In Part II of his interview, Akshay Gupta, MD &
CEO of Peerless Mutual Fund shares his distribution and product strategy.
How do you plan to strengthen your distribution channel?
We are focusing intensively on vernacular service
delivery model. We are planning to introduce Telugu, Assamese, Tamil and
Gujarati in next one year’s time to strengthen our distribution in target
locations. However, we are delving in it slowly and steadily as everything has
a cost attached to it. Our main focus is on independent financial advisors. We
will come out with path-breaking solutions and programs for them.
FMPs and short-term debt funds are the flavour of the season. Is Peerless also planning
to be a part of it?
We are not clear on the tax regulation of
FMPs. We feel FMPs are illiquid products focused on HNIs. We currently have six products – three institutional
and three retail – all being
open-ended products. Our
current focus is on retail, so these kinds of products do not suit our focus retail customers.
Any new funds that the company is planning to add to its product basket?
We are waiting for approvals for a few products such as infrastructure fund and flexible income plan
from SEBI. We will launch the products when we see
that the environment is ready for it.
We create new products after placing ourselves in the
shoes of the customer. Before launching a new product, we always hold several meetings to zerodown
on what a customer’s expectation would be from this product.
Your course of action for the next five years?
Our strategy is customer first. We are focusing on customer acquisition– retail and institutional. We plan to build a distribution channel around a location where we
feel retail as well as institutional investors are being neglected.
Being the only mutual fund house headquartered in Kolkata, do you see any
advantages of being based in Kolkata and any disadvantages of not being in
Advantage is that we are closer to the parent
company so a large chunk of customer base is developed because of them. Another thing is
that we are closer to our distribution arm. Being based out of Kolkata, the
cost of operation is low which is very critical for AMCs in present low
business margin scenario. If compared with newly started AMCs, we are the lowest cost to AUM.
Technology advancement is a plus point. No
matter where you are headquartered in the world, you can still be in touch with
your team at any point of time.
Part 1 of this interview