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Why Seven friends, quit their job to change Indian Investment Landscape?

Updated: May 23, 2022

According to an IBEF report published in Jan 2022, almost 76% of the Indian Population of 138 crore still don't understand basic financial concepts. And honestly, we cant blame them. The system is such that we encourage people to study math and science harder to earn more money, but then managing one's finances and investing it for the long term is at the core of surviving and thriving. Although the numbers are improving in the last 2-3 years, there is still more ground to cover. The below picture shows you age wise financial literacy % in India in 2019

Lets crunch some basic numbers. Based on some rough assumptions and primary research (mostly done by Nitin Kamath of Zerodha, huge respect!), there might be 3-5 Cr people who are actively investing through Mutual Funds/stocks etc. The market could be as big as 15 Cr folks who have the wealth/ability/inclination to invest in India right now (all the fintechs are going after them). But Indian Middle class is a sizeable one. Almost 40-50 Cr people! And we know that, someday or the other time will come, when it would be impossible for people not to invest their money since inflation will erode their hard earned money before they can even blink.

Moreover, I believe it's happening right now! CPI (Consumer Price Index), which measures how prices of goods are increasing on an average, is touching 6%+ (Number could be higher in the coming months). Your savings bank gives you just 3%, FDs are a notch higher. But what im trying to imply is almost common knowledge now- YOU HAVE TO INVEST, OR YOU WILL LOSE YOUR WEALTH! In a lot of cases, our salaries are also not increasing by 6% every year, so the case for careful savings and investments becomes even more important!

We wanted to build something simple!

Based on our own market research, one of the biggest challenges people faced while they even thought of investing their money was that they were completely clueless to even determine where they should start from! And this was consistently a message we were getting from people to whom we just spoke about what our idea was.

And it struck us! Most of the existing platforms in India expect people to have some knowledge about basic financial terms and idea in terms of what asset classes suit them, how much risk appetite they have etc. But the fact is, everything related to money is very complex and most people are afraid to take any risk with their wealth without proper understanding. Hence historically Indians have been investing in Gold! The bottom of the pyramid is completely ignored who are completely clueless. We decided to do something for these folks.

The Idea behind IndiaClan

We listed down three issues with the folks at the bottom of the pyramid as to what they were exactly confused with and how we could potentially help them. Some of the answers looked like this:

  1. " We dont have the will/intention to study the basics of investment from the web. For example when a robo advisory asks if i want to invest in highly volatile assets, i dont understand what that means. I probably need some more research into asset classes like ETFs/mutual funds/bonds etc. Sometimes i have even tried reading, but things are way to complex to understand"

  2. "We dont have the time to do the research nor the time to actively scout for great ideas to invest. I would rather ask a friend/colleague in what they are investing in if i get the chance. But most often I am too shy to talk money with friends and its difficult to find the right person to ask."

  3. " I will only start investing once i learn things structurally. Money is precious. I want to do a few courses to begin with. Most are expensive and very very lengthy."

  4. "Can i get a money manager to answer a few of my questions? I feel i need some facetime with a planner first. But i have heard money managers are very expensive. I dont have that kind of money to pay"

  5. "I want to see some people investing and probably talk to multiple folks and learn how much they made with what type of asset. Is there a way we can join a group like that. Like a social setup where i can observe and ideate freely"

So we came up with the formula of "Dekho. Seekho, Samjho and fir Invest karo" which basically translates into you watch, learn, absorb and then invest. To learn anything, the first thing one needs to do carefully is to watch/observe and take it all in.

Our Observations :

  1. Texts are hard. This generation hates reading. Visuals are way more easy to understand and absorb. We need to create a video first learning platform.

  2. Trust can only come from seeing hard facts. When experts showcase how exactly they are thinking about investments and putting them to action and subsequently the results they are getting, the common man can trust it completely. Only then will they be motivated to follow similar footsteps.

  3. Learning when it comes from Experts is 100x more effective than when it comes from friends/family unless they are experts themselves. Money is not something which can be experimented with a lot. It is not something like cycling where you can prolly self learn, fall a hundred times and still the end result be the same: You learn to cycle, just the hard way for some folks. Money once lost, will never come back. Hence, Social Investments is a great concept, but one needs to cut out random folks from that discussion. Vetted Experts are the only solution.

  4. Reaching the desired expert needs to become simple, intuitive and affordable.

Also each of our feature was built to complement the standard flywheel of learning. We did not want to change that. Here is a page out of our deck which will make each feature more or less self explanatory.

Without taking any more of your time folks, i will just leave you with the parting thought that, our entire objective of doing this startup is the motivation that maybe somewhere in a couple of years we will be proud of ourselves that we tried to help millions of Indians who were always wondering.

"Invest to karna hai boss. But shuru kahan se karein?"

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