Thursday, August 31, 2017

Exclusive Interview with Mr. Sharan Patil, Managing Director, Inspire India Financial Services, Bangalore.

In this issue, we are extremely happy to feature the exclusive interview of Mr. Sharan Patil, who is our CashPundit for this issue.

Mr Sharan Patil is the Managing Director of Inspire India Financial Solutions Pvt. Ltd.  Sharan is an accomplished executive and an identified expert in Financial Investments Planning (TFIP) and Portfolio Manager. He is known for his deep understanding of the distribution practices and its challenges. Also an experienced trainer, he has trained more than 10,000 people till date in major Indian cities and towns. He frequently conducts transformational training programs with well known corporate and Govt. organizations. His trainings are focused on effective financial planning via variety of investment instruments such as stocks, mutual fund, commodity, forex, insurance & real estate and taxation gains.  He started his career as a Financial Analyst with IEC (International Commodity Exchange) where he has managed big commodity portfolios. With his rich experience in the financial industry, he started Inspire India Financial Solutions Pvt Ltd with the aim of providing one-stop investment advice for investing in equity, mutual funds, systematic investment planning (SIP) and Total Financial Management to his clients. Sharan believes in positivity towards life and pledges by the idea of visualizing his goals in order to see them materialize. He is driven by passion to empower people to become financially independent. He and his highly qualified team takes keen interest in providing its customers with personalized investing advice into well balanced portfolio.

"Dream Big, Execute Smart, Be Honest" has been his success mantra. Sharan is an aeronautical engineer by qualification. He hails from Gulbarga where he completed his pre-university school. He later enhanced his education with a MBA in Finance in the year 2009.

CashPundit Inc: It is a great pleasure to interact with you and publish your thoughts in this interview.
Mr. Sharan Patil:

Thank you. I’m equally thrilled to share my experiences here.

CashPundit Inc.: Inspire India has been growing very fast and winning several industry awards, year after year.  What is the secret of your success?
Mr. Sharan Patil:
For me success isn’t a destination but the journey itself. That’s what makes it so exciting. This present model of ours took shape and has evolved over the past 15 years.
It all began as a personal life transforming program. But the financial decisions and financial management are the key areas that could reflect on the quality of anybody’s life. Eventually we realized that money is inevitable and most people’s worries revolved around money and they weren’t sure whom to approach in order to find solace to such issues. That’s when we decided to bring in financial awareness programs. We conducted educational programs on personal financial management. These were followed by wealth checks or financial planning for individuals and then goal based investments. We received a lot of appreciation for this and that’s when we understood the missing link and continued our efforts in that direction. We got better with each program. Today it’s one of the major contributors to our ever increasing clientele which stands at more than 7000! 
Through this model we could fill the gap and provide the one-stop platform for people to plan and invest. The major reason why we are so successful is we took the client-first approach instead of being product-centric. We were sure that if we made our clients create wealth we would always be winners. That’s the story behind all the awards that we’ve been recognized with for all these years. End of the day it the satisfaction of showing the right direction to people to achieve a financially healthy life that motivates us to reach out for more.
CashPundit Inc.: You seem to have coined the phrase “Honestly, Wealth is Health”. Why do you say that? And, what do you mean by “Financial Freedom”.
 Mr. Sharan Patil:

In India its very common to hear phrases like “Money isn’t everything”, “Money is not all that important”, “Money can’t buy happiness”, etc, mostly statements made by the middle class which struggles the most to make the ends meet. For such people big money is either created illegally or by sacrificing one’s happiness which are mere assumptions.

“Money isn’t everything but its next to oxygen”, this was quoted by none other than Warren Buffet himself. It’s very obvious in these days that you require both time and money to maintain a healthy lifestyle. It could be going to gym or a health club or a rejuvenating retreat. You’ll find time to do these only if you have the money. So financial well-being is very important for a healthy life!

We got our political freedom in 1947 but how many of us are truly financially free? As Joel Greenblatt puts it “One of the great benefits of having money is the ability to pursue those great accomplishments that require the gifts of being and of time”. Financial Freedom to me is having time and money to accomplish our goals and dreams. How many people truly enjoy their work and are doing what they’re passionate about? Most of them are forced to work and take up jobs that support their financial needs. How would it be to not worry about the finances and do what you actually love to do, at-least at some point of your life? It’s not retirement. It rather gives you the freedom to do what you enjoy doing without worrying about the expenses. We help people understand this and plan accordingly. That’s what financial freedom is all about.
CashPundit Inc.:  We understand that you have few customers who are Bankers, MBAs and Accountants. These people are supposed to have sufficient knowledge to weigh the risks and merits of an investment opportunity. Why do they come to you and what kind of advice do you give them?
Mr. Sharan Patil:

These professionals do exceptionally well in their area. But when it comes to investing they can only think in traditional ways. For example a banker, most often than not, would only know about how to give loans or how to collect deposits or at the most sell a couple of products that they’re told to. Unfortunately none of them foray into the goal based investments. Why this makes a difference is it lets the investor understand why he’s doing whatever he’s doing. This is very important to make the investor to stick-on especially when it comes staying invested for a long term. Most of the professionals like MBAs and accountants read about security markets in their academics but no hands on experience. So in a way they lack the right kind of knowledge and experience required when it comes to investing. Since they come with a preset financial background, instead of limiting themselves to their areas, it’ll be great if they upgrade their knowledge in goal based investments, financial planning, risk-to-reward ratios, equity investments for long term, inflation adjusted investments, etc.

