Mahesh's new age model is an eye-opener for every IFA


23rd September 2017 was a red letter day for Mahesh Gattani, Balaji Investments, Amravati. He achieved a significant milestone of logging in 500 SIPs in a single day - and that too from the small town of Amravati. The feat is amazing no doubt, but what might offer rich lessons for IFAs is what went into making this happen, and the launchpad that he has created for many more such landmark achievements in the future. It's a great combination of technology adoption and sales savvy - which is truly an eye-opener for IFAs across India - in big as well as small towns. Here's his delightful blend of new age execution coupled with old world salesmanship, as narrated to us over a lengthy conversation.


Our achievement of 500 SIPs logged in on a single day is not a result of a 1 day or a 1 week effort. It is in fact the culmination of a movement we began 1 and a half years ago, when I decided to embrace digital technology fully. On 23rd Sept, when we logged in 500 SIPs, only 6 were physical applications - the rest were all on the NSE platform, spread across 18 AMCs. Getting to this point was not an easy task - its ok for me to say I want to embrace technology, but it is quite another matter to get all your clients on board. We began the journey of migrating clients to the NSE platform 1 and a half years ago. We faced all the usual objections that all my fellow IFAs face - "chaltohrahahai, NSE kyunkarnahai". I used to point out to them that for every SIP I execute for them, there are 6 pieces of paper that get consumed. For every 500 SIPs I register for clients, we are responsible for cutting down 2 trees. Would they help me save 2 trees by creating IINs on NSE platform? That got them to look at it in the right spirit - a win for ease of doing business and a win for the environment. I hold "IIN days" regularly in my office where I invite clients for a cup of tea and snacks and ask them to bring a cancelled cheque with them - to facilitate setting up their IINs.

I serve 894 families, and I went top down in my effort to get my clients onboarded onto the NSE platform. My initial focus was the top 200 families, which I am happy to say, I have now fully onboarded onto digital transactions. There is still lot of effort to get the rest of the families onboarded, and our efforts in that direction will continue.

Its when I got to the critical mass of top 200 families onto digital mode, that I decided to embark on my mission of 500 SIPs in a single day. My efforts on this front started on 18th Sept - I reached out to all the top 200 families with a simple message: "I am going to perform a Maha Yagna (achieving 500 SIPs in a day record) and I want your Aahuti (offering into the Yagna - in the form of SIPs from the family). That struck a chord, they readily agreed to participate in my Maha Yagna.

On the day of my Maha Yagna, my team and I came into the office at 5 am to start inputting transactions. It was the most hectic, yet most satisfying day of our lives. Getting in touch with every client, alerting them that we have processed the transaction, requesting them to confirm it, getting them to input their OTPs, maintaining continuous follow up with those who had not confirmed the transactions, in some cases going to their offices/homes to work with them to complete the confirmations - whirlwind activity all round. I must say we were really touched with the support we got from NSE and from CAMS - we were getting a live count from CAMS office telling us how many have been successfully logged in. By 6 pm, we completed our Maha Yagna successfully, with the help of Aahutis from over 100 client families.


Logging in transactions from 5 am to 6 pm - a hectic day, but with great results

For us, this is a visible validation of the power of technology to enable IFAs like us to take on goals that otherwise seem impossible. This is just a beginning for us - it is a vindication that we are on the right path. Today, we have 1200 IINs from our top 200 families. My next goal is 10,000 IIN registrations. That will set the base for our future initiatives.

Already, word has got around among clients of our 500 SIPs in a day achievement and many have started asking me how they can participate in our next big initiative. I am using this to drive home the need to register their IINs so that we can involve them in our future campaigns as well.

Meanwhile, our efforts are now focused on Nov 14th - Children's Day. We have already started collating lists of all client families who have children below 10 years. We intend running a Children's Plan campaign culminating in log ins on Nov 14th.

My belief is that if you really want to scale up your business, you need to first sell technology adoption to your clients using your creativity. We are good in selling mutual funds - lets use those skills in selling technology adoption - because that is what gives you the launch pad to go far beyond what you can possibly achieve in the physical mode.


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