A Chartered Accountant, musician and an adviser

By Ravi Samalad |  05-09-19 | 
 
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About the Author
Ravi Samalad is Assistant Manager - Editoral for Morningstar.in.

Prateek Jain, 30, grew up in Guwahati and pursued his Chartered Accountancy from Delhi. While studying CA, he started trading in stocks which fueled his interest in investing. Fascinated by the world of investments, he decided to pursue a career in financial services sector. However, Prateek was keen to start something on his own in his hometown. “I learned about mutual fund advisory while investing in stocks. Since I like teaching, I thought educating people about mutual funds in my hometown, where the awareness about investing is low, would be a good idea,” recalls Prateek.

In 2017, he floated his advisory firm christened as Smart Wealth Creations. Friends, family members and acquaintances formed his initial client base and further growth came through referrals. Today, he has close to 400 clients, mostly from Guwahati and nearby villages in Assam.

SIP Drive

Prateek got inspired by his brother Devesh Jain who did a similar SIP drive in Ranchi. He thought he could replicate this idea in Guwahati. Before embarking on this journey, he enquired with fund houses operating from Guwahati if anyone has achieved this milestone before. AMC officials told him that no one had registered 100 SIPs in single day in Assam. This encouraged him to create this record. With an aim register 100 SIPs in one day, Prateek laid the groundwork for achieving this task from August 10. He began contacting his existing clients and prospects and explained them that there is a good opportunity to allocate fresh investments in equity funds as the markets have corrected. Though Prateek had to put in a lot of effort in educating clients as to why they should invest in this volatile market, the effort was worth it.

Since most of his clientele were not so tech-savvy, he and his team punched in all the transactions physically. On August 26, he submitted all applications at the respective fund houses. He was able to successfully login 113 SIPs worth 2.62 lakh in multi cap funds. “Many distributors avoid talking to clients when markets correct. I used this as an opportunity to educate clients about investing when markets correct. I explained them that they will get more units when they invest since the market has corrected from its peak,” says Prateek.

His success story has inspired his peers in Guwahati who are content with the fact that there is a great potential in their city.

Prateek says he wouldn’t have been able to achieve this feat without his wife and father’s support. “My father and my wife motivated me to create this record. Also, my team worked hard to make this possible. Bravo to my team,” says an elated Prateek.

Focus on hinterland

Prateek’s focus is bringing first-time investors in mutual funds from the hinterland. He has been conducting regular investor awareness drives in villages like Muktapur, Rangiya and Tamulpur (near Guwahati) where no one has perhaps heard about mutual funds. “I contact a person whom we know in such villages and distribute pamphlets. We position it as purely educational seminars. We have to visit the village a couple of times before we organize the event. We don’t push any products. We educate about investing. One educated investor is worth more than a 100 non educated investors,” says Prateek.

He says that people in such villages have mostly invested in bank fixed deposits. Prateek has observed that even banks are not selling third party products like mutual funds in such villages, so the opportunity is big.

While the distribution community has had to go through a lot of headwinds in the recent past, Prateek is undeterred. “We should focus on growing our business rather than being despondent about lower commissions. The next phase of growth for the industry will come from smaller cities where awareness is low. The potential is huge,” believes Prateek.

In his leisure time, he likes to immerse himself in music. “I can play any instrument like harmonium, tabla, piano, guitar without having been trained professionally," says Prateek. Prateek has all these music instruments at home.

He runs a You Tube Channel where he showcases his songs. He has blended his love for music and numbers to create a winning proposition. Prateek is a shining example of how the younger breed of IFAs are providing an impetus to the industry.

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