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GLOBAL ECONOMY FY23

The Global economy is poised for growth on the surface, for a gradual recovery from the powerful blows of the pandemic and Russias unprovoked war on Ukraine. China is rebounding strongly following the reopening of its economy. Supply-chain disruptions are unwinding, while the dislocations to energy and food markets caused by the war are receding. Simultaneously, the massive and synchronous tightening of monetary policy by most Central Banks should start to bear fruit, with inflation moving back toward its targets.

The baseline forecast is for growth to fall from 3.4% in 2022 to 2.8% in 2023, before settling at 3.0% in 2024. Advanced economies are expected to see an especially pronounced growth slowdown, from 2.7% in 2022 to 1.3% in 2023. Global real GDP growth should pick up steam in 2024 to 2.5% and be more evenly distributed among regions. Tailwinds to growth in 2024 will largely come from fading shocks related to the pandemic, elevated inflation, and monetary policy tightening.

REAL GDP GROWTH RATE (ANNUAL % CHANGE)

2020 2021 2022 2023(P) 2024(P)
World (3.1) 6.1 3.4 2.8 3.0
AE (4.5) 5.2 2.7 1.3 1.4
EMDE (2.0) 6.8 4.0 3.9 4.2
India (6.6) 8.9 6.8 5.9 6.3

Source - .(IMF 2023 World Economic Outlook April 2023) -https://www.imf.org/external/datamapper/NGDP_RPCH@WEO/OEMDC/ ADVEC/WEOWORLD

INFLATION RATE, AVERAGE CONSUMER PRICES

2020 2021 2022 2023(P)
World 3.2 4.7 8.7 7.0
AE 0.7 3.1 7.3 4.7
EMDE 5.2 5.9 9.8 8.6
India 6.2 5.5 6.7 4.9

Source - (IMF 2023 World Economic Outlook April 2023) - https://www.imf.org/external/datamapper/PCPIPCH@WEO/OEMDC As per the latest industry research, some of the key drivers of global economic growth in 2023:

1. Asian economies: Asian economies are expected to drive most of the global growth in 2023, as they benefit from ongoing reopening dynamics and less restrictive monetary policies

2. Chinas re-opening: The global economy is set to grow by 1.6% in 2023, driven largely by Chinas re-opening following a prolonged period of lockdowns and strong expected growth

3. Investment growth: Investment growth in emerging market and developing economies is predicted to remain below its average rate of the past two decades. Overall, investment growth is projected to decelerate markedly from 4% in 2022 to 0.9% in 2023

4. Monetary policy tightening: Tight monetary policy acts as a break on economic activity and will likely lead to increases in unemployment rates in various economies, particularly in Europe and the US

5. Global shocks: Any additional adverse shocks could push the global economy into recession. Small states are especially vulnerable to such shocks because of their reliance on external trade and financing, limited diversification, elevated debt, and susceptibility to natural disasters

The forecast for the next decade indicates a prolonged period of disruption and uncertainty for businesses, but it also presents potential opportunities. Once the regional recessions of 2022-2023 conclude, global growth will revert to a slower trajectory, with mature markets playing a smaller role in global GDP. However, there are still prospects for companies to invest in both mature markets, leveraging their wealth and the need for innovation to offset declining labor forces, as well as emerging markets, which require both physical and digital infrastructure to support their substantial and youthful labor forces.

SHARE OF FINANCIALS, CONSUMER DISCRETIONARY, AND INDUSTRIALS TO AGGREGATE CORPORATE EARNINGS TO RISE OVER THE NEXT TWO YEARS:

Global growth slowdown and Chinas zero COVID policy severely weighed on commodity prices during the year. Consequently, there has been a meaningful dip in the share of Materials and Energy to aggregate corporate earnings estimates of top 200 companies in FY23. For instance, Materials accounted for ~21% of the aggregate earnings for top 200 companies in FY22, which is expected to drop to 11.5% in FY23, rising modestly to 12.5% in FY24 amid expectations of revival in Chinese economy. Utility companies are also expected to see a drop in their share in overall corporate earnings of these 200 companies. The reduced share of these sectors to aggregate corporate earnings during this period is expected to be taken over by Financials, Consumer Discretionary, and Industrials. Clearly, the earnings trajectory over the next two years hinges on persistence of consumption and investment demand.

