This young advisor has managed to build up Rs 168
crore in AUM and set up 3 branch offices across eastern India in just four
Abhenav Khettry completed his graduation in 2004 and
joined Kotak Life Insurance. But he wanted to move beyond selling insurance
policies. In 2005, he joined Aditya Birla Money and was introduced to mutual
funds. Abhenav got his first big break when he joined OptiMix (part of ING
Investment Management) which was setting up shop in India in 2006.
The job required him to interact with IFAs across the
country. Abhenav started looking at the business from the distributor’s
viewpoint and became an expert in selecting funds.
He joined an advisory firm called Adelina. But he quit in
2008 and started his own venture, Vyana Wealth. Times were tough then, markets
had crashed and investors had given up hope.
Abhenav started with a
capital of just Rs 25,000 and his friend gave him some office space to start
operations. “It was a tough phase for me because it was difficult to convince
clients to invest even in debt instruments. I sold FDs and income funds but
yields were at an all-time low of 4.5 percent. Though I had developed a client
base from my earlier assignments, those initial six months were very
difficult,” says Abhenav.
But soon Abhenav was able to spot an opportunity.
Institutions like schools,
charitable trusts and hospitals are always looking out for safe avenues to park
their funds. But this segment is often ignored by most advisors.
Abhenav introduced these
institutions to fixed deposits in HDFC Ltd which was offering interest rates 25-50
basis points higher than bank FD rates.He also started advising them on
tax-related issues. His new clients were satisfied because banks could not
provide the personalized service that Abhenav offered. He also
started educating his HNI clients on the benefits of MF investing as the
markets had started looking up by then.
Abhenav became an expert in secondary market bond trading
and helped investors get a decent rate of return from these bond investments. “In
the secondary market, if I buy a Tata Steel paper which is rated ‘AA’ plus and
has an 11.80 coupon on it, investors earn more as management expenses do not
eat into their net yield. We also started marketing these bonds to HNI
investors along with FDs,” says Abhenav.
Now, most of his institutional
clients and HNI investors (high net-worth investors form 50% of his retail clientele
of 1,500) invest in bonds. Abhenav makes it a point to actively scout for
business in almost every social interaction. He sends out informative emails
and text messages to his prospects.Many of these prospects have become his
clients after they understood the importance of investing.
Today Kolkata, tomorrow…
himself in Kolkata, Abhenav opened branch offices in Jamshedpur and
is looking at opening offices in Ranchi and Rourkela. At Jamshedpur, he has tied up with CAs to grow his business.“Jamshedpur
is a small city. A few big distributors control the trade but I have been able
to make a mark in six months,” he says.
Vyana offers a basket of products—mutual funds,
FDs, secondary market bonds, insurance and home loans. Currently, Abhenav manages an AUM of Rs 168
crore and earns a commission of Rs 47 lakh. But this aggressive young
entrepreneur wants to grow his commission income toRs 65 lakh in a year by
selling products like home loans which offer a high margin to distributors.
He has tied up with Aditya Birla
Finance and Deutsche Bank for loans against property and home loans. Abhenav
wants to offer all possible financial products to his clients so that he can fulfil
all their needs.