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    Seeing consistent inflow from new SIP and non-SIP investors: Swarup Mohanty

    Synopsis

    ‘Moving quickly towards digitisation aided the growth momentum’

    We seem to be so comfortable at buying at market highs and just running away when markets go down.
    Indian investors in equity missed some fantastic times to buy, says the CEO of Mirae Asset Global.

    Are you also observing an increased number of folios and new investors coming in? It is not about the SIP numbers alone but the sheer number of new players coming into the market. Are your observations also in that direction?
    Yes, I completely agree with you. Though not at pre-Covid levels, we have had a consistent inflow of new investors. Typically we would add between 60,000 to 70,000 new folios in our organisation pre-Covid times but in this Covid time, we have been adding between 35,000 to 45,000 folios on an average on a monthly basis, which is very heartening to see. Look at it from our perspective. Most of our folios are still skewed towards equity. If we had a broader base of equity and debt, which we are trying to now have, this could have been even better and that is our view. But to answer your question, yes the flow has been consistent and this is non-SIP. The SIP continues to be where it is. We have seen additions in non-SIP in all the months.

    How are you guys at Mirae interacting with your top distributors and investor calls? How are you analysing the environment? Do you think the investors have matured; so the risk of losing them is relatively low in this cycle?
    There are two parts to it. I will address them in parts. One is of course the partner side of the business and the investor side of the business. I think when Covid started, it was an issue. Of course these are the right times to go out and communicate much more because the need for talking is at a heightened level. People have lost money and these are the times for asset managers to go out and give their views and show comfort in their ability of managing the investors’ money. So when we started off, clearly we did not know how to approach it to this extent. But I must say, the external environments stepped up very quickly and this kind of communication has been a learning in this entire period; both from the digital format that we are talking in at the moment to going live on all forums like YouTube and Facebook. There are so many avenues which have opened up. They were always there but we were not using it to the extent we have in this entire period. I must give credit to the environment which has also really woken up to this and I really look forward to continuing this ease of communication post this environment. The best part of Covid and the biggest learning is graduating to this digital way of communicating, which is so easy and has kept us very intense in these last three-four months. It has been a good going so far and people wanting to do more of it has been the best part.

    Is it the smaller towns which are showing more promise in terms of new client additions or is it the bigger towns? Where are the incremental flows coming from?
    Yes, it is a good question. To put things in perspective, let us look at it this way. At this moment, the industry is in a stunted environment where we are accepting applications mostly in the digital format. This is where the platforms that aid distributors through partners come into play. The respective direct websites enable investors to come directly as well as through partners. There is no physical transaction at this moment and that is the biggest upgrade of the mutual fund industry due to Covid. I think the share that used to come in from a city large versus small remains the same. We have not seen any change in that.

    The mode has shifted more to the digital side than the physical side. It is not right to conclude on the process of physical because the physical itself is stopped at this moment. But a lot of physical players have now graduated to the digital form of transacting and that will persist post Cocid as well.

    To give you a share of what is happening; yes, most of the applications still continue in the SIP format. I would have liked to see people benefitting from the fall in the market. The sad part of Covid is that the lump sum investor stayed away which was not right for us to see. We went and communicated. We highlighted that these are good levels for entries in the market but unfortunately the sad part of Covid will be that the Indian investor in equity in particular has missed some fantastic times to buy in, which will be benefiting the SIP investors more than the lump sum investors.

    I personally felt the lump sum investors could have done better at those falls and clearly we have to now reflect on the way we invest. We seem to be so comfortable at buying at market highs and just running away when markets go down. These kinds of opportunities do not come time and again and people should not be coming back to the markets because of fear of missing out. That is the last thing that should happen but I am sad to say that is a possibility going forward.

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