In the era of digital banking, ICICI Prudential AMC’s goal to keep “investor first” has helped it grow fast. The asset management company ensures that clear processes are maintained and followed in helping it manage risks in a transparent manner, says Lalit Popli, Head-IT, ICICI Prudential AMC Ltd, in conversation with Rashi Aditi Ghosh of Elets News Network (ENN).
ICICI Prudential Mutual Fund has completed 24 years in the country. How has been the journey so far?
The journey so far has been very exciting. Our goal of standing true to our product and keeping ‘investor first’ has helped the AMC tremendously in its growth. So far, our partners in this journey – independent financial advisor, bank RMs, ND/RDs RMs have all supported us in communicating our fund details, investment philosophy and processes to the end investor, thus helping us build a very trusted brand in asset management business. We have ensured that clear processes are maintained and followed, thereby helping the fund house manage risk in a transparent manner. Our investors who are our raison d’être have believed in our capabilities and have remained invested with us over the years for which we are very happy.
In sync with the “Digital India” initiative, mutual fund investments are now allowing transactions via digital wallets. Kindly share your views on the safety quotient of this feature?
Digital wallets have taken the country by storm, and will soon become a preferred mode of payment for many customers. However, for us it is one of the payment mechanisms and we will enable it in line with legal framework. As far as safety quotient is considered, I feel that there are many digital wallets which have robust in-built security features endeavouring to make these transactions secure. Additionally, even we will be conducting several tests before we enable the same on our platform. Our endeavour would be to ensure that our investor finds using wallets convenient and secure.
Mutual fund industry in India can boast tougher compliance standards than other developed markets. This makes it a good place for investors. How do you attract investments?
Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI), through its various initiatives, has ensured that mutual fund as an investment product remains very transparent in its functioning and works well for the final investor. In terms of attracting investments, we conduct several investor education camps to help potential investors realise the functioning and the benefits of long-term investments through mutual fund. Also, we were among the first few fund houses to launch a volatility suite of products which can be used as a stepping stone to mutual fund investments. Such products have thus far been successful in providing better investment experience.
Information technology is playing a greater role in enhancing the participation of investors. Tell us about the IT-based services provided by your organisation.
At ICICI Prudential Asset Management Company, we aim to be at the forefront on the use of technology both for our investors and partners. We were one of the first asset management companies, which enabled transactions over internet through our Web Portal now called “Invest Now” when the internet first gained popularity in the country. Continuing with the same tradition, we were again one of the first companies to move towards mobile application called “IPRUTOUCH” while the use of apps was gaining traction. We, further extended the services to our partners to help them go digital by using our platform. Today, this platform powered by latest technology hosts several services and has helped investors go completely paperless.