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January - 2017 - issue > CXO Insights

The Emerging Market of Wealth Management in India

Feroze Azeez, Director, AnandRathi Financial Services
Friday, March 3, 2017
Feroze Azeez, Director, AnandRathi Financial Services
In the financial services industry, many companies tend to focus on the outward or external aspects of their business, often advertising heavily to impress their clientele with visuals and other kinds of communications on their bright exteriors. While this might indeed be the standard these days for growing one's business, few realise the importance of looking inward as well. Some call it 'self-care', but can there be any denying that it is necessary to look after oneself so that one is fit to help others?

One of the biggest challenges faced by relationship managers is changing their organization, while for clients, they have to adjust to a new relationship manager. For most relationship managers, it is immensely difficult - when not altogether impossible - to persuade their clients to migrate, with them, to a different wealth management firm. This is plainly because HNI and UHNI clientele expect a certain degree of stability when it comes to the management of their wealth, and going over to another firm after remaining with one for years, can understandingly be an alarming prospect for them.

Checking employee attrition, then, is one of the biggest challenges that wealth management in India will face over the coming years. In this context, there is much wisdom � and relevance - in what Sir Richard Branson, Founder of the Virgin Group, said about his employees: 'Train people well enough so they can leave, treat them well enough so they don't want to.' The order of the days to come will be to hire people who love what they do, and provide them with the right kind of environment to succeed and grow.

Investing in long-term relationships with customers will lead to steady growth. Steady growth, in turn, must be sustained over time. This requires constant innovation, which must be clearly understood as well as internalised. Consider for instance, Prime Minister Narendra Modi's plan to propel India forward into the digital age, through the 'Digital India' campaign that seeks to encourage the nation � including corporate firms to 'go digital'. This would mean that over time, service providers such as hospitals, transport firms, banks, and even wealth management would go digital.

The benefits of being able to receive real-time actionable advice from such service providers cannot be stressed enough, and any wealth management firm worth its repute would need to ensure, moving forward, that their clients can 'go digital' in the easiest way possible. While executing this effectively might be complex, the outcome, would be simplicity itself. Through a mobile application designed for both iOS and Android users, clients would be able to access not just their portfolio but a host of services including financial planning and execution, with a single touch.

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