For financial services market growth

D. Murali | Updated on October 02, 2011

Mr M. Shekar, Executive Director, Doha Brokerage & Financial Services.

Unless the investor sees the real result of his/her investment, any policy and government support will not yield the required result.

The Indian financial services sector is witnessing a lot of changes, with technology creating a wide platform for addressing the market, notes Mr M. Shekar, Executive Director of Doha Brokerage and Financial Services Ltd ( Let us not forget that most of the rural areas do not have banking facility; and that many people do not have adequate health and life insurance coverage, and that about 85 per cent of our population does not plan for proper retirement corpus fund, he adds, during recent interaction with Business Line. Since the young – with at least a minimum in terms of educational qualification and technology literacy – form a sizeable portion of the population, there is scope to use technology to the maximum possible extent for reaching financial support services to all levels, reasons Mt Shekar. My conversation with him continues over the e-mail. Excerpts from the interview.

First, your observations on the drag factors that hold the financial services market from achieving its growth potential.

Knowledge of the various financial products or services offered is limited. Due to this, individual participation is lacking in various high-return financial products. Wider awareness will, therefore, increase the use of growth-oriented investments.

Also, investors should be able to see better return on investment with greater safety; only then, retail participation will grow. Above all, our corporate promoters need to play a responsible role in providing value to the stakeholders. In sum, unless the investor sees the real result of his/her investment, any policy and government support will not yield the required result.

How can these problems be addressed?

Initiatives are required at the level of government bodies, policymakers, corporates, colleges, and schools to impart knowledge on personal finance management. Special degree courses need to be designed with an orientation to the financial services industry and certified by the concerned authorities to ensure credibility.

The individual investor should, however, be able to take independent decision after analysing one's financial capacity and the appropriate return expectation.

The Government needs to have a positive view with regard to the charges collected under different heads; these can be reduced from the present level to enhance more retail participation. Compliance procedure in the financial services industry can be systematised with simple procedures of reporting.

Your outlook on the corporate funding scene, in India and globally.

India is identified as one of the fastest emerging economies with a high growth potential in the areas of retail, pharmacy, service industry, education, and infrastructure projects. Globally, Indians are acquiring many companies in the fields of information technology, auto and business process outsourcing. Growth potential is seen in the African countries, particularly in road construction, high capital infrastructure development, mining, power and other public-related service industry.

But the present financial situation all over the world is very grim and it may affect our fund-raising activity for the corporates. Indirectly, however, it is a positive situation for the cash-rich Indian companies that are planning acquisitions in foreign countries. India being one of the consumer-centric markets, there is also scope for corporates to enhance the retail funding activity for the public.

Published on October 02, 2011

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