IFAs now have a new friend in Digital Dost


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Ankur Thakore, Chief Distribution Officer

L&T Mutual Fund

WF: In what way does Digital Dost build on existing AMC-driven distributor portals to offer an enhanced user experience to IFAs? What are the key IFA requirements that were highlighted when you did your study prior to building the Digital Dost platform?

Ankur: Today, technology has become a universal aspect of each and every element of mutual fund operations - be it transaction processing, fund management, customer service or distribution.

Besides the widespread efforts being undertaken by AMCs to educate the masses on mutual fund investing, one of the single biggest drivers of growth has been 'technology as an enabler' for the overall ecosystem.

Digital Dost is a step in that direction. The platform aims to improve efficiency of our IFAs by not just helping them make online recommendations to their existing clients, but new clients as well, and at the same time, also helping them track their business.

With the current growth in the mutual fund industry there are numerous challenges being faced by IFAs. And being able to reach out to all their clients physically is just one of them. Also, for many of the IFAs, geography is not just restricted to one city or one state. With a growing demand expected in the industry in the coming years, being able to service their clients at the lowest possible cost has been a key driver for building the Digital Dost platform.

Increased volumes, being able to track the transactions end to end, is getting more and more difficult. Many-a-times rejectionin transactions is difficult to track. In fact, digital transactions have eliminated many of these challenges. With the cost of executing physical business getting more expensive each day, the focus for many has shifted to larger value ticket sizes. To help IFAs be in a position to service low-value applications as well, Digital Dost is pivotal in helping them build this business too.

Often adhering to cut-off times for same-day NAVs is a challenge which has been highlighted by many IFAs. This platform helps them to execute multiple transactions simultaneously and helps complete these transactions with the click of a button, making it easier to complete time-bound transactions and applicable NAVs.

We had previously created different micro-sites for our IFAs which have now been integrated into the Digital dost platform. Now, with a single window they are able to track their own business with L&T MF and also track their status in our Partner Loyalty Programme.

In all, Digital Dost will help IFAs enhance their productivity and efficiency.

WF: How does Digital Dost empower online recommendations by IFAs and transaction execution?

Ankur: To execute an online transaction, an IFA has multiple options, wherein, they can have their own portal or use a third-party vendor; it could be on the exchange, etc. - each with its own advantages and disadvantages.

Digital Dost gives IFAs a platform to complete seamless transactions for their clients with L&T Mutual Fund, whereby a transaction request sent to the client is personalised and the same can be executed with the client's consent at a simple click of a button and completion of the relevant banking transaction.

This presents them with convenience and a significant cost saving and at the same time reduces the error or failure rate in transactions. Since there is an end-to-end tracking system for these transactions, the IFA is aware of every stage and alsothe status of each transaction, and hence giving them complete control, without having to follow up with either the AMC or the registrar.

This also improves the reach of the IFA as they no longer need to restrict themselves to a limited geographical area since digital transactions can be sent to anybody, anywhere in the world.

Digital Dost transactions are available to the distributor for all KYC-compliant investors, even those who currently are not their customers, and consequently reduce their acquisition cost to help them build a more profitable business model.

In addition, SIP renewals too can be done with just a few clicks, making it exceptionally easy for clients to continue their SIPs and helping them meet their end objective, while at the same time reducing the cost and effort for an IFA.

A transaction recommendation can be sent across for all transactions such as purchase, redemption and switches, which can help an IFA to execute all financial transactions seamlessly.

WF: What are the key business analytics that Digital Dost offers IFAs to drive their business?

Ankur: Digital Dost helps in analysing the online transaction business through an easy and simplified interface. Via the Live Recommendation Dashboard, an IFA can view real-time trends around new client acquisitions and existing clients' summaries.

Graphical representation of Lumpsum and SIP online transaction, top 5 investors based on completed transaction, business summary, fund category wise, AUM contributions by scheme-type, renewal reminders, etc. are just some examples of the things an IFA can stay keep a track of.

WF: What features does Digital Dost's marketing kit provide for new client acquisition by IFAs? Would you be adding more pre-sales modules like Goal Planners and Risk Profilers that could help IFAs guide their clients towards more suitable products?

Ankur: Digital Dost is a constantly evolving platform and therefore, we would definitely be looking to include some of these features as part of the next set of updates. Our endeavour is to make the platform a one-stop-shop for everything related to L&T Mutual Fund, be it is preor post sales.

Our ability to add value for our IFAs by reducing their efforts and helping them channel this towards improving productivity, sales and building wealth for our customers, we would consider the platform a success.

WF: Is open-architecture an option you may consider at some stage for Digital Dost?

Ankur: Currently we do not have a plan for Digital Dost following an open-architecture system.

WF: Some IFAs have observed that rather than each fund house creating and promoting its own distributor portal, there is perhaps some merit in enhancing MF Utility for all information, marketing and business analytics tools on a unified platform, which would perhaps be more convenient for them. How would you respond to this?

Ankur: Take a look at just the transaction capability via the digital medium, and you are faced with a plethora of options available, including MF Utility. Digital Dost is not just a facilitation for digital transactions but much more than that. In our opinion, the Digital Dost platform helps acquire clients, it gives a complete update on all our products, it displays their relationship status with L&T Mutual Fund, helps them track brokerage, gives them access to all marketing material, displays their Partner Loyalty Programme status, generate account statements, etc.

To conclude, I think Digital Dost can be looked upon as a 360-degree transaction platform with complete solutions for L&T Mutual Fund. Even if some IFAs are happy with other platforms through which they execute multiple AMC transactions, Digital Dost would still be irreplaceable simply because of its other useful features. They can use it to track their Partner Loyalty Programme status, download service request forms, download their customer account statements or even keep track of the latest marketing material and updates.


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