Finvasia provides brokerage services in commodities, equities & forex, research advisory, structured investments, asset management, currency hedging, corporate funding, real estate, MF, financing, etc.
Sarvjeet Singh Virk (37) and Tajinder Singh Virk (36), brothers from Chandigarh, founded Finvasia – a fintech firm that offers a wide range of brokerage services. The firm, which was initially founded in Canada, started in India with an aim to provide financial solutions for the retail market.
The two brothers studied engineering at Punjab Engineering College. The dream to be an entrepreneur took Tajinder to Georgia State University, USA, for an MBA. Sarvjeet, who had similar plans for future, pursued his MBA from Amity Business School, Noida, and later went to Baruch College, New York, for an executive course.
At college, both were actively involved in various leadership roles that included being the President of Student Council at PEC and President of Indian Student Graduate Council at Georgia State University. They reunited in Canada and founded Finvasia in 2009.
It provides brokerage services in commodities, equities & forex, research advisory, structured investments, asset management, currency hedging, corporate funding, real estate, MF, financing, etc.
In 2011, its founders came to India as foreign institutional investors (FII) and started analysing all the aspects of retail market. “We initially focussed on providing advisory, execution, and asset management services to multiple hedge funds, fund of funds across 14 countries. In India, we realised the importance of retail market and wanted to create financial solutions for it as well,” says Sarvjeet Singh. Before founding Finvasia, Sarvjeet was the Vice President of Spectrum Novel Solutions and Tajinder was the VP (Trading Strategist) in Venus Capital Management in Boston.
After their return to India, it took them five years to start up operations. According to Sarvjeet, the compliance requirement and approval from SEBI took some time. They did not want to outsource anything — they wanted to create their own ecosystem and make their products in-house. After a lot of back and forth, they finally launched their India operations in an office in Chandigarh in August 2016.
Their firm has a diversified business model — it offers services ranging from asset management, investment banking, capital market advisory, currency hedging to brokerage services in commodities, equities and derivatives. It also offers various technology solutions to institutional and retail clients.
With offices in Mississauga (Canada), London (UK) and Chandigarh (India), Finvasia is registered as Commercial Clearing and Trading Member of National Stock Exchange of India Limited (NSE) and Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE). It is also registered as a Trading Member of Multi Commodity Exchange of India (MCX). It acts as Depository Participant with CDSL and has filed an application for Non-Banking Financial Corporation (NBFC) with approval expected shortly. Additionally, the company is registered as a Foreign Institutional Investor (FII) with Securities Exchange Board of India and as an Investment Advisor with Securities and Exchange Commission, USA.
Finvasia offers zero brokerage and zero clearing trading account using SEBI approved Aadhaar based eKYC process. Some of their fintech products include SMART, Artificial Intelligence based Social Mutual Fund Analyser for Research & Trading and SCALPERT, a charting based advanced Algo trading platform. Finvasia received foreign direct investment (FDI) funding from venture capitalists.
The journey that led to Finvasia involved the two brothers taking up multiple responsibilities – be it the role of the salesperson, the IT expert, or the HR person. Sarvjeet considers entrepreneurship a bumpy ride and the downfalls they encountered prepared them for unexpected situations.
Their firm caters to two levels of investors: retail and institutional. Retail investors can enjoy their zero-brokerage account with no cost to trades in NSE, BSE, and MCX. Finvasia will give online access to over 15,000 mutual funds available in India and client shall be able to buy/redeem mutual funds online based on Risk and Reward tools available.
Single access of all asset classes in one log shall enable investors to see their diversified investments and rebalance portfolio based on market conditions. The zero brokerage and zero clearing trading accounts for FPI and other HNI clients have reduced return on investment for all the traders. At present, Finvasia has around 10,000 clients.
Finvasia has a team of over 110 employees. Its corporate office is in Chandigarh and the global office is in London (UK) and Mississauga (Canada). Soon, it will start business in Australia. They have vertical and horizontal expansion plans and want to add retail clients over the next few years. Similarly, they will be focussing on cross products including MF, NBFC, etc.
Finvasia has multiple revenue models besides its upcoming fintech products. Presently, it provides fintech products which have basic services free for all average investors. Further, there shall be a paid version to facilitate services for professional traders, HNI, and advanced level investors.
“We are aggressively building our client base to create a commission free financial ecosystem for investors to eliminate the need of the middleman and diversify their portfolio in various asset classes by adding value,” says Sarvjeet.