Yogendra Singh, Krishna Gupta, Zian Khan and Jay Sonchhatra had been friends since kindergarden. While friendship is a recurring Bollywood theme, their journey into the financial advisory world is nothing short of a Bollywood movie.
Born and raised in Bhilai, Chhattisgarh, the four partners of Omega studied in the same school, same college and even took up jobs in the same company. They even shifted jobs together, so it was not surprising when they decided to setup their own company, the four decided to be partners.
Sharing their journey to float a financial advisory firm Omega Financial, Zian Khan recalled, “We were working in a franchise of Motilal Oswal Securities in Bhilai. We had been there for four years and realised that by not focusing on short term gains we could make long-term profits. We felt by starting our own business, we will be able to take a call on how we wanted to service a client,” he says.
The group of four then met up in a park and had their first ‘partners meeting’ to discuss the basic business plan. Zian said, “My friend and partner Jay was the one who insisted that the four of us should quit jobs and start financial advisory business in Bhilai. He took us to the movie Rocket Singh starring Ranbir Kapoor. The movie spoke about client servicing and customer relations, which inspired us to start on our own.”
However, sacrificing monthly salary for a business that takes a long time to pay off was not a cakewalk for them. “When we started out the biggest challenge we faced was capital. All of us were from middle class families. We had very little savings with us. We requested some of our clients from our previous jobs to lend us some money. In addition, we mortgaged our cars and maxed out credit card limits. We amassed Rs.18 lakh as initial capital to incur recurring expenses,” Khan said.
They floated Omega Financials in 2010. To start with, they offered mutual funds to their clients. Today the company offers a wide range of services including life insurance, health insurance and tax planning and portfolio management.
IAPs helped them acquire new clients. In fact, they launched a campaign on women financial empowerment in 2012 to acquire clients.
Talking about the women financial empowerment initiative, Zian says, “A client of ours referred us to a woman who had recently been widowed; she didn’t have any idea about the investments her husband had made and was unable to withdraw on his behalf. Her husband had not added her name as a nominee. While working on her case, we realised that this might be the case with many of our other clients too. So we called up all our clients and insisted they send their wives to an IAP we organised. More than 125 women attended our first IAP on women investors.”
“Soon, many women became more interested in the programs we conducted. We taught them that it was not enough to keep a check on their husband’s wallet but also on their investments. In fact, a few clients called me up and asked what ideas we had put in their wives’ head as they were now insisting on being listed as a nominee in all their investments,” he said with a laugh.
In addition, the Omega team also keeps an eye on the obituary column of newspapers and sends condolence letters to the relatives of the diseased with a letter assuring the survivor that they could approach them if they needed help in laying claim to the investments made by the deceased.
These outreach programs followed up with dedicated client servicing has helped Omega grow exponentially. Today the company has three branches in various parts of Chhattisgarh, with a client base of over 1900 and staff of 19. The average monthly SIP of the company is Rs.98 lakhs and the AUM of the company stands at Rs.80 crore.