Hailing from Pune, Madhav Ganpule is a chartered accountant, cost accountant and a company secretary. Beginning his career as a tax consultant, Madhav developed a reasonable customer base in a short span of time. However, after a few years of practice he gave up his CA license to become a financial advisor.
“As a CA, when I went through my clients’ investment portfolios, I found that in 99% of the cases, advisors gave them advice without assessing their needs and goals. Though the funds were good, they did not suit the client needs. I sensed that it would be in my clients’ interest, if I became an IFA. This more than anything drew me to financial advisory. In 2010, I surrendered my certificate of practice and became a financial advisor,” articulates Madhav.
Diversity of service offerings
Fortunately, it was smooth transition for Madhav. All his clients come on-board when he began his advisory practice. “My qualifications and value-added services helped me establish credibility among my clients. They trusted me and wanted me to continue managing their money matters even in my new role,” he says.
To grow further, Madhav relies on referrals. “I focus on delivering value-added services such as tax planning, estate-planning and retirement-planning to clients by leveraging technology and expanding product basket. Business follows once my existing sets of clients are satisfied with my services,” he elaborates.
A friend to the family
Every time a client approaches Madhav, he first encourages them to tell about himself, his family and aspirations. Madhav then sets about analysing his financial history, savings, expenses and investment pattern. Based on the data he collects through these exercises, Madhav assess the financial discipline of the client and his risk-taking capacity. This helps him analyses funds that would best suit his client’s needs.
Another salient point of Madhav’s on-boarding process is his insistence on meeting his client’s entire family. “I feel that by involving family members in the financial planning process helps us spread financial awareness across the family unit. In fact, I like to think of myself as a family financial advisor,” he quips.
Here for the customer 24/7
Madhav attributes his high level of customer retention to the holistic service he provides. “Be it risk assessment, investments or tax planning, I offer one-stop solution to all my clients. This strategy has helped me increase the wallet share,” he remarks.
Another reason for Madhav’s success at client retention would be his accessibility. “I never take a leave from my work. I am accessible to all my clients 24/7. A happy client will not leave me. I need not ask him to refer me to his friends. All I need to do, is be dedicated to my clients and the rest follows,” professes Madhav.
3Ps for interacting with HNIs
Sharing his experience serving affluent clients, Madhav says, “I am quite comfortable handling HNIs. They tend to be fairly financially literate, and know what is happening in the economy. They do not panic when the markets turn volatile and are always open for new investments.”
Madhav shares his three-step approach to interacting with HNIs,
- Precision: He insists that while meeting with an HNI the meeting must be precise. “HNIs are generally very busy. When I meet them, I do not waste time beating around the bush. I keep my discussion crisp and to the point. I try to wrap-up my meeting within the given time.”
- Presentation: “While meeting HNIs I am always armed with pie-charts and graphs to illustrate the investment plans I have in mind for them. This helps leave a strong recall of the message, in contrast to an all-talk approach,” says Madhav.
- Portfolio Talk: Madhav says the best way to make a HNI see the merits of a fund is by talking about the fund portfolio. “You could tell them why the fund has an exposure to a particular sector or stock and why fund manager has a conviction on such sectors or stocks. Share with them the rationale behind your recommendations. HNIs appreciate and understand this approach,” suggests Madhav.
While choosing funds for his clients, Madhav mainly looks at three aspects:
- Process: Madhav prefers a process-driven fund house. “I believe in funds that have a strong investment process in place. A good strategy will ensure that the fund doesn’t suffer when the markets are volatile.”
- Fund Manager: Madhav gives immense importance to the track record of a fund manager. “The fund manager is the one who will be running the show; I need to be sure he will ensure that the fund doesn’t suffer in volatile market conditions. Checking a fund manager’s track record, helps me understand how he works under different circumstances,” he elaborates.
- Past performance: The past performance of a fund under different market conditions is also equally important to Madhav. “I never choose a fund just based on its brand value. Instead, I look at the past performance of the fund over a long term period. It need not be a five-star fund, but the fund must show a steady performance, in various market conditions,” he explains.
A balanced approach
Madhav is of the opinion that neither a pure equity fund nor a pure debt play but a combination of both can give the best results. “In a balanced strategy, my clients get to enjoy both capital appreciation and downside protection. It is like bringing together the best of both the worlds,” says Madhav.
He points out that balanced funds are better positioned to deliver risk-adjusted returns over the medium term. “This factor is governed by how fund manager allocates assets. A few balanced funds have an exposure to mid and small-cap stocks, and this helps such funds outperform even pure large-cap funds. In addition, debt component in balanced funds reduces the risk of losing capital,” Madhav adds.
Madhav has leveraged his unique combination of skill sets, to fulfil a host of current and potential needs of his clients. He has carved his own niche, to serve over 250 clients in just over six years. His diligent networking with HNI clients has also helped him expand his business. His story is an inspiration for advisors to introspect, and optimize their unique blend skill sets to create their own niche in the advisory business.