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.
Here is a snippet of the interview:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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!