EP #53: How India’s leading equity broking house, Kotak Securities, leverages omnichannel marketing automation

EP #53: How India’s leading equity broking house, Kotak Securities, leverages omnichannel marketing automation

About this Podcast

The BFSI industry acts as the bedrock of a nation’s economy. During the current times dictated by lockdowns, social distancing, and work from home; interacting with customers through digital platforms has become the norm. Established in 1994, Kotak Securities is one of the oldest and largest Equity Broking Houses in India. As a subsidiary of Kotak Mahindra Bank Ltd., they bring opportunities in capital markets by empowering their customers through knowledge and technology…and, have always believed in being #DigitalFirst. To understand how Netcore’s Marketing Automation platform is helping Kotak Securities achieve their goal of engaging and retaining their customers at scale, we caught up with Janika Tiwari, Associate Vice President – Third Party Products at Kotak Securities.  Janika highlights the following:

  • The genesis and growth story of Kotak Securities
  • Why and how to invest globally with Kotak Securities
  • How Netcore’s Omnichannel Marketing Automation solution is helping Kotak Securities drive contextual customer engagement
  • Evolving consumer behavior trends in the BFSI space in a post COVID-19 world

Tune in to gain insights on how the BFSI industry is adapting to change by engaging intelligently with their customers across channels and platforms.

Episode Transcripts

Dinesh (Host): Hello everyone. Welcome to yet another super insightful episode of Martechno Beat, especially curated podcast series powered by Netcore SmartTech. I’m your host Dinesh Ahuja today I’m joined by a very special guest from Kotak Security’s, Janika Tiwari. She’s the AVP product. Welcome Jessica, welcome to the podcast series.

Janika (Guest): Thank you so much Dinesh for having me over.

Dinesh: So quick introduction to you Janika. She’s an MBA in finance from Mumbai University and started her career in Consulting with the keynote capitals and then went on to do a product and stat roll with LKP Securities. She’s working with Kotak Securities for over five years now and her skills revolve around third-party products. So mutual funds, bonds, ETA, Jordan’s Global investment are part of her role. So Janika, I was going through the recent launch of the global investment product and since then I thought it’d be really interesting to you know, throw some light over how exactly the product works and what exactly we are doing to promote it since it’s a new product. So let’s get started primarily Kotak Securities was established in 1994. So it’s been about two and a half-decade for the company. So it will be very great if you can throw some light over what exactly were the challenges or the growth story for Kotak Security’s because it’s you know one and one in the top ten broking spaces. So it has emerged as a key player in broking space right now. So it will be very interesting for the listeners of what was the good story overall?

Janika: Yeah, as you rightly say the I mean Kotak Security’s got founded in 1994 as a subsidiary of Kotak Mahindra bank, so we’ve been in this industry for a while now. Being a bank-backed broker as the industry calls us, we’ve got a lot of you to know Group Company that you know and the product offering of the group companies that we give to our customers under one umbrella. So, as you said that you know, so we’ve got General Insurance, we’ve got mutual funds, we’ve got all the bank related products also that we offer to the client. So that makes us a multi-faceted offering company to our clients. From the growth perspective, Kotak Securities has always focused on Innovation right from their product offerings. We keep coming up with new products. We keep a tab on what the customer needs, our goal, or our Moto I would say is customer first. We keep enhancing the services that we offer to the clients and that’s how you know, we are able to sustain and build this name in the industry today. 

Dinesh: That’s nice, interesting to know so from an emerging Trends point of view, primarily from International Market. So, we are talking about the scope and opportunity that we have for someone to invest in a company like Facebook or an apple, which is very limited for you know for my information because I am also an avid investor and Trader. So how do you think that these trends have emerged in the current time? Is it something to do with covid or it is something to do with the power of digitization that we have and it will be also interesting to know that you know why I should say a person like me or you know anybody that for that matter invest in Google market and primarily how you should invest because you know, why is something people also come to know from secondary research but how do you exactly do that is a challenge, I think it’s like a problematic area? So, it can you must resolve this wide how for the international market.

