Tarakki Champions

B-15 champion guns for 1000 cr AuM

Pradeep Kumar Jain, PMPK, Ranchi

Tarakki Champion 2016: IFA East Non Metros

Pradeep Kumar Jain, PMPK, Ranchi


(L-R) Amar Shah (ICICI Pru), Nimesh Shah (ICICI Pru), Pradeep Jain (PMPK), Raghav Iyengar (ICICI Pru) and Vijay Venkatram (WF)

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Must read: The essence of Tarakki(Raghav Iyengar) and Why Tarakki Champions(Amar Shah)

Can an IFA from a B-15 city even dream of an AuM of 1000 crs? Pradeep Kumar Jain is not just dreaming about it - he is meticulously going about setting the foundation for an explosive growth that will take him to that summit in the next 3 years. His MF business has come a long way in the last 4 years: from a Rs.50 cr AuM in Mar 2013 to Rs. 240 crs by Mar 2017 and a SIP book of Rs. 50 lakhs to Rs.2.40 crs in the same period. Its not just his daring goal of 1000 crs by 2020 that's eye-catching - it is his very clear sense of how he is going to get there, which is truly noteworthy. The foundation of his ambitious goal lies in his very clear understanding of what the business of financial advisory is all about and what it is not. Pradeepji spells out the 5 pillars of his business model that have enabled him to grow 5x in the last 4 years, and which he believes will enable him to scale the 1000 cr summit that few in the B-15 world would even dream about.

5 pillars of PMPK's business model

1. Client engagement - the EQ factor

The starting point for us is that we enjoy what we are doing, we are passionate about what we do, and we sincerely believe that we make a significant difference in the financial lives of our client families. When you internalize and truly believe in what you are doing, you are happy and confident and that rubs off on all your relationships - whether with customers or your team.

Our client engagement model is built on a single core understanding: that we are offering something that is both intangible as well as delayed gratification, in a world where customers get more and more of tangible, instant gratification products and services.

Our job is to lead and shape the client's mind. Our job is to help them prepare for uncertainties - which nobody would want to proactively think about. Our job is to help them realize the value in sacrificing some part of today's instant gratification, for securing a better tomorrow. We have to shape their thinking, not dazzle them with our knowledge. It is EQ and not IQ that makes all the difference in this business.

For us, the client means the entire family - not just an individual. We build relationships with the main bread-winner, the spouse, children, parents - everybody in the household. We know each one of them by name, we connect socially with all generations of our client families. Its never about a portfolio for us - its all about a bond with the family.

We look at every client family as a profit centre. We strive to build bonds that will last 20-30-40 years. We look at each family as one that can generate 10-20 lakhs of revenues for PMPK over the next 20-25 years.

We actively track each family and its changing profile - changes in family circumstances, changes in its social profile, new social or business connections that the family is making, and we make it a point to include all these insights in our client conversations. The bond with client families strengthens immensely when they see you aware of their changing profile and acknowledging this proactively.

I am socially very well connected in Ranchi and strive to keep it this way. This helps in building and strengthening connections beyond money talk. When you want to connect with families, you don't talk money - you talk about their welfare, their dreams and aspirations, their perspectives.

My motto is very simple: I never go after wallet share. I only focus on mind share. If I get mind share, wallet share will automatically come.

Leading a client's mind means you have to find innovative ways of encouraging him to embrace an investment behaviour you want him to. Simply talking will not yield the desired results. So, when we talk about committing to long term investments, here is a sample of how we try to get clients as committed as we are towards this goal:


2. Team building - instil a sense of pride

A brand is only as good as the experience it actually delivers - and this experience is delivered by my team. My job is to instil in them the same values, the same passion, the same commitment to service excellence, the same pride and joy in this profession that I have. Only then will they deliver the same experience that I deliver myself in my client interactions. I therefore spend a lot of my time in coaching and motivating my team, to instil that sense of pride in what they are doing. Today, it is with some satisfaction that I can say that whenever they introduce themselves even socially, they always say their name and PMPK in the same breath.

We conduct weekly team meetings where we focus on different aspects of knowledge - including product, soft skills, and very importantly, insights into diverse subjects which may have no immediate connection with portfolios, but which clients relate to. Here is a poster displayed in our office of this week's Coffee@PMPK.


Discussions on a range of topics outside the world of markets and mutual funds, makes my team well rounded professionals, capable of having stimulating conversations with client families on a range of topics. Before the current one on how to lend and recover money, our earlier two topics were:

  1. Resolving and avoiding conflicts in family managed businesses

  2. Building emotional connect @ workplace - with your team, suppliers, customers, peers

As you can see, these topics resonate very well with clients, they are completely away from markets and funds. I don't mean to de-emphasize the importance of understanding products and markets. But I am clear that I am grooming relationship managers, not economists and fund managers. Relationship managers must be able to relate to clients, and giving them perspectives on a wide range of topics that clients relate to, enables them to relate better with our clients.

