July 19, 2019

Key Learnings from Network FP Regional Conclave’19: Kolkata

Pallav Bagaria
Director at Sapient Wealth Advisors & Brokers Pvt Ltd

Key Learnings from Network FP Regional Conclave’19: Kolkata


In the medieval years, Kings used to send their sons and daughters to Rishi Munis to gather knowledge and now in the present day world, this traditional format of learning is practiced by way of attending conferences and seminars. The Network FP conference was similar to an ashram where IFAs got together to learn from various experts, share knowledge and flourish. The conclave in Kolkata coincidently took place on the auspicious day of Guru Purnima.

We had a wide range of speakers with an avast knowledge base and very contrasting styles of working. One thing common amongst everyone was a vision – A hunger for growth and success. Let me take you all through the important learnings from the talks at the conclave:

The event started with a pledge to transform from an Independent Financial Advisor to a Successful Financial Advisor.

SPEAKER1 – Mr. Mohit Beriwala – Investor behavior is more important than Investment returns

We focus way too much on what returns an investor makes, whereas the more important thing to focus on is managing the expectations and the behavior of the investor. Investment Returns is something which is not in our control, but we can to some extent control how an investor behaves in certain circumstances. We should work towards setting the right expectations.

SPEAKER 2 – Mr. Abhenav Khettry – Good to avoid things that everyone else is doing

We as humans generally follow what everyone else does, a good example of that would be the Infrastructure boom in 2007 and the recent Small and Midcap boom in 2017. The learning for all of us has to be to avoid doing things which everyone else is doing- it helps to be a contrarian in the long run. Financial Advisory needs more focus, passion, and commitment than any other professions to succeed and out of box thinking helps to create a space and style for yourself rather than following the herd.

SPEAKER 3– Mr. Manish Mehta – Technology is not only  about ensuring ease of doing business, but also increasing  the reach of your business

We generally look at Technology as a key component to improve the ease of doing business; we should also look at it for increasing the reach of doing our business. SFAs use technology to go to places and acquire clients in different geographies. Clients have become more used to and comfortable using technology for their investment needs.

The focus should also be towards innovation. One of the key aspect mentioned was to include the woman of the house in the decision making the process  as they can help in better communication and also might yield better results.

SPEAKER 4 – Mr. Manesh Thakur – Customer Experience is increasingly becoming the key differentiator

Customer Experience is becoming a key metric for defining the client’s investment decision. SFAs will have to work on tiering and segmenting their offerings as per different client needs. This would help in creating better client experiences. Starbucks for example is able to charge a premium just because of the superior customer experience it is able to provide its customers.

SPEAKER 6 – Mr. Praveen Cheruvally – Growth despite regulations – hindrance or generator of growth

The industry has grown to Rupees 25 lac crores in 25 years despite massive regulatory changes, which shows the importance that the regulations have played in the generation of growth. The pace at which the financialization of assets is happening, it has become important for the industry to be well-regulated for avoiding any accidents. The key opportunities he mentioned were in the – 25 to 35 years’ age group, the retirees and in the financialization of assets.

SPEAKER 7 – Mr. Zian Khan – Conviction is the only solution

The challenges that an SFA faces in the form of direct plans, TER cuts and online platforms can only be thwarted if the SFAs have conviction themselves and their offering. Also people-power and having a team in place is important, but having the right process is more important.

SPEAKER 8 – Mr. Prabin Agarwal – Trust is the backbone

In financial services, the most important aspect is the Trust that we are able to generate and share with our clients. Visibility and branding helps in reinforcing the trust a client has in an SFA. Networking helps in generating trust, but business should not be the sole motive or criteria when we network or join a public organization. The importance of the client’s goals in our system should be primary- if a client’s goal is achieved, the advisor’s goal will automatically get achieved over a period of time.

SPEAKER 9 – Mr. Saibal Biswas – Know Your Clients

As IFAs, the only KYC we do is the documentation which is compulsory by law, we should be more focused on the actual Know Your Client, wherein we know more about the clients, his interests, his risk taking appetite and his thought process. If we start understanding a client’s behavior, it becomes extremely easy managing the money and recommending a product. Clients do not care how much you know-the moment they know that you care, is the moment you really know the client.

5 Key Points –

  1. The Client is Supreme. IFAs who work for the client’s interest will go a long way.
  2. Have a vision for Growth. Stagnation kills.
  3. Importance of team building. Alone we can do very little and together we can achieve so much.
  4. Innovation is the key. People who keep innovating will survive.
  5. The industry has moved from Manufacturing to Services to Experiences. Experiences have to be created/narrated through the medium of story-telling.



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