At the sixth edition of Cafemutual IFA event (CIFA 2019), four IFAs shared their advisory journey and business approach.
Meenakshi Sikchi, Rainbow Financial Services
Amravati IFA Meenakshi joined the financial advisory business in 2006 after the tragic demise of her husband. She currently manages AUM of over Rs.100 crore and has a monthly SIP book of Rs.1.30 crore.
Meenakshi conducts at least one IAP a month to acquire new clients. She prefers to ‘talk the language of the audience’ at these events to connect with them and avoids financial jargon. When she finds clients making an uninformed financial decision, she falls back on humour to steer them in the right direction. She also writes a weekly column in newspaper Pratidin.
Born and raised in Mumbai, Meenakshi studied home science with specialisation in psychology and human relations.
Meenakshi’s success mantra:
- She involves client’s spouse in all financial decisions to get a more holistic understanding of the family’s finances and needs
- Avoid jargon; draw examples from client’s life to explain financial concepts
Trivia: She is popularly known as ‘Financial Kundali Madam’ as her signature advice is: ‘If your arthik kundali is in place, your planets will automatically align’.
Malkapur IFA Jaykant Dand launched his mutual fund advisory business in 1984 to supplement his income as a pathology lab technician. The sense of freedom and satisfaction he derived from the new role made him quit his job as lab technician and become a full-time advisor. An interesting fact about Jaykant is that he runs many village welfare programmes; he conducts campaigns among villagers to provide health check-ups, safe drinking water and pulse polio drives. During these campaigns he also educates villagers on investments. His wife, son and daughter-in-law also help him in his financial advisory business.
Jaykant’s business mantra:
- Take charge of a client’s overall wellbeing – financial and health
- Target rural markets as they are relatively untapped
- Focus on goal based investments. Help clients identify financial goals before they start investing
Trivia: No client is small. He caters to farmers and daily wagers. Today, Jaykant manages an AUM of over Rs.100 crore.
Goa IFA Hari Kamat started selling mutual funds in 1983 when awareness about government schemes like PPF was low, leave alone mutual funds. Today he manages nearly 5,000 clients and assets worth Rs.575 crore. Hari follows a ‘share-the-negatives-first’ approach wherein he recommends investments only after thoroughly educating the client about the risks.
Hari is a B.Com graduate whose first brush with financial advisory came through selling PPFs during his college years.
Hari’s recipe for success:
- Introduce clients to mutual funds through low risk products before recommending equities
- Always be accessible to clients even if it is midnight
- Be professional in business approach
Trivia: He has made crorepatis of 150 clients.
Vishranth Suresh, Asset Plus
Vishranth Suresh, an IIT Madras alumnus, started Asset Plus with his collegemate Awanish Raj in early 2017. Awanish focusses on the technical aspect of the app and website while Vishranth manages marketing and operations. The duo has leveraged their experience of working in tech start-ups to develop the platform. They currently manage AUM of Rs.35 crore and cater to over 7,500 clients through their online platform. They want to leverage the cost-effectiveness of technology to target investors in tier 1, tier 2 and tier 3 cities.
Vishranth’s growth formula:
- Use Facebook and app store optimization techniques to increase visibility and improve search rankings
- Have a clearly defined client segment – they focus on tier 1, tier 2 and tier 3 clients who prefer technology and convenience of online interactions instead of face-to-face advisor meetings
- Use technology to automate processes and increase scalability
Trivia: In two years, they have activated 15,000+ SIP accounts. Most of their clients are in B30 cities.