The Next Decade - Looking Ahead With Confidence

While we continue to invest in technology, our focus on award-winning research and unbiased advice remains one of the key differentiators.

Jul 13, 2015 07:07 IST IIFL R. Venkataraman |


When Nirmal and I rang the opening bell for the stock market on May 17, 2005, to announce India Infoline’s entry as a listed entity, we were at a tipping point. The IPO gave us the needed capital for growth. It also enhanced our brand and credibility in the eyes of our stakeholders. Many of you would recall, adjusted for split, the IPO price was Rs. 15.2. Incidentally, Rs. 15.7 has been distributed as dividend over the years. Your Company has delivered total shareholder return of more than 32% per annum compounded for last ten years. Our income has seen a 47.6x growth over FY 2005-15 while profit grew 20.6x.
 
CHANGING REVENUE PROFILE
 
Having completed a decade since a group of professionals formed Probity Research & Services in 1995, which later became India Infoline, our business model had already undergone one round of transformation. We converted our business from a high quality independent research provider aimed at corporates and institutional investors, to a research and information powerhouse on the internet targeted at retail. Very soon, we found out the dot com suffix was a stigma following the internet bubble burst. We forward integrated into retail financial products, including broking and distribution of life insurance and mutual funds leveraging technology and internet. Our growth was helped by funds raised from venture capital and private equity firms. The journey had more than its fair share of ups and downs, including political uncertainty, trade sanctions, IT sector boom followed by global dotcom crash and domestic stock market scams. Incidentally, we listed on the first anniversary of the first ever market-wise lower circuit, a fitting tribute to our ability to withstand difficult times and emerge stronger.
 
Post listing, we had to constantly overcome the challenge of growth and keeping ahead of a dynamic and ever changing business landscape. We brought on board a team from CLSA, the leading foreign brokerage, to scale up our institutional equities business. We expanded our lending business and added loans and mortgages to our capital markets lending book. We also incubated the wealth business, which has grown to one of the most respected in the country with an AUM of over Rs. 700 billion. However, our journey was not without going through a bumpy road! We set our foot offshore and acquired broking seats in the stock exchanges of Sri Lanka and Singapore; perhaps in hindsight at an inappropriate time and had to scale back these businesses as well as our overseas ambitions there. Over the last decade, we have successfully transformed from a brokerage driven business model to a leading finance and wealth management franchise.
 
Being a listed company brought in additional responsibilities and expectations. I am proud to say, we have never compromised on our integrity and remain committed to ensure highest standards of corporate governance and transparency in all we do.
 
IMPACT OF DIGITAL TECHNOLOGY
 
Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future, said John F. Kennedy. After a flashback of the last 10 years of listing, allow me to take the liberty of doing some crystal ball gazing. Whether it is the past, present or future, technology and knowledge continue to play a dominant role. In 2000, the Internet was the disruptor and now Mobile or Digital Technology, is ushering in a metamorphic change in the financial services space.
 
The Internet of Things is underway but internet revolution in India will be played on a large scale through mobile apps. Falling smartphone prices, improving connectivity with 3G and 4G services and ever increasing mobile penetration augur well for trading on mobile. We have our finger in this pie and by now most of you would have downloaded our trading app IIFL Markets. For all our stakeholders, be it shareholders, customers and employees, most activities are being mobile-enabled, so that convenience is at your fingertips. Our suite of products will all be available to you at the touch of a screen even as our call centres will continue to assist you to migrate effortlessly into your medium of convenience.
 
While we continue to invest in technology, our focus on our award-winning research and unbiased advice remains one of the key differentiators. For us at IIFL, gaining, maintaining and retaining customer’s trust is a must, especially since we deal with your hard earned money.
 
I look forward to the next decade with optimism and hope that our relationship with you, our dear shareholders, continues to blossom.
 

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