Tech is the future of personal finance: Mukesh Kalra, Founder and CEO, ET Money
Indian wealthtech is poised to grow at least three times by 2025. With the sheer growth and significant headroom for market potential, there is a need for the industry to constantly innovate. ET Money, as a mobile-first personal finance application, is pioneering innovative tech solutions for the new-age investor.
During a fireside chat at TechSparks2021, YourStory's flagship startup-tech event, Mukesh Kalra, Founder and CEO,delved deep into what lies in the future for the wealthtech industry.
The growth story
Mukesh in his conversation with Shivani Muthanna, Associate Producer, YourStory, spoke about the shift in investors’ perspective in the last three to five years. “The traditional investment avenues like gold, deposits or real estate have not been giving the expected returns. So, naturally, a lot of investors are shifting to capital markets. There is a basic need to get more returns which is driving the investors to think about wealth in a big way,” Mukesh said.
In addition, he credited digital creators for working in the direction of driving awareness which has accelerated the learning curve of the new-age investors. According to him, the intent to make more money along with awareness and education has made wealthtech a massive sector today.
How is ET Money leveraging technology?
- Smart Deposits: Mukesh pointed out that 1 trillion dollars of India’s money is still in the savings account. “As someone in wealthtech, the numbers are disappointing for us. To solve this problem with tech, we launched a product called Smart Deposit. It acts as a replacement for a savings account. It parks your money in liquid mutual funds (low risk) that provide 75 - 80 percent of higher returns than a regular savings account,” he explained.
- Instant withdrawal API: For smart deposit investors, ET Money created a platform called instant withdrawal API to enable investors to withdraw their money with a single tap which otherwise would have taken 24 hours.
- Frictionless onboarding and one-tap innovations: ET Money worked on themes like reducing the friction points to start your investment journey. “We worked on multiple one-tap innovations where an investor could withdraw money or start an SIP with a single tap,” added Mukesh.
He believes that the COVID-19 provided potential investors with more savings along with the time to explore investment opportunities. “The pandemic acted as a turbo engine to wealth as it fundamentally changed the way people look at money,” shared Mukesh.
Next wave of innovations
Mukesh further pointed out challenges that an investor continues to face in this era. “Decision making is still a major pain point from an investor's perspective. Moreover, managing your funds is also a matter of concern for most investors,” he said.
He further emphasised that the next set of innovations in wealthtech should focus on the population that is yet to enter the investing circles. There is a need to introduce products and avenues that require investment as small as Rs 50, the right tools to understand an investor's capacity to take the risk and then hyper personalise products.
Mukesh said that ET Money understands the needs of the new-age investor and is therefore working on innovative hyper-personalised products to democratise the data, thereby enhancing the end-user experience.
The future of wealthtech
Mukesh envisions a financial ecosystem that is completely consumer-centric. “When we started ET Money, we disrupted the commission-led mutual funds and introduced direct mutual funds for consumers to make more profit. This resulted in incredible growth for us as well,” he said.
The fintech platform plans to disrupt the transaction-led ecosystem and create products that provide maximum cost benefit to the end-users.
“Technological innovation has a massive role to play to bring in these new changes and we at ET Money are excited to take these challenges head-on,” Mukesh concluded.
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