22 June 2017

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Motivating the investors by an online innovation

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Mr Tushar MakhijaBitten by the entrepreneurial bug, Tushar Makhija co founded Stockezy.com in 2007 along with two friends in Silicon Valley. Tushar is the driving force behind this venture & plays the role of a CEO.

With the singular concern of simplifying the markets, Tushar founded Stockezy to create a level playing field. As an organization he wants to make available to the investors in India simple tools and solutions which helps them invest better. Tushar’s mantra for success is never to be threatened by failure but to believe in one’s dreams and follow them.

He is the 'idea' man at Stockezy and manages the day to day business activities. Being a rapidly growing organisation his role also expands to business development and creating new products and functionalities at Stockezy. He also doubles up as the Chief Product Officer, with key focus on matching customer needs with the products they develop at Stockezy.

Being in the IT industry for a long time, Tushar has good understanding of the changing dynamics of the sector. Before starting Stockezy, he was a Senior Software Engineer with VMware Inc. and has spent 5 years in the organization. In that capacity he led the team which worked on virtualization enterprise software reliability and performance. Prior to that he was with Ixia Communications in Los Angeles and worked on network performance and security. He recently won the prestigious “Young Entrepreneur of the year 2010 Award” at the 3rd International India Innovation Summit.

A Bachelor in Engineering graduate from Mumbai University, Tushar also holds a Masters degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Southern California, Los Angeles. He is an avid traveler and loves exploring new cities around the world. He also has keen interest in world history and follows global politics.

While having an exclusive interaction with Faiz Askari of Small Enterprise India, Tushar Mukhija discussed issues and opportunities in his business and he also discussed his experience about entrepreneurial stint.

Excerpts:

1. How was the initial experience in setting up this new business?

We were & still are very excited during the initial days of setting up our first venture. We spent a lot of time planning, discussing and a lot of research went into its inception. All three founders were from the IT background, hence building the website was not a problem. Once the concept and format was decided for Stockezy.com, we created the site in house with each of us using our respective expertise. Initially the site was created to give India its first online community for discussing stock market investing. Thus Stockezy.com became India’s first social investing community that became a platform for like-minded retail investors. Hence we were successful in initiating awareness and encouraging conversations on how to make sound investment decisions.

2. What potential do you foresee in this segment and business?

There is a huge potential that we foresee in this segment simply because currently only 3% of India’s population invests in the stock market! Thus you can only imagine the number of people that would start actively investing in the market once they are informed.  We are confident of breaking even and seeing profits soon. We are also predicting a surge in our recently launched subscription model as more people start subscribing to our daily stock recommendations, which provide buy & sell signals for investors and traders.

3. What are the unique drivers of this trade and how would you bank upon them?

India is today seeing a robust economic growth and hence improved salaries across strata. And the reason behind this is India’s majority young population who are hungry and eager to excel. They are also looking at prospective investment options other than the traditional MFs, insurance, etc. to get better returns. We are also seeing an increasing interest in stock market from students who are looking at ways to supplement their further education. There are also queries from the women community especially housewives who are looking for additional income to support their families better. All in all, this new generation of investors will drive the next round of growth not just in Stockezy but also in the stock market.

4. What are the key challenges faced during the ‘setting up’ of Stockezy?

Initially we had difficulties on deciding the exact format & features for the site. It had to be a platform for current and potential investors to converse with each other and make informed investing decisions. The next difficult task was getting family members’ support. Since none of the families had ever dabbled in the stock markets, we had a difficult road ahead. Once all family members agreed to the idea, we quit our jobs and started working on the website full-time. It was a bit difficult as we had to survive on our savings till we started making some money from Google ads.

5. Where would you like to see this company in next two years?

In next 2-3 years we would want to have atleast 2 million registered members with a good percentage subscribing to our world-class research analysis. We want people to think beyond MFs, Insurance, FDs, etc. for short/long term investment options and look at investing in stock market as a safe place. We will be happy once majority of our population starts investing wisely in stocks which gives anywhere around 20% ROI.

6. What are the new areas that you would like to work upon?

We are constantly evolving our site and updating it with newer features taking in note our members feedback. So initially from being just an investing community we have now made it feature rich with many available options. And to provide thorough research we recently partnered with Dorsey Wright & Associates (DWA), which will help users to maintain their portfolios in a simple and easy manner. The research will advice users on whether he should hold/sell or buy more. We have also tied up with ZEE Business where our members can post questions online that will be answered on their stock based show by experts. Our latest feature provides active users an option to subscribe to our various subscriptions based models. We are also in the planning phase to tie-up with a brokerage house that will give users looking for an option of a trading platform. These are the areas we are currently working on.

 

 

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