17 Sep :Dun & Bradstreet, the world’s leading provider of global business information, knowledge and insight in association with Deutsche Bank organized a conference on ‘Distribution – Strategies to widen the reach’.
The conference dwelled on the fact that distribution of financial products is a challenge in today’s market with the entry of new players, rising competition and saturation of the urban markets. With companies now targeting second-tier cities and identifying innovative distribution channels to widen their market base and Intermediaries also playing an important role in taking distribution of financial products to the next level, this conference provided interesting insights and perspectives from key industry leaders.
Dr. Manoj Vaish, CEO & President – India, Dun & Bradstreet said, “The Distribution industry feels that in spite of playing very important role for financial inclusion, they are not able to get their issues resolved. Some of the key issues highlighted were non level playing field between ULIP and mutual fund regulation, the ability of investor to go directly to mutual fund even though he may not have full understanding of product, requirement of PAN and cheque paying facilities even for very small amount restricting their ability to tap rural markets.”
Added Mr. A. P. Kurian, Chairman, Association of Mutual Funds in India, “Mutual funds are a very fast growing segment. They have grown at a compounded rate of 20% in the last 10 years. Several studies show that the industry will grow at 30-35% per annum for several years to come. Only 7-8% savings of household are invested in share and debentures and very small in mutual funds. Hence there lies a big potential.”
Mr.C.S.Mohapatra, Director – Capital Markets, Ministry of Finance said, “PAN cards may be made compulsory for all financial products in the time to come. We should look at innovative ways to penetrate the rural areas and increase financial literacy”
Speaking on the current distribution trends, Mr.Rajiv Bajaj, Managing Director, Bajaj CapitalLimited said, “The emergence of a regulatory framework, cost of distribution and the viability of distributing only MFs and consumer distrust are the biggest challenges faced by the MF industry today. As the business becomes more viable, reach and talent will not be an issue. With around 5 crore investors, India needs atleast 1 lac qualified advisors. With qualified financial planners and with 8000 currently being trained, the fee-based advice industry is stated to witness rapid growth and become a 20,000 crore industry in the next 5 years.”
Mr. Bajaj said, “An association, a common body for intermediaries, FIAI(Financial Intermediary Association of India) will soon come into place.”