The Highly Recommended Financial Advisors For 2020

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No one has in-depth knowledge in all of the sectors. Before, people were not much serious about their investments because of the lack of knowledge in this sector. But now, due to digitization, the traditional ways of transactions are completely changed. Today, everyone can compare moneyrelated services just on a single click, which has increased the competition a lot. In this scenario, there are few finance companies that are growing at a fast pace just because of their customercentric approach. They don't believe in any market rat race, they have created their own path to success with comprehensive and trustworthy financial services. This issue of The Enterprise World, The Highly Recommended Financial Advisors for 2020 proudly features the stories of such financial advisors that have made their unique position in the finance landscape with their cutting edge offerings. The cover story feature is EquityPandit. EquityPandit was founded in the year 2005 and today, it is the Leading Equity Research Company in India. The company specializes in the business of analysis, information, and intelligence. EquityPandit offers a diversified range of products and services according to the difference in the needs of an investor and a trader. Mr. Abhishek Parakh CEO & Managing Director at EquityPandit is a master brain behind the long-standing growth of the company and he is making efforts to help people to boost up futures financially. Readout about Armstrong Capital Advisory Pvt Ltd which is a privately owned investment management firm counseling both individuals and businesses. The company has grown a lot since its inception in 2011. Go Digit is making insurance easy! With that as their mission, they are reimagining products and redesigning processes, going back to the basics, and building simple and transparent insurance solutions, that matter to people. Oakcapita Advisory LLP is a boutique Middle Market M&A Advisory Firm, rendering seamless advisory services to clients seeking in-depth strategy, investing, and financial expertise. In this issue, we have specially featured an editorial article about the Bombay Stock Exchange. Have a read and get known to the place that has seen the up and downs of major businesses in India. Kolkata, a city that has been an important business center in India for long. Readout about the Kolkata in our special editorial feature Upshot Metros. In an interview with Mr. Uday Hegde, Director at Manhaday Consultants Pvt Ltd let us know about the Manhaday Consultants Pvt. Ltd. Under his innovative vision, the smart team of Manhaday Consultants is achieving a new height every day. There is a lot more inside! Happy reading!

Rushikesh Deshpande

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This list is NOT a ranking. The companies on listed in magazine serve different aspects of the market, making ranking them in any order except revenue impossible and unfair. We try to bring a perfect platform for business organization to showcase their valued products/ services. Copyrights Š The Enterprise World | 2019. All Rights Reserved. The images and content included in this magazine should not be copied, transferred or reproduced in any form or by any means, electronics, mechanical, photocopying, recording, otherwise, without proper permission from The Enterprise World. The Enterprise World solely owns all the reprint rights.

Leaders in Spotlight This issue of The Enterprise World, the Highly Recommended Financial Advisors for 2020 features, Featuring for the cover story is EquityPandit. It was founded in the year 2005 and today, it is the Leading Equity Research Company in India. The company specializes in the business of analysis, information, and intelligence. EquityPandit offers a diversified range of products and services according to the difference in the needs of an investor and a trader. Mr. Abhishek Parakh CEO & Managing Director at EquityPandit is a master brain behind the long-standing growth of the company and he is making efforts to help people to boost up futures financially. Ms. Manju Mastakar, a financial professional with close to two decades of experience in managing Investments founded Armstrong Capital in 2011. Armstrong Capital Advisory Pvt. Ltd is a privately owned investment management firm counseling both individuals and businesses.

Sixth Sense Ventures was launched as India’s first domestic, consumerfocused venture fund that is investing in the Consumer of Tomorrow…Today! Sixth Sense invests in first-generation entrepreneurs who are disrupting large, sticky consumer categories and carving a niche for themselves. In a talk with Sixth Sense Ventures’ founder and CEO Mr. Nikhil Vora, discover more about the company and his thoughts about the current market scenario. Go Digit is making insurance easy! With that as their mission, they are reimagining products and redesigning processes, going back to the basics, and building simple and transparent insurance solutions, that matter to people. Manhaday Consultants Private Limited is a boutique investment banking firm which is in existence for more than a decade. Manhaday Consultants is into growth advisory / fundraising, debt & equity / Mergers & Acquisitions / Joint Venture, India Entry, etc. In a talk with Mr. Uday Hegde, Director at the company let’s get known to

their journey since inception. Mr. C S Sudheer started in 2008 and today the company is running smoothly with creating its unique place in the market. The priority of is to provide financial education to the public. Besides giving advice over the phone, articles, and videos on commonly enquired topics are made available through their website and social media platforms. Mr. Lokesh Agrawal is helping out people with his vast experience in the field of finance through ACE Consultancy. In an interview with him discover more about ACE Consultancy’s journey since the inception and what they offer to their valuable clients. Oakcapita Advisory LLP is a boutique Middle Market M&A Advisory Firm, rendering seamless advisory services to clients seeking in-depth strategy, investing, and financial expertise. Mr. Binesh Balan, Founder, and CEO is the master brain behind the company’s long-standing success.





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Oakcapita Advisory LLP Moving ahead, together

Armstrong Capital Advisory

Go Digit General Insurance

Bridging the Gap between Where You Are and Where You Want to Be

To Simplify What's Complicated

The Largest Financial Education Company in India






Manhaday Consultants Pvt. Ltd. India's Financial Specialist with Local and International Network

22 Mutual fund vs Fixed Deposit


ACE Consultancy

Sixth Sense Ventures

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08 EquityPandit Building a Better Financial Tomorrow!

Abhishek Parakh CEO & MD 08 February 2020 09

Cover Story


veryone knows about the huge earnings from stocks. However, it is not as simple as it sounds. Many times even biggiants in the stock market get upset and new players are able to earn great profits. Many people drown their money by following the opinion of here and there about investing. To secure tomorrow, everyone thinks about investing today. The wealth earned from hard efforts cannot be just invested without proper knowledge. It was quite hard to find a trustworthy equity solutions company to deal with. In 2005, with the inception of EquityPandit, the search for a trustworthy equity research company to rely on had an end. Mr. Abhishek Parakh CEO & Managing Director at EquityPandit is a master brain behind the longstanding growth of the company and he is making efforts to help people to boost up futures financially. EquityPandit was founded in the year 2005 and today, it is the Leading Equity Research Company in India. The company specializes in the business of analysis, 10 February 2020

information, and intelligence. EquityPandit offers a diversified range of products and services according to the difference in the needs of an investor and a trader.

looking for expert advice. And the growth started…

Nowadays an Equity Research company is not a very new thing to people. But it was not a cakewalk initially. After facing a big loss on his personal investment, Mr. Parakh realized the need for professional investment advice and studied, experimented and paper traded for a long time before getting back to the market. And, here was the genesis of the idea of professional guidance to traders and investors that he was missing in the early days.

The number of followers and readers were increasing and gained huge traction in 2008 when the market saw a huge fall, and people started looking for expert advice. Many investors and traders lost a huge sum of money. Many of Mr. Parakh’s blog readers managed to book profits and were holding cash in hand by predicting the downfall. That was the time when traders understood the need for professional advice. This was the point that triggered the growth of EquityPandit. EquityPandit grew by word of mouth and they saw a sharp increase in the number of followers.

Initially, the traffic was low, and it was gaining some traction but not to his expectation. But, the number of followers and readers was increasing and gained huge traction in 2008 when the market saw a sharp fall and people started

EquityPandit has grown at around 100% per annum since inception. The company was bootstrapped, and now it has turned into a multi-million-dollar company. Today, it is the leading Equity Research Company in India.

Series of Initial Hurdles

The factors behind EquityPandit’s long-standing success During his professional career, Mr. Parakh met Darpan Shah, a genius in trading and investing and Subhash Dhayal, a technology expert, who co-founded the company along with him. Together, they have faced all the ups and downs of the business and encouraged each other to challenge the norms and making sure that they never forget their values and ethics. Since then they kept on growing and never looked back. Mr. Parakh believes that honest and professional services are the biggest reason for the company’s long-standing success. They make sure that the services are as per the needs of the clients. Honesty and Integrity build the foundation of Trust. The firm never guaranteed exorbitant profits but what they guarantee is the best services. People at EquityPandit make sure that their recommendations are well analysed by highly qualified and

• High growth services for aggressive traders and Investors • HNI services

experienced analysts and also they make sure that their valuable customers get the best support, every time. Range of quality offerings EquityPandit’s services range from small to big traders and Investors, part-time to full-time traders, short term to long term investors. Basically, they cater to all types of traders and investors in India. What makes them different is that the firm offers customized solutions as per the profile of the clients. Their services are customized based on the customer’s age, financial capability to take the risk, willingness to take risks, knowledge, and awareness so that customers get the best possible returns from their investments. EquityPandit’s quality services include: • Low risk and Fixed Income services • Moderate Risk and Capital appreciation services

