Money is a mandatory part of every person’s life, it plays an important role in life and creating wealth for future. Some people have lots of money, but they don’t know how to manage it successfully. Investing is very much important to secure future life. To build wealth, a person has to invest money.
If a person doesn’t invest, he is just missing out on opportunities to increase his money. Obviously, there are chances to lose money in investments, but if the investment is done by the trader wisely, then he can gain huge money. Many people take suggestions from stock tips providers regarding right investment in the right platform.
Following are the benefits of financial investment:
- Increase/grow money – Investing can allow you to grow money fastly. Most investment platforms such as stocks, bonds and mutual funds offer good returns on investment over the long term. This return builds and creating your wealth over time. The growth of money is also important to fulfil basic needs in life and investing can help a person to meet long-term life goals easily.
- Earn better return – In order to the growth of money, it is must to invest in such platforms that can give a better return on investment. Make sure that you select an ideal investment platform that must have potential to give you a higher return, the higher the rate of return, the more cash you will earn. Investment assets tend to offer a chance to earn higher rates of return than savings accounts. Do instead of saving money in your personal pocket it will be better if you invest in potential investment vehicles.
If you want to invest in the market but you don’t have the basic idea about how the market works and where to invest your money then investing in the mutual fund is the right option for you. But again many have questions which mutual funds to invest, when to invest and how much to invest. Today we are brining the exclusive interview of founders of Phundo. Phundo is helping people to understand about mutual funds investment and help them to choose the right investment funds to secure their investments, yield high returns and secure their future and investment. Lets see what the founders of Phundo has to speak about their venture.
1. What is the Name of Your Venture? Any specific reason for this name?
PHUNDO is the name of the new venture that has been started my partner Shank K Vasudev and I. Phundo Fintech India Private Ltd is the holding company. Our aim was to choose a name that was simple. Hence the name PHUNDO inspired by “fondo mutuo” which means mutual fund in Spanish.
2. Who is your target Audience/clients?
The audience that we are addressing is the retail clientele in India and NRIs. The focus is on salaried individuals as well as the self-employed mid segment market.
3. Where is your venture based (city, state, country) & What are your geographical target areas?
Our base is in India’s startup hub – Bangalore. Our proposition is online therefore there are no geographical boundaries limiting our growth and expansion. The platform that we are building also caters to the NRI market specifically those who are cross posted overseas on short term and long-term assignment by their companies.
4. What problems does your venture resolve? What are your products or services?
Mutual Fund is a simple investment proposition to channel regular savings for the present and the future. Yet, over the years this proposition has become complex. We aim to solve this issue and encourage clients to take charge of their own financial wellbeing – we call this “Mann ki Shanti”. PHUNDO presents this power in a basic, user friendly technological platform by not complicating the message.
5. Share the idea or story behind the venture. How did it came to an existence? What motivated you to start your own venture?
The founders of PHUNDO have collective experience of over 25 years in the mutual fund industry advising advisers and clients in building mutual fund portfolios for the long term. Over the years the industry – Asset Management companies, distributors and the regulator – have made significant progress in growing and reaching out to penetrate the retail market. Yet, despite these efforts a lot more needs to be done. We felt that if you need to fulfil the aspirations of Indians then you cannot achieve it without technology. While stakeholders are adopting technology to reach new segments and markets, the development in this area has not yet matured and still remain limited.
PHUNDO is a platform that harnesses the power of technology and combines it with a human touch. We use algorithms to sort through the large spread of mutual fund products and identify those that will meet the aspiration and needs of people. For example, promoting a solution is very different in comparison to promoting a product. When we talk about solutions we address the long-term goal a person wants to meet, downside risk protection of the selected mutual fund schemes, diversification of the portfolio and the ability of the individual to save a portion of his income every month without having to put a strain on his or her current lifestyle.
The motivation to present a model which seamlessly provides the solution of investing on a simple platform linked to the transacting capabilities (RTAs and payment gateways) with an online feature of allowing investors to track their investments gave birth to the idea of PHUNDO.
