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Motilal Oswal

By Motilal Oswal 12-May-2011 | 15:27

From Broker to Financial Planner

Brokerage stand-alone is not going to add more value. So more important is value addition. So please, upgrade your skills, don’t think of yourself as a broker or a discounted broker. 5 years down the line, there would be 50 lakh crores of savings every year. Right now its 20 lakh crores. Most of it goes into fixed income and small savings. What share of this wallet do we want to get? We have to position ourselves as a One Stop Financial Service Destination and focus on a greater Wallet share. Standalone brokers may become defunct in the next decade. Some of us have already passed, the CFP qualification. It is imperative that all of us do so. Not just to get broking revenue but also to attract greater wallet share

Not just to survive; but to thrive.

Have you invested in people?

How much can you do by yourself? You have to invest in employees. There is a major difficulty in retaining and attracting new people. We have taken a project internally on helping our business associates in this important area. How many people you have? Have you clearly defined KRAs (expected results and behaviour) for each employee? Have you defined an incentive plan for your revenue generating employees? How much do you know about your employees? Only money is not really going to retain them. Groom or hire somebody who can handle the daily operational matters. Empower this person and handhold him for developing confidence. You need to have this critical resource with you and decide that you are not going to spend more than 15% of your time on operational matters but still would have a complete grip on the operations. Key is to have a good resource who is empowered and you set up a process of reviewing the work through clear dashboards and review mechanisms. You need to spend more and more time on sales, cross sales, meeting top clients and expansion. You need support from your employees too.

So make them your partners.

Knowledge First

Invest in knowledge. It is the most potent and affordable nectar in the world. Knowledge will always be yours forever. Most of us think that they are satisfied with 500 clients, which is not good. How many people read magazines or go for some formal training? Let me tell you, this is a knowledge economy; you have to upgrade very fast. For a start, read at least two business papers everyday. Read a good book on investment or management. Learn the basics of fundamental and technical research. Learn the art of selling and of relationship management. Be prepared for the questions that your client will ask in business. You have to generate knowledge within yourself. If you don’t like reading, then spend time with those people who are smarter and better than you. Tomorrow the customer may ask you different questions which you haven’t heard of.

Knowledge is important. And there is no shortcut.

Technology and Processes

We have seen drastic changes in the way we do business due to the use of technology. Technology is the key driver for our business and we need to learn about it and invest into it for survival as well as growth. If you want to achieve scale, it can not be done without establishing and following the good processes.

Process and technology are the foundations on which strong businesses are built.

Review Progress

Set GOALS for the next 5 years. But change knocks the wind out of all good plans. Unless performance is reviewed regularly, growth becomes stunted. Your business plan depends upon monitoring progress- whether it’s achieved or over-achieved. You have to understand what is working for you or not. Unless you know that, you can’t move forward.

We get what we inspect, not just what we expect.

“There’s a big difference between seeing an opportunity and seizing an opportunity” - Pat Guritz

These were the few challenges, which were important. I just want to say that this business is going to be very big and a lot tougher too. We have to take care of our customers, people and partners. The world is very competitive. The opportunity is huge; but it’s not for everybody. The challenges are far-far bigger than opportunities. But at the end of the day, you have to make the effort.