EquityPandit has always been at the front in the use of innovative technology. They are working for support automation via support bots and fast track support systems so that customers’ issues can be resolved immediately. Also, they are working on the mathematical models, RPA (Robotic Process Automation) and Artificial Intelligence for Research Automation. Additionally, EquityPandit is planning to venture into international markets by 2022. EquityPandit’s Key Achievements • EquityPandit was the first company to launch 24 hours’ free helpdesk for traders and investors across the Country-Ask the Analyst. • EquityPandit has been the first company to provide real-time advice across the globe using its 11

Cover Story

Real-Time App. • EquityPandit has bagged several awards like the Best MSME Award 2017, Professional Financial Services of the Year 2018 and Leading Equity Research Company in India by News 24 Channel and topped the list among 25 FastestGrowing Market Research Companies in India by The CEO Magazine. • Feedspot has ranked EquityPandit as 36th most famous Investment advice website on the planet with almost 3 million page views. The CEO and MD, Mr. Abhishek Parakh says, “I was lucky enough to find a few excellent and capable people around me, to work together. Their hard work, support, and concern for the company has built the brand you see today” Few of his entrepreneurial achievements are: 12 February 2020

• India’s 500 fastest growing CEO Award 2017 under the SME category. • 50 Most Influential Financial Services Marketing Professional award by CMO Asia. • Named as 100 Top BFSI Leaders by ET Now and World BFSI Congress. The unique team, driven by passion EquityPandit is a team of 100+ qualified professionals in different segments including research, sales, HR, IT. The team includes highly qualified and experienced Technical Analyst and Mathematicians, who hold over 5-10 years of expertise in technical, fundamental analysis. EquityPandit never considered their team members as employees; everyone acts as a founder of the company and gets the same

facilities and respect. Every member considers his/her own company and equally cares about brand identity. At EquityPandit, everyone’s words are precious and suggestions are always welcomed. This helps them to keep the work environment healthy. Words from Mr. Abhishek Parakh, the CEO & MD Mr. Abhishek Parakh says, “Because I am an absolute resultoriented person, this quote inspires me the most. I believe, as an entrepreneur, rather than speaking big, it is important that you plan well, take a calculated risk, execute well and achieve what was planned. The risk-taking quality is something that keeps us motivated to get going despite failures. Any successful business is a product of

WELL DONE IS BETTER THAN WELL SAID. good times and bad times, so what is important is not to lose hope, and take chances, rather than waiting for the right time. A strategy is a plan of action, and a plan of action is the need for any business to become successful. And constant vigilance is even more important to us because it is something without which any equity research and the advisory ďŹ rm cannot sustain in the market.â€? 13

The Highly Recommended Financial Advisors for 2020

Bridging the Gap between Where You Are and Where You Want to Be


he nature of capital markets is ever-changing and investing in such a fragile market can be risky. At this moment one needs an investment advisor, a person or a group who have the thorough study of the market and can guide you for your investments. These advisors also have a discretionary authority which allows them to act on the behalf of their clients. Manju Mastakar, a financial professional with close to two decades of experience in managing Investments founded Armstrong Capital in 2011. Armstrong capital is privately owned investment management firm counselling both individuals and businesses. Every relationship in Armstrong starts with a Financial Plan. Before they advise they try and understand all the financial commitments the client has in near and far future. All the investments that he has done bucket that into respective goals. Show them a complete picture as how the financials will look 10 years from now and what would the Annuity be by the time he retires. This complete end to end financial planning is what they do at Armstrong. The Company“We are a dedicated team focused on providing our clients with 14 February 2020

unparalleled service in handling their financial affairs.” The Armstrong team understands that managing investments need extensive research, regular monitoring, dedicated team and periodic reviews of investments. Armstrong believes in fostering long term relationship with its clients based on trust and integrity. Whether you are an individual or institution you want your investments to be managed by someone you can trust therefore we ensure that all our transactions are transparent and fosters a bond of trust with our clients. Armstrong provides goal based financial planning, portfolio management service, wealth management service, retirement planning for individuals. For corporate institutions they provide cash flow management services. Like any start-up, even Armstrong faced its share of challenges. To look at it, the company was not providing any different service; it was just same as any banker, wealth manager or an insurance agent would do. The real challenge here was educating people what a Financial Advisor does. That a Financial Advisor is someone who would look at the entire picture of past investments, Loans, Insurances and commitments and then guide

properly. The bigger challenge was brand name; they had to compete with Foreign Banks, and over a period customers realised that smaller brand offers more value. Multitasking was a challenge since they were a small company with very few employees in 2013-14 everyone had to multi task. What triggered the growth of the company was the changing Capital market scenario. Armstrong Advisors capitalised on that and converted a lot of happy customers who then referred and the firm could influence more number of people to invest into Mutual Funds through SIP mode. Their Products and ServicesFinancial Planning – Mutual Fund Advisory – Wealth management are the Key offerings. Other services include Retirement Planning, and Cash Flow Management. Financial PlanningFinancial planning is the process of developing strategies to attain your financial goals. At Armstrong Capital Advisory they will assist you with their right mix of investments based on the risk profile and cash needs and your current assets and liabilities.

Manju Mastakar


Armstrong Capital Advisory will help you to define your financial goals and see whether the goals are realistic for your timeline. Armstrong will help you to find new ways so that you can maximize your return on investments and will also keep a track of the investments regularly. Mutual Funds AdvisoryMutual funds are important tool for investors for planning for Financial Independence and choosing the right funds can be a daunting task. Armstrong’s Mutual Funds Advisory Desk will help you build a strong and winning portfolio. With a proper understanding of the Fund manager’s philosophy, Armstrong focuses more on the portfolio allocation and not the

When it comes to money, ignorance is NOT bliss. What you don't know CAN hurt you- Sandra S.

backbone for our Advisory. We keep referring back to our plans and then Advice.”

funds. The Armstrong Mutual Funds Advisory Desk will also monitor how far the fund manager has penetrated beyond the top 50 stock of benchmark.

The Team and the Competition-

Armstrong analyzes your historical cash flow statements that would help you understand your past expenses. Their cash flow management service would help you: • Eliminate idle cash balances and increasing return on assets • Investment options for Corporates • Properly timing the disbursements • Deciding when to fund a new project

Armstrong is very open and a flat organisation. For employees the learning and career growth has been excellent. There are two kinds of organizations in our business. The first type is where you can learn, the intermediation (running the business) and the other type is where you can learn Investments as an asset class well. Armstrong is one of the very few organisations in the business which has a work environment which gives one enough opportunity to learn both.

“The Key differentiators are our Financial Plans they are comprehensive, and they are the

While they have been good on offering growth to people till now, they will need to put in much more

Cash Flow Management- 15

The Highly Recommended Financial Advisors for 2020 efforts on career planning and growth prospects for our people going forward. When it comes to the competition in the market, no one can escape it. What is necessary is a constant vigilance. It’s a need because the business environment is very dynamic and it keeps changing day by day. This is the reason why the Armstrong team keeps evaluating their failures and building strategies to overcome them next time. They also work very closely on big deals and understand what needs to be

done to close the deal faster. There is a very thin line that differentiates perseverance and need for change in strategy. When it’s hard to cark it maybe a different strategy is required. They have also been focusing on continuous innovation; they keep innovating and adding new ideas to the financial plan, continuously researching and finding out new investment ideas that have helped in getting ahead of the curve. The team also focuses more on acquiring first time investors,

handholding them through the entire process and setting up the discipline for them to invest regularly has been the key reason for your success. With such innovative ideas and constant research, their growth has been exponential; the Assets under Management have grown 4 fold.

Their Plan of Action STEP 1



In our financial planning input sheet you can share information of your existing investments and commitments

We will design a plan for you then do a presentation to discuss over it

The Financial Plan will be followed by an execution plan which will offer solutions

16 February 2020

We will facilitate the execution of the plan, either online or offline

We will have a half yearly portfolio review meeting or call



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Interview with The Enterprise World


Fund raising is the gentle art of teaching the joy of giving. -Hank Rosso

Uday Hegde Director

MANHADAY CONSULTANTS PVT. LTD. India’s Financial Specialist with Local and International Network


anhaday Consultants Private Limited is a boutique investment banking firm which is in existence for more than a decade. Manhaday Consultants is into growth advisory / fund raising, both debt & equity / Mergers & Acquisitions / Joint Venture, India Entry, etc. 18 February 2020

Manhaday is promoted by ex bankers and finance professionals. Manhaday has associates in many parts of the world and Manhaday is also member of many international M&A networks. Manhaday is also into India entry for foreign companies looking at entering India. Manhaday has been

recognised by many business magazines as one of the top investment banking firms in India and the directors are speakers at many economic / financial seminars. A Master mind behind the longstanding growth of the


ompany is Mr Uday Hegde, Director. Under his innovative vision the smart team of Manhaday Consultants is achieving a new height every day. In a talk with him, lets discover more about the firm and their offerings. • What were the initial challenges you faced? In the beginning it took some time to convince clients that we can deliver their requirements, the challenges were to adjust with no big financial institution name behind us, so we had to work on our individual professional strength, our knowledge, our experience, our contacts in corporate and financial world so this took some time. Once we had the initial success, clients started believing in us on our deliverables across India. Now the challenge is to up the antenna of our services in different financial products / growth strategy / fund raising / M&A (both local & International), etc here the expectations from the clients is now very high as they now know our business deliverable history • Which was that point that triggered the growth of the firm? To pin point will be difficult but on debt raising level we managed to get debt funding for two textile projects in 45 days flat for USD 10 Million way back in 2008 and getting private equity from a corporate group for an engineering services firm. Sometimes it is the challenge of getting it done irrespective of the transaction value. • What is the reason behind your company’s long-standing


products we offer are

In our business I believe success is a continuous work in progress, what we achieve in between is milestones, be it closing a transaction / advising in a growth strategy for a SME client / achieving our stiff targets, etc

