The story of PHUNDO began in June 2017. Shank K Vasudev (fondly called Vasu) whom I have know for now almost a decade, met me in Bangalore during one of my visits. He expressed a deep conviction of starting an advisory distribution business. This, he had enjoyed immensely when he was part of the Kothari Pioneer team and then moved into leadership roles with Franklin Templeton post the takeover of Kothari. That meeting on a wet afternoon of June 2017 set my mind into motion as I always had a thought at the back of my mind that one day I would migrate into an area of helping folks build investment portfolios focused on the mutual fund themes for the long term.
Now you may wonder where we got this unusual name "PHUNDO". To ensure that we stuck to our theme of "simplicity" the name should also be simple to pronounce. Scanning through research papers and speaking to several people in advertising did not really cut the deal in selecting a name until one day we thought of changing track - why limit ourselves to the English language ? "Fondo Mutuo" means mutual funds in Spanish. Fondo being a trademark identity, we decided to call our new venture "PHUNDO".
As you guessed, our philosophy is to keep it simple. But then how do we match simplicity with distribution ? In the several years that I have been associated with the mutual fund industry, I witnessed that an simple regular savings vehicle (mutual fund) was being over engineered into a complex concept. Complicated questions on risk, reward and products were put forward to potential investors. While they appeared to show some interest, very often the message of investing early was lost in the jargon leading to delays and a flawed approach to investing. The first rule when investing :
The faster you invest your money the more it earns.
We decided that we would avoid such errors and instead focus on promoting a solution rather than promoting products. Therefore, we used the simple approach of presenting key points that all investors ask - how much risk is there, how much return can I make and how long do I need to stay invested. PHUNDO does this in asking you to SELECT your goal, amount and number of years you would like to INVEST. Once this is completed, we then ask you to define your own risk by selecting the estimated returns you would like to get. Lastly, we present a well diversified portfolio of products most suited based on your inputs - now you can RELAX!
I hope you enjoy using our site. We would appreciate your feedback so please write back to us. This is only the beginning as we aim to improve and work on feedback from numerous investors who have written back to us appreciating our efforts and suggesting new alternatives.
(Karan R Kapadia is the CEO and Co-founder of Phundo Fintech India Private Limited. He has over two decades of experience in the wealth management arena in India and overseas)