The advisory landscape is getting bigger and better. In the last five years, the MF industry has grown at a CAGR of 19%, from Rs. 6.95 lakh crore in October 2011 to Rs. 16.28 lakh crore in October 2016. The industry is expected to continue this growth trajectory. In fact, an EY report projects that the MF industry may cross Rs. 20 lakh crore AUM by 2018.
Needless to say, IFAs have played a key role in helping the industry achieve this scale. While their achievement is noteworthy, the next phase of growth is likely to come with its own set of challenges. We spoke to a few leading advisers to understand what they see as key drivers for their business in the times to come and how are they planning to tap these opportunities.
Here's what they have to say:
Mukesh Dedhia, Mumbai
"Continuous learning, leveraging technology and strengthening client relationship would be the key drivers to grow our business.
Learning is a continuous process and you have to keep yourself updated to answer client queries, especially when you are dealing with HNIs. HNIs are fairly evolved when it comes to investments. The second important thing is to leverage technology. Initially, we used to send physical statements through couriers which required a lot of time and effort. Later, we started using fax and then emails. Now, we have provided our clients login access to access their portfolios on the go 24x7.
Finally, strengthening our relationship with clients is our top priority. We believe in staying in constant touch with clients which helps strengthen our relationship."
Ramkumar H Barchha, Rajkot
"We want to leverage technology to grow our business. We are planning to provide transaction execution facility to our clients through mobile application which we have recently launched.
While technology helps, the key to succeed will depend on our ability to handhold clients during difficult times. One way to do this is to empower clients through knowledge and information.
Also, considering the current regulatory push, I believe collaboration would be the key to succeed. I believe we would need to tie up with tax consultants, estate planners and other professionals to provide a one-stop solution to our clients."
Madhu Sudan Uppal, New Delhi
"I believe the key to achieve the next phase of growth will come by recruiting young talent. India is a developing country where a large number of population is under 35. These professionals may prefer to work with advisors from their own age group as they might relate with them better and make them more comfortable. Also, young advisers can stay with you for long term. However, this workforce should have adequate knowledge and skills to cater to large number of young clients.
The second key driver for us will be growing business through referrals. To get more referrals, we regularly conduct investor meets. This not only increases engagement with the existing clients, it helps us get referrals."
Srikanth Meenakshi, Chennai
"For me, technology will be the key driver to grow my business but not in terms of enabling transaction execution. Tasks such as form filling, executing transactions and monitoring portfolios can be done with the help of technology.
In my view, technology should be leveraged to increase the engagement with clients which will help us strengthen our relationship with them. One way to do is to use social media and blogs. Also, we are focusing on strengthening our quality of advice through research support and robo advisory services."
Shiva Prasad Konduru, Waranga
"For me, using social media platforms would be key driver to grow business. I believe IFAs can reach out a large number of prospects through social media if the content is interesting. Hence, I regularly post infographics, charts and messages on my Facebook page. I also send such messages to people through WhatsApp.
I am getting good response from people. In fact, I chat with many strangers who seek my opinion on investments. It's like an online personal finance help desk through which I resolve queries related to money and investments. This also helps me to connect with them informally.
Today, these people may not be my clients but they will definitely like to work with me or refer someone to work with me."
In closing, strengthening relationship with clients, upgrading knowledge, recruiting young talent and leveraging technology would be the key drivers for most of the advisers. Let us know what you think would be key drivers to take your business to the next level of growth.