Tell us about your journey as a financial advisor.
It has been fantastic. My journey as a financial advisor started seven years back. My brother, Virendra and I were always passionate about starting a financial advisory business. In 2009, Virendra quit his job at Sharekhan to start Etica Wealth Management. I joined him in 2011. Our first office was in Andheri, Lokhandwala. Over the next five years, we worked hard, conducting multiple seminars and investor events to acquire new clients. We got good response from these events. Three years ago, we decided to relocate our office to Churchgate as majority of our clients lived closer to the area. We have also increased our team size to 18 to handle the growing business. This business helps you connect with your clients and become like a family member to them. It is very satisfying.
How do you go about acquiring new clients?
Investor awareness programs (IAPs) are our forte. We have been conducting IAPs for both our existing and prospective clients for the last 7 years. Once people understand concepts after attending these programs, they are in a better position to take investment decisions. Moreover, once the attendees realise how informative these sessions are, they become your brand ambassadors and recommend the IAPs to other people.
Additionally, over the years we have built a HNI and retail client base of about 1300 families. Our happy clients also give us referrals.
How do you engage with and service existing ones?
We schedule quarterly meeting with our clients to connect with them. In our new office, we have built five meeting rooms for this purpose. We also conduct client meeting via a video call or home visit. Also, we organise 2 events each year to engage with our existing clients.
Our entire business is online; we do everything online right from initiating transactions to suggesting financial plans.
Why and when did you decide to digitalize your business by subscribing to online transaction platform like NSE NMF II?
I have always been a technology buff. I feel you can gain a lot if you know how to implement technology well. When I started the advisory business, my only frustration was that we spent 70% of the time on unproductive tasks such as collecting cheques and submitting application forms. Technology helps my team save time on operational tasks.
Why did you go for NSE NMF II?
We had three primary reasons to subscribe to NSE NMF II:
- NSE has strong background and operational expertise in online equity transactions. Since the beginning, the exchange has facilitated equity trades online. This puts them in a better position for building a similar platform for mutual funds.
- NSE holds 40-45% stake in CAMS, which is one of the largest R&T agent for Indian mutual funds. We feel this create a synergy in operations.
- There is no fear that NSE may shut shop unexpectedly one day. We are confident of its longevity and continuity.
How has the platform helped you grow business?
The platform has definitely made our life easier. We just need to complete the client on boarding formalities, which is a onetime process. After that, there is no need to do any paperwork. The platform has helped us move nearly 80% of our work online. Automated clearing house (ACH) mandate has further simplified the process.
Apart from execution of transaction, which functions in NSE platform have you used the most?
We have mainly used the platform for online transactions. Apart from that, we have extensively used the eKYC (using Aadhar based verification) process.
What are the areas of improvement in NSE NMF II platform?
I would like the on boarding process to be a ‘one –click’ or a ‘2 minute Maggi noodles’ kind of process where all client initiation related formalities right from IIN (investor identification number), ACH mandate are present on a single page and can be executed quickly.
Why do you think that distributors should use online platforms?
I believe technology will disrupt our business; if we do not adapt, we will lose clients to more tech-savvy advisors. Today, these platforms are available at a free of cost, so advisors should consider this as opportunity for the growth of their business.