Investica: Online Mutual Fund Investments Platform

 CA Kamal Poddar,   Founder

CA Kamal Poddar, Founder
The future of fintech space does not seem to be just edged on the transactional aspects of investing. The Indian Mutual fund industry has tremendous growth potential but at the same time, there is a risk of mis-selling as well. The way forward in this space is to create a platform blending advisory and transactional services that would help investors embark upon all the aspects of their finances. There have been platforms which heavily relied on the human interface but later encountered issues related to technology and others. Striking a balance between the two and creating an efficient yet effective system is the goal towards which Mumbai based Investica is working. Investica, the mutual funds platform of Choice Broking, functions with the philosophy of proving a holistic platform for all the mutual fund investment needs. It believes in offering smooth and hassle-free investment experience to individual investors across the nation.

Team Investica brings with itself an experience of nearly 25 years and an insight into some of the stalwarts of the industry. Formed with the sole objective of maximizing wealth for its stakeholders, strictly following of work ethics & transparency in its operations, the company today is recognized amongst the best platforms to invest in mutual funds in India that has disrupted the conventional mechanism of a startup business. Throwing light on the same, CA Ajay Kejriwal, says, “One of the biggest disruptions that we created in the fintech space was to provide regular and direct plans on a single platform. While there is no cost charged to invest in regular plans, we introduced subscription charges to invest in direct plans. It was a very different move if we looked at our competitors. We always believed in being transparent with our investors and it drove us to take this decision.”

The Genesis
The genesis of Investica dates back to 2016. It so happened that CA Ajay Kejriwal and CA Kamal Poddar sensed an upcoming business opportunity in the fintech space by facilitating mutual fund investments. While Kamal had a strong sense of analyzing the equity market, Ajay’s inclination was towards mutual fund and personal finance industry. Also, the parent company, Choice Group had existing offline wealth management set up which helped the duo further get the insights into mutual fund industry's functionality. The icing on the cake was the historic event of demonetization where post-November 2016, investors were looking for other investment avenues. Association of Mutual Funds in India (AMFI)’s campaign of Mutual Fund Sahi hai drove these investors towards the mutual fund. But during those times, investing and tracking mutual fund investments were not easy. With a sheer knack of understanding investor sentiment, Ajay and Kamal together decided to venture in this space and zeroed in upon establishing Investica. Since then, there was no looking back. “My thoughts about making

Investica the go-to app for mutual fund investors were unobstructed from the beginning. This was the reason that we started from scratch and didn't outsource the product development. Building a product which suits investors' needs meant that we had to analyze the consumer requirements and implement the updates accordingly with as little lag as possible. I believe, we have succeeded in doing this till now and continue to strive to make Investica the best mutual fund app on the market,” Ajay informs.

Crossing the Hurdles
As a fintech start-up, initially, Investica was one of the first platforms to use Aadhar for investor onboarding. However, due to the frequent changes in the regulatory framework regarding the use of Aadhar and adapting to these changes, things didn’t work
out well. Now, the same process is continued with physical documentation.

Talking about the other challenges, the company had encountered difficulties to channel investor behaviour towards long term investments, at the start. Kamal explaining the context, says, “Equity markets have been volatile over the last year and many new investors have invested during this period. Hence, it has been difficult for investors to see the negative performance in the portfolio. One of the ways in which we have dealt with this behavioural issue has been through our advisory services. We have helped our investors by giving advice only after understanding their risk profile and existing investment pattern. Such personalized advice has helped investors stay invested through volatile markets as well.”

"The genesis of investica dates back to 2016. It so happened that ca ajay kejriwal and ca kamal poddar sensed an upcoming business opportunity in the fintech space"

With this, the company’s focus has always been on providing proactive advisory services which help investors be empowered and help them in taking the right decisions. Investica's blogs are also directed towards the goal of imparting investor awareness. This is done by publishing writings on various important topics related to personal finance and mutual funds. “We believe, as a part of fintech startup, it is important to work towards investor awareness as the entire industry will benefit from the same,” he mentions.

At Investica, investor satisfaction is prime. To help the investors realize their goals, the company has created a SIP and Lump sum baskets which enable faster decision-making process. These baskets were a brainchild of Mr. Amit Singh, CEO of Investica. These baskets also help investors diversify their investments with just one click. “Some of the most common goals investors have are Wealth Creation, tax saving, Child Education, Retirement. But sometimes young investors do not have clarity on the future goals and they might just want to save for their financial independence. Considering this, we have created age-wise baskets which would be suitable for different age groups,” asserts Amit.