6. Who are your biggest competitors and how do you differentiate yourself from them?
To us, we are learning from similar platforms – some will call them competitors. Many have evolved and developed their own expertise to serve the retail market. It is our belief that there is room for everyone in this country and therefore, we believe that there is no competition in this space but a complimentary spirit that will only aid in achieving our objectives.
7. How did you identify your co-founder? Tell us something about your co-founder/s
PHUNDO has been conceived by two founders – we are equal partners and have been colleagues and close friends. Given below is a brief profile of the founders of PHUNDO.
Karan R Kapadia:- with over 23 years of experience in financial services having commenced his journey in 1994 holding a variety of positions ranging from operations, branch banking, wealth management and NRI services based in India & UK with HSBC & Deutsche Bank. Karan is a wealth specialist across banking and asset management. His last assignment was with Franklin Templeton Investments where he worked for 10 years as Head of sales across North, South and West & East regions managing the institutional clients and retail distribution sales. Karan is the co-promoter and Chief Executive Officer at PHUNDO.
Shank K Vasudev:- an entrepreneur having successfully invested in an intercity cab aggregator service. Prior to being an entrepreneur Vasu has had over 13 years of experience in the mutual fund industry commencing with Kothari Pioneer which was India’s first private sector mutual fund asset manager. Post the merger of Kothari with Franklin Templeton Vasu held positions of institutional sales head for Bangalore managing the institutional client business and then Assistant Vice President Karnataka & Kerala managing sales from retail distribution network. Vasu is the co-promoter and Chief Business Development officer at PHUNDO.
Both founders have the passion to perform and we both believe that the “Right to Wealth” should not be limited to a few but accessible to everyone. PHUNDO ensures that every individual receives a chance to attain this basic fundamental right in an honest, user friendly method.
8. How did you hire your first team members? What skills Do you want in your employees/team?
We believe that talent is not what you acquire through degrees but is what you develop through experience and real life situations. We look for individuals who are self-driven, passionate about their work and excellent in execution. Our team consists of freshers who have no knowledge of mutual funds to those with significantly high experience in building client portfolios. With guidance from the founders and the experienced resources supported by external well-wishers, team members are quick to understand and pick up on their tasks and responsibilities.
PHUNDO is all about a simple equation:- PEOPLE + PURPOSE + PASSION + PERSISTENCE = PHUNDO
9. What expansion plans are you looking for the next 2 years, next 5 years?
Expansion to us is defined as (a) getting individuals to design their own Mann ki Shanti (b) Providing a technological platform to those that do not have the resources to build one thereby making them effective and efficient entrepreneurs. Our expansion and growth will come from both these statements and we are working to create an enterprise to foster growth and development for the long term.
10. Where do you want to see yourself in next 10 years?
PHUNDO to be a household brand name in India when it comes to financial security for people. We aim to turn profitable with 36 months of operation.
11. What are your goals over the next 1, 3, 6 and 12 months?
Our goals are simple – at the end of 1Q2018-19 we will launch a platform that addresses the needs and aspirations of retail customers when it comes to planning their own financial security. Within the first 12 months our strategy is to provide a plug and play platform for individuals who wish to harness their Entrepreneur skills to enhance the financial inclusion strategy through government-private partnerships.
12. Have you raised any funding? Or have any plans for the funding?
We are honoured to have an angel investor committing resources, including intellectual, to PHUNDO. We continue to evaluate proposals from investors with a priority on the strategic fit with PHUNDO. A clear understanding of the business is of immense importance.
13. What were the problems you faced during the starting days and how did you resolve them?
The founders have strong business orientation and knowledge in this domain. The challenge is to translate our ideas into developing a technological backbone. Given that we do not come from the technological background, the first challenge was to convert our thoughts into bits and bytes for the development team to work with and present a workable prototype for evaluation.
The second challenge was to find the right people. The primary role we were looking for was that of a portfolio manager, someone who has tremendous knowledge on equities and fixed income with a requirement to analyse data which could build out portfolios. We consider ourselves lucky to have a gentleman with tremendous qualities and skills in this area.