♦ Raising debt funding ♦ Raising Private Equity ♦ Merger & Acquisitions ♦ Joint Venture ♦ All the above we do both locally and internationally ♦ Growth advisory for SME / MSME ♦ CFO Services ♦ Risk management

There is an eagerness to learn new products, services, upgrade our sills, expand our network locally and internationally and to better our past achievements, also compete with the best. We have strong relationship both in corporate and financial world which is very important in a business like ours. We have a fantastic network of investment banking firm’s / marketing firms / solicitors internationally • What are the products and services the firm focuses on? How are your services different from those in the market? The success of an advisory firm depends on how it foresees the shifting market landscape can impact potential deals. When it comes to Manhaday, the firm helps clients to identify the true value of an opportunity by combining the meticulous financial analysis with the deep industry / business knowledge. Our strength is understanding business models / process / better reading of financial reports and finding their gaps and where we can add value for our client to grow, here our corporate lending experience and knowledge of working in financial institutions come as a great advantage and having lend finance across Industries comes in great use. The

• How do you decide to take the firm a step further in terms of your products and services? The benchmark will only be when we can take the services a notch higher compared to previous challenges we have achieved or comparing with the best in the industry, this will be huge in our services segment. On products it is a continuous learning process, be it structure, be it introducing new method of finance both locally and internationally. One of our focus has been getting international corporate to do Joint ventures / technology tie up with Indian companies; here we already have some good Indian names as our clients. Here I would like to add that some of the policies the present government has initiated makes a strong pitch for foreign companies to look at India, like make In India, ease of doing business policy changes, draconian laws being removed, 100% investments in some industries and automatic investment route Sometimes the client is so fixed on raising financé from banks / NBFC that he has very little knowledge of 19

Interview with The Enterprise World other finance products which is good for the long term. There are clients who have been stuck with one main lender for decades and are not shifting because of emotional reason or comfort zone, though the lender is not good in present scenario, here sometimes we have to really push the client to change his lender so he gets better ROI / better financial products and structure which will help him in his growth story. Here majority of them are from SME / MSME and we call them Sethji companies with very little professional management • Can you please brief us about your professional experience? Have done my MBA and am an ex senior banking finance professional with nearly 18 years in experience and more than a decade in investment banking business. Am a speaker at finance / economic seminars and events. Am also director of SkyEarth Tradecom where we represent foreign companies in India and recently started taking Indian companies international on a business level. I am strategy advisor / board advisor to couple of start-ups and SME companies. Am also on various committee of business group and cross border business chambers • What are the key achievements of your entrepreneurial journey? Key Achievements changes every year but some of our milestone achievements in recent years are, when we got a term sheet from Europe for a large group in India for a M&A job, the work is still going on, another is getting strategy investor for a SME company. Coming to debt proposals our achievements are now arranging 20 February 2020



new products / better structure in shorter time period. Now we are telling our clients to look for international finance which I believe is good because of the ROI / tenure and structure but international finance takes time so the client should have some patience • Is there any special experience with your clients you would like to highlight? Couple of years back we advised a client to shift his banker and also start looking for international JV partner, as usual he said no and said that am very happy with my present banker and all my needs are met but last year he came to us as his banker was not increasing his limit and also wanted additional security. The client had invested around Rs. 20 crores on his own in P&M and was also facing cash flow challenges as his clients have started delaying payments by 3-6 months, this was a challenge he was not facing earlier. The client approached us and we shifted to another lender with an increased limit within the same collateral and

better financial products, happy to say that now we have got a mandate for international JV and from the new financial year we will also start CFO services where we may include enterprise risk management. Our CFO team is having experience of nearly twenty years as being CFO of large companies. Coming to the future, i will say one thing India is at a very bright sport internationally with GDP growing around 5% and in coming years it will be somewhere around 7-9% if all goes well. Here for us is a great opportunity with SME / MSME companies will grow but they will be looking for increased finance / better ROI / new products and international growth opportunities. The world is looking at India and am sure our investment banking sector will be a major player to support this boom.

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raditionally, Indian investors invest in fixed deposits (FDs) as they provide protection on investment. However, in recent times, mutual fund investment has seen a significant increase in the AUM of fund houses. For investors, mutual funds (MFs) are considered better as they are managed by qualified fund managers. Mutual funds offer an opportunity to invest in various asset classes like equity, debt, gold, etc. Depending on age, risk appetite and return expectation, an investor can choose a better mutual fund scheme. On the other hand, FD is a pure debt-oriented investment product. This is a better option for such people, who do not want to take market risk. However, if you are planning to invest in the present time, then which of these options should you choose?

Often people have difficulty in deciding whether to invest in Mutual Funds or make a fixed deposit. Most financial planners recommend that if someone wants

22 February 2020

a good return and is ready to take the risk, then a mutual fund is right for them.

than one lakh. FDs can be relied upon if they are to invest safely without taking risks.

However, if one is not willing to take the risk and is satisfied with the simple interest, then he can make a fixed deposit. One can get an interest of 6 to 7 percent in three years from FD in the bank, but if one wants higher returns than it would be better to trust mutual funds.

If you talk about SBI, then FD gets 6.7 percent interest in three years and 6.75 percent interest will be made in five years. Similarly, ICICI offers 6.5 percent interest in three and five years. HDFC pays 6 percent interest but 7.65 percent interest is paid on 5-year tax saving FD.

Experts say that it is better to invest in long term mutual funds. In a rising market, it is difficult to get a rough idea of a company’s stock in the short term. The real performance of a company is known in the long term. If one has to withdraw money after one or two years then a fixed deposit is fine for that. After retirement, equity or balanced funds can be selected to invest in the condition of not taking the risk.

Talking about mutual funds, one can expect an average return of 15 percent in a year and a return of 20 to 35 percent in five years. However, it depends on the stock market, so the risk remains. Investing in a long-term scheme with prudence reduces the risk. Apart from this, TDS is deducted even if the income from the bank is more than 10,000. Experts believe that withdrawing money from mutual funds in FDs for fear of risk will not be beneficial. One should wait after investing long term.

Let us tell you that the interest on fixed deposits in most banks ranges from 6.6 to 7.10 percent annually. However, mutual fund returns vary from fund to fund. 10 percent tax has to be paid on returns of more

Mutual Fund VS Fixed Deposit 23

The Highly Recommended Financial Advisors for 2020

To Simplify What’s Complicated


hy does one need a financial advisor? Let’s face it, doing all the finances can sometimes be cumbersome, and more so if you don’t have the proper knowledge. So it is the task of a financial advisor to make these tasks simpler. Be it traditional or any way of insurance, it just is cumbersome. One has to go through many processes to finally get their hands on it. This becomes even more complicated as most customers lack the understanding of which product is right for them. A financial advisor will help you here. He will not only be your planning partner, but will also educate you. He will help you with investments, tax laws, and other insurance decisions. If all this is sounding too complicated, you have nothing to worry, GoDigit is here! The company is here to make insurance easy! With that as their mission, they are reimagining products, and redesigning processes, going back to the basics and building simple and transparent insurance solutions, that matter to people. The Journey of Making it SimpleOver the years, insurance got 24 February 2020

entangled with loads of terms & conditions, some hidden and some that could only be understood by lawyers. This happened, because the system was geared towards avoiding frauds more than protecting genuine customers. Result? An industry that people don’t trust, a system that is complicated & jargonized. This is exactly what Digit set out to challenge, to bring back insurance in its real meaning, to ‘Make insurance, simple’. Go Digit is a new-age general insurance company backed by the Fairfax Group, one of the largest financial services groups in the world. They have raised two rounds of funding amounting to $140 million from Canadian billionaire Prem Watsa’s Fairfax Holdings, which is one of the largest insurance investment companies in the world with operations in over 30 countries. The company is headquartered in Bengaluru. The Challenge of Making a Difference Reimagining is full of enthusiasm but also has its challenges. Challenges come in the way of finding the right need gap for the customer and designing a solution for that. Also sometimes the acceptance of changes by the regulator and also by the customer pose as a challenge.