Janika: I think it’s a myth that investing is a challenge or it’s a hassle, I should put it but yes, so we at Kotak security, we try to simplify it the entire Journey for the customer so answering your three questions one is you know, the need for investing globally is not due to covid, it’s more from a point of view of customers because today customers want to diversify their portfolio. There was a phase wherein customers were quite keen on investing only in saying fixed deposits then later came the equity market then now it is products like you know PMS and all that. So today the customers are quite evolved and we are looking for a diversified portfolio wherein they do not want to limit their Investments to certain products. So that’s the reason they need for Global investing came into the picture wherein customers would want to invest in to say like you said the Facebook or Amazon just to diversify their Commence one and also, I think it’s more from a perspective that a customer wants to be a shareholder of one of these. So this platform launched the global investing platform. There are two reasons why I primarily see a customer should be invested or a customer should be keen on investing here is one because we’ve tied up with interactive brokers LLC. Interactive brokers are a big name in itself since it’s listed on NASDAQ. It’s got a huge client base already under its umbrella. So, this gives some kind of I would say Safety and Security to the client that it is not tying up with a relatively small broker like put security is being a big name in itself will talk security is also tied up with interactive brokers, which is a decent and a relatively well-placed broker in the international markets. So just to give you a quick view of interactive brokers if it’s registered with my multiple exchanges, you know, it’s got a huge Equity Capital base under its name. It’s got over 9 lakh customers broking account already with them. So, in that sense, I would say that people should not have a question mark rather that is this a safe bet to invest in. Secondly, I feel that this platform gives customers a very good opportunity to invest in what the industry says the Fang stocks which are Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Netflix, and Google. So, it’s a very I would personally say that it’s a very interesting topic to discuss with people that you are a shareholder of Facebook or you’re a shareholder of apple or Amazon or things like that. Also, this platform gives you an opportunity to invest in fractional shares, which is a very good feature I would say because a lot of customers would worry about you know, that Google is very expensive or Facebook is very expensive to invest into so you can also invest say you can buy half a share of Google or half a share of Amazon and you know, you could you know, invest into the multiple companies which are Available or which are listed on NASDAQ and NYSE. So, this gives you a good perspective of the industry. Even for beginners like you who are as I said are little concerned about, you know, how my investments would go, is it safe to invest there, you know, which company should invest the should you invest into and things like that? Coming to the latter half of your question on how does the customer do it as the perception is that you know, investing internationally is a challenge and it’s not as seamless as it is investing in India. I would rather put it that it is relatively simple because our onboarding journey or rather the account opening Journey as you would say is completely paperless. Hundred percent we’re in a customer just logs into the Kotak security portal, the trading platform, which is a website or the mobile app, which is the KSP app and he gets redirected to the account opening Journey at a click of a button and only needs to do is enter details, which is just type in his personal information and the regulatory questions and upload of a couple of documents. I mean, which is also specific to a certain set of customers. Once he does that within 24 hours, we activate the account if all the details provided by the customer are correct. So, it’s as simple as that, I mean once the account gets opened the only step that the customer needs to do next is basically funded the account which is also through its root, which is the liberalized remittance Qing rule, which is available with the most of the bank’s available here. So that is again a seamless process, once his account is funded you can start trading right away.

Dinesh: I think two major things one is you know, the opportunity that it gives to invest fractionally that gives a Liberty from an investor point of view some more flexibility and I think like you said, it just takes 24 hours to open an account if anyone has to invest in Global Market. One more query, you know continuing to why and how is also once someone has opened the account and started investing. How does it track what the share price is considering It is available on the website or that’s one, second is will the investor get some kind of hand-holding or some educational content on you know, some direction towards the potential of a company and a global company and one should invest or one should stay away or one should continue to invest something like that, the way we have it for our domestic Market. 

Janika: So, you got two aspects to this one is hand-holding in terms of you know, the customer has some query during his account opening or trading or you know, the remittance of fun or all this we have a dedicated desk that we’ve set up who will be able to answer all sorts of queries of the customer and assist them through the Journey. From the perspective of research or recommendations this model or basically this platform, it’s completely DIY Journey wherein the customer comes onto the coat of the securities trading platform opens an account in self, we assist him in funding the account and he starts trading on himself. So, in the post-login section of interactive brokers, there are a lot of research reports which are available to the customer just to name a few they have a tie-up with Reuters and Zach’s and you know similar sort of agencies who provide their research recommendations. So, these are such reports that are available to the customer you to analyze and to make a decision on which stock to invest in or which not to invest in. So broadly whatever a customer needs to invest it’s all available in the post-login section ride from his reports his portfolios his tax statements. Everything is going to be available to the customer wherein he can download it himself or he can you know, connect with our customer service team and they will be able to assist him and provide him the same.

Dinesh: That’s great. So how long it has been, we’ve launched this product. I think it’s been about three weeks or for three weeks.

