Individual Financial Advisors or IFAs are professionals who offer advice on financial matters to their clients and recommend suitable financial products from the entire market. They offer their services on various matters that include investment, retirement planning, insurance, mortgages and other related financial activities. Srikanth Tanikella, Senior VP- Mutual Fund Operations, CAMS, recently took part in a panel discussion in the 8th annual edition of the IFA Galaxy Summit held at Hotel Green Park, Chennai. This panel discussion was held on the 10th of February 2018 and the topic, in particular, was “Good is the enemy of the great”. This focused largely on the need for IFAs to adopt existing technology to keep up with the pace of growth of the sector and achieve their targets faster. The key participants of this panel discussion were:
- Srikanth Meenakshi – Co-Founder, Funds India Ltd. (Moderator)
- Srikanth Tanikella – Senior Vice President- Mutual Fund Operations, CAMS
- Rajiv Shastri – Executive Director & CEO, Essel Finance
- Anish Kumar – Regional Head- Sales, South, Canara Robeco
- Siddhartha Bhattacharyya – Vice President and Regional Head – South, Franklin Templeton
- Balakrishna Kini – Deputy Chief Executive, AMFI
- Ramakrishna V Nayak – CFP, Dakshin Capital
During his talk at this panel discussion, Mr. Tanikella highlighted the need for IFAs to keep up with the growth of the Mutual Fund industry. As an individual entity who guides their clients through an entire gamut of financial investments and transactions, an IFA is expected to stay updated with the latest developments in the sector. In the context of the Mutual Fund industry in India, IFAs have been working quite well towards managing their client’s wealth and expectations. However, the Mutual Fund industry in India has been growing steadily at a rate of 40% per annum, and the onus now sits on the Advisors to match this pace.
As Mr. Tanikella pointed out in his talk, “With the Mutual Fund industry going through massive upheavals due to the inroads made by technology, it is the perfect time for IFAs to work towards going from good to great”. Bio-metric eKYC, in particular, was one of the tools that he spoke about that could eliminate a lot of the slower processes involved in completing the KYC process of a customer. He further added that “IFAs need to push the use of technology while on-boarding investors. This makes the process easier for them, helping them reach their targets faster.” He went on to point out that CAMS offers a range of tools that help IFAs service their customers easily, including a few new tools that are yet to be released to the public.
In the case of the Indian Mutual Fund industry, it is essential that IFAs focus on staying ahead of the technological developments pushing the sector forward. This will help them take a step towards greater service. Utilizing the tools and services they currently have at their disposal is the first step in this direction. The panel discussion concluded by stating that though IFAs have achieved beyond what was expected of them earlier, their focus should now be on striving for greater results. This can only be done if they’re to take into the account the development of newer tools and leverage the benefits it offers.