“Being the 33rd player in the general insurance industry, the challenge was to make a difference. The difference came was to come from the way we reimagine our products and processes.” In Go Digit’s case, the challenge came in the way they wanted to change their policy documents, to make them simpler for people, wherein they had to question each and every word of the documents, simplify them and also get them approved by the regulator. While most of their innovative features in various products gained a lot of traction and appreciation by customers but at times the simplification was unbelievable by people and led to customer queries, for example, Go Digit launched a ‘No activation required’ mobile insurance. While the industry was asking people to download their app and activate the policy; Go Digit thought this will be a much simplified process but the customers were bewildered that how come a company is not asking for any details and were complaining! Basically, to prepare people to get ready for simplicity also, is sometimes a battle with trust and years of complication. “We were quick to realize that we do not wish to make it a single channel distribution company, we wanted to be omnipresent.”

Kamesh Goyal


The inflection point came with this realization coupled with their digital approach which made sure, that whatever channel they were operating in, digitization is simplifying processes and removing redundancies. Their Services Go Digit’s product portfolio has traditional products as the main focus i.e. motor as well as new, innovative products like mobile and home protection that have germinated out of consumer need gaps. Their services are digitally visualized, focusing on removing redundancies from the system; these simplified services have helped them gain the traditional products, which many companies in the world struggle with.

Their refreshingly new way of looking at insurance, this simple way, has earned them the trust of their customers and making them one of the fastest growing insurance companies in the world. Go Digit has made products keeping in mind themselves, what they can sell to even their moms. For example, the travel delays product starting from just 75 minutes in comparison to the industry’s 6 hours product, which is used rarely by any traveller. “We made processes, keeping in mind genuine customers and not frauds.” No submission of claim forms, long processes and multiple checks, which is why they launched a Smartphone-enabled Self-

Only if we look at insurance from fresh and veteran eyes together, can we make the change!

inspection App for motor claims instead of Manual Inspection. Bringing down inspection time from 24 hours to 7 minutes, thus reducing claims turnaround times (TATs). Same process for mobile leading to industry best TAT for claims. Rather than the longer terms & conditions, Go Digit sends people a 2-3 pager Summary document that has all the coverages & exclusions, what to do at time of claim mentioned clearly. And these documents are checked by no other than 15-year old kids for simplicity. When customer calls for anything our SLA is to answer call in 20 seconds, no IVR or bots! Go Digit has a happy 1% of market share overall in the general insurance industry, with them 25

The Highly Recommended Financial Advisors for 2020 becoming the highest gainer in Q2 in terms of market share. The company has also crossed more than a lakh closed claims. This for a 2-year-old company is a feat.

“Technology will be our fuel for growth. We are working on newer products and benefits enabled with buying & claiming processes backed by technology. We will try and make as many of our processes into self-service, automated modules so that the speed of the same improves.” The Team, the Simplifiers Kamesh is an insurance veteran, with over 30+ years of experience across markets including APAC, Middle East & North Africa regions. He has worked in both General Insurance and Life Insurance spaces. Before founding Digit, he was the Head of H8- Asset Management & US life insurance Company for Allianz Asset Management. “If my mind can conceive it, if my heart can believe it, I know I can achieve it.”

From an overall point, it will be good to see the product portfolio with this financial year’s (Q1 & Q2) premium split.

Also, they keep a close eye on their claim settlement numbers as a good claims experience is essential for a happy customer.

The team is a mix of people from the insurance, technology and e-commerce industry. This diversity sets the tone for the mission of the company i.e. to simplify. At the outset people think Go Digit has a full start-up environment, but they have a collaborative workspace where exchange of ideas is encouraged, experimentation is appreciated and the vibe is to have fun with work but at the same time, the company functions are process driven (though in a nonhierarchical way), with a strong focus on performance metrics, not just in the short-term but also in the long-term. This fine balance of a go-try-it environment and a long-term planning approach is a refreshing mix for their employees.

26 February 2020

Upshot Metros

28 February 2020

Kolkata is one of the most important metropolitan cities of India and the capital of the state of West Bengal and was formerly the capital of British India. Kolkata is also nicknamed Diamond Harbour. It is one of the largest cities in India and one of the major ports. Kolkata's old name was Calcutta. Calcutta officially became Kolkata from January 1, 2001. From 1757 onwards, the city became completely dominated by the British and from 1850 onwards the city began to develop rapidly, especially the growth of the clothing industry increased dramatically here, however, the effect of this development except the city was nearby. Was not reflected anywhere in the areas of Despite the devastation in Kolkata

due to the storm on 5 October 1864, Kolkata continued to grow mostly unplanned over the next one hundred and fifty years and today it has a population of about 14 million. Kolkata is full of intellectual heritage and has played a central role in the Indian independence movement and has established its name in history. Along with the Indian National Congress, many major political and cultural institutions like 'Hindu Mela' and revolutionary organization 'Yugantar', 'Anushilan' were established in this city, as well as many great personalities of India like early nationalist Arvind Ghosh., Indira Devi Chaudharani, was Vipinchandra Pal. 29

Upshot Metros

This Kolkata city is mentioned as 'Khas Mahal' or 'Shahi Jagir' in Ain-e-Akbari compiled by Akbar's chief courtier Abul Fazl. The family of Savarna Ray Chaudhary had authority over its zamindari. Sutanati, Govindpur, and Kalikata were the three villages, which was decided by Jab Chornak, an agent of the East India Company, to establish the British trade agreement. Aurangzeb's grandson Raj Kumar Azim-Us-Shan inspired the family of Savarna Ray Chaudhary to transfer the rights of the zamindari of these three villages of the East India Company. The British administration was shattered by Siraj-ud-daula, but recovered by Robert Clive in the year 1756 after the Battle of Plassey in 1757. This East India Company systematically made the city of Calcutta the basis of

30 February 2020

its power and built fortiďŹ cations and also progressed politically. Kolkata was the capital of the country during British rule and London was the second largest city of the British Empire after Kolkata. Between 1820 and 1930, the seeds of nationalism had begun to be sown and the nationalist movement under Indian leadership had reached its zenith when people stood against British rule. Kolkata was India's most populous city before 1980 but was replaced by Mumbai after that. At the time of India's independence in 1947 and after the IndoPakistani war of 1971, there was an inux of refugees from 'East Bengal' (now Bangladesh) which severely shaken the economy of this city. 31

Upshot Metros

The Main Market The attractive markets of Kolkata are full of colour, sound, and food. Gariahat Market is home to handloom sarees, Bengali cotton sarees, and traditional silk sarees. Artworks, toys, and fashion accessories, hand-made bangles and necklaces, wood-carved sculptures and hand-made brass utensils, paved ceramics, especially attractive decorative motifs in extravagant traditional designs on the walls Goods can be seen on Chowringhee Road. Shovabazar is known for its traditional Bengali shopping. Malik Flower Market is the largest flower market in Asia, which is a delight to watch.

32 February 2020

The captivating aroma of Bengali food The food of Kolkata has delicious unique magic, with breakfast or dessert never-ending in the list of dishes. In Kolkata, 'Rasgulla' is literally a ball filled with sweet syrup. Prepared with milk, sugar, and cheese, it melts in the mouth like a sugar candy (sweet), its taste is very unique. 'Misti Doi' (Frozen Yogurt) made from the perfect blend of milk and sugar and is a tempting snack. Chilling/kulfi is the perfect thing for summer days in Kolkata. It is a very cold beverage of Kolkata which is decorated with pistachios and almonds. Breakfast is very popular in Kolkata and the

most popular breakfast dish there is Radha Pallavi (Stuffed-Dal Ki Puri). Jhalamuri is a delicious snack found on the streets of Kolkata, which is made with peanuts, coriander, puffed rice, and other spices. Balls made of wheat flour, which is filled with spicy water, called Puchka (Pani Puri), are much preferred in Kolkata. The mouthwatering Kosha Mangsho (mutton curry) is served with boiled rice, luchi (puri) and paratha, along with thick gravy and meaty pieces of meat. Mughlai parathas are stuffed with eggs and meat mince which you

will start licking your finger after eating. Macher jhol (fish curry) is the staple food of this city with rice, it is found almost everywhere in Kolkata. The delicious Kathi rolls of Kolkata are very much liked. Fish fry has its own distinct importance in Kolkata cuisine. Bengali Culture Bengali Culture is one of the most important cultures in India. The culture unites people from different casts and religions. Festivals in Kolkata are celebrated with a vast enthusiasm that makes the city more beautiful and happier. Durga Puja, Kali Puja, Diwali, Saraswati Puja, Holi (Doli Yatra), Rath Yatra, Vishwakarma Puja, Janmashtami,

Jagadhatri Puja, Kolkata Christmas Celebration, Dover Lane Music Festival, Kolkata International Book Fair or Kolkata Boi Fair, Kolkata International Cinema Festival, National Theater Festival of Nandikar, International History and Heritage Exhibition / History Festival, etc are some popular festivals across the globe. Bengali people have a unique style of clothing. With globalization, the style of clothing has changed a bit but Bengali people prefer to wear traditional cloths on festivals like Durga Puja, Kali Pooja and etc. Not only in Bengali but also in many different languages and art areas, Bengali people from Kolkata

have made their unique identity. Rabindranath Tagore was a worldrenowned poet, litterateur, and philosopher from Kolkata. He is the only Indian litterateur to have received a Nobel Prize. He was also the first Asian to receive a Nobel Prize and the first nonEuropean to receive a Nobel in literature. He is the only poet in the world whose compositions are the national anthem of two countries the national anthem of India 'Jana Gana Mana' and the national anthem of Bangladesh 'Amar Sonar Bangla'. Rabindranath Tagore, also known as Gurudev, gave a new direction to Bangla literature and music. 33

Upshot Metros

Victoria Memorial It is one of the most popular sightseeing places in Kolkata. A large number of people from India and abroad come to see the Victoria Memorial. This memorial was built in 1901 by Viceroy Lord Curzon in memory of Queen Victoria. It took 20 years to build this memorial at that time. This memorial started in 1901 and ended in 1921. This building is an invaluable heritage of British rule in India.

