We met in his office in Mumbai’s corporate hub Nariman Point. Prior to our meeting, he had a meeting with some AMC officials. A lot of AMC RMs chase him to get a share of business as they look to get a pie of his rapidly growing business.
A veteran in the financial advisory space, Satish Pandey, Founder of Imperial Investment Consultancy, spent almost a decade of his career with RR Investor Capital Services. He ventured into advisory by partnering with one his industry friends. Within a year, Satish and his partner built an AUA of Rs. 250 crore. However, due to some differences, he gave away the entire Rs. 250 crore to his partner and started from scratch. “Some people want to build business too fast by compromising on ethics. That’s not my style of working. I parted with the entire AUA and started from scratch,” recalls Satish.
Nevertheless, client acquisition was not such a big deal for him as he had the trust of his former clients and his industry friends. “I shared a good rapport with clients and they trusted me. I told them that I have started my practice and they were more than happy to get advice from me,” says Satish.
He rented an office in Mittal Tower at Nariman Point in October 2014 and it took about two months to put in processes and a back office team. Today, he has three offices in Mumbai with a staff of 22.
He exudes confidence and exuberance as we discuss his growth and future plans. A down to earth person with no sign of complacency over his achievements, Satish has big plans for his business. “I’m still not satisfied with what I have achieved. I want to build a global wealth boutique firm,” says Satish.
He has tied up with an overseas firm which allows him to sell offshore funds spanning 18 countries to Indian clients. “A lot of HNIs want to send their children abroad for education. Thus, they need to invest overseas to be able to fund this education,” he adds. He has sold such offshore funds to about 70 of his clients. His aim is to expand this business further.
Satish manages Rs. 1,000 crore across all products, out of which the MF AUA is Rs. 500 crore. While his clientele is predominantly HNIs and senior corporate executives, he is open to dealing with retail clients as well. “Our average ticket size is Rs. 10 lakh and my SIP book is Rs. 1 crore. I will accept even Rs. 1,000 SIP. A small client can become a big client tomorrow. Thus, I don’t discriminate between clients. I have not lost a single client till date.”
He follows a multi-pronged approach to get new clients. Satish claims that he spends about Rs. 3 lakh every month in marketing. He is a member of various social clubs in Mumbai where the wealthy hang out. “You need to be where your clients are,” says Satish. Apart from this, he sends his in-house monthly magazine which gives an update about the economy, markets, corporate news and performance of mutual funds to a database of prospects. “We send this magazine to at least 100 prospects every month. Of this, we convert 20-30% of people. Apart from this we also do cold calls. However, our approach is a bit different. We have hired well qualified staff do make calls. These are not telecallers,” says Satish.
Advice to budding IFAs
During his stint with RR Investor Capital Services, Satish has mentored many IFAs. “I have guided a lot of retired people to take up distribution of financial products. They have achieved great success and are doing very well financially now,” recalls Satish.
His advice to budding IFAs is that they should be in the business for at least one year even if they don’t get many clients. “You won’t get any business during the initial one year of your business. People will meet you but they won’t give business. They will see if you can sustain. You have to survive for at least 1,000 days before you can gain the trust and confidence of your prospects. Financial advisory is not easy. You have to have a lot of knowledge, perseverance and industry exposure. Also, advisors should adopt technology to scale up.”
What has helped Satish taste success in his entrepreneurial stint is his uncompromising ethics. “I never recommended unsuitable products to clients till today even if there was pressure to achieve target in my job. You can’t fool people all the time,” asserts Satish.
When asked if he is perturbed over the fast-paced regulations seen by the MF industry, he says that regulations are bound to change the rules of the game and advisors should diversify product offerings and keep adding new clients to tide over regulations. “You can grow your business in two ways. The first thing is that you need to diversify into different products. Secondly, you need to add new clients every day because you can’t depend on past clients to grow your business,” advises Satish.
Going forward, he plans to diversify into loans and insurance. In fact, he has recently set up an Insurance Marketing Firm (IMF) called Imperial Insurance Marketing LLP which can sell products of six insurance firms - (2 life), (2 health) and (2 general).
At 40, Satish wants to spend the next 20 years of his productive career advising people. “I want to advise till my last breath,” asserts Satish with a lot of passion.