(Source: NSE Market Pulse https://static.nseindia.com//s3fs-public/inline-files/Market_Pulse_April%202023.pdf)

To ensure long-term growth, key strategies involve diversifying into new business sectors, fortifying corporate culture, embracing digital transformation and automation, recruiting talent with novel skills not currently represented in the organization, and optimizing the hybrid work model where appropriate.

(IMF 2023 World Economic Outlook April 2023).

https://www.conference-board.org/topics/global-economic-outlook

We are entering a precarious phase characterized by below-average economic growth and increased financial risks, while inflation has not yet definitively changed its course. It is now more important than ever for policymakers to exercise caution and communicate clearly. The appropriate course of action depends on the condition of the financial system.

As long as the financial system remains reasonably stable, as it is currently, monetary policy should focus on reducing inflation. A positive aspect is that the banking turmoil will naturally slow overall economic activity as banks reduce lending due to rising funding costs and the need to act more cautiously. This, in itself, should partially alleviate the necessity for further tightening of monetary policy.

Source - (IMF 2023 World Economic Outlook April 2023).

INDIAN ECONOMY

Indias economy has rebounded since the COVID-19 pandemic. But the Russia-Ukraine conflict has triggered inflationary pressures and prompted central banks, including Indias, to reverse ultra-loose monetary policy adopted during the pandemic.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) expects Indias GDP to grow by 5.9% in 2023. The Asian Development Bank (ADB) projects growth in Indias gross domestic product (GDP) to moderate to 6.4% in fiscal year (FY) 2023 ending on 31 March 2024 and rise to 6.7% in FY2024. India to witness GDP growth of 6.0 per cent to 6.8 per cent in 2023-24, depending on the trajectory of economic and political developments globally. Economic survey 2022-23 projects a baseline GDP growth of 6.5 per cent in real terms in FY24.

The World Bank has revised its FY23-24 GDP forecast to 6.3 percent from 6.6 percent (December 2022). Growth is expected to be constrained by slower consumption growth and challenging external conditions. Rising borrowing costs and slower income growth will weigh on private consumption growth, and government consumption is projected to grow at a slower pace due to the withdrawal of pandemic-related fiscal support measures.

While betting on consumption-driven growth is obvious given Indias large, young, and rising share of the upper middle–income population (with a high propensity to spend), however, investment will play a crucial role over the next two years. It is through investments that India will gain the necessary momentum to embark on a sustained path of growth driven by domestic demand for many decades to come.

Although headline inflation is elevated, it is projected to decline to an average of 5.2 percent in FY23/24, amid easing global commodity prices and some moderation in domestic demand. The Reserve Bank of Indias has withdrawn accommodative measures to rein in inflation by hiking the policy interest rate. Indias financial sector also remains strong, buoyed by improvements in asset quality and robust private-sector credit growth.

Despite the global economic slowdown, Indias exports have performed well, likely due to the depreciated currency in relation to the US dollar. While goods exports have remained moderate, there has been a remarkable surge of 30% in Indias services exports between April and February. This significant growth can be attributed to various factors such as the global push for digitization, cost-cutting measures adopted by businesses to navigate the anticipated slowdown, and the rising trend of remote work. These factors have led to an increased demand for service exports, particularly in the technology sector, where

India holds a comparative advantage.

Interestingly, the share of business and professional services in the overall services exports has also expanded. Companies worldwide now prefer to outsource a wide range of professions, including accounting, audit, research and development, quality assurance, and after-sales service. This preference for outsourcing has contributed to the growth of Indias services exports, further bolstering its position in the global market.

India is set to become the worlds fastest-growing major economy in 2023, with an investment boom likely. Growth is expected to be brisk in FY24 as a vigorous credit disbursal, and capital investment cycle is expected to unfold in India with the strengthening of the balance sheets of the corporate and banking sectors. Further support to economic growth will come from the expansion of public digital platforms and path-breaking measures such as PM GatiShakti, the National Logistics Policy, and the Production-Linked Incentive schemes to boost manufacturing output.

