Rajesh Hattangady, residing at Thane, Maharashtra is one of the new generation modern IFAs who offers amazing insights to the advisory business. He is a B.Com graduate from R.A.Podar College of Commerce and Economics, Mumbai and Management from Welingkar College, Mumbai. His company is called THiiNK and it is an ISO 9001:2008 Certified Company. He was awarded the MFRT Samman award in 2015.
Post graduation Rajesh began his career by serving his father in his dyes and chemical business but unfortunately the business came under stress due to several external factors and had to be closed down.Because of his “commerce” background, he decided to jump into the financial advisory arena. One of Rajesh’s secret recipe, if I may say so, is his approach of looking at every adversity as an opportunity and this quality of his gives him energy to bounce back time and again.
Today, THiiNK handles more than 1500 individual clients for their personal investment and insurance needs. THiiNK is present at Thane and is branching out to Bangalore and Pune soon. THiiNK serves most of their clients through a mix of both online and offline platforms and therefore have clients across India and also abroad. Initially Rajesh did a lot of road side activities like distributing pamphlets etc but referrals brought him almost 90% of his business. Nothing can beat “customer experience” and “word of mouth” marketing.
According to Rajesh, the “Mutual funds business” has opportunity for everyone. The need is to focus on market development and grow the pie. India is an under penetrated market and instead of fighting for market share one must look to grow the size of the pie by way of educating people to move from traditional instruments to modern day solutions. Thus strong client engagement is the need of the hour.With the changing mindsets and young demographics, the financial world is set to ply a very significant role in the lives of people.
Personal touch, some creativity along with technology can make the client’s investment journey a very gratifying for him or her.
Rajesh believes in providing the best advice and processes to his customers. He got his firm THiiNK ISO 9001:2008 certified at a time when entry loads were removed and most believed ISO certification was meant only for manufacturing units. Instead of worrying about loss of revenues, Rajesh invested in his business. Rajesh says, “pro-activeness rather than reactiveness helps”. There isn’t any point cribbing over actions done by any external forces.
Rajesh understands that client’s biggest need is to have a qualified, educated, trusted human interface when it comes to managing his or her money. This human interface or human connect shall always remain crucial for the investor. Therefore if one focuses upon providing high quality engagement and service then there is no need to fear the emergence of technology and direct investing. Simply give your best and be with clients and serve them well.
Rajesh is a master sketcher using charcoal. He uses this skill beautifully in his business by using his own sketches in client communication such as greeting cards etc. He also beautifully expresses financial education through his sketches. His clients have developed a special bond towards him because of this different and creative approach. Right from websites to WhatsApp “thank you messages” and even the “presentations” carry his stamp of charcoal sketches”.
In the words of Mr Hattangady, “My idea to draw charcoal sketches is to simplify the financial jargon and also to communicate social messages. Through this process I have been able to build the THiiNK brand. Clients always acknowledge one’s skill even if they are not directly linked to investing. In fact such skill breaks the monotony and helps build a much stronger connect with the clients. Initially my clients thought the sketches were drawn by a professional but once they knew it was my own creation, the conversations shifted from returns or the best funds to other interesting things that helped in fostering relationship. Once one client said that he would never question the person who has conveyed so much through the sketches. In fact my client’s wait for new sketches to be released. A visit to our office is like walking into an art gallery. Clients feel relaxed in this environment leading to more meaningful discussions rather than mere evaluations. I would encourage every IFA to use his or her unrelated skills to foster client relationship. It works like magic. Clients find you interesting and that helps to build trust and business”
Some business recommendations that Rajesh would like to make for his IFA friends are as under:-
- Always face every situation head on.
- Innovate by using what may appear as unrelated skills
- Everything happens for the good. If one serves the clients, the clients will serve you in return.
- Always keep your doors open. A 5 star hotel never closes it’s door for business, be open for your clients (small or big)
- Never hesitate to walk the talk. Invest in the instruments you advice.
- No work is big or small. Be ready to roll up your sleeve and work with fellow colleagues.
- Trust your employees first, your clients will trust you.
- Don’t imitate others, identify your strengths and create your own identity
- Don’t sell, provide solutions.
- Target mindshare of the client, not the market share.
- Don’t sit in the glass chambers. Reaching out gets you business, lethargy gets you excuses.
- Embrace technology and reinvent
- Learn to earn. Invest in your business and on yourself.
- Build your brandSome of Rajesh’s work is here for you to see and enjoy.