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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!

 

 

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”

Know what Credit Score means in Daily Life

Credit Score’-sounds like a heavy technical finance word. (I often use it to impress my non-finance friends. Trust me, it works like a charm! 😉 )

But hey! -Why are we even talking about it here?

Well, what if I tell you that these two words have a considerable and far-reaching impact on your life?

That they can shatter your humble dream of buying that 2 BHK near your crush’s apartment, of showing off your swag in the latest sedan or finally beginning your own start-up (even if it is a revolutionary idea) to pieces.

Really? How?  You would ask me.

Really!

It is because banks check your credit score before granting you any loans whether it is home, car, personal or business loan.

But it’s not just banks who may take your credit score into account – surveys have found your credit score can affect everything from whether you’re able to rent an apartment to who may be willing to date you.

  • Insurance companies – check your credit score before giving you any insurance policies. The higher your score, the better your insurance rates may be.
  • Credit Card companies –check your credit score before handing over that exclusive Platinum card to you.
  • Utility companies – electricity, phone, and cable – check your credit score as part of the application process. Yep, cell phone companies check your credit too! Want to buy the latest I phone 7 (On EMI of course). Guess what you need? A good credit score!
  • Certain jobs – especially those in upper management or the finance industry, require you to have a good credit history. They want to see if their cash and assets are in safe hands.
  • Landlords, property managers, and rental agencies – review potential tenants’ credit reports. They look for a pattern of missed payments or other negative information which may require you to pay a larger deposit.

(I know you suddenly have the urge to check your credit score. We will come to that soon!)

Firstly, what exactly do these two words mean?

A credit score is actually a numeric summary of your credit history. It can range from 300 to 900. Generally, the higher the number, the more trustworthy you appear to lenders. The lower your score, the more difficulty you will face.

Credit history comprises the number of times you paid your loans on time, your credit card bills on time, the percentage of total credit limit that you are using, the age of your credit cards and loan accounts (the older, the better).

In India, there are four credit information companies licensed by Reserve Bank of India (RBI) –

  • Credit Information Bureau India Ltd. (CIBIL)
  • Equifax Credit Information Services
  • Experian Credit Information
  • High Mark Credit Information Services.

The most popular one is the CIBIL credit score. This score ranges from 300 to 900, with 900 being the best score.

Living within your means, using debt wisely and paying all bills—including credit card minimum payment on time, are some of the smart financial moves to help you improve your credit score. It reduces the amount you pay for the borrowed money and put more money in your pocket to save and invest.

However, a lousy credit score doesn’t either mean you’re a bad person — it might just mean you put some unexpected bills on a credit card and had trouble paying, or that you missed a car payment when you lost your job. See below what can give you a bad score

  • Paying credit card bills late
  • Not paying credit card bills at all
  • Defaulting on a loan
  • High credit card balances
  • Having an account charged off

 

 

 

 

 

And now the one you had been waiting for – How to check your credit score?

Official CIBIL website- You can get your credit score by filling the ‘CIBIL Online Credit Score Request Form’ and paying a nominal price for the report. You will be asked your PAN number, DOB etc. to complete this form.

https://www.cibil.com/creditscore/

  • Websites like paisabazaar.com and bankbazaar.com – actually provide you with a detailed report on your credit score absolutely FREE!! You can know your chances of getting a loan approval easily.

Now the time for good news!

The RBI had mandated every credit information company in the country to release one free full credit report to every individual from January 1, 2017. It is supposed to be a detailed report carrying the records of your credit history, including repayment track record of all your credit card bills and any current or previous loans. You can apply for it once a year between January and December from one of the credit information companies.

So what are you waiting for? Go and quickly find out your credit score. Or better still, go and impress your IT friends with some finance jargon! 😉

 

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!