What if you could learn finance while watching a movie? Rahul Ghose tells us how MoneyFLIX is revolutionising the financial education space
With just about a quarter of India’s population being financially literate, enhancing financial awareness and education is the need of the hour. But, the world of finance has often been perceived as complex, boring and filled with intimidating jargon.
Looking to take on this challenge and change people’s perception about finance is MoneyFlix, the world’s first financial movies platform. It not only seeks to make finance simple and easy to understand, but has also taken on the difficult task of making finance interesting.
“We spend years learning to become a doctor, lawyer or an engineer. But when it comes to finance, which is one of the most important aspects of an individual’s life, we shy away from putting in the time or the effort for the right kind of education. With MoneyFlix, we’ve taken away the reasons for you to shy away from finance. It’s time to equip ourselves with the right ammunition and knowhow," says Rahul Ghose, head, MoneyFlix.
“Over the years, finance has been perceived to be a very dry, lacklustre and a complicated subject. MoneyFlix’s primary objective is to break all negative connotations learning about finance carries with it. We have taken from simple to the most complicated financial concepts, broken them down into a simple ‘snackable’ format we call financial movies,” he added.
In a candid chat with YourStory, Rahul Ghose tells us more...
Q. Could you give us a brief overview of MoneyFlix and the idea behind it? How do you think a platform like this can affect financial literacy in India?
A vast majority of people globally refrain from learning about finance and taking well-informed financial decisions on their own. They often turn to an outsider for help when it comes to this subject. Just recently I read that India’s financial literacy rate is only 24 percent.
Excluding access to good financial education, this is primarily because of two reasons — finance is not always an easy-to-understand subject, and, more importantly, people just don’t find it interesting enough to devote their time and effort to learn. While conceptualising the world’s first financial movies platform, we noticed that many people have tried to solve the first problem, but the latter has been overlooked for all these years.
With MoneyFlix, we wanted to solve both problems simultaneously. Not only did we seek to make finance simple and easy to understand, but also make the impossible, possible by making finance interesting so that a user has the urge to learn. We wanted to make learning finance truly enjoyable by looking to create a tectonic shift in how India and the world perceived finance.
Q. There is a stereotype associated with all things finance — it’s complicated. The jargon is often intimidating. How does MoneyFlix address that roadblock?
Your question puts it very aptly — stereotype. This word is often used when it comes to learning finance.
Over the years, finance has been perceived to be a very dry, lacklustre and a complicated subject. In fact, if I mentioned the word “Inter-Index Divergence” in front of a group that doesn’t understand finance too well, they just might look at me as though I’m conversing in a different dialect.
MoneyFlix’s primary objective is to break all negative connotations that learning about finance carries with it. We have taken from simple to the most complicated financial concepts, broken them down into a simple ‘snackable’ format called Financial Movies. These start right from the grassroots of the concept and are intertwined with interesting stories to ensure that the user enjoys while learning. Why the concept of movies, some ask? It’s simple — everyone loves watching movies. So, what better way to teach everyone than through the medium they already love?
Q. Technology has massively upgraded the financial services industry but, financial education still has a long way to go. How can MoneyFlix bridge this gap?
The whole process of learning has three parts to it. One is the content, second is how and in what form is that content delivered, and the third is what can be done to ensure the content is retained better by the learner.
We at MoneyFlix have made sure that we solve all the three parts of this puzzle to the best of our abilities. Our content is broken down into short five- to 20-minute films called episodes. Each episode is part of a full-blown financial movie with a storyline, live actors and characters. We then use animation to simplify and explain the tough jargons.
Technology has played a dominant role in the second and third parts. All of our content is housed in a state-of-the-art learning environment with intuitive features such as auto pausing the video when a user moves his attention to another tab, subtitling in multiple languages, to name a few. We basically wanted our users’ experience to be top notch.
Further, we have used technology to help the user retain whatever he or she is learning by adding features in the platform such as ‘adding of notes through speech or voice’ to capture important points even on the go. Users can also electronically bookmark important parts of the video as well, which can be later saved and viewed by a mere click of a button. We’ve used technology to best touch upon all facets associated with learning.
