The increasing penetration of the smartphone and the growing digital literacy is transforming how India invests in the capital markets. Technology is disrupting the broking industry and challenging the dominance of the neighbourhood’s traditional brick-and-mortar investment shop. The emergence of a technology-centric business model has also allowed broking houses to harness data and offer customised investment solutions. Mr. Manu Monga, Executive Director- Ventura Securities Ltd., in a discussion with CXOToday, throws more light on how technology is seeping deeper into the broking industry.
- How has technology brought about a change in the traditional broking industry?
The disruption in the broking industry can be singularly attributed to technology. Capital markets in India have always been at the forefront of embracing technology. Coupled with the Bharat stack, it has significantly increased the coverage and reach of the stock broking industry. Even a decade ago, brokers with physical distribution muscle were the category leaders. Today, new-age technology lead brokers with a direct to consumer model are redefining the rules of the game. Even in a traditional broker set-up, technology is enabling business processes and creating a consumer connect which is truly omni-channel in approach.
- Impact of digitalisation on the broking industry
The biggest impact of digitalisation has been the incredible growth of the industry. Despite the penetration being extremely low compared to some of the other mature markets, I believe we are now at an inflection point. And this is the outcome of a host of digitalisation initiatives by the government of India leading to the expansion of the industry. Apart from growth, digitalisation has also enabled servicing customers where a conventional branch set-up may not be viable and this trend can clearly be seen in the growth which is coming from tier 2 and tier 3 cities.
- Digital trends that will lead the future of the broking industry
Mobile will continue to drive the growth in the broking industry. The rise and rise of the retail investor was fuelled by low data costs and India leapfrogging into a mobile-first digital economy. The trend will continue to be the underpinning of the industry. Another outcome of digitalisation at scale is generation of data, which, in turn, will lead to hyper personalisation at scale. This will gain momentum as the industry grows.
- What software should broking agencies use to upgrade their user interface?
This is a moving goal post. It is also a function of the scale and user experience a company is striving for. So it is difficult to give a generalised answer, however I do believe that differentiation in a digital first broking industry can only be made with a stellar user experience, which, in turn, is the function of human centric design thinking. The technology behind it can be replicated but keeping customer at the heart of design thinking will be a new frontier for competition.
- Ways to improve customer engagement and experience with the help of digitalisation.
The only way to delight customers is to test and learn and be in a constant improvement mode. In a digitalised business, there is a constant stream of data and signals that a customer is giving back to the company. It’s our responsibility to study and understand customer friction points, anticipate customer needs and relentlessly work towards making enhancements. And technology allows us to do that today.