INDIAN FINANCIAL SECTOR

Indias financial services sector is a significant contributor to the countrys economy and also one of the fastest growing sector. The sector in India comprises commercial banks, insurance companies, non-banking financial companies, cooperatives, pension funds, mutual funds, and other smaller financial entities. As of January 2023, AUM managed by the mutual funds industry stood at Rs. 39.62 trillion (USD 478.08 billion). Inflow in Indias mutual fund schemes via systematic investment plan (SIP) stood at Rs. 1.5 lakh crore (USD 18.09 billion). Equity mutual funds registered a net inflow of Rs. 22.16 trillion (USD 294.15 billion) by end of December 2021. The net inflows were USD 888 million (Rs 7,303.39 crore) in December as compared to a 21-month low of USD 274.8 million (Rs 2,258.35 crore) in November 2022.

Another crucial component of Indias financial industry is the insurance industry. The insurance industry has been expanding at a fast pace. The total first-year premium of life insurance companies reached USD 32.04 billion in FY23. In FY23 (until December 2022) non-life insurance sector premiums reached at Rs. 1.87 lakh crore (USD 22.5 billion).

Furthermore, Indias leading bourse, Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE), will set up a joint venture with Ebix Inc to build a robust insurance distribution network in the country through a new distribution exchange platform. In FY23, USD 7.17 billion was raised across 40 initial public offerings (IPOs). The number of companies listed on the NSE increased from 135 in 1995 to 2,113 by FY23 (till December 2022).

According to the statistics by the Futures Industry Association (FIA), a derivatives trade association, the National Stock Exchange of India Ltd. (NSE) emerged as the worlds largest derivatives exchange in 2020 in terms number of contracts traded. NSE was ranked 4th worldwide in cash equities by number of trades as per the statistics maintained by the World Federation of Exchanges (WFE) for CY2020.

INDIAN CAPITAL MARKETS

Direct retail participation in Indian equities has risen meaningfully in last couple of years, which can be witnessed in huge inflows in secondary markets, increase in new investor registrations and surge in retail share in the overall cash market turnover. In the last eight fiscal years, retail investors have been net buyers for last three years. During this period, they have invested nearly Rs 2.8 Tn (As on March 31st, 2023) in equities directly through secondary markets, of which Rs 1.6 Tn has been invested in FY2021-22.

FIIs turned buyers of Indian equities in 2023: In the initial half of 2022, Foreign Institutional Investors (FIIs) were significant sellers, but they transitioned into buyers during the latter half. The Indian equity markets valuations appeared relatively stretched, while Asian peers, particularly China, displayed improved growth prospects after reopening their economy. As a result, FIIs decided to withdraw some investments during the first two months of 2023, leading to a net outflow of USD 4.2 Bn during this period. The comparative underperformance of Indian equities in relation to global counterparts caused the valuation premium of Indian equities over the broader Emerging Market pack to decrease substantially. Consequently, Indian equities regained their appeal, enticing FIIs to become modest buyers again, resulting in net inflows of USD 967 Mn in March 2023. Throughout the fiscal year, FIIs remained significant sellers of Indian equities, with net outflows totalling USD 5.1 Bn.

FIIs participation in Indian debt remained muted: During the majority of 2022, Foreign Institutional Investors (FIIs) were sellers in the Indian debt market, except for August 2022 and September 2022. This shift in behaviour was a result of the narrowing spreads between Indian bonds and global bonds. However, in the beginning of the New Year, FIIs became modest buyers, with net inflows of USD 736 Mn during the first two months of 2023. However, their buying spree was short-lived, as they resumed selling in March, leading to net outflows of USD 307 Mn. For the fiscal year 2023, FIIs sold Indian debt worth USD 1.1 Bn on a net basis, a significant contrast to the net inflow of USD 268 Mn witnessed in FY22.

DII continued to remain buyers in March 2023: Since March 2021, Domestic Institutional Investors (DIIs) have consistently shown strong interest in Indian equities. In 2021, DIIs invested Rs876 billion, followed by a substantial increase to Rs2.7 trillion in 2022. This positive trend continued into 2023, with net inflows of Rs832 billion in just the first three months, of which Rs305 billion was invested in March 2023. This ongoing momentum has been supported by robust retail inflows through the Systematic Investment Plan (SIP) route. Throughout FY23, DIIs demonstrated a robust investment in equities, with net inflows amounting to a significant Rs2.6 trillion, in contrast to the net inflows of Rs2.1 trillion observed during the same period in FY22.

