We are publishing an interview of Mr. Sankarsh Chanda – Founder & CEO of Hyderabad based Fintech Startup Savart.
About the Founder:
Sankarsh, 19, is the CEO & Founder of Savart. Having started investing at the age of 14, he has worked with clients from UK, USA, Netherlands and India to create investment strategies and take critical decisions. He published his book – Financial Nirvana in 2016, which is a beginner’s book to understand stock markets. He is also a certified Research Analyst.
He has shared his vision for the world and Savart in his TEDx talk at NMIMS Bangalore:
Q.: What is the problem you are trying to solve? Can you share with us any insights that led you to believe that this is a big enough problem?
Ans: Challenges or problems faced:
• Building trust with clients especially given that we are a new market entrant.
• Working with multiple partners and regulators to get them on board.
P.S. The positive output is that today the company is registered as a corporate investment advisor with SEBI (Securities & Exchange Board of India), as a distributor with AMFI & as a platform partner with BSE (Bombay Stock Exchange).
Q.: Tell us about the Product / Solution. Explain how you went about the Product-Market Fit Process.
Ans: How Savart works:
A client’s experience with Savart starts with a process termed EFG (Emotional Financial & General Analysis) which is our proprietary psychometric analysis that helps understand the client’s risk appetite, goals and requirements. Based on the EFG inputs and other behavioral inputs, the system suggests a basic portfolio to the client. A series of digital interactions with the client ensues. Then, complete handholding is done with customized portfolio recommendations, purchase, review, rebalancing & selling, ensuring that we stay with the client until the desired results are achieved. The platform offers both regular, direct mutual funds, direct equity & bonds for investment purposes. It is also partnered with Upstox & ICICI Securities to enable broking services to its clients with seamless integration options.
Q.: What is your USP?
Ans: Company USP:
• Industry leading process – combining robo advisory with traditional research.
• Diverse clientele – Has everybody from retail rural clients investing INR 100 p.m. to HNI individuals and institutions investing through Savart regularly.
• Education > Selling – The company favors educating & empowering clients over forced, mis-selling of investment products.
Diversified portfolio – Bonds, Mutual Funds, stocks, gold & soon adding other products to the portfolio.
Q.: What were your assumptions when you entered the market, learnings that you have? Who in your mind is your ideal customer? Do you have atleast one of them signed up?
Ans: My most ridiculous assumption was that if I built a great product, people would simply start flooding our site. Looking back, it turned out to be completely false. There are a lot of other things that need to fall in place for a successful business.
My ideal customer is he/she who gives us complete freedom with making investments and has a horizon of investment over 10 years. Most of the clients we have signed up align with this idea of ours. The onus is now upon us to keep them happy for such a long time.
Q.: What has been your biggest failure as an entrepreneur and what did you learn from it??
Ans: My failure as an entrepreneur is the urge to micro-manage everything. While this is a foolish thing to do, I love to do things perfectly. Over time, I have learnt to get along with this imperfection but make it a point to note and keep learning.
Q.: How are you pricing the Product? What is the logic behind it? What is the model you are following – Free / Freemium / Premium etc. ? Explain your thought process.
Ans: While our users have the option to opt for regular mutual funds and invest through our platform. Those who seek more intensive advice, guidance and support can opt for our ‘Savart+’ plans which is available in two variants:
- For investments between INR 1 – 4,00,000 – a fixed charge of INR 1299/- p.a.
- For investments over INR 4,00,000 – 0.5% of investment as an upfront advisory fee + 3% of pre – tax net profits as performance fee annually on redeemed investments only
We have kept our pricing extremely affordable for investors making small investments and for those making a bigger investments with us, the rate are extremely competitive with more emphasis being given to having company’s ‘skin in the game’ i.e. we make money only when the customer does. It stands in line with our commitment to create significant wealth for our clients.
Q.:How did you get your first customer?
Ans: My mom was one of my first customers. The other early customers were those who had availed my freelancing investment strategy services through various sites.
Q.: What is the big picture of your startup? Is this Product leading to something bigger? If so, how?
Ans: We intend to create a complete ecosystem of investment products across the journey of an investor. Our current product and platform lays the foundation to achieving the same.
Q.: What is the insight that you have about this market, which no one else has? Uniqueness about your Startup.
Ans: The unique aspect of our uniqueness is that everybody knows it, but nobody pays heed to it – it is to ‘Identify beautiful businesses, conduct research, invest & stay patient for a long, long time’; This is a simple (but not easy) secret that drives our tech, research, people and process.
Q.: List all the names of the core Team Members.
Ans: Following are the core team members:
- Sankarsh Chanda –Founder & CEO
- Sridhar Vetapalem – Chief Business Officer
- Aditya Ranade- Chief Investment Officer
- Ajay Batra- Advisor
Q.: Who do You Perceive as Your Competition? How do you differentiate yourself with them?
Ans: Our market is huge and has massive potential. We have big players like Goldman Sachs, Motilal Oswal and new-age platforms that are making investment easy.
Q.: What would be your goal to accomplish in the next six months?
Ans: To become an integrated investment player encompassing diverse investment products, geographies and clientele.
Q.: What message do you want to convey to fellow entrepreneurs?
Ans: It is important to have faith in what we are doing. There will times when we question everything that we are working on, but the answer to it must always be the same – to keep moving! Entrepreneurship for some might be a very lonely adventure yet thrilling & life-changing.