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.

 

 

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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!

 

 

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”

How To Master Your Credit Card Points

Remember the day you gave your heart to that ‘Little Black Dress’ at Zara only to find that you are 1000 bucks short on cash and a gentle swipe of this savior helped you walk away from the store with a beautiful dress and a more beautiful smile?

What about the day you finally materialized your Bangkok plan even without the money to pay for the tickets then because you had this angel come to your rescue?

Or the day you reached early at the Airport and binged on all those free (okay, complimentary) chocolate pastries while sitting on an exquisite leather couch in the lounge because of this plastic card?

And the day this savior helped you- little, ‘almost on the verge of broke’ mortal afford that elusive phone, dream home theatre, incredible DSLR camera and thundering speakers through EMI options and the flexibility to simply pay later.

Yes! I am talking about that all time savior we carry in our pockets every day. Our very own, always there for us – Our Credit cards!

 

 

But hey, the benefits of owning a credit card don’t just stop here!

Every time you swipe/use these plastic wonders you gain additional benefits in the form of reward points. “But those points are useless because we never redeem them”, you would argue. Well, it isn’t difficult and once you start redeeming your points, you will only regret all the times you didn’t do it in the past.  

First of all, let us begin with ways to increase your reward points without increasing your expenses.

  • Make unavoidable business purchases using a credit card-  If you are a start-up or even run an old business, try making your day to day business expenses through your card. You will not even realize when you accumulated enough points to be eligible to get a free flight ticket to Singapore.

To all those who would come up with their tax woes after reading this– Small traders and businesses with a turnover of up to Rs 2 crore will pay less tax if they accept payments through banking and digital means from FY 2017-18.It means your vendors benefit too from your credit card swipes!

  • Make purchases from the Credit card portal/website to earn additional points and get amazing deals – Most good credit card companies have their websites or portals where you can get amazing deals on various electronics/hotels/flight tickets and also earn additional points. Just go to Google and type the name of your Credit Card. You will find a login page where you can register and login.
  • Sign up for value Credit Cards( after some research) to enjoy the free signing bonus points that most companies provide to promote their cards – Imagine earning reward points for just getting a new card. Trust me, I am not kidding! 😉
  • Too much traveling? Sign up for Travel Credit cards – Travel a lot? Most credit card companies have exclusive travel cards which provide much better deals on booking flights than the simple cards and you can fulfill your Europe or Australia dream much quickly. There are additional benefits if you are loyal to a particular airline! (We all look for the cheapest flights. I know! )

Secondly, how to redeem these points?

  •  If you have an account in the Bank whose credit card you own, nothing could be better. Just link your card to your account through Net Banking. You will easily see your reward points and how to redeem them from the Net Banking portal itself.
  • Use Google wisely. Type your credit card name and sign in to the rewards page of your particular card. You will be asked your card number, name etc. Choose your gift and click on ‘redeem’. Your gift will reach you soon!

However, there are some things that you need to remember while enjoying the benefits of your credit card:

  • Pay bills on time to avoid late charges/interest – It is of no use to have 2000 reward points which are equivalent to Rs. 500 and paying Rs. 500 as penalty charges because you forgot to pay your bill.
  • Sign up for cards after checking the joining/annual fee – Yes, new cards give you the benefit of additional bonus points. But, do not sign up unless you are sure that the benefit of points is greater than its annual fee!

Just a little effort and research on these plastic saviors and you aren’t far away from MASTERING YOUR REWARD POINTS!

 

 

 

Wrapping up Year 2016!!

Only by knowing and accepting the past, can one build a better future!

So, on the first day of the year 2017, let Fintuned take you through some interesting moments of 2016 in our own ‘un’conventional way. Wish you a very happy 2017.

Cheers !!

Say Hello to instant money transfers

India moves a step closer to becoming a cashless economy this month with the launch of unified payment interface (UPI), the brainchild of RBI governor Raghuram Rajan. 

“For a number of years, we have been saying we need a revolution in banking in India. I think we can confidently say the revolution is upon us. What we have in India is the most sophisticated public payments infrastructure in the world,” Rajan said at the launch of the UPI.

What exactly is UPI?

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It’s a secure and free way to transfer money instantly, any bank to any bank with contacts in your phone. It will allow users to pay for transactions as low as Rs 50 and go all the way up to Rs 1 lakh.

The UPI system will allow customers to send money and make payments almost as easily as sending a text message. Fund transfer will be possible 24*7, including sundays and public holidays.

It can be used in many day to day activities. To name a few:

  • Paying utility bills
  • Buying railway and movie tickets
  • Direct payment at online shopping websites and retail stores instead of using cash, or cards, or wallet
  • Transfer of money to friends and relatives

How does it affect me?

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Painful account numbers or IFSC codes are no longer required!

Further, no time will be wasted to add beneficiary as you just need one unique virtual payment address.

Rs. 0.50 per transaction will be charged. On your bank statement, it will appear as IMPS transaction.

 

What is this virtual address?

Think of it like a new & unique email ID for payments such as name@bankname.com or a mobile number@bankname.com

For example, if you want to receive or make payment through a particular bank account, you just have to give your virtual financial address (XYZ@sbi) to the other party.

Is it safe?

Absolutely!!! The new interface is built on the same infrastructure as the Immediate Payment Service (IMPS), which is currently used by banks for real-time transfer of cash. Similar to OTPs, UPI will have MPIN to authenticate the transactions, as mandated by RBI.

In case of a transaction failing, customers will be able to raise a complaint from within the app itself.

Final thoughts?

Some 21 banks have already enabled UPI on their own apps, some of which are already available on the Google Playstore; the iOS (Apple) version will come later. India being an Android country, UPI has rightly focused on getting the more important version first.

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All in all, a great move to make cashless payments faster, easier and smoother for millions of people in India.

Do not forget to share your thoughts on it.

Cheers!!

Announcing Interesting Tie-Ups This Holi

Before we even begin, here is wishing all our patrons a very very happy holi. This is not only a festival where we make the environment absolutely colorful (as in the pic below) but more than that, it imparts a much more significant message 

Holi celebrations

“Togetherness”

Staying true to the spirit of the amazing festival of Holi, Fintuned wishes to share something very special that it has achieved today. In our continuing efforts, we have tied up with some absolutely interesting ventures who you can reach out to for anything in their domain. How can you reach them? Its quite simple actually – 

About us –> Partnerships 

We are absolutely excited with this development and hope that you are too. Stay Fintuned!

Cheers