Adviser Perspectives: How this Odisha-based distributor succeeded

By Ravi Samalad |  11-07-22 | 
 

Although Saroj Kumar Mishra pursued Information Technology, he was drawn to markets when he started his career with a stock broking firm in 2002. To sharpen his investment acumen, Saroj pursued MBA in Finance in 2011.

During his decade-plus stint in financial services, Saroj built a good rapport with clients. This helped him get the initial set of clients when he started his mutual fund distribution firm SRS Finserv. His wife Rasmita Mishra also lends him a helping hand by looking after client services and operations. In this five-plus years of journey, Saroj has built assets under advisory worth Rs 103 crore.

Secret Sauce 

How did Saroj build assets of over Rs 100 crore in just over five years in a small town? Saroj credits his success to personal meetings. At a time when online meetings have become the most convenient way to catch up with clients, Saroj ensures that he meets his existing clients and prospects every day. So the majority of the time, he is not in his office looking at his computer screen.

“Meeting clients helps build a personal rapport. We as MFDs/RIAs are here for the long haul. In financial services, trust is crucial for building your business,” believes Saroj.

Client Education

Saroj educates his prospects about the virtues of staying invested in equities for at least five years whenever he recommends equity funds for medium to long term goals. This has helped his clients stay away from market noise by focusing on their goals. His passion to serve his clients is evident by the fact that Saroj has not seen single client attrition so far. “They are investing with me since late 2016 and we have seen many ups and downs during this phase. While onboarding clients, I educate them about the virtues of having a long-term horizon to reap the benefits of compounding. They didn’t panic in the 2020 correction.”

Saroj believes in eating his own cooking. He has invested in all schemes which he recommends to his clients. He stays away from thematic funds which become the flavour of the market and fall flat when the sector is out of favour. He sticks to the time-tested diversified funds like Flexi Cap, Large Cap, Hybrid Funds and Liquid funds. Besides mutual funds, Saroj is currently dealing in insurance, bonds, and plans to offer real estate going ahead.

Road Ahead

Recalling his early days, Saroj points out that the brokerage in equity trading was 1% when he started his career which is now a few paise. He says that products become commoditised over the years and margins will only shrink in financial services. “In order to remain relevant in this profession, you need to add value through your services and personal touch. That’s adviser alpha.”

Before starting his mutual fund distribution firm, Saroj also dabbled in e-commerce offering office stationery to small and medium enterprises. But the business didn’t take off as he expected. Saroj came back to his roots in finance and started on a fresh slate as MFD.  This proves that one can always start afresh from setbacks.

Looking back at when he started, Saroj is today happy with the progress he has made so far. His goal is to reach Rs 200 crore AUM this year. “What I was earning as an annual package in my last job is now my monthly income. This is a great business for aspiring finance professionals who have the zeal to help clients.”

               

Saroj operates from the city of Bhubaneshwar, the capital of Odisha, which is a major centre of attraction for tourists for its temples.

Saroj Mishra’s journey is testimony to the fact that that there is enough opportunity in every nook and corner of India as mutual funds are yet to reach the masses. One just needs the right skill sets, a passion to help people, and perseverance in the initial phase to make it big in this profession.

Add a Comment
Please login or register to post a comment.
<>
Top
Mutual Fund Tools
Ask Morningstar
Feedback