Howrah Bridge Howrah Bridge is also famous as Gateway of Kolkata. This bridge is also called Ravindra Setu after the Nobel Prize winner Rabindra Nath Tagore. Apart from tourists from India and abroad, it has also attracted ďŹ lmmakers like Satyajit Ray to Richard Attenborough and Mani Ratnam. Howrah bridge is famous worldwide.

Shaheed Minar Shaheed Minar was built in memory of Sir David Doctor Loney, who emerged as the army hero during the Nepal War. This tower is built on the lines of Qutub Minar in Delhi. The height of this tower is 158 feet. Its special thing is that if you climb this tower, you can see the whole city.

Science city If you are fond of knowing the adventures of space, space or science, then the science city of Kolkata is waiting for you. The bizarre things kept here will surprise you a lot. Kolkata, the second-largest city in India after Delhi has never failed to amaze tourists as well as investors. Go make time and visit Kolkata to learn, explore, create beautiful memories as well as spread your business wings in one of the most economically vital cities in India. 34 February 2020 35

The Highly Recommended Financial Advisors for 2020

The Largest Financial Advising Company


igitization helped the economy to get a boost that reflected in the earnings of people. While one earns, he or she thinks about investing his earnings and get more returns to secure tomorrow. A layman doesn’t have knowledge in brief about the financial sector. By knowing this there were many people who misguided clients for personal interests. Many time a layman never pay much attention to the last line of any advertorial regarding investments such as “Mutual fund investments are subject to market risks, read all scheme related documents carefully.”

literacy was lacking in common people. is a financial advising company. The purpose of the company is to ensure 100% financial literacy in India. The company sells no specific products. It provides financial advice to over 23,000 people every day for free. On giving a missed call to the company’s toll-free number, a money doctor will call you back to assist you with any financial product. Queries related to any financial product can be asked to the money doctor in your preferred language.

It was a need to educate a layman and save him from getting robbed. Keeping this in mind, Mr. C S Sudheer started and today the company is running smoothly with creating its unique place in the market.

Besides this, now the company has ventured into various mediums for imparting financial knowledge to the public. This includes workshops conducted in various locations, YouTube videos in several languages, TV shows, newspaper columns and so on.

The Company

The early days was founded in the year 2008. It was a personal incident that inspired Mr. Sudheer to start this company. A brief interaction with an auto driver during a journey, who was misled by an insurance agent made him realise the extent to which financial

Beginning an entrepreneurial journey at the young age of 22 years obviously had some hurdles. It was challenging to introduce this new concept to consumers. A free service is often looked upon suspiciously; hence getting people to trust and rely on this new service

36 February 2020

was a real challenge. The second challenge was regarding how to reach out to a large population. To solve this, IndianMoney introduced different regional languages in all their services. Factors behind the massive achievement of IndiaMoney • Teamwork. To be successful, it always requires to be backed up by a great team. IndianMoney comprises of a big team driven by the same vision and mission. A fully-fledged team trained by suitable mentors have proven to be the greatest success factor of the firm. From a start-up company, it has transformed into a well-established firm and received attention at a national level. • Priority for customers. IndianMoney has always placed customers as a priority. They are continually working towards introducing new programs and tools to ensure their customer’s needs are met. Customer’s suggestions and criticisms are considered, and changes are made accordingly to meet their requirements. Their Services The priority of is

C S Sudheer Founder

to provide financial education to the public. Besides giving advice over the phone, articles and videos on commonly enquired topics are made available through their website and social media platforms. Videos are uploaded every day and topics are chosen on the basis of customer requests. It is available in various regional languages, to ensure that viewers do not face the challenge of linguistic barriers. Financial Freedom Workshops are conducted where the audience is educated about various techniques to invest, save and attain financial freedom. Workshops are interactive sessions that have proven to be more effective. What makes stand out from others is that at present, it is the only company that gives financial advice for free.

Also, they make sure not to interrupt unnecessarily in the daily life of customers by means of cold calling. Therefore, the business model is developed considering this factor. A customer will be called back only upon request. Data is made available in multiple languages because financial inclusion is their topmost priority. Mr. C S Sudheer, A leader with a transforming vision 11 years’ journey with has helped Mr. C S Sudheer to evolve as a better person and better leader. Initially, it was challenging to transform a new concept into reality. He was not sure whether his concept is being transferred to society exactly the way he wanted. But with hard work, determination and required

If you buy things you don’t need, you will soon sell things you need.

team support, it was achieved much easier. A start-up company teaches you how to begin a firm from scratch and build it into your dream project. Challenges are inevitable in such a journey. But solving each challenge brings out a new version of you. The sustainability of the company was often questioned by the public. But they were driven by the necessity to ensure that their customers become wise and rich. Customers were their priority then and continue to be until today, and that alone has been one of the major reasons for’s success. While talking about a constant vigilance, Mr. Sudheer says, “Constant vigilance is a need. It is not an additional strategy to be 37

The Highly Recommended Financial Advisors for 2020

included in the firm’s operations. Rather it is a necessity for the smooth functioning of any organization. Change is the only constant thing in the world. Every passing day brings in changes. It is important to monitor these changes and alter our system accordingly. Only then we will be successful in providing adequate service to the society. Only a firm that is constantly vigilant can be well equipped with strategies, innovations, and services that will meet customer requirements.” The key achievements • Over the last 11 years, has educated more than 53Lakh people in different languages. • IndianMoney’s YouTube subscribers are shooting up ever since the channels have been launched. They have different

channels, for different languages. Regional channels like the Kannada channel has more than 4lakh subscribers. • Employees are the backbone of any firm. is a preferred working place, especially among the youth. Employee strength has increased considerably over the years. Currently, over 1800 employees are working with them. The happening working environment It is said that only happy employees will produce happy customers. Therefore, employees in are always treated and considered with respect and care. Since the employee strength is large, they have assigned one HR employee for each group to communicate their problems and queries. Team meetings are held frequently, where everyone is given the chance to

express themselves. When most of the companies give promotions and salary hikes only after the completion of a fixed time period of service, in they do not hesitate to promote their employees if they are able and talented. It is the right place to grow and learn. Team lunches, a celebration of festivals, birthdays, are all conducted within the company premises, to make sure employees are one family, and not just salaried employees.

The less you know, the more you think you know. The more you know, the less you think you know.

38 February 2020

All Orthopaedic Sub-specialities Under One Roof

Interview with The Enterprise World



good financial advisor is one who can provide good service and financial advice to his customers and can also guide them properly. Financial advisors offer a variety of services, to secure the future of clients financially. Mr Lokesh Agrawal is helping out people with his vast experience in the field of finance through ACE Consultancy. In a talk with him lets discover more about ACE Consultancy’s journey since the inception and what they offer to their valuable clients Tell us about the company. ACE Consultancy is going to complete 12 years shortly. It was founded in February 2008. I, Mr. Lokesh Agrawal, am the promoter. After my MBA Finance degree, in 2001, I started working in a finance consultancy firm in Mumbai for a year. Then, after a few other stints career-wise, ACE Consultancy came into being. 40 February 2020

ACE Consultancy is a finance consultancy firm that deals in Debt & Equity market both. Through various innovative debt products of Banks and NBFCs, we raise funds for our clients, such as Property Finance, Secured & Unsecured Working Capital Loan as well as Project Finance. And, on the Equity front, we raise investment in the company by way of diluting company shares. What were the initial challenges you faced? Everyone faces challenges, irrespective of whether it is one’s job or business. I have encountered multiple challenges at the beginning of my career. Mumbai was alien to me and everything here was a challenge, from accommodation to travel, communicating with the locals and the city’s mindset. I was the first person from my family to step away from our traditional jewelry business to do something different and on my own; I knew I couldn’t

afford to lose to the challenges I faced. Had I given up, it would have stopped an entire generation in my family from doing something different, as they looked up to me for inspiration. It was my go-getter attitude and, of course, support from family that helped me overcome all hurdles. Apart from that, the financial market is extremely fluid. In such a market, it sometimes becomes difficult to take a call regarding what best we can offer to the customer. For example, every day, there is something new in the market. So a big hurdle we faced and overcame was to stand strong against our competition without diluting our pricing or our integrity while servicing our clients. Which was that point that triggered the growth of the company? Well, there were many. But if am to single out that one point that


