Marketing Wiz Awards 2016



Marketing Wiz is a microsite - a platform we launched a couple of years ago on the Wealth Forum site in association with Kotak MF, to share marketing ideas and strategies that are aimed at boosting your business growth. We believe marketing is a weak link in a typical IFA's armoury. But there are of course exceptions - we have a number of IFAs across the country who have come up with and implemented some really smart marketing ideas, which have helped them significantly accelerate their business growth. In order to put a spotlight on some of these marketing wizzes, Kotak MF and Wealth Forum launched a Marketing Wiz contest in May 2016, where we asked distributors to send in their smart marketing ideas to us. We received some great responses, some very innovative ideas, and we finally shortlisted our winners not just on the basis of the ideas but also on how effective these ideas have been in terms of driving business growth.

Three Marketing Wiz awards were given away at a special ceremony on 2nd July 2016, during the 7th annual Wealth Forum Platinum Circle Advisors Conference. But before we discussed the winning marketing strategies of our 3 champion IFAs, conference participants had the privilege of gaining insights on growth strategies from one of our industry's foremost thinkers and best orators, Nilesh Shah, MD, Kotak AMC.


Nilesh Shah gave homework to India's leading IFAs, by giving them a teaser into the concept of the blue ocean strategy, and how this can be applied by IFAs to spur their business growth

Marketing Wiz - Metros

Our winner is one of Bangalore's leading IFA firms and among the fastest growing in South India. I am going to read their very inspirational entry to this contest almost verbatim, and when I am done, I am sure one thing will strike home really well. A successful marketing strategy is one that helps drive an overarching mission that a business embarks on. This is the story of a mission this firm embarked on, and a great marketing strategy that is helping them realize this mission.

The following is quoted verbatim from their self nomination:

"We started by conducting our Money Talks workshops for corporate employees. These educational sessions were 90 minutes long and formed a part of an organization's employee welfare program. We conducted these sessions extensively without charge in nearly 100 organizations. What started as a trickle of customers became a flow and currently we handle around 3500 customers across the globe.

"Working with corporates has always been our go-to marketing strategy from the outset. However, it was predominantly the men who attended these sessions. Women stayed away for various reasons. Many women have a dysfunctional relationship with money. They love it and hate it in equal measure. They love to spend money and hate to manage it. Its one of life's greatest paradoxes.

"Women cannot be empowered in the true sense unless they are financially empowered. Only then can they make a tangible difference to their families, environment or society. We hence structured a workshop just for women, where we dispelled many preconceived notions and helped women understand the nuts and bolts of investing in a simple manner.

"Titled Recipes for Successful Financial Planning, this three-hour workshop explained financial concepts with analogies of food, making it an unforgettable, mouth-watering experience! With an extremely visual slide pack, and a racy narrative peppered with case studies and anecdotes, understanding money has never been easier and more interesting.



"We realized these workshops were a huge success with women because we explained financial concepts in a way their grandmothers would understand. Our talks were non-threatening and removed the cobwebs in women's minds about how difficult it was to manage money themselves. These workshops gave women the confidence that they can be the master chefs of their financial kitchen.

"We rolled out these workshops to different organizations, addressing different groups of women. Accenture, TCS, Cognizant, Genpact, Motorola, the list went on. We also conducted these workshops outside corporates, such as art galleries and at different women's groups, so that we addressed a broad spectrum of women, be it working women, home makers or entrepreneurs.

"Given the popularity of the sessions, we started charging for these workshops. These workshops were advertised on Bookmyshow, Eventshigh and Timeout and saw impressive responses from women across the city. We are now invited by event management companies to address various groups of women across the country.

"We have been invited to write a book on personal finance for women, based on the food and finance analogy that we use in our workshops. Some of the leading publishers of the country have expressed their interest in publishing the book. We will start work on the book this year. Having a book published by a noted publisher will spread awareness about women taking more control of their finances.

"We now work with more than 1200 women, which is nearly 36% of our total customer base. We are very proud of this statistic, and are well on our way to the 50% mark. Our services are particularly invaluable to those women who are financially vulnerable, such as those going through a separation, divorce or death of a breadwinner of the family.

"We work with them extensively to put them on the path to financial independence. In divorce cases, we help decide on a fair settlement, often working in tandem with their lawyers to get what is rightfully due to them. We not only help in getting their finances in order, we also provide emotional support for such women. We have a team of about 25 employees, nearly half of whom are women. We are thus in a position to make a tangible difference to our women customers' lives.

"Nobel Prize winner and the father of microfinance, Muhammad Yunus, realized the enormous potential of women in uplifting their families. He loaned more than 90% of Grameen Bank's money to poor women. An overwhelming 97% of the women successfully returned the loans compared to 70% of loans given to men. Over time, these women were able to singlehandedly alleviate the economic status of their families and their villages by making them healthy, debt free and financially secure.

