In conversation with Varun Mundra -Founder of Fintech startup Rupeevest.com

Fintech is definitely the next big revolution that is competing with the traditional financial methods in the delivery of a multitude of financial services and will launch the next batch of successful entrepreneurs.

So we at Fintuned didn’t want our readers to be left behind and thought of conversing with new age Fintech entrepreneurs and understanding an overview of their business, fintech industry and their thoughts on entrepreneurship.

We begin this interview series with Varun Mundra- founder of https://www.rupeevest.com/. Rupeevest is a start up based out of Kolkata that aims at providing hassle-free investment experience through leveraging smarter technology and in-depth research.

 

 

unnamed
Varun Mundra

 

Here is a snippet of the interview:

  1. Could you briefly describe what inspired you to start Rupeevest? 

After I graduated from IIT-Kharagpur and started working for Oracle, I wanted to invest my money. I didn’t want to do the traditional FDs which was the easiest option available. My dad is a stockbroker, so I was aware of the other options that were available. So I wanted to invest in mutual funds. 

But I soon understood that investing in these was a cumbersome process for which I had to fill up multiple forms and contact various people. Then for making every transaction through these, I had to again fill various forms. I realized that the advice that they were giving me was not up to the mark. In fact, I could invest much better than what they were telling me if I could get even basic data about mutual funds and the other options. 

This is when I realized that I wanted something which could give me good returns without the tedious paperwork. I wanted to build a platform where I could get data and pick funds on my own. That is how the idea of Rupeevest was formed. 

  1. What problem does Rupeevest solve for the customers?

 Hassle free investment with in-depth research. Today, there are many other platforms which offer research about the various investment vehicles. But people have to research somewhere else and then invest somewhere else. They don’t offer transactions. This is where Rupeevest comes into the picture by facilitating both research and investment on a single platform.

  1. How has been the response to Rupeevest till now? How do you plan to reach out to prospective customers?

It took us a while but now the data of all mutual funds are updated daily on my website. We also built a rating algorithm for all the funds. Normally, people just look at 1 year,3 year or 5 year returns before investing. But we took a lot of other factors into consideration here. There are things like ‘Calmar ratio’,’ maximum drawdown’ and other financial ratios. Basically, we used everything that had some correlation with their performance. We have already started getting organic searches on our website to see the details of funds. That’s the idea- that the research should be so good that people come there just for research and then we make it really easy for you to transact as well. We have around 45 crores AUM right now and handle about 450-500 clients.

We publish answers on Quora and other social media on the queries of investors and conduct investor education seminars in offices to reach out to more investors.

  1. What do you think is the reason that most Indians stay away from investing their money or prefer locking their money in Fixed deposits? 

 In developed countries, the MF-GDP ratio is 50%. In India, it is 7-7.5%. Due to lack of education, people are averse to risk and equity due to the volatility in this sector. They do not know that they will make money in the long-term in this sector. 

However, it is true that this is drastically changing now as interest rates which were 10-11% have come down to 7%, not even beating inflation and lesser returns in gold and real estate. The interest of investors increases when they see their friends investing in SIPs with better returns and savings in taxes.

  1. Rupeevest is a fintech based start up. How do you perceive the fintech ecosystem from a capital raising perspective? 

There are many fintech startups now in the lending space, those like our who help invest money and even various payment gateways. In today’s Fintech scenario, anyone who does his job well will make money. After all, everyone in our generation uses netbanking, wants all their details online or via email and don’t want to call and wait for 5 days for the response. Hence, it is only going to grow. For example, my idea is not groundbreaking or extremely new. But the execution is important. How you serve your client, gain their trust and fulfil your promises.

  1. How do you think the dawn of the Fintech era will impact the Indian economy in the next five years? 

Rupeevest is based out of Kolkata but we have clients from various other cities.Even the people in tier 2 and 3 cities have started using digital mediums. In fact, SEBI has a specific guideline where we get more brokerage when the investor is from a below 15 city. Building trust is the key here and a lot of investor education is really required for people in tier 2 or tier 3 cities who are not directly related to the finance world.

  1. We believe every technology comes with its share of disadvantages/downside. In your opinion, what are potential disadvantages/ threats advent of Fintech will have? 

These days, a lot of banks have already started ‘Fintech accelerator program’s where any Fintech solves any core competency issues. The threat here is that of scams or potential security breaches. Even one or two such incidents can break the trust of the investors. Steps are being taken in this direction like easier KYC norms and this will progress with time.

  1. As a successful entrepreneur, what advice would you like to give to the future entrepreneurs who want to start their own startups? 

I have seen that many people try to invent a problem and then solve it. It is not essential to have a groundbreaking idea. There are enough problems to solve in this space. Just go step by step and be patient. There is a huge scope in this sector!

