Nikhil Thakker’s journey in the advisory profession is nothing less than inspiring. Determined to take his family’s fledging advisory practice to the next level, Nikhil started assisting his parents who were LIC agents. After his mother’s demise, Nikhil’s father handed over the reins of the business to Nikhil.
Recalling his early days, Nikhil says, “Throughout my childhood, I saw my parents advising people. They used to recommend LIC products to help people build a nest egg but I figured out that mutual funds were better suited to generate long term wealth.”
Armed with an MBA in finance, Nikhil started as a sub-broker at NJ India where he learnt about distribution of mutual funds. “Working at NJ helped me get a deep understanding of the distribution business and later I floated my advisory firm to build my mutual fund business independently,” says Nikhil.
He had to face a lot of rejections and challenges in the initial days. “I used to go door-to-door to educate people about investments. I observed that they were willing to invest only in post office schemes and bank deposits. So I invested a lot of time educating them about mutual funds, especially investing through SIPs.”
Nikhil started reaching out to the clients who were serviced by his parents. Though connecting to them was easy, convincing them to switch their investments in mutual funds was difficult.
Nikhil then started visiting each house in Anand to educate people but very few showed interest even though he went fully prepared with a presentation on mutual funds and his personal MF account statements.
Realising that this strategy didn’t work, he tried a different approach. Instead of going door-to-door, he started delivering his presentation to groups rather than individuals. This strategy proved more fruitful as he was able to convert at least 10% of the audience into his clients.
Inspired by the success, he started conducting around 7-8 such programs a month. Now, Nitin claims that he conducts 20 IAPs a month. He speaks on a variety of topics like benefits of SIPs, why equities help create long term wealth, goal-based financial planning, retirement planning, etc. in his IAPs.
Nikhil currently manages 3023 families in Anand. He attributes his success to his parents who spread the savings and investments cult in Anand. “The credit goes to my parents because without their support and vision, I would not have been able to acquire such a large client base in 12-13 years. I can now proudly say that people in Anand trust our brand and come to us directly (without any referrals) to seek my advice,” says Nikhil.
Nikhil says that technology has played a major role in helping him grow and streamline his processes.
To provide ease of transaction, Nitin has registered himself on MFU and BSE StAR MF platforms where his clients can transact seamlessly. For financial planning, he has developed an in-house software which analyses the risk appetite of clients and gives goal tracking reports to his clients every month. In fact, Nikhil claims that none of his clients call him to get their account statements as most of them check their portfolios on his website.
Nikhil is one of the largest distributors in Anand district and manages an AUA of Rs. 100 crore in MFs with an SIP book of Rs. 72 lakh per month. While Nikhil has facilitated investments through MFU and BSE StAR MF, he wants to go fully digital to scale up further.
To expand geographically, he has started his practice at Vadodara. He aims to grow his AUA to Rs. 150 crore by the end of this financial year by educating one lakh people through IAPs.
Advice to IFAs
Nikhil says that advisers should stay in constant touch with clients and educate them and also, upgrade themselves through continuous learning. Besides, he says that IFAs should stay in touch with senior AMC officials to stay abreast on the latest trends driving the distribution space.