Interview with The Enterprise World

triggered the growth of ACE Consultancy, I’d have to say it was Networking. Here, as a company, we learned to increase our network. As the old saying goes, “Your network is your net worth.” We realized that business was all about networking. It helped us every step of the way. Networking helped us in growing our team and in getting connected with decision-makers at multiple banks. But most of all, it helped us grow our salesforce by massive numbers. This was what gave our nascent business the push it required. Today too, networking is a major part of ACE Consultancy’s sales strategy. How have the company graphs changed since the foundation? There had been many ups and downs in the company’s graph since its foundation. These happened due to various factors like recession, government policies, political uncertainties and, more recently, due to demonetization and GST. Sometimes government policies pushed our graph up and sometimes it dragged it all the way down. To start with, ACE Consultancy was founded in 2008. That was the year when the great recession of our times had also started. We transacted in 50 crores of debt proposals; it was the same in 2009 too. Post-2009, the turnover increased every year by a minimum of 25% until 2012. After being around for five years, we added more products and manpower to the bandwagon. In 2013, we successfully crossed the 250-cr. mark, and since then, we have consistently added an additional 75-100 cr. in fundraising for every year until demonetization in November 2018. Post 42 February 2020

demonetization, the debt raising market has gone down drastically and our book size fell by a whopping 50%. Unexpectedly, GST somehow pushed our graph up once again and brought us back in the 800-cr. bracket. What is the reason behind your company’s long-standing success? The long-standing success of any company finally points towards customer retention. It is extremely difficult to retain customers, hence, being able to do so matters the most. And, the reason why we are able to do so is the customeroriented services we offer. Our customer-centric services not only helped us retain our existing customers but brought us an entirely new set of clients through our old ones. What are the services the company focuses on? How are your services different from those in the market? At ACE Consultancy, we focused on both Debt & Equity depending on a client’s requirement. We are associated with various Banks and NBFCs as their service providers. We deal in various debt fund products like Property Loan, Secured & Unsecured Working Capital Loan, Lease Rent Discounting, Debt Consolidation, and Project Finance. And in Equity funds, we have a combination of tools depending on factors such as requirement, industry, size & entry & exit options. What differentiates us from our competition is our motto. We don’t aim to simply arrange the finance for our clients. We are more

interested in fulfilling their various requirements by getting them the best possible deals. Our transparency is our biggest USP. How do you decide to take the company a step further in terms of your products/services? Sometimes traditional products are not sufficient to get the desired result, as every single client has a different set of challenges and scale of business. So, we, as consultants, always look for different options through which we can satisfy their needs. Hence, we keep adding new products to our quiver so as to offer the best solutions to our customers. Can you please brief us about your professional experience? My experience in the finance industry actually started at a really early age, when I used to handle my father’s jewelry business’ finance. The professional experience, however, started after completing my MBA in Finance in 2001. I started working as an executive in a finance consultancy firm in Mumbai for a year. Post that, I was recruited as a Team Head by a limited company till the end of 2003. In 2004, I then started a partnership firm that dealt with almost all Banks and NBFCs. Towards the end of 2007, we dissolved the partnership firm. This made way for ACE Consultancy. What are the key achievements of your entrepreneurial journey? For me, the definition of achievement is gaining support, trust, and name in the market. I have witnessed many success stories, for which we were also recognized by a magazine as one of the Top 25 Most Promising Debt Consultants in India. Additionally,

we have received testimonials from numerous clients, some of which available for your perusal on our website and YouTube channel. However, if I were to give you a few examples, they would be as follows: 1. Successfully closed a deal of one billion in 3 months’ time 2. Served more than 1100 clients, raising over 850 crores in finance 3. Apart from amazing finance figures, achieved the trust of innumerable people How do you look after your employees? What makes your team unique? Like any other entrepreneur, I believe that my employees are assets of the company. And, we take care of our employees in the same way that we take care of our treasured assets. Everyone at ACE Consultancy is treated as the owner of the company so they work with complete ownership and responsibility, which makes the

clients, employees and organization’s life easy. Constant vigilance- a need or a strategy? Please share your views. Constant vigilance is the need of the hour. With so many fraud cases registered in the world of finance, there is constant scrutiny and vigilance. But with the need for vigilance comes the need for us to have a strategy that is required to fulfill that need. These days, there are finance and tax frauds worth thousands of crores. In such times, it is important for the government to be vigilant and for us to be strategic about the kind of lending that is being undertaken. Is there any special experience with your clients you would like to highlight?

vice-versa. I especially remember this once when a lady, who was the director of a company, had approached us through our website. She was completely frustrated and feeling helpless. Her company was desperately looking to raise Working Capital but due to very thin profitability shown on paper, most financial institutions had already refused to finance them. She approached us feeling as a last resort, hoping to give it one last shot. We did study the case extensively, mapped the flow of funds, and figured out possible aspects to increase the top line and profitability. When we shared this with her, she was speechless to see that there was enough scope to take the company to the next level. And based on our work, we managed to arrange a Working Capital limit for her company from a Bank. She remains speechless to date.

We have had some wonderful experiences with our clients and 43

Expert’s View

44 February 2020


he next time you dine at a restaurant, you might end up choosing a dish recommended completely by a software - the cuisine, colour and flavour -without any intervention from a human attendant. And you would not realise it. The first set of these digital restaurants went live with at-Digital Menu four months ago. This counts as a significant leap for Artificial Intelligence in hospitality industry. For customers, buying online might seem simple- click, pay and collect. But it’s a different ballgame for hotel industry. Behind the scenes, from the kitchen to the guests table, artificial intelligence plays a huge role in automating processes.

Online retailers are employing AI to solve complex problems and make online shopping a smoother experience. This could involve getting software to understand and process voice queries, recommend products based on a person’s buying history, or forecast demand whereas in hospitality industry buying history is not specific to an individual on a usual side an order is placed for plus one or more. So what’s the big shift? In terms of industry trends, people are going towards fast decision making driven buy targeted marketing campaigns using AI to process data and predict trends. The new AI-prompted dishes are presented as today’s special dish, so hotels can genuinely test how well

these sell when set against regular menu items. Till now, hospitality industry could look at statistics for inputs. But when you need to scale, we are limited by the depth of customer profile available at hand. The next step for anyone before implementing AI is to digitalise the ordering process and get to know more about your customer not just his eating habits but also insight into their daily likes and dislikes. It acts as a gold mine, our AI algorithm gets better with every additional info we capture and sell ratio for proposed dishes goes high. Digital sales which has a treasure trove of data collected over the last few years is ripe for disruption from AI. Companies are betting big on AI and pouring in funds to push 45

Expert’s View the boundaries of what can be done with data. We are applying AI to a number of problems such as medical condition diets, native origin diets, question answering about menu items, age & ethnic group choices, product recommendations, product search, forecasting product demand based on climate/festivities, etc. An example of how AI is used in recommendations could be this: if you started your search on at-Digital Menu with, say, a cheese sandwich with veggies and your next search is for an espresso and muffin, the algorithm understands what is motivating you. We start with personalisation based on search pattern clubbed with body type (Kapha, Pita & Vayu), it is key. If you have multiple cuisines with hundred of items then it is an issuer your customer get to the product that he wants? We step in here to give your customers precisely what they are looking for. A related focus area for AI is recommending the right spices as this can vary across cuisines. AI Ecosystem A number of AI-focused startups are also working on automating

manual tasks in ecommerce. For example cataloging, If not done properly, searching for the right product becomes cumbersome and shoppers might log out. Few AI companies also offers a host of other services such as sending personalised emails to their clients’ customers, automating warehouse operations and providing analysis and forecasting. The other big use of AI is to provide business intelligence. AI deliver insights using computer vision, meaning visual intelligence, for example, a dark red shirt now dark red is subjective, you cannot translate dark red, so AI pulls information from the internet and show it visually. Few are also trying to use AI to predict for customers the exact time of product delivery. However, its not that simple it depends on what time somebody placed an order, what was happening in the rest of the supply chain at that time. It is a complicated thing to solve but organisations are trying to make it simpler using AI. The next big challenge for AT Ventures One of our next focus is to offer a 24x7 virtual assistant that can talk

By: Abhishek Tyagi (MD- Any Tech Ventures & CEO- Value Prospect) About: Abhishek is an Indian entrepreneur with over a decade of experience in the enterprise technology industry, in both traditional and SaaS based models, founder of Any Tech Ventures (a software-as-a-service company supporting retail & hospitality industry with digitalisation and AI) and Value Prospect (a data analytics and marketing consulting agency serving Fortune 500 organisations). 46 February 2020

in common language and recommend what to eat, when to eat, how much to eat (ha ha ha, myself being a foodie) and where to eat. But realtime mood predictions are difficult to solve. It is very early to even comment on the feasibility of such assistant, for now first step would be to offer support, where a user ask questions like where is my order, how much calories in this item and is it good for my medical condition etc, or instruct like add some more cheese to my burger etc. Technology giants like Google and Amazon are pushing forward research on artificial intelligence. Already many organisations have shifted customer care on bot agents responding to customers. The next stage is where a customer can connect to bot agent as he connects to Alexa or Siri. While speech is one crucial area in AI research, vision is another. Any opportunity to improve efficiency and cut cost is of supreme importance. There are a lot of diverse experiments going on, We will certainly see a lot of innovative tech in near future.

