Your Name any other details (site address, twitter handle, mail id(?) etc..
Name: Ronak Hindocha
What exactly do you do?
We all know that managing personal finances in the real world is much harder than it should be. The main problem is the isolated nature of our financial activities. Whether buying or selling - most of us look at the transaction in isolation. If we rather look at a holistic picture while undertaking the transaction it will be much more logical.
But that requires time and expertise and is expensive as one would have thought. An integrated system which can take on this issue is yet to emerge. We, at Futurewise aim to fill the gap by making this critical service available to the masses (read, 25-45 age group) at an extremely affordable price point (Rs.299 per month), all this backed by a robust delivery platform (phone/internet). This 2 minute papercraft video explains the same: http://vimeo.com/26055133.
Why do you do what you do? Is it to make money, to become famous, to run away from something, to retire, to kill boredom?
Managing money is my passion. Plus, I see a huge opportunity to make it big in this field. Making money and becoming famous will be a by-product.
Is there anything unique in what you do?
Our approach towards managing this business itself is unique. Our belief in technology as a scale enabler, our belief in processes combined with constant efforts of making our clients life simpler through innovative solutions (like a goal based tracker that we have built, is one of its kind).
What happens if this fails?
This will NOT fail. I know there is dearth of quality advice and to top it all not many believe this can be scaled up. When there are pessimists all around you are sitting on a huge opportunity.
Any one or two incidents that make you shiver or feel proud of your journey so far?
Being a bootstrapped start-up I could not afford high costs. So, right from day zero I took punt on inexperienced but zealous guys, whether they are vendors or team members. It has paid off so far.
State one really bad habit and one good habit (if you actually have one)
Bad habit: Unable to handle work-life balance.
Good habit: Attention to details. In a start-up it is easy to get lost in the big picture thinking. I know how to balance the big picture with a razor sharp focus on the smallest of things.
Famous last words to the readers?
Most of us have it in us to create another Apple story. We just need to back ourselves enough.
Finally, say YES below the next para:
I solemnly put my hand on my religious book/favorite novel and swear that what I have said above (including my photos) is the truth. So help me, Rodinhood
You can be here next! Just visit this link and interview yourself!
Thansk Jyoti. Will see you soon.
Hi Ronka, This is damn good !! the clarity of thought, vision is real amazing !!!! I like the Lets make another Apple bit more because in India we have lot of status quo scenarios to challenge :) Money which is largely a sole motivator of any individual is largely remained misunderstood by lot of us and money management and anything related to that will have lots of future in India. In fact its in this decade we have started listening to the tune of wealth management as we have really started creating wealth in this decade. Kudos to you Man !!! Wish you all the success in your business venture. May Money(GOD) bless you !!!
Thanks Mandar for the encouraging words. Yes, you are right, Money management is yet to take shape as a service and is largely fragmented. Hope to do some good work here.
Ronak, now when I compare this with what Alok has to say on the subject of Financial / Investment Advisers, tell me why I should plonk down the Rs. nnnn per month to listen to you and follow your advice. How do I know you won't be leading me down to shit creek?
I remember Alok's post very well. I empathize with investors who feel cheated (or are skeptical) when it comes to matters related to money. But it will be wrong to generalize financial advisors.
There can be a long essay to answer your question. Let me still encapsulate as much as I can - We aren't like other advisors:
because we charge a fee (unlike those pvt bankers/ wealth managers whose only source of income is commissions from the products they sell),
because ours is a holistic approach to managing one's finances (the so called pvt bankers etc. have no clue about your financial matters, they are more interested in "chipkaooing" you some product without understanding whether it fits your needs). This means we are under no pressure to make a quick buck out of you. We will be definitely making money from you (just that it happens slowly and steadily) and
because we know it is lot easier to do the right thing/ give the right advice and get a monthly retainer from you rather then thinking about looting you and finding a new bakra every time.
lastly because the moment of truth is our client's liking our work. A few fellow rodinhooders are our clients already and I would be happy to have you connect with them, if you want to hear their experience. And believe me, they are smart individuals - they know how to differentiate.
Hmmm. Frankly I have zero interest in watching my bank account. Which I suppose is sacrilege in some quarters. :) But I recognize that we live in a world controlled by the banking mafia. :)) And the only way to escape their clutches is to have your own stash of cash.
I have no doubt you are a sincere bunch of guys who will be looking out for the interests of your customer. But how can you do that at Rs. 299/ per month? You'll need at least a 100 customers to make payroll for even a junior employee. Something's gotta give in the process.
In any case, I will be forwarding this to my Finance Minister to see if she will be interested :)).
Each to his own. Some of our clients are finicky about the smallest details while others don't care as much.
Well 299pm is not the only revenue for us. That is an ongoing retainer we get for managing our client's finances. There is a one time charge of 2999 which the clients have to pay once on signing up (I saw that is not mentioned in the interview above and apologies for that, however the pricing is transparent and is on the company website).
Apart from this, we get our moolah from the product manufacturers. That helps us in subsidizing the fees at an affordable level.
Looking forward to hear from your FM.