 

 

BlockChains: Technology that’s taking over the world BIT by BIT

How Blockchain is becoming a pinnacle of the Fintech Revolution

When I first sat down to write this article and tell you all about Block chains and how they work, I thought I’ll create a synopsis of the concept, its applicability and much more. But the topic has come across to be so vast and fascinating that a mere thousand words cannot suffice it. So I’ve tried to explain it in the most basic terms to give you a basic idea about what it is, how it functions and where it is currently being applied (We all know about Bitcoins, but there is so much more that this revolutionary concept can do. )

It all started back in 2009, when Satoshi Nakamoto published the paper “Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System” and brought Bitcoins and Block chains to the spotlight. It is renowned by many as “the biggest technological innovation since the internet”. Since then, Bitcoins and blockchain technology have both exploded with each Bitcoin now being equal to 169553.21 Indian Rupee (As on 20th July 2017) and the Block Chain industry seeing funding of over 1 Billion dollars from investors.

blockchain-a-nextgen-platform-for-enterprise-digital-transformation-3-638.jpg

So we now come to the most fundamental question, what is BlockChain? Continue reading “BlockChains: Technology that’s taking over the world BIT by BIT”

A 7-Step Way to Figuring out your Expenses and Saving Smartly

Reproduced from the blog whythezen by our dear friend Karabi Mitra. The blog was posted by her on May 7, 2017. Watch out for more articles from her only on Fintuned 🙂

It’s the same story every month right? You thought your spending was mostly under control this month, and you felt you were finally on the way to figuring out budgeting and saving. However, when the credit card bill finally knocked on your door, you got that same jolt of shock. You scanned the items and realized that there might have been a few things you could have done without. So, you promised yourself that you’d be more careful from next month. After paying off the bill, you promptly forgot about it till the same thing happened the month after.

Having suffered the same cycle myself for many months, I finally decided to take a calculated approach to my expenses. Following is a method I’ve been following to manage my expenses better.

Continue reading “A 7-Step Way to Figuring out your Expenses and Saving Smartly”

Trade Big, Pay Less! Thanks to the Discount brokers!

Shopkeeper: Rs. 51,500/- only.

Me: What??????

Shopkeeper: It’s an iPhone, Ma’am.

Me: Yeah, right. (Grumpy face)

And I came out of that shop with a heavy heart knowing full well that my Dad had just spent half a lakh rupees on a phone he would use only for making and receiving calls, something he was easily doing with his Nokia 6600 (whose even scrap value is zero) all these years.

I am sure we have all felt this feeling. When we ordered double cheese lasagna (with guilt trips) at our favourite restaurant when all we needed was Daal-Roti to quench our hunger. Or when we bought the top model of a car with Bluetooth, touch screen and speakers knowing well that we wouldn’t use these features.

Already feel that pain??

Let me make your heart heavier. Continue reading “Trade Big, Pay Less! Thanks to the Discount brokers!”

Website Updates

Hi there,

We have made some quick changes to our website to make it more interesting and valuable for our readers. So, for your perusal:

  • We have revamped our team page and also the concept page to be more precise & accurate. 
  • We have done away with the guest contributor profiles & the thought behind the same. That being said, if you are super keen to share your thought with us and write for Fintuned, just send in an email to admin@fintuned.net
  • In conjunction with The Investment Lab, we have started to publish company analysis reports on our website. Bookmark this link here – http://fintuned.net/research-reports/company-analysis/ 
  • Some quick bug fixes to ensure faster navigation and enable better use of the website.

Yep! That’s pretty much it. Thanks so much for being such amazing supporters. Fintuned loves you 😀

Cheers

Learn to Budget before you Graduate

Probably, the only thing that can compete most with music in evoking different emotions in different human beings upon hearing it is – the word Budget!

The lazy dread it, the broke fear it, the snob looks down upon it, the ignorant avoids it, the accountant grapples with it yet everyone needs it!

Okay, so let me begin by making you feel good about it (so that you read further ;)).

Always wanted to be the CEO of a company?

Imagine being that CEO who manages his own cash flows!

Imagine always having enough money to buy the things you need!

Imagine being able to readily answer the persistent question of “Where does my money go?”

Excited already? Well, wait till you read the next line.

Continue reading “Learn to Budget before you Graduate”

The Downside of Mutual Funds

I remember the day vividly. It was 2 years ago when I received my first paycheck and despite spending more money in a month than I ever spent in my entire college life, I still had a significant amount of money left in my bank account.

And it was the constant pressure of this very unused and unutilized money lying fruitlessly in my bank account that compelled me to finally ask myself the billion dollar question that every lazy and financially challenged (read: ignorant) person avoids asking himself-

“Where should I invest my savings?”

The choices, like always, were all myriad and unappealing. After all, banks had such low-interest rates, investing in fixed deposits hampered my prized liquidity and PPFs with their 15 years of lock-in period? Don’t even talk about it! What about the stock market? Come on, I was a beginner dude. 

This was until I came across my saviour (Or so I thought) – our very own-Mutual funds! 

No wonder they are so popular.

My money would be managed by professionals with diversified portfolios. I don’t have to care about tracking those complex and cumbersome movements of the stock market.

Continue reading “The Downside of Mutual Funds”

An Investment Structure For Infrastructure

Decoding Investment Infrastructure Trusts and enabling investors to leverage this interesting avenue and play the infrastructure sector.

Before I begin with the core idea behind this post, let me go ahead and unequivocally mention that it is neither strange nor embarrassing to admit that it is difficult to comprehend everything mentioned in our good ole’ business dailies like ET, Business Standard, Mint etc.