POLAROID EYEWEAR Get ready to see the world through new eyes

48 February 2020

THE BOMBAY STOCK EXCHANGE The rst stock market in the continent of Asia The Bombay Stock Exchange is the largest & reputed Indian stock market and the first stock market in the continent of Asia is replete with many such achievements. The honorary index (index) of the Bombay Stock Exchange holds special and superior importance in the stock markets of the world. This stock exchange has a history of more than a hundred years. There are two major stock exchanges of the Indian stock market, the Bombay Stock Exchange and the National Stock Exchange. The stock market has an important role in the Indian capital market i.e. investment market. It would not be wrong to call both the stock exchanges of the country as the foundation of the Indian economy and capital markets. It is the oldest stock exchange not only in India but in Asia. The Bombay Stock Exchange was established by Premchand Roychand, a 19th-century Indian trader. Premchand was known by


names like Cotton King and Bullion King. Premchand Roychand was the son of Surat merchant Roychand Deepchand. The Roychand family settled in Mumbai. Premchand, who specializes in writing and speaking fluent English, started the stockbroker work from 1849. Due to a lot of interest in cotton and bullion 49

business, he did a lot of dominance in the Indian market by doing business in this area. He established the Share and Stock Brokers Association, which later became recognized as the Bombay Stock Exchange. In this way, Premchand Roychand played the role of the founder of the Bombay Stock Exchange. This stock exchange of India is huge in terms of a number of listed companies and market capitalization. Before the existence and regulations of the international capital market, BSE had made its own comprehensive rules and regulations for the Indian capital market. It was only after independence that this exchange established the best trading traditions for the Indian capital market. This was appreciated by 50 February 2020

the capital markets of the world. Permanent recognition has been granted under the Bombay Stock Exchange Securities Contract Regulation Act 1956. The exchange is governed by a board of directors led by a managing director. The board consists of a group of eminent professionals, representatives of trading members and public representatives who play an important role in its operations. There is hardly any company in India that has not used BSE for Capital. BSE is considered a symbol of the capital market in India. The BSE Sensex is a benchmark equity index reflecting the country’s economy and finance market movements. BSE has been the leader in many fields, being internationally equivalent.

In the year 2002, the name of the Stock Exchange, Mumbai was changed to BSE. The BSE introduced Securities Trading in India, replacing the traditional share buying method of the trading ring (the tradition of playing the bell during share listing) in 1995 through BSE online trading (Bolt), the automated trading system was introduced. By 1997, the network had taken over the entire country. A new history began on 18 February 2002, when Televentures Ltd. ‘S stock listing began with a ringing ceremony at BSE’s International Convention Hall. This tradition continues to this day in the modernday BSE.


The Highly Recommended Financial Advisors for 2020

Moving ahead, together


he business world today is dynamic, and in order to strive in this fast-changing landscape, the companies to attain quality and excellence in their fields of operation. The prime objective of every company is its profitable growth and it is possible both internally as well as externally. The internal growth can be achieved either by the introduction or development of new products or by expanding or enlarging capacity of existing products or also by the sustained improvement in sales. Mergers and Acquisitions (M&A) are quite important sorts of external growth. In today’s globalized economy, mergers and acquisitions are being increasingly used the all over as a method for achieving a bigger asset base, for entering new markets, generating greater market shares/additional manufacturing capacities, and gaining complementary strengths and competencies, to become more 52 February 2020

competitive within the marketplace. A couple of years ago, the Acquisitions of AmericanEuropean institutions by the Indian companies were a rare sight. However, this situation has taken over a sudden U-turn. Nowadays the reports of Indian companies taking over foreign businesses are more common. To empower businesses with the help of his vast experience in the field, Mr Binesh Balan founded Oakcapita Advisory LLP in 2015 and since then, the firm has been operating smoothly in the landscape of M&A Advisory. Oakcapita Advisory LLP is a boutique Middle Market M&A Advisory Firm, rendering seamless advisory services to clients seeking in-depth strategy, investing, and financial expertise. Antecedent Hurdles “Expect the best. Prepare for the worst. Capitalize on what comes.”

– Zig Ziglar A journey full of hurdles makes destiny more beautiful. Every successful business needs to go through different challenges and prove them to stand strong in the market. Oakcapita also faced some major challenges initially. In the era of rising boutique advisors, striking through the competition and creating a unique place in the market was a major challenge for the firm. Oakcapita always tries to be ahead in the globalized market and stand out from the rest with its quality services. Another challenging task for the firm was to secure interesting deals and get in chains to globalized market as there are many endless opportunities to spread the wings. Global markets are more interconnected due to the increasing globalization of the

Binesh Balan Founder & CEO

M&A sector in general, which is the core focus service among other Investment Banking advisory services. The Firm has faced numerous other challenges till date. But, what kept it going is its constant focus on turning those challenges into capitalizing opportunities. Now the firm has an average 30% Y-o-Y growth. Factors behind the Firm’s Long Standing SuccessThe firm is providing many services to its valuable clients with

insights, expertise and experience through each step of the M&A process. The firm selects its deals after due liability preferring quality over quantity. It is investing in developing an upscale human capital to spot challenges and harness them to opportunities by using local and global knowledge to develop customized strategies fitted to each client in such a highly competitive market. Range of Quality Offerings Oakcapita provides its services in the fields of M&A Advisory, Capital Raise Advisory, and Due

Balance is the key; however, it is needed to maintain high standards.

Diligence Services. So we are able to provide a holistic M&A/Capital raise solution. Holding strategic global partnership with a numerous advisory Firms, the Firm is delivering its clients an easy access to massive foreign capital markets. With an exclusive network of international investors, Oakcapita is helping its clients to achieve their strategic intent of growth, expansion, cash flow generation, and profit maximization. “We plan to have a direct presence in all key global markets. Expand 53

The Highly Recommended Financial Advisors for 2020 team strength to cater to our ever growing clientele.” Mr. Binesh Balan, Founder and CEO- The Master BrainMr. Binesh Balan is the leading light behind the long standing growth of the firm. Under his evolutionary vision the firm is taking steps forward in the landscape of the investment banking industry. With a vast experience of over a decade working in the Investment Banking industry; he brings in exemplary expertise across diversified areas including M&A, private equity & venture capital deals, and project finance. He possesses specializations in equity and debt syndication fund raising assignments, market entry strategies, JV’s, strategic tie-ups, and management consultancy specialized in GCC, Asian, and European markets. He is closely associated with leading Family Offices, Business groups, HNIs,

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Venture Capital Funds and Private Equity Funds in the Middle East, Europe, the US, and Asia. He executes business operations between the countries of GCC, Europe and India with the help of massive global market knowledge. Under his leadership, the firm has risen from being a little known start-up to a name to be reckoned with in the M&A advisory industry. The firm has been recognised as• “Best Boutique M&A Advisory Firm in India - 2019” • “Outstanding Debt and Equity Firm of the Year 2019” • “10 Highly Trusted M&A Advisory Firms” The Happening Work EnvironmentA happy and happening work place is just as essential for any company. Oakcapita gives their employees an opportunity to express themselves

in real life business scenarios. They believe the best learning happens with exposure and overcoming the various challenges rather than classroom learning. Key members of the team have risen to be well accomplished professionals in their respective space/domain. “Mr Binesh Balan says, “Balance is the key; however, it is needed to maintain high standards.” As Oakcapita is pledged to deliver quality services to their valuable clients to grow their business, within the lesser time it became one of the top most trustworthy boutique middle market M&A advisory firm. The firm has quite a number of overwhelming client experiences. The firm is highly focused and committed to integrate effective measures for developing customized growth strategies to help clients capitalize from complex challenges.

If the highest aim of a captain were to preserve his ship, he would keep it in port forever. -Thomas Aquinas



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Interview with The Enterprise World

Sixth Sense Ventures

Sixth Sense Ventures was launched as India’s first domestic, consumer-focused venture fund that is investing in the Consumer of Tomorrow…Today! Sixth Sense invests in first-generation entrepreneurs who are disrupting large, sticky consumer categories and carving a niche for themselves. Within a short span of 6 years, the fund has grown to an AUM of $150M+, 23 investments and ~40% IRR. Most importantly, Sixth Sense has become the preferred partner for consumer-focused businesses in India. In a talk with Sixth Sense Ventures’ founder and CEO Mr. Nikhil Vora, let’s discover more about the company and his thoughts about the current market scenario.

