There is a perception among some distributors that you are anti-distributors. What is your message to the distribution community?
Quantum Mutual Fund announced the launch of our regular plans in 2017 post SEBI’s ruling on transparency in commission to distributors.
We adhere to the simple belief that an investor should know what he is paying for. We are not anti-distributors or against the distributor community.
In fact, after the launch of our regular plans in 2017, we have seen our distributor network grow threefold. We have received a stellar response from the distributor community and are pleased to announce that we have a large pool of distributors who have readily empanelled with us at the commissions we offer. These distributors want to work for the benefit of their clients and transparency within the industry, reiterating our philosophy.
Tell us about your first job.
After completing my Chartered Accountancy, I had the good fortune of working with Tata Electric as a Taxation Trainee back in 1989. After this stint with Tata Electric, I moved to JM Baxi as an Account Executive and then to Rallis India as Executive Director.
Share with us the first sales experience of your life.
During my time at Rallis in 1990-91, I closed a deal of Rs.20 crore rights debenture issue. That too without relying on underwriters or investment bankers for the issue.
Also, I have played a key role in setting up of many mutual fund companies with a number of initiatives that were new for the industry.
What makes the mutual fund industry an exciting industry to work?
The mutual fund industry has seen tremendous growth since the past decade. Global AUM is expected to touch a $100 trillion mark by 2020. While the mutual fund industry numbers and AUM have shown a rapid rise, we in India still have a long way to go. Therefore, the use of technology to bring in more savers to the mutual fund fold is exciting as it straddles the fields of both finance and technology, while helping Indians achieve their financial goals. In addition, a boost from the government of India would help tremendously. In my view, the government should promote mutual funds as part of its financial inclusion drive by encouraging people to invest in mutual funds.
Where do you see the Indian MF industry five years from now?
We will see more of the industry go digital with minimal offline presence. Most transactions and servicing will get quicker and simpler as everything moves to the online world. Fund houses will become more tech driven and will innovate products with simple solutions to sell through the online medium.
The age-old dream of SEBI dropping the entry threshold from Rs.50 Crore to Rs.1 crore so that more people can take up asset management and serve the huge untapped potential that both “India” and “Bharat” offer.
Share with us the hi-point of your career.
I had the privilege of getting the best employee reward of the Principal Group International – Worldwide. I take pride in this as I was the first Indian to whom this award was conferred.
Another achievement would be when we at Quantum Mutual Fund initiated India’s first (and probably the world’s first) paperless mutual fund investment platform.
Between a well-paying job and interesting job (which pays less), what will you choose and why?
I would say an interesting one as it keeps one motivated to innovate and explore better and newer ways of working. A well-paying job might sometimes lead to complacency.
What is the recipe for success in corporate life?
Drive to achieve the best possible outcome of goals for my investors and fulfil life goals of investors. To understand customer and market trends and build long-term solutions to cater to them.
What keeps you motivated?
The spirit of innovation & challenging convention is what drives me to achieve the best for my investors and organisation.
Role model or celebrity who inspires you the most and why?
I do not believe in having a role model. You have to create a strong value system, which you should strictly adhere to. You become your own role model. I believe you are your own mentor and strive for continuous improvement in all facets of life.
Can you recommend a book to our readers that has inspired you?
Character Counts by John Bogle is an all-time favourite. Numerous books tell you to do this or do that to build wealth but very few that focus on the ethical side of making money, which is why this book is a must-read for all those wishing to make a career in the field of finance.
What cause do you support?
Being part of noble causes gives me utmost contentment. I am pleased to be associated with a number of good causes, the closest to the heart being providing medical aid to the underprivileged through an NGO.
What is your favourite past time?
I am an avid reader. I love reading books, articles and white papers on innovations in the digital space and keeping myself up to date with the innovations in the finance space across the globe.