HK – Had a comfortable bank job but there was always an urge to do something of my own. What I lacked was courage. It was a personal event that sparked the beginning of a new chapter, the birth of my daughter and a client’s congratulatory call; “Laxmi has come home”, he had complimented. This gave me the energy and the strength to move out of my comfort zone. She was born on 21st February and Client Associates came into existence exactly 90 days from that date. Having studied and worked together, we were clearly bringing an aggregator of knowledge into the personal finance domain.
RS – We came up with the idea of a Family Office for our setup, which was quite new in the market and had immense potential. Researched the market and realized the opportunity to add value. It was enough to trigger the thought of creating our own story. From this point on, it was about how soon we could exit from our jobs.
RS – We did not encounter a major challenge since the home-work and research helped in preparing a robust business plan. We decided not to take any salary for the first 12 months. But it started coming in around the 6th month. We had overshot our projections!
HK – Lots of referrals happened plus our old relationships from the banking world came on board. The comfort existed, we just had to build on it. Our immediate aim was to tap the Rs 100 Cr market since we knew the value proposition was compelling. We were mindful of the fact that there was no capital backing us. Passion was what drove us and we had a clear horizon of 25-30 years in front of us. Our goal was to be the Most Admired Wealth Advisory Firm and we built our story around 3 Ts i.e. Trust, Talent and Transparency. Any knowledge based profession requires these three critical ingredients. We knew we were at the right place at the right time. Excitement and happiness went hand in hand.
HK – Businesses are easy to start but difficult to sustain. We believed in continuously evolving. Our first 10 years (Version 1.0) were years when we ran the firm together. Starting 2012, we reorganized ourselves and ran two separate verticals. Many people were skeptical it would succeed but we made it work. For the next 5 years i.e. till 2017 (Version 2.0) there was incredible growth at both professional and personal level. We wish to achieve Version 3.0 within the next 5 years, this time it will be about becoming the Best Place to Work in the private banking industry in India. We have an attractive ESOP plan in place and we are busy tracking the Overall Happiness Index in the company.
RS – The fact that we kept evolving helped us to stay ahead of the market. The business environment kept changing rapidly and we kept pace with it. Since our fundamentals were sound, the whole approach of profit=income-expenses helped us stay on course. We ensured there was enough financial discipline in the system. We kept investing in the business with a vision of building an institution which stays even when we are gone.
RS – The sheer opportunity and the market growth keeps me excited. We are very sure the demand for these services will only multiply. Our business proposition has positive implications for the society and that’s hugely encouraging.
HK – I get a good 7 hours of sleep daily. And I do have dreams that need to be fulfilled. Becoming the Most Admired Company and Best Place to work are two clear goals that keep me going. And this whole celebration of life by managing wealth is exciting.
RS – I am fairly disciplined which helps in execution. I love traveling and I see each holiday as opportunity to learn. I follow outdoor sports keenly. Excelling with my team and collaborating are things that I look forward to on a daily basis.
HK – Sports are a passion for me, I continue to indulge in different sports. I am aware of my responsibilities to the society and that gives me immense happiness. My wife pursues social work and I have taken the responsibility to work for profits. We balance it out this way and the good thing is our kids have got a combination of both.
Mantras for young entrepreneurs
HK – Have a dream in life and have a well laid out strategy to achieve it. Execution is key and there is no alternative to hard work. Create energy in the team to change the environment.
RS – Need to have extraordinary aspiration with an extraordinary business plan to execute. To support that, have an extraordinary team. Filter the talent carefully and hire the right folks. Syncing of values is very crucial. Build your own unique culture. And lastly, respect money.