani says that a managing investment behaviour is more important than distributor's wellbeing is in keeping clients' interest first. managing their money. \"As a result of the 2008 crisis, I His message to newcomers - there is no overnight matured as a professional,\" he explains. success in this zero capital business. However, the turning point came in 2013, when his fellow Nothing can stop a distributor from becoming successful senior distributor Nitin Patel, whom he considers his if keeps up the passion for at least 4-5 years, builds trust Guru, advised him to focus on mutual funds. He based relationships, is honest and endeavours to tap the convinced Devnani that mutual fund distribution will help untapped market, he signs off by thanking his wife for the add more value to clients and trail-based payments would incredible support she has also provided in his journey along with the noteworthy figures.

Striving Success Stories Prasad longer which is also the right way of investment too. Dharmadhikari Things were going smoothly for Prasad for a year-and-a- Kolhapur half until the market lost ground in 2008. Those were extremely challenging times for him. Since he did not Prasad Dharmadhikari, 46, a Kolhapur-based MFD and have a lot of assets then, this turbulent period became a founder of Dhanvardhan Weealth Private Ltd, has an AUM training time for Prasad. The crisis helped him understand of ` 160 crore with a SIP book of ` 90 lakhs of 3000 clients the importance of asset allocation, educating clients and - mostly retail. Prasad started his career in 1998 in the creating informed customers. \"Whatever I am today is all insurance sector and later in 2007 entered the mutual because of those tough learnings from 2008 to 2013. I fund industry. was lucky to go through that phase at the beginning of my career in mutual fund as I matured faster,\" he elaborates. Hailing from a very humble family background, Prasad was entrusted with family responsibilities from an early As the market was stabilising in 2009, a major regulatory age. But all throughout he harboured an inclination change rocked the mutual fund distribution ecosystem in towards having a business to call his own. As he grew the form of entry load ban. \"Too many things were older, the realisation set in that customers were not happening in the industry then. Since I was new in the getting what they wanted from insurance products. sector, abolition of entry load did not bother me much,\" Prasad explains. \"I was exploring various financial products and wanted a good investment avenue. My first impression about Irrespective of the market movement, he pressed on with mutual fund was that it can fulfil every financial need of a selling SIPs. Despite all the changes in the mutual fund customer which was the reason I was attracted to it,\" industry, Prasad was convinced that mutual fund is an recalls Prasad. But he admits that when he started selling optimal investment vehicle for creating long term wealth. mutual funds, he did not foresee it as a business avenue. However, in 2018, when the upfront commission ban was As his mutual fund distribution took off, his knowledge implemented, it turned out to be a bit difficult for Prasad. and understanding improved. It was a clear, transparent But his persistence continued. \"It was tough but there and flexible product with no hidden charges, he says. \"I was no question of leaving the mutual fund business was able to decide whether this product should be given since I had consciously chosen this profession,\" he to a customer or not; it felt good,\" explains Prasad. Slowly asserts. His determination paid off well. and steadily, he grew stronger as his understanding about mutual funds improved. \"I had a strong feeling that what I Two years later, fall in markets during 2020 posed a major was doing was good,\" says Prasad. challenge to Prasad. Keeping up with SIPs was a challenge for several investors, he says. The phase However, he faced several challenges along the way. Lack demanded tremendous client handholding which Prasad of customer trust was a major hiccup. \"In the initial days, did. \"I managed to convince investors that if they could no way was writing big cheques. So, I concentrated on stay for two more years, they would make money despite SIP which eventually helped me grow,\" reminisces the correction,\" he says with confidence. There was no Prasad. This was not much of a bother as Prasad knew doubt that learnings from the 2008 crisis came in handy that with time and continuous client service will help build when it came to helping investors navigate through the and sustain trust. Covid crisis. \"Even today when customers give me money for Outlining his success mantra, Prasad observes that apart investment, I am always doubtful about how long the from passion, sustenance of passion despite challenges money will remain invested,\" he chuckles. Having is the key. \"There is nothing in this business apart from complete faith in SIP, Prasad believes that money which gaining investor trust, without which you can't survive for comes little by little but regularly is the one which stays long,\" he signs off.

