Exploring smaller centres | Value Research Once the equity markets start improving, we will witness schemes performing, says Milind Barve of HDFC Mutual Fund

Exploring smaller centres

Once the equity markets start improving, we will witness schemes performing, says Milind Barve of HDFC Mutual Fund

In an annual review on fund families, we spoke to mutual fund honchos to get their views on some of the pressing issues facing the industry. This is what Milind Barve, the MD of HDFC Asset Management Company had to say:

What factors would increase the appetite for investing in mutual funds beyond the top 15 cities?
I think most important point to increase the appetite is that, we need revival of equity markets which will restore investor's confidence in both debt and equity. It's not only about beyond top 15 cities, but also in the top 15 cities. As I said, we need a revival of underlying equity and debt market which will improve sentiments for investing in these asset classes. I say it because, once the equity markets starts improving, we will witness schemes performing which in turn could attract retail investors.

Have the direct plans seen greater retail participation?
No I don't think so, at least the current data available from 01 January, 2013 when direct plan become applicable, we are not seeing a distinct shift towards direct plans. This trend also suggests that, there is strong preference for investors to use services of distributors and advisors.

What investor education initiatives has your AMC taken?
I think since the announcement which becomes effective from 1st October we have two ways of improving the penetration. First and foremost we have increased our physical presence in B-15 towns and have opened up new 22 branches in B-15 cities since the announcement. I would also say that, almost all the new branches we have opened are in B-15 cities which have increased our footprints in these places. On the back of that we have undertaken the drive to increase the investor's education programmes and increase the distributors enrolled over there. I would say that, both those strategies will help us increase the penetration of mutual funds in B-15 centers.

What's the road ahead for your AMC?
For us road ahead is to continue to grow our business and show above average investment performance across our all products. Managing the portfolio risk in both equity as well as debt segment and try to do everything to retain our brand.

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