Want to invest in mutual funds but don’t know which basket to put money into? Participating in debt and equity markets using market-linked insurance plans, and just looking for advice? Then there are over 3 million strong financial advisers [PFRDA] across the country just waiting to help .
A Bangalore-based startup is looking to solve this problem of excess, by helping you pick the one best suited to your needs.
Started by Pradip Chakrabarty and Dwaipayan Bose, Advisorkhoj is a platform to ease the hunt for financial advisors from across the country. The platform lists financial advisers from across India, and is a search directory of sorts for financial advisory services.
“We help investors choose a competent financial advisor, and help financial advisors take their business identity online. Thus they reach out to more and more investors,” says Pradip, founder and CEO, Advisorkhoj.
How Advisorkhoj Works
Advisorkhoj helps both the financial advisor and the client looking for an advisor. The company has over 28,969 advisors listed with them, approaches advisors primarily through tele-calls. The tele-calls inform advisors about the platform and get them to register with Advisorkhoj.
The company then validates the licence numbers provided by the advisors to ensure authenticity. All advisors who offer a particular service are intimated by mail or sms when a client keys in and looks for the service they are offering. Advisors can also opt for paid subscription plans by the company.
Investors looking for advice can do a product based search across Advisorkhoj’s database for the type of service they are looking for and contact advisors free of cost. While the search and locating of the advisor may be free, the advisor himself may charge a fee according to the service rendered. Clients can also rate and recommend advisers on the services.
Growth, Traction & Product Development
Advisorkhoj claims to have added over 15K visitors to their platform, with over 275 unique visitors in December 2013 alone. It currently covers 1,109 locations and over 5,508 pin codes from across India.
The bootstrapped company did not develop the platform on its own, and says the development was a challenge.
“Developing the portal through vendor and not having a technology team when we started. Now, we have a full fledged It team and product is developed in house,” says Pradip who had earlier founded mutual fund direct distributor – Right Choice Securities.
According to the Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (PFRDA), over 70% of the 8 million people who are holding mutual funds consulted their agent for their investment. Advisorkhoj seeks to tap into this army of clients who are seeking a financial advisor, but are not able to find the right one.
The company seeks to expand overseas in markets where financial advisory services don’t exist in the long-term. For now, it plans to launch its search directory as a mobile app.
“In next 30-45 days we are launching the mobile app version, financial tools & calculators and research,” says Pradip.
Financial advisors whose services are listed on Advisorkhoj range from those involved in Certified financial planning, forex trading, to those aiding in tax consulting, credit assistance companies and tax return preparers.