Striving Success Stories Pratikkumar writing on the wall that trail-driven business is the future. Ashokbhai Shah If sustained well with volumes, the future will be attractive. \"We wasted no time and started working on Vapi references and concentrated efforts on increasing our client base,\" says Shah, who considers himself fortunate Pratikkumar Shah, 32, a Vapi-based MFD has investors' to see the challenging times right at the start of his assets worth ` 450 crore. He serves 4000 families - mostly journey. retail and HNIs; and commands an SIP book of ` 1.7 crore. His father was into financial distribution since 1984, so Direct schemes caused some worries, but the experience the platform was almost ready for him. However, the garnered thus far made him recognise that clients' need mutual funds segment was a very insignificant part of the personal touch and consistent service. \"With direct business then. schemes in, we did not deviate from our customer-centric approach,\" explains Shah. He understands that mutual When Shah joined the family's distribution business in fund business is long-term and one should not go for 2008, the mutual fund asset base of the business then quick benefits by selling inappropriate schemes to was a mere ` 11 crore. He was clear from a very young customers. \"That's not ethical and the business benefit age that for wealth creation there cannot be a better thus generated, is temporary which may derail the long- product than mutual fund. \"I was very bullish that my term relationship journey,\" Shah elaborates. By 2016, he clients will be highly benefit with mutual funds and hence had touched an AUM of ` 100 crore. began my journey with a focus on mutual funds,\" he says. His commitment for mutual funds did not dither despite Shah considers his father as his Guru as the latter helped upfront ban in 2018. His father reminded him that him learn about financial distribution quite early in life. But accepting challenges and finding suitable solution is a he, 21-year-old then, faced the brunt at the very part of the journey. \"I did not lose hope and continued my beginning. \"Initial challenge was people's resistance to focus on my clients. I can't afford a vacuum between me invest on the back of the big market crash of 2008. Forget and my clients as it may lead to losing your customers,\" fresh investments; existing SIPs were getting closed as says Shah for whom making and sustaining relationship is there was panic all around,\" reminisces Shah of his early the key for growth in mutual fund business. years. Tough phase during Covid in 2020 pushed his AUM down He realised that no one had seen such a deep crisis and to ` 170 crore from ` 215 crore. Shah admits he panicked there was an acute shortage of awareness about equity a bit but his 2008 crisis experience came in handy. He was investing among investors. \"I concentrated on educating 'better prepared to handle similar situations and help clients as to why mutual funds were the best place to be investors navigate through crisis times'. During in to create wealth,\" he explains. lockdown, Shah substantially increased his engagement with clients and encouraged investors to do additional Though it was a time consuming work, the continuous purchases as markets cracked. \"Our approach ensured awareness exercise started bearing fruits. Shah began to that clients do not panic and owing to this experience see traction as consumers' confidence in him and mutual their confidence and trust in me strengthened manifold,\" funds increased. \"Initially it was really a very challenging says a confident Shah. and painful task, probably because of the 2008 crisis,\" says Shah. His father had told him that challenges would He says his success mantra is very basic. \"Be in the remain in the business and that they need to be accepted mutual fund business for the long-term with unshakable and adapted to without losing focus on MF business. commitment and discipline. The distribution business scope is massive. Ethics should not be compromised Shah, who always had his family support, was barely a with, else one would lose out on long-term benefits with year into the mutual fund business when entry load short-term temporary gains,\" he observes, providing a abolition came into being in 2009. He could see the gist of his success story.

Striving Success Stories Raunak Ramuka then and my clients were older,\" he smiles. They hesitated in extending big investments, he adds. \"I realised that if Kolkata you are able to grow investors' money, you gain the trust of investors,\" he says confidently. Raunak Ramuka, 32, a Kolkata-based MFD has an AUM of ` 125 crore and caters to HNI and ultra HNI clients. He was Raunak believes that lies can't be the base for long-term always interested in stock markets right from his school relationships. \"That's not good for the business,\" he days. Being a CA in 2012, he was already catering to some points. According to him, his interest is in the well-being clients. By 2015, he had a reasonable knowledge of of clients' investments and that is why when the upfront technical and fundamental aspects of investments. ban came in 2018, he did not feel the pinch. While his clients already had their investments going The 2020 crisis was a steep learning curve for Raunak. He Raunak thought why not manage it in a coherent manner. says the experience he gained during those tough This is where his father suggested starting the mutual months when the market corrected is equivalent to 6-7 fund distribution business. \"After doing research, I found years of hard work. mutual fund to be a great product and realised it must be looked into as a business,\" he says. \"There were a lot of questions from clients. Technically, I knew it is a part and parcel of the market and that In 2017, Raunak got his ARN and his mutual fund corrections should be taken as opportunities to invest business took off with a firm belief that India was a more,\" he recollects. structural growth story from a two-decade perspective. However, right from the beginning he did not include Hand holding and convincing clients was important to retail investors in his clientele. keep them stay put in the market. \"It was here that I realised and learnt that managing investors' behaviour