Jayant Vidwans grew from selling company fixed deposits as a teenager into a full-fledged financial planner, while acquiring skills through CFP certification and doing MBA
Mumbai: Jayant Vidwans started by distributing company fixed deposits while still in college at the age of 19. Encouraged by the initial success, he along with his elder brother set up a full-fledged distribution house, Chaitanya Financial Consultancy.
Today, he operates from his office in the western suburb of Goregaon in Mumbai. He has a team of eight people who make sure his business runs smoothly. Of these, four help manage mutual fund clients, three are involved in stock broking activities and one handles small savings, insurance and company fixed deposits. He also has a small branch office in Pune.
Going ahead, he wants to diversify into credit cards and housing loans. This is because several of his clients are looking out for a loan, be it personal or home loan. He thinks this line of activity could help him further in his business. In the last 30 years, he has built a customer base of 1,500 for trading in shares, 1,400 mutual fund investors and 300 who have bought insurance cover. In addition, he has done financial planning for 35 families.
The journey has not been easy for him. There was pressure from clients to pass back commissions. However, Vidwans resisted passing back upfront commission to his clients. He made sure that his company stuck to its principles even at the cost of losing business. He still saw his business grow, thanks to referrals from existing satisfied clients. Several of his clients are spread across the world in places like the US, the UK, Australia, New Zealand and the Gulf.
As they say there are no short cuts to success, Vidwans did face ups and downs in his career. One of the key challenges was to hone his professional skills and knowledge constantly. Indeed, Vidwans has been a constant learner all his life. After finishing his graduation, he enrolled himself for a CFP certification. He thereafter did masters in business administration. Vidwans believes that the constant urge to upgrade skills partly helped him in scaling up his business.
He is today managing assets of over Rs 35 crore in his mutual fund distribution business, while the annual turnover in equity trading is Rs 100 crore. But sustaining and growing business, especially in mutual funds is a challenge according to him.
After SEBI’s clampdown on entry load, he is among the IFAs who have started charging their mutual fund clients a fee on a per transaction basis. He admits that the going was tough initially as bargain-hunting consumers were not keen on shelling out a fee for making investments.
It is not just business that keeps him busy. He is also actively involved in training and development of CFPs. Vidwans is the President of the Society of Financial Planners, an association of 225 financial planners across India. It is a not-for-profit association registered with the charity commissioner. The association was set up in 2007.
The association conducts training programmes and seminars for CFP practitioners to upgrade their knowledge. For budding financial planners, experts are invited to impart practical knowledge. It also holds investor awareness campaigns.