CashPundit Inc.: Who should invest and at what age they should start investing?
Mr. Sharan Patil:
It is like asking the right time to plant a tree. The right time is now!! The moment you realise the importance of investment, you should start.
Anybody and everybody with financial needs, goals and desires can start investing. Ideally, we recommend people to start their investments at an early age. It need not be a big amount. Even a small amount like Rs 1000 a month invested over a long period can see immense growth due to power of compounding. This is considered as the eighth wonder of the world – one who understands this earns one who doesn’t, pays for it.
Long term investments in asset classes like equity, real estate and gold are very good options to maximise benefits. Also, starting early will prepare you well for the major upcoming goals like children’s education, buying house, holidaying and finally the retirement. Starting early means the time gap works in your favour while late starters have to put in more money to see similar results.
CashPundit Inc.: Is there anything else you would like to share with our readers?
Mr. Sharan Patil:
Yes, one of them is everybody must be an investor. As per Warren Buffet, you need not be wealthy to be an investor but you certainly must be an investor to be wealthy. Simple, yet so profound! I’ve seen people starting with a small amount and create huge wealth. It is possible with disciplined investment. It is important to understand your basic needs and first address them. Equally important is to have financial goals and dreams. They provide you the necessary fuel to stay motivated and keep investing.
Secondly, it’s a must to have a personal financial advisor, a good one though! It is like Kurukshetra war. Pandavas had Krishna as their advisor who steered them to victory. Like Krishna, a good advisor can help investor create wealth. A good advisor, even though pricey, is one who understands your actual needs, goals and dreams and is interested in making you rich. It’s a great practice to spend time with your advisor and review your investments, goals. It is never a onetime activity. Every 6 months is an ideal frequency. Also, as all things come with a price, so is it with financial advice. End of the day it’s the advisor on whom you can rely and rest assured that your portfolio would be handled with care. So avoid negotiating for a quality service and reap rich benefits.
At Inspire India we relentlessly strive to make sure the clients’ portfolios are wisely selected and periodically reviewed. That’s the way we’ve become the most trusted, reliable and approachable advisory in the industry. We follow some of the best practices prevalent to the current scenario. The numerous awards and recognitions we’ve won in all these years and the good-will we’ve created with the clients stand testimony to this.

CashPundit Inc.: You are an Aeronautical Engineer by qualification.  Can you please tell us about your journey from Aeronautical Engineer to Financial Investment Expert and the MD of Inspire India Financial Services?

Mr. Sharan Patil:
The shift was certainly not a conscious decision. It was purely by chance. Aviation industry was going thru tough times back then with not many openings. That’s when I happened to read the all famous book “Rich Dad Poor Dad” which inspired me into personal finances. Coming from a middle-class family I could relate to what the book said and how it is just the mindset that makes the difference. Neither my background nor my education was tuned to create wealth. So I slowly started making changes in all possible ways, like my knowledge, communication skills, self esteem and confidence. I also attended a workshop which helped me realize my true potential. Meanwhile a friend introduced me to commodity trading, after which there was no looking back. I took up qualifications to support me in this direction. A host of related seminars, workshops and conferences came handy in understanding the nuances of the industry. Meeting some of the well know fund managers like Nilesh Shah, Madhusudan Kela broadened my perspective. I treat them as my mentors. Reading about Warren Buffet, Robert Kiyosaki was one of my favorite pastimes. I’m very passionate about conducting workshops to educate people on financial matters. And the most overwhelming moments are when I see profits in my clients’ portfolios.
“Financial Freedom Is My Birthright” is my new tagline…
CashPundit Inc.: Thank you so much for your valuable inputs and time spared for CashPundit Inc. I am sure our readers will thoroughly enjoy it. Wish you all the best for all your future endeavors.
Mr. Sharan Patil:

Thank you very much!

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Exclusive Interview with Mr. Surendra Jain, Group Finance Director of A.A. Al Moosa Enterprises, Dubai, UAE.

In our first issue, we are extremely happy to feature the exclusive interview of Mr. Surendra Jain, who is our CashPundit for this issue.

Mr.Surendra Jain is a fellow member of The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India and Post Graduate in Management. He has over 35 years of post-qualification experience in Industry in India, Saudi Arabia and UAE. Since past 20 years he is associated with a UAE Local Conglomerate – A A Al Moosa Enterprises, The ARENCO Group, Dubai and presently working as Group Finance Director. He is a member of the Executive Committee of the Group. In addition, he is on the Board of various entities of the Group.