is \"Managing retail is not my forte. They panic whenever the an art and a must have skill for this business,\" Raunak market turns volatile,\" he explains when asked why he is elaborates. I emerged more informed and much more shying away from retail. mature when it comes to handling clients while helping them navigate through the crisis. On the other hand, when it comes to HNIs, \"they are focused on their businesses, so they give me a free hand With HNIs and ultra-HNIs as his clients, Raunak disagrees to manage their assets. They don't panic and thus with the model of invest and forget for 10-20 years. \"I managing them suits me,\" he adds. sincerely believe that it is my duty to facilitate my clients' timely exit,\" says Raunak who considers himself as a risk- According to him, the biggest benefit in mutual funds is taking entity and does not want to settle for less. \"I always when the market corrects, the fall in investment value is endeavour to maximise profits of my clients as I am very relatively less because of the risk-adjusted and diversified passionate for better wealth creation for them,\" he adds. portfolio. Talking about what future holds for him, Raunak says, \"My \"And when the market rallies, mutual funds tend to short-term target is to reach ` 200 crore AUM, then the perform better. Also, this is one instrument which has the target is ` 500 crore. There is a big untapped market in ability to fulfill any financial requirement of clients,\" he Kolkata which I want to cater to in due course of time.\" explains. While at it, clients get into the habit of disciplined investment. Success mantra for Raunak is client-centric investment approach. The initial challenge for Raunak was his age. Being a young professional, clients resisted associating with him. “If you try to make quick bucks by selling a wrong product, \"My age was the biggest challenge for me. I was barely 27 it will be a short-term gain but a long-term pain,\" he outlines which aptly sums up his mutual fund journey.

Striving Success Stories Rishabh Satnalika tried to fill that gap with goal-based and need-based products only and got investor's support,\" he says. Kolkata When he joined, direct schemes were already in Rishabh Satnalika, 30, a Kolkata-based MFD manages existence. However, they were never a challenge for ` 250 crore of investors' assets under his family Rishabh. In a country of 1.4 billion there are just a handful distribution business named Prudent Investments. With of people who do investment-related research. \"Majority an SIP book of ` 1.2 crore his family serves 500 clients - do not understand risk factors. Those clients who shifted mainly corporate and HNIs. to direct, finally came back. So, we believe we are in the business of managing investors' behaviour,\" he chuckles. He had a fair idea about finance and was aware of the power of compounding because of his family When upfront got banned in 2018, it was a non-event for background. This developed an inclination in Rishabh to Rishabh - thanks to his trail-based model since the start. join this business and finally in 2014, he got his ARN and \"Our revenue was not hit due to the upfront ban. When we started on with the mutual fund journey. distribute financial products, we don't see the brokerage part. If a product is good we distribute it to clients,\" he Good at observing people's financial behaviour, Rishabh says firmly. With a strong digital presence, most of his felt that everyone knows but no one realises the clients' transactions are done online. This did help during importance of investments. \"People are so busy that they the 2020 lockdown phase - the first biggest challenge and don't plan their investments. We need to make investors a practical experience for Rishabh in his distribution understand why investments are important,\" says career, which had seen markets in upswing mode only. Rishabh. \"There was panic in the market. We saw redemptions and Rishabh, who is a CFP, put his thrust on goal-based a couple of SIPs were stopped as those individuals were investment for his clients. \"There are certain goals which severely impacted,\" he says as he practically experienced every family has - retirement, children's marriages, the first market crash. Since he had some idea of the 2008 education and buying a house, among others. I first try to crisis, he continuously engaged with clients while understand an investor's needs and accordingly offer a explaining that corrections are times to buy and not to mix of funds taking care of the asset allocation part,\" sell. explains Rishabh. However, he admits, this was no easy task. \"When a client For him, trust between distributor and investor is a must sees a portfolio in the red by 35-40%, it is very difficult to have factor for long term association. \"Both need to trust make them understand,\" he recalls. When markets each other, but this is not going to happen from day one. started showing signs of revival, my clients realised that it Trust is developed over time. Meeting clients either was a wise move to stay put, says Rishabh with a smile. through references or social contact always helps in building long-term relationships,\" he says. \"These pandemic months did help me mature when it comes to managing clients' money and their behaviour. Continuously educating clients is something which can't Tough times also made my clients strong as I believe that be compromised with, feels Rishabh. He strongly next time if a crisis occurs, they will be better prepared believes that an informed investor does not unduly press and act in a mature manner,\" he explains. the redemption button. While educating clients he ensures to keep clients' expectations reasonable and Rishabh says that his success mantra is to stick to urges them to look for long-term tenure of not less than investing basics while inculcating a disciplined habit of 10 years with a focus on SIP. investment. \"The aim here is to serve the society at large by making them understand the importance of When Rishabh started off, he could see mis-selling as a investment. One needs to build, develop and sustain trust major problem. \"Clients also understood this menace. I with clients. They should feel safe and happy to invest through you,\" he signs off.

