Is advice only the domain of HNI?


Well for starters, my interaction with customers of all categories, i.e. retail to mass affluent or even budding HNI’s, not just in today’s market scenario, but since last 15 years of my corporate career, is that customers don’t mind paying for advice, as long as same delivers, “what is preached?”
Pop comes out question; why we don’t have players or offerings which takes care of same?
My understanding, it’s all about vision & execution from a leader or from a company, where we have very few risk takers or even innovators. We all follow a herd mentality, not just at a customer level, but even at a company & leader levels. In short, we have very few companies, who would want to try new products or create new demand. I am talking about companies like Apple, Facebook, even our own Tata motors with Nano… all have DNA built on innovation & customer centric working. Whereas most of the other companies, follow the herd mentality.

HNI in our country are very well taken care in terms of financial planning or aptly called wealth management, where we have all possible names & competition. At this level they deploy high end technology to track investments, have advice based on superb research desk, back end to support execution & off course fees, which is in line with international levels 😉

With opening of the financial sector since 1991, we have hordes of companies & individuals, who have corrupted the entire eco-system for retail or mass affluent, in the name of financial planning. Simple example: when you ask anyone today, do you know financial planning or have you done financial planning? Most of them, including ourselves will say, YES I KNOW.

But the sad part; when you sit with them, run them down & explain all asset class, their usage and pros & cons, vis-à-vis life goals, come’s the next question, I AM IN MESS or WHY I HAVE NOT MET YOU EARLIER?

This article in not to promote my company, but to challenge the so called advocates of financial planning, where on the pretext of financial planning they are selling products, which only suites their interest & above all gives a wrong image to financial planning. And above all to start a crusade like “Swachh Bharat Abhiyan” where let’s not question the providers, but question ourselves, what is right or wrong?

We get excited by Kotak wealth management report**: ultra HNI will triple in size to 3lacs+ families by 2018-19, from 1lac+ families currently. But as per research***: there are more than 1crore mass affluent families in this country, who are without wealth management advice or similar services currently & with expanding economy this figure will only jump… or if take ultra HNI growth rate, this will become more than 3crs+ families by 2018-19.

**kotak source: top of the pyramid 2014 report
*** source: IT data & ITES employee data 2012-13


Manoj Chahar
Founder & Storyteller at
Manoj is the founder of, with 15 years of corporate experience & expertise in financial markets. Manoj has corporate stints with Kotak Securities, IIFL group & Philips India. He holds an MBA (PGDM) degree from Symbiosis (SIMS) Pune.
His interests include birding & adventure activities.

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