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• What were the initial challenges you faced? When we started Sixth Sense, we had no experience in fund management, which also meant no baggage of the past. Though the Rs.118Cr. fundraise for our first fund, Sixth Sense India Opportunities I (SSIO I), took some time, SSIO II, our second fund closed at Rs.515Cr., more than double our target corpus of Rs.250Cr. Furthermore, while all other funds struggled to raise capital, Sixth Sense achieved this feat in a record 9 months, despite the volatility in the markets. This demonstrates the pressing need in the market for an alternative investment product with a unique approach. Sixth Sense was awarded Fundraiser of the Year 2018 Venture Capital at the Annual VCCircle Awards. • Which was that point that triggered the growth of the company? Sixth Sense completed its first exit within 1.5 years of investing and

realised ~7X returns from its exit from, oral-care contract manufacturer, JHS Svengaard. Following, Sixth Sense completed 4 exits (from 10 investments in SSIO I) within ~2.3 years of investing and returned 100% of the capital back to investors, a first in India for any fund. Sixth Sense scored a blockbuster ~9.4X return on capital invested, from selling a majority of its stake in India’s leading contract manufacturer, Hindustan Foods to WestBridge Capital. Sixth Sense sold its stake in a hyperlocal logistics company, Grab to Reliance Jio at a ~2X return in a strategic acquisition. Sixth Sense exited its investment in the wedding marketplace, through OYO’s strategic acquisition, registering a ~1.7X return. While the returns as of date, are extremely satisfying, we feel

completely vindicated with the fact that two of our portfolio companies found their way into some of the largest unicorns in India – Reliance Jio (Grab) and OYO Rooms ( While the business environment will always be challenging, we do believe that our portfolio companies are only getting stronger by the day. • How have the company graphs changed since the foundation? Can you share a few statistics?

• What is the reason behind your company’s long-standing success? Sixth Sense Ventures was founded on the back of a single core belief – to create the most credible consumer fund in the country. Credibility has to 57

Interview with The Enterprise World percolate in everything that we do – be it our investment philosophy, our business model or our investments. Anywhere in the world, if a business doesn’t deliver, it doesn’t make money – but fund management is the only business where you make money even if you do a mediocre job. To break this norm, we launched, for the first time in India, a 0% management fee fund, in an industry where the 2-20 structure has been a norm for decades. You only pay for performance - hopefully, that's how the next-generation of funds will operate. The reason for our limited success, and we’re still very early in our journey, is that we knew our final goal post – to ensure that we think like founders and not act like investors. Business lifecycles are turning shorter – successful business cycles have reduced from 30 years to 15 years. Hence, we want to invest in businesses that have a longer lifecycle of their own. What we invest in today, will not be the same 3-5 years down the line. Hence, it is extremely important to invest in the right founders, who are just 6-12 months ahead of the curve. If we get that line of sight, we’re on the right track. • What are the services the company focuses on? How are your services different from those in the market? The Great Indian Consumption Story is crystallising rapidly and in India, consumption has been outperforming all other sectors. While most of the other funds are either sector-agnostic or technology-focused, Sixth Sense has stayed true to its cause of being a consumer fund, not getting 58 February 2020

swayed by trends. Thus, giving us an advantage over trend investing. There are large consumer categories that already exist and thus offer a strong opportunity. We believe challengers will shake the leaders in these spaces to carve out market share. Our intent is to identify and partner with such disruptors, operating in the largest and stickiest consumer categories in India. Furthermore, there are two types of businesses – innovators and disruptors. Innovation in India is a challenging task as the environment is not very conducive. We like to invest in disruption – there is a market that has already been created and an opportunity that already exists – all one has to do is shake the leaders. We may not participate in businesses just because we might get a great value – values are very transient. We want to invest in founders with whom we can create great value with! • How do you decide to take the company a step further in terms of your services? The core of Sixth Sense lies in the belief that the next big wave of dysfunctional growth will be led by players who are going to be driven by completely different skill sets / capabilities and not necessarily capital. Three pillars defined the founding of Sixth Sense: (a) leverage our knowledge of the consumer centric spaces to help first generation entrepreneurs in disrupting traditional categories (b) bring our entire ecosystem onto an organized platform which in turn would help our investees (c) extend the validation achieved in the angel portfolio, to identify the right

founders who are building products/services for the consumer of tomorrow. • Can you please brief us about your professional experience? Nikhil Vora is a consumer and finance industry veteran with over 27 years of experience. He is the Founder and CEO of Sixth Sense Ventures. Nikhil was earlier the Managing Director & Head of Research at IDFC Securities and has been regarded as one of the strongest analytical minds in the country. A post-graduate in Management, Nikhil was a member participant at the Future Leaders Program at the Saïd Business School, University of Oxford, London. He was also bestowed with the ‘Thought Leadership’ award by IDFC.

Nikhil has been invited by Nestle Global, Unilever, Aditya Birla Group, Marico, Godrej etc. to evolve a strategic roadmap for their businesses. He excels in identifying emerging consumer trends and his research has been accredited by some of the largest global funds like Capital, Fidelity, Alliance Bernstein, Putnam, Schroder’s etc. Some of his work includes differentiated presentations on Food Security, Changing DNA (of organisations) and “If I Were” (based on strategies consumer companies should adopt). Nikhil was voted as India’s Best Analyst, in the Asiamoney’s Brokers Poll 2012. He also has the rare distinction of being voted Asia’s Best Analyst by the Wall Street Journal in the same year. • What are the key achievements of your entrepreneurial journey? “After almost 25 years of my professional journey, I decided to take the entrepreneurial route in 2014. The ‘exhilaration of uncertainty’ when I left IDFC to start off Sixth Sense, the change-over from being a professional to an entrepreneur must rank as my most fulfilling period. The incredible high of raising capital to drive the vision of investing in the Leaders of Tomorrow…the journey has been breath-taking!” “Taking the entrepreneurial route, leaving behind an extremely successful professional career has been one of biggest challenges I have taken. Through all the ups and downs in the last 6 years, there’s been two constants in my life - my family and Sixth Sense. The team, investee companies and investors have become a part of my family.

Nikhil Vora Founder & CEO

Being a first-time manager, I had a vision – to become the most “credible” partner for consumer businesses in the country - and I knew the goalpost – to think like founders and not act as investors. There was no baggage of the past ” I believe this has led Sixth Sense to score a rare hattrick: 1. First domestic, consumerfocussed venture capital fund in India 2. First fund in India with a 0% management fee option 3. First fund to return capital back within 2.3 years of closing

• Constant vigilance- a need or a strategy? Please share your views. Sixth Sense comes in at a stage where the product-market fit has already been established and there is absolute coherence among the founders and team. Having said that, an early warning sign in such businesses could be a significant increase in requirement of resources, including capital, or an unusual change in the competitive landscape. Constant vigilance is a need with every business so that one can identify early warning signs and act on to mitigate any adverse effects. 59


he world economy was facing a major slow down for a few months. But now the coronavirus has affected the economy of every nation around the nation. Many businesses are struggling to survive. In this context, they are cutting the number of employees working with them as well as cutting the salaries of employees to survive in the market. The world will definitely win over this pandemic one day but till then we need to find solutions that can help to earn bread and butter for family. In this scenario, the credit cards are the biggest solutions that can be beneficial for many to feed their families. Readout and think about getting a credit card from a wise service provider to survive in this financial crisis. Due to coronavirus, many people are facing money problems. Credit cards can be a perfect weapon to deal with this emergency situation. The credit card trend has increased due to the ability to provide cash in an emergency. When it comes to choosing a card, we have to choose only one of the many options available. Try to choose the right credit card keeping in mind your spending habits and its pattern. Apart from this, there are many benefits to using credit cards. 60 February 2020

Loans on credit limit: It is not known when the money is required, in such a situation; you can take a loan on the credit limit of the credit card if needed, those who can repay with EMI. However, interest will also have to be paid on this. Cash withdrawal rules: You can withdraw cash from a credit card if needed. On this, you will also have to pay fees and interest. Try to choose a credit card that has low interest and low withdrawal fees. Credit card fees: Many credit card companies charge joining fees as well as annual fees. So choose a card in which you have to pay minimum joining fees and low annual maintenance fees. Pay attention to other things as well: Many banks or financial institutions offer various types of offers on their credit cards such as cashback on shopping at movies, restaurants, or shopping. Apart from this, many banks do not take fuel surcharge on pumping petrol pumps with a credit card. The credit card has many benefits Less possibility of fraud: If you are a victim of fraud by making online payment with a debit card

then the entire money deposited in your bank account can go. It may take a long time to return. In the case of credit cards, time is available to rectify the mistake. Apart from this, it will go as much money as you have a credit card limit. Help in an emergency: It is very helpful if you suddenly need money. A credit card is the easiest way to get money compared to the time it takes to not have much money in a bank account or to process a loan. However, if you have spent more; you may have to pay over-limit fees on the credit card too. But it is not very much. But this makes your job in an emergency. Improves Credit Score: If you spend money with a credit card and pay credit it on time, you can create a better credit score. A credit score also helps you in getting a loan easily and at work interest. Attractive offers you get when shopping online: You get a lot of great offers including attractive cashback when you pay with a credit card. You also get up to 10 percent cashback by shopping from many online shopping websites. In such a situation, you can get extra benefits from shopping.


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