3. Knowledge focus on EQ over IQ

Ours is a knowledge business, but I seek, like I mentioned, to develop our knowledge and skills more on the EQ than simply the IQ side. I put a lot of emphasis on learning and applying behavioural finance, which I think is the main differentiation of an advisor, more than market knowledge.

The Coffee@PMPK sessions help immensely in building knowledge and awareness on a diverse set of topics that clients relate to. Our client conversations always have some useful insights we share - the difference is that these insights are never about where we think markets will be. Clients look forward to meeting us, because they know each time we meet them, we will share some very interesting insights that they will learn from, on matters that interest them a lot. We project ourselves as knowledgeable and well-rounded professionals - not uni-dimensional mutual fund experts.

On the business side of knowledge assimilation, we keep abreast of regulatory and compliance issues and technology trends - these two are becoming as critical as product knowledge for our business.

4. Brand building

I believe building the PMPK brand is vital to sustain rapid growth. PMPK has to be visible wherever it matters, and we have to find intelligent ways of building this brand awareness. Each year, we print 3,000 wall calendars which you can see in most prominent establishments in Ranchi as well as in the offices and homes of our clients. People like it because of the simplicity of its design and the high functionality of its bold text display.


We produce and widely distribute our house magazine to middle class households across Ranchi. We are consciously building our presence in the middle class segment, as we believe this will serve to de-risk the HNI side of the business, which I see becoming more challenging in the next 10 years, as direct plans become more popular.

We distribute pamphlets twice a month through the year, the total of which crosses over 100,000 in a year. We have struck a deal with a local courier company: the main page is our publicity material, while for the back page, the courier company is free to tie up with any product provider and insert their promotional material, with that revenue going to the courier firm. We print the pamphlets, the courier company delivers it to target households at no cost to us, because they get revenue from the back page advertisements. This works out to a win-win solution for both of us.

We are very active on social media - FB, Whatsapp, Twitter. Our messages and broadcasts are different and diverse - we try to break clutter with useful insights on matters that clients will be interested in.

I recognize that a large part of building the PMPK brand is about me, and I consciously maintain the required social profile for this purpose. The more well known and accepted I am in relevant social circles, the easier it is for prospective clients to connect with my firm and come to us for financial advice. Many clients take pride in being associated with PMPK - which tells me that our brand building efforts are yielding desired results.

5. Service excellence

The fifth and equally important pillar of success is service excellence. Our job is to outperform on client expectations, and the one area where outperformance is entirely in our control is the service aspect. We have an internal 4 hour TAT for resolving any service request. While we may communicate to the client that we will resolve the matter in 1 day, we make it a point to resolve it in 4 hours and our person calls/visits the client with the message that on my personal instructions, my office put this matter on emergency mode and we have resolved the request within just 4 hours. Clients feel important and elated. A "wow" factor gets created.

We know tax planning is important for clients. We know that back office software churns out capital gains statements. We go a step further. Our in house company secretary, whose main job is related to our company's statutory obligations, goes through client transactions and the back office statements, and prepares final schedules that clients can straight-away append to their returns, and this is then handed over to the client or his CA. Again, a wow factor because we go beyond their expectations.

Every client at PMPK is very valuable, every request they make is given high priority, and we have invested sufficiently in office infrastructure to ensure that we are able to serve our clients better than what they expect.

My job in all of this is to create the right environment where the team delivers excellent service. I am not ashamed of admitting that I don't still know how to fill up an application form - and I don't want to learn that skill. My role is to build and strengthen client relationships, build and safeguard my brand, build and motivate my team, create a learning and serving environment in my office and set the strategic direction of where we need to go.


Pradeep Jain's office speaks eloquently about the man: a clean desk, uncluttered by routine work and a library that fosters his quest for knowledge that really matters

Road to 1000 crs

How much you can grow is a function of where you set your sights and how you set the foundation to achieve your goal. The market has immense potential. This business will grow manifold from here. 5 years back, who would have bet on the MF industry crossing 20 lakh crores in 2017? Yet, its happening and is looking good for a whole lot more.

There is no dearth of investors in our market and we can see investors willingly increasing their allocations to mutual funds. We are still miles away from penetrating every target household in our respective markets and in achieving optimum allocation to mutual funds within each household's total investment pool. So, market potential is not the issue at all.

What matters in our quest to grow is how we build the foundations of our business. I focus a lot on strengthening the 5 pillars of my business model. If I do a good job on this front, business will grow. I have set a clear target for PMPK - to reach 1000 crores AuM in the next three years. I am now spending more time in learning from successful IFAs from bigger markets on what they are doing to go to the next level. As we share and exchange ideas, all of us grow.

I know that the key to achieving the 1000 cr target is ensuring that we get the basics right and never lose sight of what our clients really want. We will grow with our clients and our clients will grow with us.

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