Pradip Chakrabarty, an established IFA from Patna, has come a long way from his difficult past by the sheer dint of hard work.
Pradip Chakrabarty got his first job in 1978 with a salary of Rs 50. Now he is an established financial advisor managing an AUM of Rs 170 crore. His career started when he was in the 10th standard and had to support his family of eight. Pradip decided to pick up a part-time job to make some money along with his studies.
It was a hard long struggle of eight years. He finally got a job as a clerk in a Patna-based MNC in 1986. His zest to learn and hunger for progress made him successful. Pradip was asked to pursue computer education in his organisation as computers were not common those days. In a year’s time, he mastered computers and was promoted as head of the company’s Electronic Data Processing centre. His responsibility was to convert all manual documents to an electronic form.
Despite attaining a high position in a reputed company, he was still struggling to make ends meet. In 1989, an uncle who was a development officer in LIC told Pradip to become an insurance agent for some extra income. He acted on this suggestion and empanelled himself with LIC.
He started selling life insurance policies to his colleagues and friends. After office hours, he straddled his bicycle and went soliciting on a door-to-door basis. “I approached the people I knew from my earlier part-time job. They all welcomed me and started giving me business in small amounts, varying from Rs 300-Rs 2,000,” says Pradip.
In 1994, when Pradip became a father, he realised that he earned more in the financial service business than his full-time job. He quit his job and opened an advisory firm, Right Choice Securities in Patna.
“During those years, there was no concept of advisory; I was a pioneer in Patna with such a service. I offered all financial services—insurance, mutual funds, stock broking and post-office investments under one roof,” says Pradip.
He adopted a sub-broker model by tying up with insurance brokers to expand his mutual fund business in his initial days. Pradip tied up with 500 sub-brokers and gathered around 3,000 clients in eight years. “Things were less complicated then so it was easier to do business. For buying into an IPO, a client did not need a demat account and KYC was not mandatory in mutual funds. Investors from any class could enjoy the benefits of investment,” he says.
Pradip became a familiar face with all the RMs and distribution heads from the MF industry. A number of executives told him that there was a dearth of good advisors in Kolkata. He entered the Kolkata financial market in 2002 and opened his first branch in Monaharpukur Road, Kolkata.
He had to face a number of obstacles before he established himself in Kolkata. Most of his fellow advisors gave him the cold shoulder. Even his relatives did not support him. Pradip thought of a new marketing technique—a neon sign that would be on 24x7 outside his office. He also distributed pamphlets with details about his advisory business.
Since then there has been no looking back for Pradip. He started receiving around 50 walk-in customers on a daily basis. Now he has an investor base spread across India and controls three branches in Kolkata, two in Bengal, two in Odisha and one in Patna.
He has ambitious plans for his company and has started working on them aggressively. Pradip has tied up with Godrej, Calcutta Riverside and Siddha Realty for helping out clients with real-estate investments. He also plans to collaborate with a tax-advisory firm to complete his financial service offerings.