Born and bought up in a middle class family, Nagpur-based Bheruratan Onkardas Dammani completed his graduation and joined an accountancy firm, where he was introduced to the world of finance. Dammani developed a keen interest and made up his mind to switch to finance.
To hone his skills, he joined a cooperative bank on ad hoc basis and after a year, he took up an agency to distribute LIC, UTI and post office savings schemes to expand his source of income. His main focus, however, was the life insurance business.
Soon Dammani realised that people have different financial needs and requirements and life insurance cannot be of much help. “Though life insurance policies provide protection to clients, it does not help them grow wealth over the long term. On the other hand, mutual funds offer various plans depending on the risk appetite of investors. They are ideally suited for wealth creation and goal attainment. So, I shifted my focus to mutual funds,” Dammani says.
After a few years, he left the bank job and started mutual fund distribution on a full time basis. “I was getting a good response from people and was generating more revenue by selling mutual funds than my salary. So, I decided to make it my full time profession,” he says.
Dammani’s initial set of clients were his colleagues and relatives. To increase his client base, he became a member of a few clubs and associations. “I had joined a few big associations with the help of my friends and family members. I participated actively in these associations and clubs to grow my network. Eventually, I started gaining acquaintances, who became my clients,” he says.
To grow his business further, Dammani started regular interaction with clients. He ensures that he interacts daily with six clients both existing and potential through phone calls or face-to-face meetings. “Of these six calls or meetings, five were with my existing clients, updating them on their portfolios and market developments. I also made a point to call at least one prospective client a day to seek a meeting. I get such prospects through referrals,” he says. The formula yielded results. Soon he acquired many new clients and increased the wallet share from existing clients. Dammani also made a point to offer a one-stop solution to clients. Be it updating passbooks or filing income tax returns, he offered every service under one roof. “I take care of all financial needs of my clients. Now my clients seek my advice in all matters – like getting a new credit card or applying for a loan,” he says.
Dammani has also worked out a formula for providing customised solutions to his clients – segmenting them based on their AUM. “I have segmented my clients based on their assets on an excel sheet. It helps me give them customised solutions and understand their financial requirements,” he adds.
Today, he has a client base of around 600 and manages assets under advisory of Rs.90 crore. He is confident he will add assets of Rs.12-Rs.15 crore a year by continuing with his tested formula to grow business.