The Growth Pill

Amar Pandit , CFA , CFP

Amar Pandit

A respected entrepreneur with 25+ years of Experience, Amar Pandit is the Founder of several companies that are making a Happy difference in the lives of people. He is currently the Founder of Happyness Factory, a world-class online investment & goal-based financial planning platform through which he aims to help every Indian family save and invest wisely. He is very passionate about spreading financial literacy and is the author of 4 bestselling books (+ 2 more to release in 2020), 8 Sketch Books, Board Game and 700 + columns.

I have been speaking with hundreds of distributors and advisors over the last couple of months. The trend that I see is that everyone wants to grow but very few are willing to do what it really takes to grow. Everyone seems to be searching for a growth pill like investors look for that one hot stock or fund. In case you are looking for a growth pill too, read no further because you are likely to be disappointed with what you read. There is no such pill and there will never be. Some things like compounding just take time and you must be ready to do what it takes to develop what I call your Growth Engine.

In Weekend Reading – 5, I shared a McKinsey column “The COVID-19 Recovery will be Digital – A Plan for the first 90 days”. An interesting point in this column was “Recent Data show that we have vaulted five years forward in consumer and business digital adoption in a matter of eight weeks”. Banks have transitioned, Doctors have transitioned but I am seeing a not as fast adoption in our IFA Fraternity.

Some are still waiting for lockdowns to be lifted, AMC branches to open and so on. Everyone knows by now that the COVID-19 Recovery will be largely Digital. However just knowing this is not good enough for your business. Taking action will lead you successfully out of the crisis and position your firm as the leader in this decade. One point that I should clarify at this point of time is that I am not just talking about doing transactions online (that’s just basic stuff), I am talking about the Virtualization of your Firm.

The point that you need to memorize is that “Every business is now a Digital Business including yours”.

Here are some key components of your Growth Engine:

  1. New Skills and a Fresh Value Proposition:

    One of the first things that you need to address is the 2 Outdated Things – Outdated Value Proposition and Outdated Skill Sets. I have addressed Value Proposition in my earlier post “Difference between these 2 Value Propositions”. The key Skills to build are “Acquiring Clients Virtually, Conducting Effective Virtual Meetings, Delivering a Wow Client Experience Virtually, Relationship Building Online, Building a Culture Virtually, 4 Key Marketing Things (I will cover these 4 in a separate marketing post) and so on.

  2. Reimagining your Client Experience:

    I have been harping on this in several posts and I cannot tell you how critical this is for your future success. How to create that wow when prospects and clients meet you virtually or interact with your firm?

  3. Rethinking your Team and Partners:

    The first thing that you need to do here is to think about your Future and then travel back from there to the present. Most people look at the present and then think of what they can or should do. I hope you see the difference in these approaches. According to author Mark Johnson “Future Back is how you ought to think” and as financial planners don’t we really know this? The main point here is to figure out the kind of team, and partners that you would need to build your future firm.

Ask yourself the following questions:

a. What kind of team and skillsets do I need to navigate successfully out of the crisis and lead in the future?

b. Do I need to develop internally, or should I partner with a world-class firm?

Most IFAs that I have chatted with have lost 30-50% of their revenue. One IFA with around 150 Crore in Assets in Bengaluru said that he is losing 30-50 Crore every year. Another IFA said that I had targeted around Rs. 250 Crore but I am still at Rs. 50 Crore. There are so many stories like this. The good part here is that these IFAs have realized that they need to do something about this.

The 3 components mentioned above take hard work and commitment. The difference between great and mediocre IFAs is wonderfully summed up in the book Legacy “The challenge is to always improve, to always get better even when you are the best. Especially when you are the best.” The great ones do what it takes even if it makes them uncomfortable.

What type of IFA are you?

Are you the type of IFA who is going to just sit and let COVID-19 ruin your business?


Are you the type of IFA who is going to think long term, take bold action and grow your business in these times?

Your choice will determine where you will end up by 2025 and 2030. You have far more Power to influence your outcome & destiny than you think you have.

I will finally leave you with an interesting story of a Copper Beech Tree- a magnificent grey tree with a beautiful crown of copper coloured leaves. In the 19th century, Marshall Lyautey, one of Napoleon’s greatest generals had the most beautiful garden in the whole of France. Wondering why his garden did not have the amazing Copper Beech Tree, he asked his gardener for a reason. His gardener replied, “Mon General, such a tree takes more than 150 years to grow”.

Without a second’s hesitation, Lyautey said “Then we must plant one TODAY- we have no TIME to WASTE”.

P.S. These are tough times, but the best firms are growing their business. Feel free to reach out for a call to build your Growth Engine. We are happy to help you.