"If rural, uneducated women can have the determination, intelligence and discipline to accomplish essential goals for their families with scant resources, what is stopping the urban, educated women from doing much more? We believe now is the time to start.

"We intend to be with women every step of the way in giving them the confidence that they are more than capable of taking over the financial reins of the family. We want women to transform themselves and inspire the future generation to carry on their legacy. We believe they should be the change they want to see in their daughters and granddaughters. There can be no gift as precious as this."

Marketing Wiz - Metros - Winner

Priya and Shyam Sundar, PeakAlpha Investment Services, Bangalore.


Priya and Shyam Sundar receive their award from Nilesh Shah and Manish Mehta of Kotak AMC

Marketing Wiz - Non Metros

Our Marketing Wiz from non-metros is a very successful and popular advisor from the Eastern part of the country. Like most retail focused IFAs in this room and outside, he was keen to accelerate the growth of his SIP book. Here's how he did it, in his own words:

"After I returned from last year's Wealth Forum conference, I was thinking how to double my SIP book. When I was analyzing the potential of my existing clients, I found that every family was investing with me in few names only. There was no investment in the name of more than half of the family members. Normally, investors ignore to invest in the names of non earning members which mostly include parents and minor children. To cover them in our portfolio, I needed their data and I was also required to establish emotional connect with them. For doing so, I acted upon an idea, which I will like to share for the benefit of fellow advisors.

Every day, I took one family as my target customer. I took out the photograph of the client from my record or from face book photo gallery, got the same printed on a coffee mug with his name, our branding and a cartoon which says 'Save it SIP it", '' SIP is good for your wealth".


My team used to deliver this coffee mug to the client in the morning. They usually feel good to see their photo and name on the coffee mug. They would call me to thank me. This was the opportunity when I used to tell them that I have plans to make such coffee mugs for each and every members of their family and for this I need soft copy or hard copy of their photograph. This processes of making privileged coffee mug for each and every family member takes thee to four visits to their residence. During the process, I was able to convince the client that SIP should be there for each and every family member irrespective of amount. Even Rs 1000 pm was acceptable but the names of entire family should be there in the portfolio. Almost every client agreed to start 1000 to 5000 rupee SIP in the name of family members who didn't have SIPs. This increased my SIP numbers and book size to 1.60 crore per month. The benefits for my firm don't end just there - the exercise strengthened our relationship with all family members and created an emotional bond with them. Now that every family member has a SIP, we can gradually work on enhancing these SIP amounts for the next round of growth in our SIP book. All this is made possible by a small investment of Rs.100 per coffee mug - and of course the time we invest in deepening the relationship.

It will be unfair if I do not mention here that the design of the mug has been copied from one of the SIP mug gifted to me by Kotak Mutual Fund."

Marketing Wiz - Non Metros Winner : Pradeep Kumar Jain from Ranchi


Pradeep Kumar Jain receives his award from Nilesh Shah, Manish Mehta and Lakshmi Iyer of Kotak AMC.

Marketing Wiz - Brand building

Our third Marketing Wiz award winner is a firm that has done fantastic work in an area where most IFA firms are perhaps the weakest: in building a brand.

Brand is not just a logo unit that you display in a couple of places. Your brand in the modern world is the sum total of customer experiences that you deliver. You want your firm to be perceived in a particular way by your clients and prospects. But just saying so in brochures and marketing material is not going to make clients and prospects perceive you that way. They build perceptions based on experiences that you deliver and your job is to ensure that these experiences are consistent with the image that you wish to portray and at the same time, use each experience to reinforce your brand. That's how you help build perceptions about your brand. It is these perceptions in your clients' minds that are the differentiators that set you apart from your competition. It is these perceptions that draw prospects to you and not to your competitor.

If you are a single advisor firm, you may argue that you are the brand, and you may well have a point. But the day you decide to add even one more client facing colleague, you need to start thinking about building your brand - a brand that is scalable and not confined to what one individual can deliver in terms of customer experiences. This is where most IFA firms are weak. This is where we believe IFA firms can take a leaf out of our winner of the Marketing Wiz award for Brand Building.

Here is a short video that this brand champion has prepared as its self-nomination material, which vividly captures the fantastic brand building initiatives of this brand master.

Marketing Wiz award winner for brand building: Nikhil Naik of Naik Wealth, Mumbai


Nikhil Naik and Team Naik Wealth accept their award from Team Kotak AMC.


Nikhil Naik shares quick perspectives with the conference participants on the need to not only add value through good advice, but build positive perceptions of your firm, through intelligent brand building.

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