Retail investors moderated significantly in FY23: Retail inflows in FY2022-23 were the lowest in last 3 years to touch Rs 492 bn as compared to robust inflows of Rs1, 649 Bn in FY2021-22 and Rs 684 bn in FY2020-21. The year 2022 witnessed decreased direct participation by retail investors in equities and increased investments in mutual funds resulting in growth in SIP flows.

FO turnover registered a growth of 11.4% YoY to touch Rs 405 Tn in FY23. While equity futures turnover registered a decline of 3% YoY, the growth in FO segment was led by equity options, registering a growth of 72% YoY in the premium turnover. The average daily turnover in equity derivatives segment during the year, however, increased by 10.9% MoM to touch Rs 1,626 Bn vs Rs 1,466 Bn in the previous fiscal.

Currency derivatives turnover surged 43.5% YoY in FY23 to touch Rs102trn, led by trading in futures in contracts. While turnover of currency futures contracts nearly doubled on a YoY basis, currency options premium turnover remained flat. However, the growth rate in average daily turnover was slightly higher at 41.7% YoY during the fiscal.

Maharashtra continues to lead in terms of new investor registrations in FY23 despite the sharp drop: Out of 13.3 Mn new investor registrations in FY23, Maharashtra continued to lead with 2 Mn registrations, accounting for 15.4% share. Uttar Pradesh grabbed the second spot with 1.8 Mn new registrations, dropping 3.7% YoY and accounting for 13.6% of the total new registrations. This was followed by Gujarat, Rajasthan, West Bengal, and Madhya Pradesh at 6.3%, 6%, 5.8% and 5.7% share respectively. Among the top five states, Maharashtra, Gujarat, and Rajasthan saw a huge decline of 39% YoY in new investor registrations this year. Delhi remained at the 10th position for the third time in a row with a 5% share and a 46% YoY drop in new registrations. Bihar, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka contributed to a total of 16% of the new registrations during the year.

EQUITY MUTUAL FUNDS AUM SAW A JUMP IN FY23

Strong inflows into equity mutual funds via the SIP route, relative outperformance vis- -vis other asset classes including debt and limited redemptions have all resulted in equity AUM rising sharply in FY23. Interestingly, equity AUM surpassed that of debt for the first time in 2022, with nearly 10 percentage points increase in its share to the industrys AUM since the pandemic. Debt funds, on the other hand, were impacted by a steep rise in interest rates last year, leading to its AUM falling by ~7% in FY23. In fact, its share in the overall MF AUM has dropped from 50%+ around the onset of the pandemic to ~33% currently. Share of Hybrid and other schemes has also been rising over the last two years with its AUM increasing 145% to Rs12.1 Tn since the pandemic.

Jump in equity AUM aided by strong SIP inflows: Indirect participation has picked up meaningfully since the pandemic, as reflected in a steady increase in retail inflows into mutual funds via the SIP route. Monthly SIP inflows increased by a strong 20% YoY but remained broadly flat on a MoM basis at Rs 137bn in Feb23. Average monthly SIP run rate during the 11 months of FY23 stood at Rs129bn as compared to Rs104bn in FY22 and Rs80bn in FY21. The total number of outstanding SIP accounts has also continued to grow, rising to 62.8mn at the end of Feb23. (Source: NSE Market Pulse https://static.nseindia.com//s3fs-public/inline-files/Market_Pulse_April%202023.pdf )

Technology: A Game Changer for the Financial services industry

Indian financial sector is expected to see investments in technology to replace legacy alternatives and the importance of AI and ML will be on the rise. India is positioned to become one of the largest digital markets with rapid expansion of mobile and internet, with over 2,100 fintechs operating currently.

Pandemic, with restrictions in physical banking & insurance services propelled the adoption of digital tools, and incumbents responded by ramping up their technology transformation efforts revitalizing the digital channels.