Besides, the company has a dedicated advisory/research, customer care and operations team that works to solve investor's queries regarding where to invest, how to invest and any other problems related to the purpose. “From our interactions with investors, we understand that most of the decisions related to family's finances are taken by a particular family member. If all of the family investments are available easily, tracking of investments can be done seamlessly. With a feature to add and track family members' investment, it is easier to keep a tab on your Investment in one app and with only one login,” Ajay adds. “Investor awareness and empowerment is the ultimate goal we wish to achieve with these and many more upcoming services and products,” Kamal further adds.

TheFuture is as Bright as the Faith
Connoting knowledge, power, integrity and wealth through its brand name, Investica has come a long way from where it all began. The company’s investor base is present PAN India as well as outside India with more than 1 lakh users spread across more than 250 cities in and out of India. In comparison to last year, the investor base has also grown by 150 per cent. A testimony to this is its focus towards providing suitable and right advice through an online platform to the investors. “Initially, we limited ourselves to provide regular plans for free but we were aware of investor's demand of wanting direct plans on the platform. With many competitors providing direct plans for free, our team was brainstorming to look for the ways to launch direct plans. Since we would never be willing to compromise with our investor experience, our business model for the direct plan came with a minimal subscription plan i.e. 300 + GST for 6 months and 500 + GST for 12 months. Although Investica is one of the only platforms to charge subscription fees for direct plans, it did not stop our investors to invest with us because of the services we provide to them,” Ajay

With a clear direction to drive the Investica towards excellence, team Investica does not shy away from taking the road less travelled. In fact, Investica does not want to be limited to a platform which helps investors invest in mutual funds but envisions being a platform which can help investors with their entire financial planning. And with this determination, team Investica plans to get into the field of robo advisory which will help every investor to make their own financial plan with a focus on essentials like asset allocation, insurance planning, emergency planning, goals planning, retirement planning, amongst others. By keeping the focus intact on providing suitable and right advice, the robo advisory model will help Investica in reaching the mass audience who wish to plan for their finances. “With the help of technology, we want to provide financial planning to all the sections of society,” concludes Ajay on a positive note.

CA kamal Poddar, Founder
A Fellow Member of ICAI, he is the guiding light behind Investica. He has always been self-motivated and inculcated a spirit of striving to perfection amid the entire team. It has been his management and leadership that have led to the rise of a team truly fervent and meticulous towards Investica’s growth. His love for Shayari & Poetry reading is known to all. A true inspiration of the entire Investica team!

Ca ajay Kejriwal, Co-Founder
With over 15 years of experience in financial markets & being a Fellow Member of ICAI, he has an unparalleled eye for spotting the best investment practices. As a strategic ‘think tank’, it is his vision and determination that has led to the rapid growth of Investica. He is an ardent follower of the Indian economy & of the Indian Mythology. A perfect leader of Investica & a person you would want to follow!

Amit Singh, Ceo
A blend of Computer Science & Financial Industry, there couldn’t have been a better lead for Investica. He is the in-house Flash juggling between at least 10 tasks a day yet finding the time to drive innovation in Investica. Being the finwizard, he initiated the product, coordinated all affairs & made it live. He loves his sarcasm bit and has watched every single series on entrepreneurship.

The Workforce Strength
With every feature of Investica being built in-house, it has a team of around 30 professionals who are dedicated towards giving their best in order to make Investica a leading investment app.

The entire Investica team is driven by Choice group's vision to be Sarvashrestha (to be the best in whatever we do). Broadly, the workforce is divided amongst few categories:

• App Development team: With the help of this team, the company has been successful in creating a smooth and investor friendly app which has made investing in mutual funds easier

• Research and Advisory team: The research and Advisory team is constantly looking for avenues and ways to provide proper advisory services and researching for the new developments which make Investica a stop solution for all the investment needs of an investor

• Customer Care team: Giving the satisfactory and complete investor experience is the aim entire Investica team thrives for. And for this goal, the team has built a dedicated customer care team which is available to answer all the queries of every investor. At Investica, The feedback given by every investor is recorded and worked upon to take the app a step ahead

• Operations team: With an experience of more than 10 years, the operations team is always ready to tackle any transaction related issues investor might face. Investica strictly works in a defined TAT which ensures seamless investor experience.

Although there are various teams, the company offers an open work culture where there are regular team meetings held to brainstorm ideas which makes Investica the top choice of investors.