25 Aug Anand hi Anand
Sir I would be obliged to have your answers to the following questions
1) Could you explain a little about your background?
I started my career in 2004 after completing my Master’s in Business Management. However, I was involved in savings and insurance business from my 10th standard
Both my Mother and Father were involved in Small Savings, PPF and LIC business since 1989
I would help them in filling forms and visit the post office which was 4 kms away.
My idea was to help my mother by offering to go to the post office on her behalf which also saved us Rs 4 because I would normally walk and not take public transportation.
This was the real learning very early in life. It seriously felt bad when the1 person sitting on the window took a bribe of Rs. 5 for doing what he is meant to do as he straight away deducted Rs. 5 or 10 from our commission.
I was fortunate to face that situation and learned to deal with people even when I was in the 11th class. Really thankful to those people who taught me my first steps in business.
2) What prompted you to select this business?
I was doing a job at Delhi after completing my Masters. I was in no mood to continue with the post office and LIC work. I felt I was losing my dignity doing the same work. I thought that even after studying if I had to do the same kind of work then what was the point wasting my parent’s money on my education.
However, I was pretty convinced about equity because I use to invest in equities since my college days.
I had no fascination for trading and believed in buy and hold since my college days.
My first stock Purchase was UTI Bank and second was Centurion Bank of Punjab (which became Axis Bank) and HDFC Bank respectively. I am holding the same even today.
I didn’t want to do LIC business at any cost.I found it similar to begging with clients for getting them insured.
I had worked in Delhi for barely 7 months when my Mom called me back to Anand. She said that I would do something better than my job.
As we were a small family I was very attached to my mom and hence I returned to Anand. where having great attachment and I came back to Anand.
I think that was perhaps the best decision I made and am thankful to Mom for inspiring me to build my own business. In Dec. 2004 we started the Mutual funds distribution business and from there the journey started.
3) What were the strategies that made your company successful?
My Mom and Dad always told me that always think about the Customer first before thinking about the company or organization you are working for and finally look towards your revenue. Upto this day I have been following this ‘win win’ principle and have immensely benefitted from it.
Secondly I opted for goal based selling. In 2005 I have visited Chairman club member convention at Pune arranged by LIC where Datacomp presented the Magic Mix Software and started making readymade plans of Retirement and Child education.
At that time was earning handsome LIC premium and could have continued making money but my purpose of helping clients achieving their goals came in the way and became a priority for me. That was yet another turning point for me.
Fearless and continuous efforts helped me to achieve success.
When I was in Delhi I knew nobody. Even then I would refer to yellow pages directory every morning 9am to 10am and set up appointments for the following day with purchase managers in different companies from Delhi, Ghaziabad and Faridabd.
I followed the same strategy in Anand and set up at least 6 calls every day. Even today I do at least 4 to 5 calls in a day consistently and frankly speaking I love to do Client Calls and enjoy to connect with them and make them my friends and family members.
4) How would you explain the key ingredients for success in this industry in the past and how it has changed ( if at all it has ) for the future?
Customer centric approach is the main ingredient which has not changed and will not change, I think this is the only ingredient we need to focus. Rest everything will be taken care of by itself.
5) How do you react to the regulatory changes that have been taking place from time to time?
Regulatory changes are always good and healthy for long term and I have taken them positively all the time. Yes in short term it gives pain which once again forces me to rethink my business model. Change also keeps me in the “uncomfortable zone” which is the best part and I am thankful to the regulator for the same.
6) Do you think for entrepreneurs of your size it is time to think of inorganic growth?
Inorganic is quite uncomfortable word for me as I think only organised business and entrepreneurs will lead to growth and I firmly believe in organic growth. If it is organic then and only then will LUCK favour. That’s what I believe in.
7) What do you see as the future business models for the Advisory business?
I have two sons and I feel if both of them will come into this business they will be able to conquer extra ordinary fruits from this. Future of Advisory business is extremely promising.
8) What human traits are required for one to succeed in this business? Can “fee” based advisory be a reality? If yes how one should prepare oneself for charging fees?
1) First and foremost burning desire to give the right advice – Keeping Clients interest foremost.
2) Conviction of giving 100% truthful advice and being transparent to clients.
3) Adding value to investors financial life and transforming his social status too.
4) Sharpening knowledge, reading and opting various trainings for business growth and personal growth is the key to make ourselves capable of charging fees.
If one could follow the above guidelines the client himself will be happy to pay fees. We should have the conviction in our service and the confidence to ask our fee.
9) What is the role of technology in this business and what would be your guidance for the community?
In today’s environment people have become mobile. Even the customer you are serving today in your city may move to some other city and in that case technology is the only way to retain the client. Secondly for business growth technology has be adopted and you need to opt for all the available technology options. If you are not able to do yourself then outsource the same but you need to opt for technology at any cost. In city like Anand we are 100% online using MFU platform. We never do manual transaction and we have been using technology for last 3 years.The power of technology is such that in one single day with a team of 3 back office people we were able to do 467 transactions.Really amazed and thankful to my team for doing this phenomenal job that gave us motivation to achieve new highs in coming days. And thanks to technology most of all.
10) What would be the impact of ‘Direct’ especially from platforms like Paytm etc?
Our main product or service is our “advice” providing financial freedom, coaching, engaging etc which requires dealing with psychology of human beings. “Paytm” provides ease of transaction and those who are speculative by nature are likely to try and more often then not fail because investment success is more psychological than what people believe it to be. Investors can be either Intelligent or can be Wealthy. The wealthy usually follow human advice. “Paytm” and other platforms do not ensure financial freedom for their clients. They only ensure ease of transaction. In fact “direct” and “Paytm” are not at all formidable competition. They are doors for bringing in new clients and create more opportunity for us.
It’s like people watched Salman’s Movie and got motivated ( Clients watched good returns in past) and joined a gym and started doing exercises (Paytm / Direct Transaction) but eventually end up with pain and then stop exercising (end ups at –ve returns and tells mutual funds are making us fool and every thing is depended on equity market and we are not fortunate to get returns from equity) . They would be far better off had they from day one taken the services of a personal trainer ( a professional advisor in case of investing). You can only achieve desired results and goals if you take proper guidance whether it is the gym or financial planning.
11) Overall what is your bird’s eye view of our economy and the financial advisory industry?
I was bullish for Bharat. I am bullish for Bharat and I will remain Bullish for Bharat as I firmly believe our Economy and country is full of problems and issues and where there are problems and issues there is growth. The Financial advisory industry is still in its infant stage and there is a huge potential for wealth creation both for the Client and the Advisor going forward.
12) Lastly what is your vision for yourself?
I personally love L&T as an company where no one knows who is owner is but still the company is working beautifully on its own fundamentals and ethics. Similarly I have a vision for my company where we transform so many families’ dreams into reality over a period of 15 to 20 years. It is a long journey and whether I am there or not my system and company will remain to make their dreams come true.
13) What have been your success mantras?
1) Conviction and continuous efforts is the main success mantra of any business and same is mine
2)Adapt to changes positively and stick to your basic principles under all conditions.
3)Always keep focusing on personal growth via different training and reading
4)Use time effectively and manage same
5)Look after your employees like your family
6)I firmly believe in the law of Karma. If we do good for others automatically good things will happen to us
14) What are the mistakes to be avoided?
Learn from mistakes whether the mistake is committed by you or by somebody else. Observe and learn and never repeat a mistake. It will save your time, energy and money. For financial advisor the first and foremost mistake to be avoided is “don’t chase revenue” it will come by default if you solve your client’s problems.