Entrepreneur: Shruti Agrawal
Business Name: CAGRfunds
Welcome to Entrepreneurs of India #startupstories episode 136
“How to invest wisely?” Many of us might have pondered over this question before taking a financial decision. Making smart investments that help you achieve your financial goals requires profound expertise and in-depth knowledge about financial industry.
Unfortunately, that’s where a lot of people lose their money. CAGRfunds makes people better investors. It is a financial planning company that helps you take the right financial decisions.
“We help people arrive at answers to questions like which insurance policy should we buy and how much SIP I should be doing. We follow a client relationship model wherein we engage in multiple conversations with the client. This helps us understand an individual deeper and better,” says Shruti Agrawal, co-founder of CAGRfunds. Let’s find out more about this smart startup in financial sector as Shruti walks us through their entrepreneurial journey.
1) How did you get your idea for this business?
Back in 2011-12, when we started working, we met a lot of people of our age who were not putting their money to any good use. While there was enough information available over the internet about various investment options, we did not witness a lot of them turning that information into actions for themselves. On speaking to our friends, relatives and colleagues, we realized that somewhere deep down, people were not sure about who to depend upon.
Money management requires trust as the foundation of all decisions. With so many mis-sellers around, it was difficult for people to establish that trust and take decisions around putting their money to use. And this is one reason why we conduct corporate workshops for increasing awareness of financial planning amongst the employees.
2) Why is “now” a good time for this idea to exist?
It is 2019 and financial awareness is still extremely low in the country. The population of India is 1.25 billion and more than 90 crore people have bank accounts. Yet we have only 2 crore unique MF investors. The gap is not that people do not know about Insurance or Mutual Funds. Like I mentioned, there is enough information available about the same.
The unmet need is people are not sure how to implement so much of information for themselves. When it comes to money, every person, every family has different earning capacity, different levels of expenditure and different ways of defining what is the kind of life they want. More often than not, being able to choose 4 funds alone does not bring a holistic perspective to what the financial journey should look like.
We feel this is the perfect time for this idea to exist because India as a country is growing and a lot more people are entering the workforce. At the same time, there is a plethora of information around where, what and how to invest. Yet a large number of people have not been able to take concrete financial decisions. Financial awareness, literacy and suitable advisory is what people in India need right now.
3) What was the reaction from your family when you first decided to become an entrepreneur?
That is a very memorable moment for me. It was a mixed reaction. I was in a well – paying job which was leaving me with enough to implement all that I advise to my clients now. Once we get into the habit of seeing a monthly pay crediting into our bank accounts, it is difficult to live without a stable income.
The thought of taking this risk at a time when I was doing well in my job, was more of a concern for my family than me. We discussed the business, the potential and more importantly, the passion that I wanted to chase. I am generally a very planned person myself. Most of my decisions are taken after spending time over them. So discussions helped. I wouldn’t have been here without their unwavering support – mental, financial and emotional.
4) What was your biggest mistake in business and what did you learn from it?
Initially when we start a bootstrapped business, we tend to focus a lot on costs. This translates into a tendency to do everything ourselves. Not leaving enough free time to think is my biggest mistake. And thanks to my partner Vikash Agarwal for helping me identify this. Being busy is overrated. As founders, giving some free mind space to ourselves helps us think differently, do something more and better.
5) What is your biggest obstacle in the next 12 months and how will you overcome it?
The mutual fund industry has been subject to very stringent regulations in the last few years. This has resulted in massive revenue hits for distributors. However, we feel that these are short term challenges and what is better for investors is good for the industry in the long run.
To overcome the revenue challenge, we are looking at various diversification opportunities. We intend to start our fee based advisory services in 2019.
6) What habits contribute to your success?
Reading, ensuring 7 hours of sleep and constantly pushing myself out of my comfort zone helps me move towards success each day.
7) If you had the opportunity to start this business again what would you do differently?
I would have preferred to work for 2-3 years with a larger wealth management company / financial planner to move up my learning curve faster.
8) What is your favourite inspirational quote?
“Spend each day trying to be a little wiser than you were when you woke up. Day by day, and at the end of the day-if you live long enough-like most people, you will get out of life what you deserve.” – Charlie Munger
9) Where do you find inspiration?
In my family. Every person in my family – my parents, my siblings, my husband, my in – laws are inspiring in a different way. I learn something new from each person. I get inspired with something every day.
10) What is your favourite book?
My favourite book would be “Thinking Fast And Slow” – it gives brilliant insights into consumer behavior and working of the mind.
11) What advice would you give to someone starting out?
As one starts out, schedules get very busy and hectic. I would advise that one should definitely take out some time for reading as that inspires innovation.
Shruti Agrawal’s passion to do something of her own in financial space persuaded her to launch CAGRfunds along with her friends. But it was not an impulsive decision. She researched a lot about the current financial scenario of the country and investment opportunities before starting her company. Because CAGRfunds was meant to solve a bigger problem – lack of financial planning.
As a team of entrepreneurs, they started from the grassroot level by providing financial awareness to people who didn’t know where and how to invest wisely. Today, CAGRfunds is one of the most popular financial planning companies in India with an expanding clientele across the nation.
Click here to follow CAGRfunds on Instagram.
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