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Advisor Spotlight
With 28000 folios to his name, working at ground level & passion towards the profession has made Mr. Sajal a winner, not only at Industry level but client level too!
Mr Sajal Roy

Mr. Sajal Roy of Anjali Investments is truly a man of his words. A conversation with him towards the weekend, where we are ready for a quick break Sajalji only filled me with more enthusiasm and fresh energy as that on a monday morning. Every word he speaks is filled with great passion and comes truly from the heart. I was assured about how passionately he dealt with each client. He has been a consistent winner of CNBC TV-18 Financial Advisor Awards in the Individual category for Mega Cities in the year 2013-14, 2014-15, 2015-16 and is a platinum & chairman club partner of various AMCs. Read on to know more about his approach which truly makes him unique.

MF Live: Your profile is one of the most modestly written profiles I've seen. You have achieved quite a lot of awards, and it would be really inspiring if you could tell us as to how you managed to attain so much? 

Sajal Roy: I, being a sole proprietor, have single-handedly done as much as I could.  I’d like to say that, as common as it is, it is my effort, dedication, and discipline that has helped me achieve whatever I have. It is my passion towards this profession and this industry that has been a major driving force. It has been my way to give it back to the society.  SEBI has been talking about the Investor Awareness Program since the last 6-7 years.  I, on the other hand, have been doing this for the past 10 years. I have been to the most remote areas and even though I was going to receive, not more than 5000/- for going to the Bangladesh border, I did it out of my willingness and passion. I have stayed with a farmer, resided there for quite a good amount of days and explained to them every detail of the Investment industry, even something as minute as a PAN. I have personally consulted on the importance of having a PAN and helped more than 1000 investors get a PAN. PAN is the infrastructure for investments. Working on the ground level and not always thinking about the commercials, I believe is why I have reached the position I am in. 

MF Live: If I'm not wrong, it is not only the experience of two decades that you have in the industry but your passion towards the field which is drawing in customers? 

Sajal Roy: Honestly, more than 90% of my clients are unaccustomed to the concept of Mutual Fund, and it is me who has introduced to them the benefits and importance of investment and not just introduced them but also got them invested. They were used to fixed deposits and bonds. I am again neutral towards what SEBI is doing, but one thing the regulator needs to understand is this country works on relationships more than technicalities. I do not prefer to discuss the regulatory changes; instead I get straight to the point, and I'd like to call myself quite determined. I do not believe regulators can stop anyone from doing what they are passionate about. When a horse runs, sight on the side is closed so he should run straight, similarly, I like to block all the noises from the industry, and this might be the sole reason for the amount of customers I have. And I am sure I will grow. If I do my business with ethics, discipline, dedication and passion, I will grow. I educate clients at various times, and these are the points young advisors should know, he should also educate his clients. The impact is that clients feel the connection. For this, it is imperative for an advisor to keep learning and reading. One should learn throughout their life. Even if the client is small, my services do not differ. The time & services given to both are the same. This is overwhelming for the clients. One must note that small investor will become a big investor in time to come and also that a small investor has the potential to refer a big investor.

MF Live: I am inspired by learning that passion so drives you. Your service does not differ from client to client, however, big or small a client is what you mean to say?

Sajal Roy: No. On the other hand, I believe, knowledge is what captures people. I always strive to educate my customers. Learning never ceases. One of my clients was quite happy when he realized that I am equally enthusiastic and zealous with my small investors as I am with the big investors.  Investors should be aware as to where they are putting money and what is their long-term as well as the short-term goal. 

Also, we are very responsive with our service. Eg: If a client asks for something and gives us the time of 2 days. We make it a point to deliver it in two minutes. Hence, time taken to act is what we try to eliminate.

MF Live: So, is passion and education enough for achieving great heights in the field?

Sajal Roy: It almost is. You must possess business ethics. SEBI might be making the rules; it is you who has to follow them. If required, you can make your own rules. We should have the mentality of giving something back to the society. We are what we are because of the society. I should be able to drag in small investors and educate them so that they do not fall short of the benefits of Mutual Funds. This is how an advisor should also look at the profession. There have been rampant mistakes in the industry, but the bad blood is already outpost ban on upfront. However, if the advisor manages to build his own ethics, he won’t be affected by the mistakes of regulators.  Whatever it is, you must never stop learning. A lawyer, even if he is 70 years old, reads books to educate himself further. You can even learn from a child.

MF Live: The consultation paper which has been released, although not implemented is a change. What views do you have on this action?

Sajal Roy: If it is the betterment of the society, there is nothing wrong with it. However, I am not quite bothered with the release as my focus lies with my investors and my work. We are aware of our valuation.

Just like we say, you cannot compare an apple with an orange; you simply cannot compare two countries. It is easy to say that you can adopt the UK model; however, we fail to realize that every country is different, their interests provided are different, and their way of working is different.

It is easy to dish out advice sitting in an air-conditioned room, but who has gone to the root and figured out the main problems. 

Surprisingly, my folio number is 28,000 (not only in the Mutual fund but across every field). And I have a mix of all clients from super HNIs, corporates, HNIs to retail. IFAs have the maximum contribution to the growth of the industry. It is the mistake of the banks that is the root cause of the problems in the industry, not the IFAs. 

You cannot force an investor to invest through a particular mode. Leave the choice to him if he wants to invest direct, through a RIA or through an IFA. The people who consult the SEBI don’t bother to go to the roots. It is us advisors who are aware of the core problems in the industry. It might not be the single mistake of a regulator. However, the workers in SEBI do not consult the people working at the ground level.

The social ethics, here interfere with the business ethic. You have to have a second option. One RIA has been banned because of charging 7-8%. That is the kind of thing we need to avoid.

MF Live: You message to fellow channel partners?

Sajal Roy: To sum up what is mentioned earlier, below would be the catch points.

1)  Never Stop Learning

2)  Your passion, belief, and heart to the profession will automatically be reciprocated in your progress. With this, you are sure to reach a huge client base.

3)  Be Responsive not only with service but for each aspect of managing the client's wealth. Be it action time, market updates, portfolio re-balancing, adapting to market conditions and finally making the overall process simple for clients.

4)  Investor Education is paramount:
The Indian Investors should be educated to think long term. However, an advisor should always keep liquidity requirements in mind while planning for long-term. The British used to possess more trust in the Indians than our own government did. People always are worried about short term goals. You must be a part of the Indian growth story.  This should be taught to the clients. Nobody can guarantee where the Indian Market will land up, but you can predict and learn. 

5)  Each portfolio demands different treatment. Focus should be on asset allocation and risk profiling of the client and not on products purely. One cannot compare between a large cap, mid cap & an ELSS. Focus hence should be suitability to the client. The product should be the end result.

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