Orowealth is a Mumbai based startup founded by Nitin, Vijay and Yogesh.
Orowealth is India’s first zero commission Direct Mutual Fund Platform. It is an online wealth management platform which enables retail investors and offline intermediaries to access zero-commission products and high-quality wealth management services, says Vijay.
We got an opportunity to talk with Vijay, the Co-founder of the Orowealth. Read his inspiring story to know about the mission and vision of the organisation.
Give a brief info about your startup?
Orowealth is India’s first zero commission Direct Mutual Fund Platform. It is an online wealth management platform which enables retail investors and offline intermediaries to access zero-commission products and high-quality wealth management services. Its aim is to ‘make investors richer’. The investors can buy, redeem and switch to Direct Mutual Funds from multiple AMCs at one place. It also offers financial tools for execution, analysis and advice on various products such as MFs, Stocks, Bonds, Insurance. It makes the investment process more efficient, by doing away with the transaction costs of agents and brokers in the investment process and helping individuals manage financial investments hassle free with better returns.
What made you start your startup and what problem does it solve?
The wealth management industry has been marred by a huge number of inefficiencies. With Orowealth, we are trying to address this. We are building a wealth management firm for the mass affluent backed by regulatory changes and changing profile of investors, we take away the transaction costs of agents and brokers in the investment process and help people manage financial investments hassle free with better returns.
Tell us about yourself, your previous jobs/ventures? What were you doing before this startup?
Nitin is a Co-Founder of Orowealth and is associated with the company as the Chief Executive Officer. He has been involved with Orowealth for the last 2.5 years and has played a critical role in setting up the brand from ground zero. Prior to Orowealth, Nitin was associated with Deutsche for 6 years in Equity Structuring across their London and Singapore offices. At Deutsche Bank, Nitin successfully designed and sold several billion-dollar investment solutions to some of the biggest global investors. His last position at Deutsche Bank was Vice President, Equity Structuring. Nitin has completed his education from the top colleges in India. He is an MBA from IIM Bangalore (Class of 2009) and has a degree in Electrical Engineering from IIT Bombay.
Vijay Kuppa is Chief Business Officer and Chief Operating Officer at Orowealth. Prior to jumping on the entrepreneurial bandwagon, Vijay had 6 years of investment experience in equity and fixed-income markets. He was associated with Larsen & Toubro Ltd. (Mumbai, India) as AGM, Treasury. Vijay was managing a $1.5 bn investment portfolio focused on Indian markets in his previous role at L&T’s Treasury. Vijay has an MBA from IIM Ahmadabad and a degree in Chemical Engineering from IIT Bombay.
Yogesh is also a co-founder at Orowealth and is leading the tech effort at the company. Prior to Orowealth, he was a Senior Software and Lead Engineer at Marvell, Pune. He has done extensive work in Linux Wireless stack and is a free software enthusiast. He has a degree in Computer Science & Engineering from IIT Bombay
Where is your startup based out of? Why do you think that is the best place for you?
We are based out of Mumbai. This is the best place for us since Mumbai is the financial capital of India. It ensures we are in close proximity to all the AMCs and partners and are in the thick of where the action is.
As a startup founder, what are you paranoid about? What keeps you awake at night?
What keeps us awake at night is only one simple yet very difficult thing – how to create a smooth customer experience while helping our users profit from their investments.
Who are your competitions and how are you better than them?
Our foremost competitors are all commission earning intermediaries like banks (ICICI Bank, HDFC Bank, Kotak Bank etc.), brokers (ICICI Direct, HDFC Securities, Kotak Securities, Sharekhan, Angel Broking etc.), wealth managers (Kotak Wealth, IIFL Wealth etc.), distributors (NJ India, Prudent, Fundsindia, Scripbox etc.) and all Independent Agents.
How hard is it to have a work life balance as a startup founder and how do you manage it?
To be honest, it is exciting! There is no secret mantra for balancing work and life. A careful plan of things makes it much easier. Yes, there are some odd days when you go beyond the regular work hours. But then it’s your company and you can’t complain!
Have you raised funding? If yes, then we would like to know the details. If no then please tell us if you are looking to raise.
The company has recently raised $1.6 mn in Series A Funding. This round of funding was led by Powerhouse Ventures with participation by Money Forward Inc., one of the largest publicly listed fin-tech companies in Japan; a prominent US VC -Social Capital, under their Capital as a Service program; B Dash Ventures, one of the largest VCs in Japan; and other prominent angel investors including Anand Chandrsekaran, ex CPO Airtel and Dinesh Agarwal, Founder Indiamart. It had earlier raised initial capital from incubator funds and prominent individual investors and is in the process of raising funds.
What’s the biggest misconception people have about you? Why do they have that? What’s the reality?
There is a common misconception that direct mutual funds are only for seasoned investors or people with extensive knowledge of the market. We want to break that chain of thought and bring everyone on the same page. We are much more than an investment platform. We help investors make more from their investments by switching to direct plans and providing all the necessary advisory for the same. We also help them in their financial planning.
What gets you excited about this company?
The entire motto of the company is to make ‘investors richer’. We are glad that we are able to create a platform that can enable the investors to make more money out of their own investments.
Tell us how a day in your life looks like? Your schedule for a day right from the time you get up till you hit the bed at night.
Nitin handles the marketing aspect of the business and manages the marketing team. He also looks after the accounts and B2B affiliated partnerships for the growth of the company.
Vijay manages the business development team along with the day-to-day operations in the company. He also takes care of hiring new members to our talented team.
Yogesh being the CTO of the company takes care of all the technical aspects of the company. He manages and mentors our tech-team who all work hard to develop our product.
Tell us about your team and how did you meet each other?
All 3 founders studied together at IIT Bombay and were from the same hostel wing. Even though we all went our separate ways, we stayed in touch after college. When the idea struck, we knew that it had to be the three of us only who had to do it together.
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