Greater Agility and focus on market is significant during second wave of COVID: Mihir Mehta, SVP, Ashika Group

Mihir Mehta, SVP, Ashika Group

The second wave of COVID infections has spread some level of fear across the public markets, and hence the last few trading sessions have witnessed high volatility, with negligible directional movement. There is ambiguity and uncertainty across most sectors, and the second wave of infections has sparked concerns around the imposition of another lockdown, curfews, etc, said Mihir Mehta, Senior Vice President -Investment Banking at Ashika Group, long term financial well-being provider through a broad offering of stock broking, investment banking and NBFC-based lending solutions. . It is therefore important to ensure agility, keep an acute focus on market movement; complete awareness funding capabilities to build multiple positions said Mihir Mehta during an exclusive interaction with Elets News Network (ENN).

It may get difficult for entrepreneurs to focus on expansion during these times

Give us an overview of your products and services.

As a multi-disciplinary financial services institution, Ashika Group is present across multiple business domains like stockbroking, institutional equities, investment banking, corporate lending, asset management, and portfolio management. Ashika Capital, a flagship entity under the Ashika Group, Ashika Capital is a future-focused boutique investment banking firm with a razor-sharp focus on raising debt/equity capital & facilitating strategic deals; It has successfully raised more than USD 280 million across multiple sectors in the last five years. Our hands-on approach characterizes us, agility, uniqueness of delivery, which is why across numerous segments like “Real estate, consumer, healthcare & BFSI”. As a registered SEBI Cat-1 merchant banker, Ashika Capital has also been highly instrumental in conducting companies’ valuation, assisting in open offers, advise M&A transactions, etc.

What is the significance of making investments in today’s world? How should one invest in the post-pandemic situation?

When we talk of investing, there are certain basic tenets that one needs to think about before he/she starts. These primarily include an appetite for different asset classes, time horizon, level of involvement in the asset class, risk-return factor, among others. If we specifically think about investing in public markets and the unlisted/startup ecosystem, I would mention that this is an opportune time to look at both these asset classes. Without getting into the specifics of these investment avenues, let me highlight a few aspects that make us highly bullish for the next few years –

– India’s resilient fight against COVID-19 and becoming a sustainable alternative to China globally – In my humble opinion, the way India and India Inc have been able to wade through this storm has become an example for multiple nations to refer to. The silver lining to this otherwise brutal pandemic is India’s emergence as a viable & sustainable alternative to China when it comes to manufacturing & allied sectors.

Rapid adaptation to digital ecosystem – Again, this is a significant advantage because India’s massive population is adapting to the digital ecosystem faster than ever. That means creating myriad opportunities for sectors like consumer, finance, education, real estate, etc.

– Government push to sectors like infrastructure and manufacturing will result in ripple benefits for other sectors in the better supply chain, logistics, reduction in product acquisition cost, etc.

How is Ashika helping the investors in making the correct investment choice? What role do Research and Development play in leveling up the service offering for Ashika?

Research is the most critical function for any financial services group, and at Ashika, our acute focus is always on delivering stellar research to all our stakeholders. At Ashika Group, we follow some of the under-mentioned principles to ensure that we aid the financial well-being of our patrons and offer unbiased & consistent advisory –

– Following a case by case approach to ensure that the advice provided by the firm is after taking subjective elements like risk appetite, choice of investment, etc. into account

– Building a delivery model wherein clients understand the modalities of the opinion/advice and comprehend the rationale behind the same.

Also Read: How COVID-19 is accelerating adoption of new tech in Banking

– Going beyond the call of duty to ensure that we help our patrons across the business. This may include references in team-building, valuations, document vetting, etc.  

Amid Pandemic uncertainty is witnessed almost across every sector. How are the leading brands targeting expansions?

Undoubtedly, there is ambiguity & uncertainty across most sectors, and the second wave of infections has sparked concerns around the imposition of another lockdown, curfews, etc. It may get difficult for entrepreneurs to focus on expansion during these times, especially with uncertainty on supply chain, demand growth, distribution, etc. In my understanding, the way brands are looking at development and should look at expansion should be too –

– Go deeper into geographies & business verticals, which have already been a stronghold for the brand. The idea is to strengthen your existing strongholds because it is already equipped to deal with the current strongholds. The most significant benefit of expanding in existing geographies & business verticals is better cash flows, which can be deployed for other avenues.

– Inorganic expansion strategy is also a lucrative avenue because of competitive valuations, flexible transaction structures & easier & quicker integration because of technology

Also Read: Covid effect: Digital payments report growth in December 2020

Do you suggest trading practices in the current scenario? Is it wise to trade during a pandemic? 

The second wave of COVID infections has spooked the public markets, and hence the last few trading sessions have witnessed high volatility, with negligible directional movement. Trading in volatile markets is riskier and requires more agility, an acute focus on market movement, funding capabilities to build multiple positions, etc. Hence, one should take these aspects into account without fail.

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