I know that many would express their frustrations with getting necessary approvals from government agencies. In fact we are very encouraged by the support from agencies having also obtained our certification and recognition from Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) under the “start up India” campaign.
14. What was the most challenging part of your journey till now? How did you overcome those challenges?
Same as previous question –
15. Are you married, single or in a relationship?
Both founders are married with kids and are supported strongly by our spouses which is a HUGE encouragement for us to push on. The support from your spouse should never be under estimated. For me, my wife has been a critic as well as an informal advisor which has played a role in shaping my views and thoughts before implementation.
16. What are your hobbies? What do you do in your non-work time?
Watching Netflix and Amazon Prime when I am not at work or when I need a break to clear my mind. Besides, I enjoy cross country driving, spending time with family and friends, walking and good food.
17. Whats your favorite food & holiday destination?
My favourite foods would probably be Idli and Medu Vada – South Indian delicacies are what I enjoy most. Once upon a time, I enjoyed the Indian Burger – Vada Pau especially at the local stops on the Mumbai – Pune expressway. I don’t really have any specific favourite holiday destination but chilling out in Goa with great food, friends and family and the beach is the most relaxing holiday destination.
18. Whom do you consider your idol or biggest motivator?
Individuals from different walks of life who bring smiles, laughter and inspiration are:-
Movies – Matt Damon
Politics – Narendra Modi
Finance – Warren Buffet
Lifestyle – Rocky Singh & Mayur Sharma (Highway on my Plate)
19. What do you feel is the major difference between entrepreneurs and those who work for someone else?
Entrepreneurs aim to build “Blue Oceans” and those that are working for someone else aim to survive in “Red Oceans”. When you are an entrepreneur you can really do serious blue sky thinking which is rarely the case when you work for someone else.
20. If you had the chance to start your career over again, what would you do differently?
Yes – I wish I had started earlier as an entrepreneur.
21. How has being an entrepreneur affected your family & Social life?
Life goes on as usual – but certainly I have more quality time to spend with friends and family.
22. Anything, you would like to say to our readers or upcoming entrepreneurs?
Do what is right and don’t go by who is right. This will empower you to take bold decisions even if the decision is wrong. I believe that not taking a decision is the start to all wrong decisions!
23. Tell us something about your education & family background.
I grew up in a middle class family with my father having passed away when I was a year old. My mother always believed that my two elder brothers and I should have the best of all round education that was available at that time and she worked hard to give us a good education. My eldest brother was the Managing Director of Deutsche Bank and Executive Director of Avendus Wealth Management before retiring from active corporate life. He now serves PHUNDO as an advisor to the Board. My second brother who is only elder to me by 4 years, heads the property portfolio for the Salvation Army group in Australia.
Having begun my journey as a management trainee with the Indian Hotels Company Limited (IHCL) – A TATA enterprise, I consider myself fortunate to have worked with world class organizations and people in India and the UK – IHCL, HSBC, Deutsche Bank & Franklin Templeton. I completed my graduation in Economics and Sociology from Mumbai University, later pursued an MBA from the University of Leicester UK and have obtained a Certificate in Investments from the Securities and Investments Institute London.
24. What is your USP which makes it unique & different from other start-ups in similar domains.
Keep it simple – When your message is simple people will select your proposition and then invest and relax post the selection. That’s why our tag line is “Invest, Select, Relax” – this we believe is a powerful proposition of PHUNDO.
25. What do you think is the biggest threat to the success of small businesses & Start-ups today?
People. India has several problems and these problems create opportunities. We need people who have an understanding of solving practical problems. Our education system doesn’t train students in this area and I feel this is the barrier to providing solutions for the future.
26. Do you consider yourself successful and by what means do you measure success?
Success is determined by whether or not you did the right thing day in and day out. Being true to yourself is one of the most important parameters to succeed. If you can crack this code then you will know that you are on the right path. I know that I have so I do consider myself successful.
27. Please share complete name, address, phone number, email id & website of Your Business & Contact Person
No 13 Regent Place
28/2 Varthur Road
Email : [email protected]
Mobile : +91-9167689221