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Wednesday, December 05, 2018

Sumit Chanda, CEO & Founder, Monitree

Sumit Chanda is the CEO and Founder of Monitree, a Fintech Start-up specialising in Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning based Equity Advisory Model called “JARVIS”. In his current role, Sumit is focused towards remaking the mainframe investment & advisory process whilst leveraging technology to streamline the equity investment practices & provide a trustworthy sustainable model for the masses.

In conversation with Dominic Rebello, Sumit says, “The objective is simple, “Make India Invest Smartly”

What is the idea behind MONITREE?
Before we talk about the idea behind Monitree, one would need to understand the context for coming up with such an idea. Having spent close to 13 years with some of the leading insurance & wealth management companies in India, I was never short of inspirations. I was fortunate enough to have worked under the aegis of some of the best bosses and colleagues that one could ever wish for. However, I always had this nagging feeling at the back of my mind. The advisory and delivery system prevalent in the ecosystem, to a very large extent, were detrimental to the investors’ interests. No matter how much one tried to offer unbiased advice, there was no way of removing the “human” aspect from the investment decision making process. This is when I started dreaming of creating a platform where there was no human intervention whatsoever. Right from the idea creation to the execution part could be carried out in a seamless and expeditious manner and the investor could remain in complete control over where he invests and his expectations from his investments. I wanted to ensure that my advisory and delivery system did not discriminate any client basis his financial capabilities and offer him access to technology that had always been the privilege of a few.

This dream was turned into reality with Monitree being established on 2nd December 2016. Soon after that, we received the ‘Start-Up’ recognition from Govt of India. This was the launch pad needed to create a paradigm shifting advisory platform that will change the way equity investments are being perceived in our country. Today we are at the cusp of transforming that dream into reality with the launch of our first model “JARVIS”.

We have also being honoured to have become part of the first cohort of the Mumbai Fintech Accelerator program which was recently launched by the Government of Maharashtra with the blessings of Maharashtra Chief Minister, Devendra Fadnavis.

How are you different from others?
While the HNI always had a dedicated team to cater to his/her every need, the retail investor had to rely on his banker, broker, advisors & friends and family for offering him guidance on his investments.Behavioural finance is an evolving field that studies how psychological factors affect decision-making. JARVIS is designed to eliminate the emotional aspects of investing and improve operational efficiencies. By actively using Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning, which are core to its architecture, JARVIS creates a bespoke equity portfolio for every investor.

Any expansion plans?
We have our model ready for deployment. The effective thing for us to do is to leverage on the reach of the financial services industry. In any of the metros, tier 2 or even tier 3 cities, there are no dearth of banks, broking houses or wealth management companies. Even in rural areas, investors are now opening-up to new ideas and are willing to explore and accept technology. For me to explore these areas, either I create a massive sales force or leverage on these institutions who are already well entrenched in these locations. JARVIS can be offered as a part of their product bouquet.

We will also start approaching the manufacturers like Mutual Fund Houses, Insurance Companies and explore possibilities of collaborating with them to use JARVIS for their own portfolio creation. Once we have covered the domestic players, we eventually plan to offer this to the Foreign Portfolio Investors to take exposure to the Indian stock markets.

Your vision for the company...
Our collective vision is to take JARVIS to every household in India. We want to make the stock market accessible to everyone in our country. To reiterate, I want to change the way equity investments are perceived. Subject to regulatory changes, the delivery system can be simplified further, the operational efficiencies can be improved further. Our government’s push for financial inclusion bodes well for us. Majority of our countrymen and women have smart phones and this number is increasing steadily. JARVIS’s delivery system has been designed in such a way that anyone can get access to the stock market sitting in their homes or anywhere in the world.

Where do you see yourself five years down the road?
We intend to be the largest advisory platform in terms of number of end users by the end of five years. We also want to be the “Man Friday” for every Indian when it comes to equity advisory.

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