Mr.Jain is Past Chairman of Dubai Chapter of The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India which has over 2000 members. He has been the President of ICAT (Institute of Chartered Accountants Toastmasters) Club, a forum involved for the development of soft skills (Communication and Leadership skills) of Indian Chartered Accountants.

CashPundit Inc: It is a great pleasure to interact with you and publish your thoughts in this interview.
Mr. Surendra Jain

Thank you.

CashPundit IncA.A. Al Moosa group is one of the oldest and the reputed groups in UAE. Can you please brief our readers about the various industries A. A. Al Moosa Group is into?
Mr. Surendra Jain

The flagship entity of A A Al Moosa (ARENCO Group) is Arenco Real Estate – leasing of office space, residential villas & apartments, warehouses and staff accommodations and hotel apartments. The Group has seven international chain of hotels which are managed by Hilton, Four Points by Sheraton and Ramada. Three upcoming hotels on Palm Jumeirah will be managed by Hilton, Marriott and Taj respectively. Arenco has oldest and largest Architect practice in UAE. In addition, ARENCO has fleet of over 25,000 vehicles which are leased under the brand name of Thirfty and Dollar. The Group has manufacturing entity – Dubai Furniture Manufacturing Co. LLC which produces King Koil and Serta Spring mattresses in UAE, India and Saudi Arabia. The Group has Furniture trading business – Marlin Furniture. In addition, the Group has high end Italian furniture trading business – Western Furniture (Nattuzi). The Group has joinery and laundry as well which mainly caters in house business.
CashPundit Inc: How has your finance department contributed to the growth of A.A. Al Moosa Group?
Mr. Surendra Jain

Organizing adequate bank facilities at the best possible terms & conditions without excessive leveraging for various development of properties. In addition regular monitoring of cash flow to ensure that bank commitments are met without fail. This resulted in to having positive reputation with financial institutions. We remain in driver’s seat. No sooner we conceive a project, we decide which financial institution we should opt for who fulfils our wish list.

CashPundit Inc:  Your group probably is the number 1 real estate company in UAE. What is your USP and how do you manage to be number one?
Mr. Surendra Jain

Arenco Real Estate is primarily in leasing business and not in freehold business. We therefore do not get affected with ups & down in the market. We provide a full range of real estate leasing to new entrants in Dubai – from office space to ware houses to staff accommodation to residential apartments and villas. In addition, we provide complete satisfaction to the tenants which includes all required amenities, 24 hours free maintenance and security to our properties.

Our ARENCO Architects provides full range of service – from design of a property to supervise construction and handover of the property. Allied businesses such as joinery, laundry furniture trading and manufacturing and car rental also add value to overall savings on cash outflow from the Group.

More importantly, key personnel have been with the Group for over 20 – 30 years. Complete independence and reliance from the Owners to these key personnel is the key to success for the Group.

CashPundit Inc: You were Chairman of the Dubai Chapter of The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India.  Can you please share with our readers some of the initiatives undertaken by the Institute to promote the CA profession in the region?
Mr. Surendra Jain: 

A student can undertake article ship in UAE under a practicing Chartered Accountant. Student can undergo Industrial training in the third year of article ship in UAE. Moreover a student can write exams from Dubai. Indian Chartered Accountants are well respected in Middle East in general and UAE in particular. Many local conglomerates, Real Estate giants such as Emaar, Nakheel and financial institutions are managed by Indian Chartered Accountants. We made an attempt to improve the visibility of Indian CA profession in UAE through various seminars and conferences.
CashPundit Inc:  In your opinion, how critical is cash flow management for the survival of business? And what is your advice to the fellow finance professionals on how to manage it?

Mr. Surendra Jain

Absolutely. Cash is king and managing cash flow successfully is key for every organization. Now technology is at our footsteps and we should take advantage of available software to closely monitor and forecast our cash & bank position to meet all the commitments on time.
CashPundit Inc: We would like to understand your point of view on how VAT may impact Cash Flow of UAE companies post implementation of VAT?

Mr. Surendra Jain: 

VAT will definitely impact the cost and cash flow of various entities in UAE. For example, hotels and hotel apartments, VAT will be on the top of Municipality fee and service charges. Hospitality Industry being very competitive, I doubt it could be passed on to the end user. 

Since fuel prices have been low for few years it is imperative for the Govt. to find alternate sources of raising funds for continuous infrastructure development in the Country. 

VAT can be very simple to monitor and comply with if all the systems are in right place but it can be equally highly complex, costly, and time consuming if systems and people are not fully prepared. Monitoring cash flow closely is the need of hour and UAE business houses should prepare well in advance to meet the challenges.

CashPundit Inc: Thank you so much for your valuable inputs and time spared for CashPundit Inc. I am sure our readers will thoroughly enjoy it. Wish you all the best for all your future endeavours.
Mr. Surendra Jain

Thank you and wish you good luck for providing better financial discipline.