Well, I may be wrong about most of my readers (and that’s a wonderful thing) but I often realize the utmost significance of drugs like Saridon because of these dailies.

Couldn’t it all be simpler? Don’t you direly wish that some of the significant concepts can be understood without taking a Saridon?.We hear you and have already acted upon it. As a first, Fintuned has already picked up a novel concept that has been doing media rounds frequently now. Our attempt is to pick up complex concepts (at least by our judgement) and try to decode them in the simplest manner possible. So, any guesses on what’s on the table today!

Continue reading “An Investment Structure For Infrastructure”

5 Simple Lifestyle Changes To Save Money

Broke again?

Last days of the month and you can hardly make ends meet?

Desperately waiting for a message which reads “Rs. 30,000 credited to your account XXXXXX4545?”

Too embarrassed to confess your inability to pay the beer bill at that happening pub?

Too old to ask your parents for help and too young to save any money?

Trust me; one is NEVER too young to save money.

Whether you earn Rs. 20,000/- or Rs. 2, 00,000 (I already envy you), it is important to start saving starting from your first salary. Fortunately, you don’t have to skip dinner or start living in a pigeonhole for that. A few lifestyle changes and tada – your moment of pride and happiness as your bank balance mounts up steadily. (You can even send me a ‘gurudakshina’ from it! ;)).

  1. Note down all your expenses

Write down all of your expenditures and analyze it. I guarantee you’ll find something that either you didn’t know you were spending money on, or you felt was unnecessary. If you don’t want to keep an excel on your computer, consider an app that will automatically track expenses for you (MoneyView, Walnut, Quick Expense Manager are the popular options), or write them down in a notebook.

  1. Grocery shop on a full stomach.    

Mrs. Sharma, who spent 5 years expending Rs. 50,000 a year to cover her family needs and managed to cut her grocery bill from Rs. 8,000 to Rs. 5,000, recently shared her top tricks for reducing your grocery expenses. “Don’t go grocery shopping when you are hungry! You will end up spending way too much on things you will regret buying and feel guilty about eating ’’, she said. Bad deal, eh?

Try eating a healthy snack before heading to the store so your cravings for packaged foods aren’t out of control. Your budget — and waistline — will thank you. 😀

  1. Take pleasure in simple living

Do you really need to upgrade your iPhone 6 to iPhone 7? Does your old, reliable i10 (or Dhanno for that matter) deserve to be replaced with that overpriced sedan? Can you ever love that dazzling FOSSIL as much as your Dad’s Titan watches? Is it worth buying Steve Madden on impulse and regretting later? (Okay, I admit I have done it.)

Some expenses aren’t just worth it. Remember, your Fossil will always have an Armani to compete with and every Audi will humiliate your Honda city.  Simple living and high thinking is still the best way to live. (Remember, the Rs. 2, 00,000 category too is an audience. ;))

  1. Go homemade.

Exploring new places is fun, trying out different cuisines is important and loitering around on weekends binge eating desserts while celebrating your freedom is heavenly. After all, what else are we earning for?

But if you are eating out 5 days of the week, you and your health are in serious trouble. Learn to make at least basic Dals and Sabzis. Also, most hotels (even Dhabas) are So, you can afford that ‘London Dairy Belgium Chocolate’ you always crave for from your savings in service charges, service tax, VAT and tip alone.

  1. Walk, walk, walk

If your office is at a walking distance from your place (Lucky you!!), please walk to it. Don’t take the cab. You’ll also end up saving the money you spend on that fancy gym (which you never go to) and stay healthy. Make it a habit of taking the stairs instead of the escalator. Too clichéd I know. But it works. Also, be social and form a carpool. Less pollution and more money- ‘Man me laddu foota’? 😀 😀

Remember, emergencies are like uninvited guests. You never know which one knocks at your dinner.

A few lifestyle changes and you will never be broke again!

Cheers!

Red Pill or Blue Pill – The Dawn of Financial Matrix in India

This post has been contributed by Vidit Dugar from Fintuned Team.

We live in times where Automation & Artificial intelligence have become buzz words and to be honest, these concepts come out to be super exciting. Taking the risk of making it a little too melodramatic, whenever I hear these words, moves like Robocop, IRobot, Matrix series etc., quickly flash through my head and then I end up using my time [you can call it wasting if you wish ;)] in watching some adrenaline pumping snippets from these movies on Youtube. However, this article is not about my day-dreaming trips and therefore, let’s leave it at bay 🙂

Recently the International Advisory Board (IAB) suggested SEBI to study fee based model for robo-advisories in the investment sector bringing the recent automation of the financial advisory sector into limelight. The marriage of automation and finance is an interesting move in the Indian financial ecosystem and while countries like US and UK have moved at light speed in this domain, the recent move suggests India is ready.

If the words robo-advisory model make you imagine Skynet taking over the world or think of a robot like Baymax (From Big Hero 6) framing your investment plans, then you are mistaken because Jetsons age is not here yet.

Continue reading “Red Pill or Blue Pill – The Dawn of Financial Matrix in India”