Advisor Speak

20th April 2011

ASK Circle : The fountainhead from the East
Surendra Bagaria, President, ASK Circle, Kolkata


A fountainhead is described by dictionaries as a source of water from which a stream arises. ASK Circle is trying to do just that : to be a source of knowledge from which a stream of high quality advisors will emerge. What started out as a Kolkata based movement has now strengthened its roots across the Eastern region and is beginning its journey beyond the East into other parts of the country as well.

Surendra Bagaria, its President and Kanak Jain, its Secretary are the most visible faces of ASK Circle. Prior to becoming a financial advisor 12 years ago, Surendra Bagaria acquired rich experience in audit, finance and materials management in diverse businesses including sugar, explosives, asbestos and rubber.

Surendra Bagaria describes the journey so far for ASK Circle, its activities and its vision…..

WF : What was the genesis of ASK Circle and what are its key objectives ?

Bagaria : ASK Circle is a 5 year old group of likeminded IFAs having passion towards their profession and, in the form of a Registered Society having legal entity. ASK stands for ATTITUDE, SKILL & KNOWLEDGE. Our vision is : INFORMED INVESTOR, RESPONSIBLE ADVISOR . Our Primary Objective : Financial literacy to Advisors and through them to the people of India.

The concern for investors interest is becoming the focus of all the participants in course of their professional / business activities. As a result, focus towards responsibilities among all participants of the Industry increases . We would like more and more advisors to join this movement and become responsible advisors who can then create informed investors.

WF : What are the main activities of ASK Circle?

Bagaria : We conduct monthly meetings of all members for sharing their views on various aspects of profession and to motivate each other towards our visions. In the meeting the representatives from our Associate Members AMCs also participate.

Further, outside renowned speakers are being invited to speak on subjects like, Technical aspects of savings, investment and operations of this industry, motivation towards positive thinking in respect of various aspects of life including this profession.

We conduct three Annual events:

  1. MFRT : Involving IFAs across INDIA. (Mutual Fund Round Table)

  2. Indoor Intra AMC Cricket Tournament

  3. Annual Picnic involving members and their family and friends

We maintain two web sites : and

WF : Who are the driving forces behind ASK Circle and what is your current membership strength?

Bagaria : Apart from me, the driving forces behind ASK Circle are Kanak Kumar Jain, Suresh Mohata and Bhavesh Saha.

We have 80 life members and around 15 annual members at present.

WF : Do you have plans to set up a fund platform for your IFA members?

Bagaria : Yes! We have in mind to arrange and maintain a fund platform for our life members on cost sharing basis. The idea and evaluations of the available technology being on very initial stage I would not like to comment any further.

WF : What are the membership rules and fees?

Bagaria : Life membership is by invitation and will be subject to approval of the committee. At present the entry fee is Rs.20000/-.

Annual membership is with reference of any two out of Life Members / Annual Members . At present the Annual fee is R.1200/- payable in advance.

WF : What is your key message to fellow advisors across the country?

Bagaria : Focus on your own ATTITUDE , SKILL and KNOWLEDGE and use the same towards the Investors interest. If we can create and maintain the faith of the Investor in the process of investing in mutual funds and if we enhance our ability and re-orient our attitude, we will be immune to the effects of all other happenings and definitely we will be on way towards sustainable growth. Yes patience will be required - but, we will certainly create sustainable businesses which are truly win-win for all concerned.