Best friends, Anindya
Mandal and Sumanta Chakraborty, the founders of Ruby Financial Services talk to
Pallabika Ganguly about their journey.
The duo Anindya Mandal and
Sumanta Chakraborty have a lot in common – they lived in the same
neighbourhood, went to the same school and wanted to be entrepreneurs from
their early childhood. They started young – in their 10th standard,
they initiated a small office automation business – xerox, stationary, courier
service. The business did well and gave a good cash flow. Both were happy
because their first venture was all set.
Their interest in stock
market was ignited when they went to procure stationary material from Dalhousie
in Kolkata where Calcutta Stock Exchange was located. After a few visits, they
became aware about the operations in the market. As their office automation
business was doing well, they were scouting for other ventures.
Stock market interested
them, so after completing their graduation in 1993, they started selling shares
to their family members. Soon they
started bonds, IPOs, UTI MIPs too.
“During those days,
investors were crazy for IPOs, FDs, shares, MF and secondary market and we
earned good commissions by selling these products. The tech euphoria was at its
high and most of the mutual fund companies were launching IT related products.
So it was not difficult to convince investors to invest in such products,” said
But Anindya accepts the
fact that mutual fund were sold in a wrong way during those days. “The agents
were uninformed and told investors that it is like a share which invest in 20
different listed companies.”
Tech bubble busted in 2000 and
mutual fund houses were unable to generate any returns for investors. This surprised
the investors and even agents. Ruby Financial also stopped aggressively selling
mutual fund. They started concentrating on insurance policies, bonds and
After sometime, when the
scenario settled down, mutual fund houses started giving training to agents. Such
training enlightened the agents about different types of mutual funds – equity,
debt and liquid products. They were advised by the MF houses to sell debt
product during volatile market. And slowly the agents turned into informed
advisors who could do better needs assessment of clients and recommend
“It was very difficult to
gain back the confidence of investors. But through several meeting and support
of our business associates, we slowly started gaining back the confidence of
the investors,” recalls Anindya.
The duo had realised the
potential of the financial market and the appetite for the product among
investors. They joined hands with business associates like LIC agents, postal
agents and working ladies to spread their business in different corners of
In the first year they had
50 associates and by 2007 they had 742. The count of associates has declined
after the ban of entry load in the mutual fund industry. Ruby Financials
currently has 200 associates and manages an AUM of Rs 80 crore.
Over the last few years,
the firm has been promoting SIP and it won the UTI MF &
CNBC-TV 18 Financial Advisor Awards two years in a row for generating 2000