Striving Success Stories Vrishank Financial recollects Bagga with a smile. At Vrishank, Bagga and his Services Pvt. Ltd. partners chose the upfront model in 2017 as it was thought to be helpful for the new business. But the very Kolkata next year, the trail-based model was mandated which led to some hiccups in their business plan. \"We had no other Represented By: Tejpal Singh Bagga option but to adapt; which we did. Now, three years since, we are happy as we practically realised that trail Vrishank Financial Services Pvt. Ltd., a Kolkata-based model is a slow but steady and sustainably beneficial way Mutual Fund Distributor commands an AUM worth `140 to do business,\" he chuckles. Crores. With an SIP book of ` 1 Crore, they currently serve 2,500 retail clients. The firm was set up by five friends - But when the pandemic hit after a-year-and-half of the Mr. Tejpal Singh Bagga, Mr. Atri Ganguly, Mr. Soumik upfront ban, their company's overall AUM slipped to ` 72 Saha, Ms. Sarbani Sadhu Das and Mr. Dipendu Khanra. crore from ` 119 crore as the equity market tanked. It was For all practical purposes, Tejpal Bagga represents the almost as if the 2008 nightmare was back to haunt again, company. proving to be a source of big stress for Bagga and his business partners. Prior to starting his venture, Bagga was associated with a brokerage firm for nearly 13 years. Throughout his career, “Despite being in the financial world for nearly 15 years he was associated with mutual funds and along this such a precipitous drop in AUM did shake us,\" admits journey, he constantly desired to start his own mutual Bagga. However, learnings from the 2008-09 crisis fund distribution but could not muster enough courage to instilled confidence and the team was convinced that it go solo. It was in 2017 that he and three other finance was not the time to liquidate clients' investments. professionals came together and started a joint venture by the name Vrishank Financial Services. Since then he They accelerated client hand holding processes and never looked back. asked them to stay put. Being technologically advanced since the beginning did help Bagga wriggle out of the \"We fell in love with mutual funds. Despite several market tough situation. To their great satisfaction, only 15% of corrections during our career, we witnessed and SIPs were closed which soon were restarted again. \"This experienced tremendous wealth creation through mutual phase increased our customers' faith in us,\" says Bagga. funds,\" says Bagga. He proudly admits that he could not think of any other alternative to mutual funds to fulfil his He is of the view that relationship and continuous financial goals. \"Mutual Funds offer varied solutions due engagement with clients is of utmost importance in to which we were attracted towards this investment financial distribution business to gain customers' trust vehicle,\" he explains. and future references. This should always be accompanied with regular education. \"I believe an The beauty of the mutual fund industry is it has a product educated client is helpful in smoothening the long-term offering for every kind of investor, he says. \"Anybody can wealth creation journey,\" opines Bagga. invest in a mutual fund,\" he adds. More importantly, Bagga feels that mutual funds offer a solid platform to He considers maintaining business ethics a top priority. serve the society over the long-term. More than one-and- “Unethical and dishonest businesses will not help anyone a-half decades of experience in the financial world aided and will see its end sooner than later,” he shares as he Bagga in becoming a matured professional and provided outlines his thought process. His endeavour is to offer the much needed confidence to leave a well-settled job. clients the best possible product which suits their needs without getting into the brokerage details. The 2008 market crash and the ensuing years were a major learning phase for him and his partners. \"To be His success mantra in mutual fund distribution is - be honest, we never knew that the market could be this honest, ethical, consistent and passionate. Once these brutal, especially post the good run seen during 2004- are in place, the compounding effect will take care of 2007. For me, the global financial crisis led market crash every stakeholder resulting into a win-win situation for all, was nothing less than a nightmare. However, with time I he sums up. have realised it was the best training I could have ever received and I am happy to have that experience,\"


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