Residing in Indore, Ajay Jain a geology graduate become a mutual fund advisor in 2004. A training session by NJ India, which he attended on his friend’s recommendation, influenced Ajay to take up mutual fund distribution. He owned a cloth wholesale unit in Indore at the time. The business was uncertain and it did not interest him much. He wanted a stable life and a business with scope.
He moved to Jabalpur soon after. There Ajay started out first as a sub broker of NJ. With the help of his relatives in the city, he could make some clients. When asked about his struggle to acquire clients in a new city, he said, “I had many relatives in Jabalpur. They were my first clients. Every time they would invest in a fund, I suggested they would make some profit and tell their other relatives about it and then they would ask me to help them with investments. This is how a chain was formed and helped me acquire more clients.”
In 2009, Ajay moved out of NJ Investments and founded his own company, Swaraj Wealth Management. He took with him the client base he had created as they trusted him and depended on him for financial advice. The former cloth wholesaler got what he wanted in life as his business grew from strength to strength.
From the beginning, Ajay has followed a practise of sharing monthly report card with his clients. “The most important tool for me to grow my business has been the valuation report which I send to my clients every month; it gives them a fair idea of growth and helps me in retaining their trust. Also, it encourages them to invest more in mutual funds,” he says.
Sharing how he acquires clients, Ajay said 50% are from the Army. When asked about how he built this network, he said, “I wanted to arrange a session for Army personnel for which I had to take permission from the Commandant of the unit. He didn’t want to give me permission as he thought these sessions were just ways to cheat people. So to clear his confusion I asked him to give me 10 minutes from his schedule. That meeting lasted for 3 hours where he himself ended up investing in mutual funds. 10 years down the line, he is still investing and has referred other Army personnel to me as well.” Ajay regularly arranges awareness sessions on mutual funds where he invites speakers from AMCs to keep his Army clients updated about the prospects and trends in mutual funds.
Another activity that Ajay has been doing to acquire new clients is to hold group meetings and events to make people aware people about mutual funds. He advertises these events through fliers, which he distributes through newspapers. Also, he has created a rewards system where every time clients help him bring a new audience, they are awarded points and the client who scores maximum points is rewarded a gift.
Ajay also spends on digital advertisement to create visibility among young investors. His team of three experts works on search engine optimization (SEO) to ensure that their portal is on the first page when anyone searches for mutual funds on search engines such as Google and Yahoo in Jabalpur.
The website had many features like blogs, creatives and research and detailed information related to mutual funds. Also, his team sends weekly newsletters to keep his clients updated on the trends and updates of the MF industry.
He on boards new clients by explaining to them the idea and working of mutual funds. He then helps clients identify their financial goals. And he winds up by elaborating on types of mutual fund schemes along with how they function. To simplify the procedure Ajay has categorised investment into five buckets according to the time horizon. These are very long term (more than 10 years), long term (5-10 years), medium term (3-5 years), short term (1-3 years) and very short term (1-365 days).
Sharing how he engages with his clients, Ajay and his team make sure that he meets two clients every day. While Ajay looks after the wealthy clients, his team takes care of retail investors.
Ajay identified the potential of the digital platform early and right from the beginning has invested in the latest technology and technological equipment. To give his clients access to their portfolio, Ajay has provided them a unique Id and password; they can see a detailed record of their investments along with performance of their mutual funds and the evaluation report.
Today, Ajay has 3,000 clients with AUA of Rs.69 crore. He has a SIP book of Rs.60 lakh per month.
Ajay Jain’s vision, use of technology to grow business and hard work have brought this Jabalpur financial advisor where he is today – Rs.69 crore and still growing.