The Smart Techie was renamed Siliconindia India Edition starting Feb 2012 to continue the nearly two decade track record of excellence of our US edition.

December - 2009 - issue > Company Spotlight

FundsIndia Investors Savor Value-added Services at Low Cost

Eureka Bharali
Tuesday, December 1, 2009
Eureka Bharali
Pay for convenience, or go cheap and live with the consequent inconveniences? This dilemma confronts us in a variety of situations in our daily life. When it came to investing, Raja Bahadur, an avid mutual fund investor in Hyderabad, typically chose the latter – to be frugal – and suffered the irritating inefficiencies that ensued. That was until he discovered FundsIndia.com a few months ago. A brand new financial services portal in India, this platform offered the best of both worlds – it allowed investors to operate in the highly convenient online world that offered a variety of services and it allowed them to do so at an unbeatable no cost. Bahadur grabbed the opportunity with both the hands, and has not regretted his decision since. Though initially the offer sounded too good to be true, making him skeptical – he had seen a lot of these fly-by-night agencies that want to make a quick profit and run away rather than serving the real need of the investor. However, he has grown to love the FundsIndia platform and is now convinced of the great value it provides; “these guys deserve a pat on the back”, he says, “for having come up with a zero-transaction cost platform for the investors in the country.”

“These guys” referred to by Bahadur are two entrepreneurs Chockanath Chandrasekar and Srikanth Meenakshi who saw an impending need for an efficient and cost-effective platform that catered to small investors in India. They brought in their expertise in the financial domain and created Wealth India Financial Services Pvt. Ltd (WIFS), the company behind FundsIndia.com, the integrated investment platform for the retail investors in India.

Today, hundreds of investors enjoy the value-added financial services – services like trigger options, portfolio-SIP, alert SIP, pre-packaged portfolios, and easy transfer that are not available in any other financial services portal in India – at an unbeatable low-cost in this platform. The former allows an investor to set triggers on their mutual fund investments and take actions based on them. For example, if one has invested in a diversified equity fund and wants to cash out when Sensex reaches the 20K mark, all that he would need to do is setting a trigger for that, and FundsIndia will monitor the market and take care of it. This facility is currently available only in very few funds in the country and that too only in a restricted fashion. FundsIndia has enabled it in all the funds that it makes available to the investors. Similarly, while SIP investments are available on per-scheme basis today, the notion of portfolio SIP, which allows an investor to invest a set amount of money regularly in a basket of funds as opposed to a single fund, is available exclusively in FundsIndia.

High Service, Low Cost

What makes all this even better, of course, is that they are all offered at no cost to the investors. While other online outlets like ICICI Direct and HDFC securities charge either a transaction fee or an account maintenance fee of some sort to service mutual fund investors, FundsIndia has kept all its services completely free of cost. How do they manage to do it? Are they simply eating the cost?
“Absolutely not,” says Chandrasekar with a smile, “We have a business model that is sound, and an enterprise that will be profitable.”

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