'We carried out 'SIP Sahi Hai' campaign in media'

Ravi Menon, CEO of HSBC Mutual Fund, highlights the success and importance of investor-awareness campaigns that the fund house ran in media

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The biggest change over the last year has perhaps been a behavioural one. Domestic investors have been increasing exposure to equities and financial assets, moving away from gold and real estate. The average AUM of Indian mutual fund industry for the month of August 2018 crossed a landmark of Rs 25 trillion. This is more than a fourfold increase in a span of 10 years and more than a threefold increase in a span of five years. The total number of accounts as on August 31, 2018, stood at 7.66 crore. This is the 51st consecutive month witnessing a rise in the number of folios. HSBC Asset Management saw its AUM increase to a record Rs 1,79,587 crore.

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Whilst FPIs reacted and reduced emerging-market exposure, domestic investors supported the market through rock-steady SIP contributions. Investor-awareness programs have contributed very positively. AMFI's industry-level advertisement campaigns, like 'Mutual Funds Sahi Hai', have increased awareness about mutual funds. We carried out 'SIP Sahi Hai' campaign in the print and digital media and have received positive response from the investors.

USP of investment strategy
Our investment philosophy has always emphasised factors such as disciplined approach, focus on fundamentals, mean reversion over excess volatility and strong investment governance. Investment decisions are driven by fundamental research, quantitative risk models and portfolio-construction tools.

The overarching investment philosophy for HSBC AMC is price to book/return on equity (PBRoE), which the firm believes is effective for global emerging markets. In short, this means screening for companies with below-average valuations for given profitability. Tested by the firm's research team, this has been shown to outperform over a period of years at both regional and country levels.

Impact of SEBI's reclassification
We believe this classification is good for investors and will help simplify investing in mutual funds and enhance comparability across schemes. It also offered us the opportunity to provide new funds.

Becoming more investor-friendly
The best way of being investor-friendly is to remain true to strategy and deliver an investment product as promised. In addition, we need to leverage technology to improve the ease of transacting. To my mind, the ongoing payment revolution will need to be aggressively tracked and we need to align ourselves with it. For instance, we are one of the few fund houses that have already made UPI available as a payment mechanism. Through our online investment platform, you can invest in our funds in three easy steps in just five minutes and we continue to collaborate with new channels to deliver our product to all investors.

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