Q. Is the content on MoneyFlix meant only for beginners? If not, what kind of users can use the app and is there a target group?
MoneyFlix has something for everybody. While coming up with the content strategy, we specifically made sure we included content for people of all age groups and people of varied financial interests — be it a learner who is just starting his/her journey in the financial markets or be it someone who has no interest in markets but just wants to learn about finance, taxation and other related topics.
In the financial markets’ genre as well, we have sub-divided our content. For instance, we have a movie on
“How to Scan for stocks?” for beginners. For a little more advanced trader, we have used Bollinger bands and RSI (Relative Strength Index). In fact, we even have content that is pertinent for teenagers all the way up to for someone who is looking to retire.
Q. What are some of the categories that content on MoneyFlix covers?
The categories of movies on MoneyFlix have been divided into three broad genres — trading, investing and personal finance. We have a free section where learners can watch a wide range of short films ranging from five- to 10-minute duration. We are currently adding 1 short film every week. We also have an entire premium movies’ section, which has full-length movies ranging from 30 minutes to 90 minutes in duration that are broken into smaller episodes of 10 minutes to 20 minutes each.
Q. How do you break down complex topics such as ratios or technical analyses into understandable language? Tell us the role of interactive graphics in sprucing up your content.
This is what I honestly feel we do best and is something that everybody needs to see to believe.
Making the toughest of financial concepts interesting is not the easiest of tasks. We first broke down the content into simple fragments, then created analogies for each of these fragments using animation and real-world scenarios with our team of writers. We then animated all these concepts so that we could pictorially represent what we wanted the learners to take away, coupled with adding a full-blown story with live actors.
All this was finally structurally designed together to form a masterpiece that we call as “financial movies.” The portal even gives you a sneak peek of the premium movies even though someone might not be a paid user to understand how we have gone about doing this.
Q. Could you give us an idea of the number of subscribers on your platform so far and how it has been received by users?
Our content has been really loved by everybody as you can see from our reviews. People like the innovative way in which we have packaged the financial content. Our aspiration of bringing “edutainment” in finance as a new genre has taken off swinging with the platform having more than 50,000 downloads and almost 10,000 users in only the first 3 months.
Q. Are you planning to customise MoneyFlix’s offerings further? What are your future content plans under the platform?
Over the past few months, we have seen that the interest on the trading and investing side of movies is higher. We have recently come up with something very interesting called ‘MoneyFLix Bytes.’ These are short, 10-minute topical videos on current stocks, sectors and other hot topics to do with the financial markets. These include holistic views on stocks such as, say, a Maruti Suzuki or Hindustan Unilever, from fundamental to sometimes a technical perspective, along with other topical stuff like what the future for gold holds, among others. As the interest on this side is high, we are also coming up with some premium movies on the top candlesticks patterns that people should always keep in mind. (And) A detailed nosedive on the booming pharmaceuticals sector.
Even though the interest in this part of finance is high, to balance our entire gamut of content offering and to make sure we leave nobody behind, we recently launched some videos on personal finance like investing principles during the COVID-19 pandemic. We are also on track to launch a premium movie on different investment avenues that covers all the sought-after investment types and not only equity.
Q. What is your message to youngsters about gaining the right knowledge on managing finances?
I see youngsters today more inclined to equity and trading than finance as a whole. There has been a massive rush in the number of people getting into equity as an asset class over the recent years, and this number has further got a violent exponential push during this pandemic. Like I mentioned, a sizable portion of this group is from a younger demographic.
However, the unfortunate part is as follows: We spend years educating ourselves to become a doctor, lawyer or an engineer. But when it comes to this part, wherein finance is one of the most important aspects of an individual’s life, we shy away from putting in the time or the effort for the right kind of education. We’ve taken away the reasons for you to shy away from finance. It’s time to equip ourselves with the right ammunition and knowhow.
My advice would be, just like those professions didn’t have a shortcut, this also requires some amount of effort. Hopefully, with the birth of the world’s first financial movies platform MoneyFlix, we’ve finally made it interesting so that learning finance becomes a truly enjoyable experience for everybody.