The covid-19 pandemic and its ongoing effect brought major challenges and impacted businesses, jobs, and incomes across socioeconomic sections, forcing almost everyone to reconsider their financial plans. Personal finance that was earlier considered optional is now gradually holding importance in everyone’s life. To understand this growing significance of personal finance amid the uncertain times, Rashi Aditi Gosh of Elets News Network (ENN) spoke to Abhisek Puglia, Founding Team, GoalTeller.
How did Covid impact the acceptance of the personal-finance segment? Did it bring opportunities?
During the pandemic, people were forced to use mobile and web as a medium for transactions. In the last 1 year, lot of people have realised the benefits and the ease of using technology in general for financial transactions. From investing to exiting of investments, doing KYC, opening stock broking accounts, everything is now available a few clicks away sitting at home. More and more people are now opening up to using mobile apps for financial transactions.
However, the pandemic was a tragedy for many families – loss of life, loss of jobs, huge medical expenses etc. The increasing number of people now realise the importance of creating assets for the future, protecting the family with life and health insurance etc. Even basics of a succession plan, in case something happens to the primary bread earner, are not in place in most families.
Our technology platform when launched, will take care of all these needs of a regular Indian family.
Tell us about your products and solutions? How is AI helping you in rendering your services?
GoalTeller is an automated goal-based planning platform for individuals to secure their financial future. We take care of investments, lifestyle goals and the security of family. We create a complete financial plan keeping all goals in mind and suggest investment opportunities keeping the risk profile and tenor of the goal. Additionally, the plan takes care of the insurance needs (term and health) and succession planning for the family’s security. We cater to everyone from a young first-time earner to ones who are already on the journey of wealth creation.
The algorithms that drive our platform are proprietary. We are taking one step at a time. Our algorithms for advice on investments, goals and financial security are already in place. We have done a few rounds of testing. As we have more users post-launch, the learning from them would boost our algos further. Eventually, lot of it will be shaped by the feedback, behavior and usage of our users.
How significant is it to plan your finances in today’s era?
Many families were caught unawares during covid. Some struggled with finances due to lack of emergency corpus and no or low medical insurance cover. Others struggled as the primary bread earner’s demise left them with an uncertain future as there was no life insurance cover taken. Job losses meant that families had to dig out from their long-term corpuses allocated for specific goals. We heard of lot of cases where the next to kin had no clue about the bank accounts, investments, insurances of the departed.
The need to have a comprehensive plan that takes into account emergency corpus, all your goals along with adequate coverage of life and health insurance and a succession plan was always there. Its just that the past year was a tragic way for a lot of people to learn this.
What are your growth plans for 2021-22?
We are primarily bootstrapped but we did raise a small pre seed round from marquee investors like Rainmatter (Zerodha), Dr. Ranjan Pai, Kunal Shah, Raghunandan Gangappa amongst others. So, growth will come not from spending or cash burn. We intend to launch our product in the last quarter of 2021 and capitalise on a few strategic partnerships that we have entered into to have a sizeable user base. Some of our investors have been generous in helping us in this endeavour. Once we have our initial set of users, we would scale up the system with the learnings we have from these users. That is when we intend to raise funds and are targeting 10,000 paid subscribers and 1,00,000 free users by the end of 2022.