How this distributor is helping women achieve financial independence

By Ravi Samalad |  08-03-22 | 

Kavita Narsimhan grew up in Mumbai and moved to Chennai in 1998 after her marriage.

Kavita is a constant learner and always believed that education will help her become independent. She acquired a host of qualifications like Bachelor in Commerce, General Laws, PG Diploma in Business Management, Certified Financial Planner (CFP) and MA in English Literature.

Kavita dabbled in different professions during the initial phase of her career. She worked as a teacher when she was 18 and finally found her calling in finance. Kavita headed the South region for DBS Cholamandalam Wealth Management and Edelweiss Wealth in Chennai.

Entrepreneurial plunge

Due to family commitments, Kavita quit her job in 2013. Even after she left, many of her former clients and acquaintances used to discuss with her on investments. Kavita thought it would be a good idea to start her second innings by taking up mutual fund distribution. She took the entrepreneurial plunge in 2015.

During her corporate stint in sales, Kavita built a good network and rapport with clients. When she struck out on her own, many of her clients gave references who started their investments with Kavita. Kavita has a small team of four and caters to little more than 100 clients.

Kavita’s clientele includes many women spanning across different professions like architects, scientists, artists and doctors. She observes that women today are more confident in taking charge of making investment decisions. “Being financially independent is one aspect but being financially empowered is different. I help them make this transition by helping them make their own investment choices. Many working women tend to depend on their spouses or Auditors for investments. Since they are caught up in their work, they allocate very little time to understand investments. At some point in time, when one is  not able to work due to family commitments, one must have a cushion to fall back.  I urge them to spend couple of hours in a week to understand their life goals and work towards building a nest-egg.”

When she meets prospects/clients, Kavita shares her personal experience of investing and her portfolio to instil confidence among women investors. Many of her clients have used the corpus accumulated through mutual funds to meet their goals such as marriage, construction of house, etc. “This helped them realise that they need to have discipline and long-term horizon to build wealth.”

Kavita observes that investors are gradually moving from traditional investment avenues towards other products. “I met a woman working in a well-known IT firm. She had never invested in mutual funds. It took some time and helped her understand various financial products, risks involved and explained to  her the concept of a Systematic Investment Plan (SIP) and how it helps in wealth creation over the long run with the power of compounding. It is important for women to understand that when they quit their corporate career, they have to build something for themselves.”

Kavita hopes that she adds more women clients. She has been actively educating employees at corporates and women forums about investing.

Advice for budding women Mutual Fund Distributor (MFDs)/advisers

Kavita feels that this is a great profession for women. When asked about what is required for women to succeed as an MFD/adviser, Kavita says that first and foremost, women need to have  passion for investments, keen sense of learning and helping others.

Besides, women wanting to make inroads into this profession need to have the technical know-how. She recommends taking up professional learning before taking becoming a Mutual Fund Distributor. Kavita says that one needs to have networking skills as well. “They have to gain trust from the initial set of clients. Referrals will start coming in if you have done a good job.”

Kavita narrates how she helped a senior citizen streamline and redeem all his past investments which helped her get many referrals. “When I started off as MFD, the first client was an elderly person. He handed me a carton box that contained papers/account statements/certificates of his past investments. He wanted to dematerialise them. He wanted funds to construct a house. That client had approached host of agents/distributors, but they gave up in between or were not keen as the funds had to be withdrawn.”

“There were a lot of complications. His wife was no more. The nominees were different. There were spelling errors in names. I coordinated with different fund houses to find out what documents were required to transmit the units. It involved a lot of paperwork. The client was very happy to receive all the investment after going through all the paperwork,” recalls Kavita.

Kavita says that one needs to be ready to go the extra mile to help clients. “You will gain trust only if you are able to help others. You need to be available to help your clients at any time.”

Further, Kavita says that this profession needs a lot of perseverance, hard work, and passion. She emphasises that this is not a part-time profession, and it requires dedication and attention. “One has to feel for it because someone will entrust their hard-earned funds to you. I would not advise someone to take up this profession just because they have a lot of free time. One needs to have passion and perseverance.”

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Rishabh Adukia
Jun 1 2022 05:31 PM
 thats gr8 and an inspirational journey, keep it up kavitaji
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