Janika: It is a little more than three weeks. We have launched its first week of December.

Dinesh: So, when I look at the entire pre-launch and launch and post-launch phase, you know communicating, I think we send a lot of communications saying that it’s been launched. So, I just wanted to also know how exactly you know, smartech marketing automation solution is helping you to promote and engage to the audience, to the existing customers or the new prospects primarily for this new product. 

Janika: We do all our promotional campaigns through your channel. So, since you providing us with the multi-channel, you know simplified tools for getting in touch with the customer, you know communicating to them, tracking on, you know, how many customers have opened the email or and all that. So, we’re able to make a good campaign and reaching out to all the customers through different mediums. So, a couple of things that I’m sure you’re aware of that we’ve done is you know in the launched we send out the two sorts of two rounds of emailers to the customers after that we did a push notification and the browser foot push notification from you. Then we did read targeting to these sets of customers who had not opened the emailers, you know, and we sent out SMS to these clients we’ve done Our app banners through y’all. So I think it’s overall helped us because, by these multi-channel marketing tools that you provide us with this deep integration that you provide us with the smart Tech, we’re able to reach two whole sets of customers through different mediums. We’re also able to track which customers have opened the mail, not open the mail and we’re able to reach out,  get the same set of customers. I think it’s really helping.

Dinesh: It’s very nice to know Janika that automation is playing a key role in reaching out to prospects and the customers during the launch in the post-launch phase. I think with this when I look at March 2020, and I look at December 2020, it’s been seven-eight months of difference, but you know the world has gone from north to south. So from a broking space we also wanted to understand that what has changed, you know from a customer experience point of view. Was it something that we did different to cater to the needs of customers during covid or post covid and also it will be important that you know from the broken space what exactly were the consumer behavior trends that we witnessed, you know pertaining to the stock market, pertaining to their investment, pertaining to their consumption of you know, the educational content, pertaining to you know, Behavior over investment and over trading, you know sort of so, is it possible to tell us something about that?

Janika: Yeah, sure. So, I mean I feel that while this covid has triggered one of the worst crises in more than a century and this widespread economic distress that we have. It has also been a major Catalyst for the digital economy. So, what it’s done is it has basically accelerated the trend for both financialization and digitization. So, Kotak Securities was always heading towards the digital space wherein we were trying to automate the majority of our processes and Journeys for the customer. It has basically due to covid it has just put in some more paste into the entire process and you know, a lot of I would say activities that were happening manually has started happening a digitally in a very short span of time because as we all know business has got impacted inaudible slowdowns in a couple of segments that we’ve seen. So, we wanted to push the digital space and get everything automated as soon as possible so that it does not hamper business most. So, I think on the flip side it has helped us automate a lot of processes that we thought would take a lot of time otherwise it was not for covid. I think it’s from that aspect it has helped us. Also, customers who were not very tech-savvy who were not very digital earlier move to our digital platforms. So, I think that’s a good job turnaround that we are seeing from the customer Behavior space. 

Dinesh: Great and continuing to this my last query, you know what I as an investor think and I’m talking from an investor point of view that there will be trends that will come and go like I understand digital is the way has been the way for a long time and it will be the way. Is it possible for you to share some things or one or two or things that Kotak securities or you know, we are doing together to move towards this stronger in our approach like Global investment you said it just takes 24 hours to complete the entire application form.

Janika: This is more or less than, you know 15-20 minutes for the customer to fill the application form. It’s just that the verification and validation process since it serves it relies on our broker partner, which is Interactive Broker. So, we take 24 hours to basically verify the details and activate the account otherwise the journey from the client’s perspective is hardly within 20 minutes. 

Dinesh: So, one big thing is that everything can now happen on the website primarily digital, anything else that you know, we are actively doing to make this approach even stronger in the next few years or maybe in the next three years perspective. 

Janika: We are focusing on a lot of new products that we want to develop or we want to build or even the existing products that we want to digitize. So like during the covid space we had launched our digital account opening which we already had but we put in some new features and we try to open the account sooner and in an easier manner for the customers. We were able to do that for our clients that we’ve recently launched a couple of other products, which we are promoting extensively. You must have seen it on social media also, which is a free intraday plan that we have. So we keep coming out with new products which will benefit the client eventually and you know and often we can offer multi products and multiple investment options to our clients.

Dinesh: Okay. That’s great. Awesome insights Janika. I’m sure the audience will benefit greatly from this podcast. Thank you so much for the time and for joining us today.

Janika: Thank you

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