‘There is more to life than income and success’

Brijesh Dalmia shares his success mantra and offers tips for advisers to grow business.
By Morningstar |  04-10-18 | 
 

Coming from a family of entrepreneurs, Brijesh Dalmia struck out on his own after finishing his graduation. Raised in Patna, Brijesh started his career selling initial public offerings and bonds in 1991.

In a quest to expand his business and get a larger exposure, Brijesh decided to shift his business to Kolkata in 2000. It was a new market for him. He didn’t know anyone in the city and had to start building his client base from zero.

To spread the word, Brijesh started sending educational fliers carrying messages of benefits of investing to a database of businessmen. People liked the content and contacted him for meetings. This is how he acquired his first client who is a doctor. Since then there has been no looking back. His business has grown solely through referrals. Today, he has 150 clients.

He has not undertaken any marketing campaign in the last 15 years to acquire clients. Brijesh likes to operate it like a boutique firm, focusing on keeping existing clients happy rather than expand rapidly. This has helped him build loyalty among clients. Brijesh says that the average age of his client’s relationship is over 10 years. “I may not grow my business rapidly but it's a conscious decision to cut time from work and spend it on family, fellow advisers and making this world a better place through my thoughts and power blogs,” believes Brijesh.

It is worth noting that despite his involvement in training assignments, his firm’s assets under management is growing at par with industry, especially in the eastern region. Brijesh attributes this success to his loyal client base, talented team and effective use of time and resources. He prefers to measure his efficiency in terms of hours dedicated to his business. His distribution practice is managed so well that it consumes just 20 hours a week (5 hours, 4 days a week) of his time. This allows him to focus on areas of life like spending time with family, writing blogs and undertaking training assignments.

His contribution towards the industry was recognized by Wealth Forum which awarded him 'The Oracle Award' in 2016.

A learner

Brijesh is a constant learner and a voracious reader. To sharpen his advisory acumen, he completed his certified financial planner, or, CFP, in 2005. Brijesh makes sure he reads at least five books every month. He also reviews them. “I read around 50 to 70 books a year. My book reviews are followed widely. People look forward to them,” says Brijesh.

Reading so many books inspired him to become an author himself. So far, Brijesh has published 10 books, of which two are for advisers, four books are on self-development, three for Certified Financial Planner, or, CFP curriculum in India, and one book on layman's guide on financial planning. Published in 2014, his book Mutual Fund Handbook for IFAs is still in print and has sold over 25,000 copies.

Mentoring advisers

Having established his business, Brijesh now dedicates most of his time coaching and motivating advisers. He has completed 700 training workshops covering 125 cities touch basing 30,000 IFAs. “I didn’t plan to become a trainer. Due to my industry knowledge I started getting invites from insurance and asset management firms for mentoring advisers. They were received well which encouraged me to pursue it further. I decided to work on adviser development and make a difference in people's life with my writings. It has worked well,” recalls Brijesh. Brijesh speaks on a wide range of topics ranging from business development, client service to client engagement. He is also a life coach.

He runs a popular broadcast on WhatsApp which has 5,500 subscribers. Besides, he shares his insights regularly on his website Master Stroke, which is very popular among advisers. Brijesh says that his videos have crossed one lakh views on You Tube. He says that many advisers have put into practice his sales tips and have seen a tremendous growth.

Brijesh devotes a considerable amount of time for writing. He has been publishing daily motivational quote and power blogs for the last six years, without missing a day. “These are quite popular on social media and have thousands of followers. I have a dedicated website www.brijeshdalmia.com carrying all my writings. I do a lot of motivational and life-changing workshops (not related to financial services),” says Brijesh.

Tips to grow business

To grow, he recommends distributors not to be despondent about shrinking margins and instead focus on building business. “You can’t get everything so easily. You have to work towards growing your business. I have observed that many distributors work as one man show. They should hire people and delegate. Back office work and customer service should be delegated, and the distributor should focus on business development,” explains Brijesh. With upfront commissions set to go away, he says that new advisers coming in the industry should have some capital which will take care of their expenses for the first two years.

Sporting events

Brijesh is a sport enthusiast. He likes to watch live sporting events. This year, he watched the World Cup Football in Russia with his son Ayushman and nephew Aakarsh, who are ardent followers of the game.  He also watched all the key matches at US Open Tennis in New York.

His philosophy

Brijesh has a different metric to measure success. “The key is how are we helping others to grow and motivate them to lead a good life,” believes Brijesh.

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