Vinayak Sapre, a former MF professional started as an IFA last year and has built an AUM of Rs 30 crore by simply keeping his clients happy.
Vinayak started his career as a journalist. However, looking for a more action-oriented role, Vinayak joined a news publication as a sales executive after a brief stint in journalism. From there, he moved to Kothari Pioneer (now Franklin Templeton) where he handled sales in their Varanasi office and later in Mumbai. His next stint was at AIG Mutual Fund where he was heading sales for the western region.
Vinayak had decided that after 14 years of corporate experience, 10 of which was in the MF industry, he would don the role of an entrepreneur. He floated VVS Ventures in September 2011.
Vinayak has applied the processes, business planning and execution skills he learned from his corporate stint in his venture. Starting with a clear business plan from day one, Vinayak’s focus has been on people at the middle level managerial positions. He says that this business is not about ‘many clients’ but more about creating ‘happy clients’. He wants to build a client base of 40. He has so far acquired 25 clients, all of whom have come through referrals. He is also charging a fee from his clients.Vinayak is in no hurry to expand his clientele rapidly.
Vinayak has set up his website through which his clients can access their portfolios. He’s been doing investor education in his residential society in a small way. Vinayak has Rs 10 crore under his mutual fund advisory and rest in other products.
Instead of chasing new clients, Vinayak advises IFAs to keep their existing clients happy. “Today each intermediary is tagged as insurance seller, LIC agent or mutual fund distributor. One needs to transform to become a solution provider. IFA’s business is not only about acquiring clients it’s also about retaining them,” urges Vinayak. Vinayak says that client service is the backbone of an IFA’s business whether they are operating individually or with a team.
“If you try to be everywhere you’ll not be anywhere. IFAs should define their segment,” shares Vinayak.
Focus on Training
Vinayak is also starting his training venture with Usha Mallya, who was his colleague at AIG Mutual Fund. Vinayak has been spending a lot of time helping IFAs in their business. He got this idea after he found that a lot of IFAs lacked the right skills to scale up and maintain their existing clientele. “They did not have the confidence and had their insecurities. They lacked soft skills. I have seen IFAs losing clients because they were not presentable enough,” observes Vinayak. He is also a distributor of management information system (MIS) software meant for IFAs.
Life after work
Vinayak likes cycling and playing football with his eight year old son. “My son can deliver a presentation on SIP,” says Vinayak. He coaches him whenever he gets time. Vinayak is avid bollywood movie buff. He is also good at mimicry and his friends who are radio jockeys often suggest that he become an RJ.
Vinayak believes in taking life easy. He doesn’t work on Monday’s which most people dread. Vinayak works four days a week and spends a lot of time with his kids. “I want to study my kid’s books. As a kid you are taught and you don’t learn,” says Vinayak.