Establishing a communication link with customers has become one of the most important parts of an asset management company’s business, after all how do you let a client know that you exist and that there are some products that are virtually tailor-made to fit their financial profiles. But that was old hat-strategy. Going much beyond that, how does a company capture the strength of its captive client base and look to provide services and products that would take all the hassles out of the process? Welcome to the new-age mutual fund (MF) approach.
Taking a huge leap forward is India’s oldest MF, UTI MF, thereby looking to prove that it is still young in its thought processes. Another one of its inimitable campaigns had used the services of some 5,000-odd Mumbai dabbawalas to market its schemes.
The new medium to be used was self-evident. No one has escaped the fact that cellphones are the best way to catch a customer’s wavering attention—provided, the call doesn’t turn into a nuisance, the transaction doesn’t lead to confusion or worse, leave the consumer in a limbo about his status.
The MF is planning to use cellphones as a medium to allow investors to transact with the fund house. Investors will be able to buy, sell or switch units in the schemes of the fund house just by using their handsets.
The reasoning looks sound enough. The MF industry gets around 75 per cent of its assets from the country’s top 8 cities – the most-connected parts, telecom wise, according to a story by Economic Times. While most MF investors have an annual income of around Rs 5 lakh and with 70 per cent of the country’s population being below the age of 40, the fund house expects a greater part of the investor community to be tech savvy and ergo, more amenable to making transactions wirelessly and thereby saving both time and money, which have become the least inelastic parts of a city-dwellers life.
UTI MF has already started sending information to its 10 million strong client base through cellphones. While this medium is still in testing phase, it is looking at launching this platform in a couple of months, after getting regulatory approval.
So, if you want to avoid driving/walking/biking to the next UTI MF centre, here is an opportunity worth plumbing.