Financial services firms are keen on a non-branch acquisition and service approach, over the past few years they have been focusing on a digital-first omni-channel experience and now, they are also venturing into deep tech avenues like metaverse and web 3.0 which may the customer experience in the time to come. API-based brokerage firms are leading this trend by offering APIs to manage end-to-end flows including opening of accounts, funding, trading, management, and market data. Even asset management companies are increasingly using AI. A study by JPMorgan from 2020, reveals that the algorithmic trading market is projected to experience substantial growth, estimated at USD 4 billion by 2024. This growth would result in the total volume of algorithmic trades reaching USD 19 billion. It is evident that AI has surpassed human intelligence in various aspects that may exceed our imagination. The increased adoption of AI has significantly enhanced decision-making capabilities. Furthermore, there has been a significant rise in the number of predictions and forecasts utilizing data analysis and machine learning (ML) techniques. These advancements highlight the transformative impact of AI on the trading industry. https://cio.economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/corporate-news/key-technology-trends-that-will-reshape-the-broking-sector-in-2023-siddharth-patnaik-upstox/97240459

The coming years will see an impact of various regulatory measures especially around Account Aggregator, Digital Lending guidelines, regulators expectations around Data availability and depth in regulatory reporting, co-lending initiatives and ensuring the most secured way of providing financial services solutions to the customer.

https://bfsi.economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/_inancial-services/outlook-2023-key-factors-to-watch-out-for-financial-services-industry/96719774

CHOICE GROUP OVERVIEW

Choice Group, incorporated in 1992, is a financial institution conglomerate which finds its legacy in solving financial problems and bridging gaps for individuals, institutions and governments.

For past 2 decades we are committed to help our clients achieve their financial aspirations and promote value creation for society.

Headquartered in Mumbai, Choice Group is engaged in providing financial services. Choice has its membership and registration with SEBI, RBI, NSE, BSE, MCX, NCDEX, AMFI and depository participant with CDSL & NSDL. An end-to-end financial conglomerate, the group has over the past decade expanded massively to become a holistic financial services firm with ground breaking technologies and innovative methodologies to serve its clients. Choice is among top 16 brokers with pan India presence with over 7 lakh clients and over 30,000 trained business associates.

The company offers services under three major verticals – Broking & Distribution, NBFC & Advisory Services across India. Equity Broking being the primary offering followed by other financial services like Consultancy, and NBFC. With a pan India presence across 18 states, Choice operates on a digital Fintech ecosystem enabling wider reach with a ‘Phygital mode to acquire and service customers.

WHAT WE OFFER

Equity Broking
Wealth Services
Insurance Distribution
NBFC Activities
Infrastructure Consulting & Government Advisory
Management Consulting & Investment Banking

1. BROKING & DISTRIBUTION

During the year, the Company had a huge growth in the demat accounts and ended the year with 680K demat accounts. The number of active clients stood at 210k and enabled us to maintain our 16th rank as per NSEs active (UCC) list. Further to this, Stock Broking client assets stood at Rs. 270 billion an increase of 64% YoY, which resulted in highest ever revenues for the Group. Asset under Advice for Mutual Funds stood at Rs. 3,635 million. There has been a significant increase in the number of insurance policies sold, which was 6,978 policies, a growth of 84% YoY and the total insurance premium generated for FY23 stood at Rs. 535 Mn. The major initiative undertaken for the Broking & Distribution business was to transform the ‘Jiffy App into a Super App ‘Choice FinX.

Choice FinX - With cutting-edge technology it provides a simplified investing experience for users. This has enabled us to offer users the ability to leverage and easily invest in a variety of financial instruments all in one place, which has led to the major growth in users in the second half of the financial year. The aim is to serve the clients financial needs advanced technical features for each Insurance, Bonds etc. and easily track all.

SUPER APP JOURNEY

In a transformative move, our broking app has evolved into the all-encompassing Super App, Choice FinX. This upgrade has enabled us to offer a wide array of financial services and products under one platform, providing users with a seamless and comprehensive experience.

One of the standout features of Choice FinX is the introduction of one-click account opening for Mutual Funds. This user-friendly and efficient process has not only attracted a significant number of new clients but also facilitated cross-selling opportunities. By simplifying the account opening procedure, we have removed barriers and made it easier for users to invest in Mutual Funds, thereby broadening our customer base and fostering greater client engagement.

Recognizing the importance of diversification in investment portfolios, we have taken a step further by introducing Secure products and Insurance as alternative investment options. With these additions, users now have access to a broader spectrum of investment choices, allowing them to create well-balanced and diversified portfolios tailored to their financial goals and risk profiles. The conversion to Choice FinX has been a pivotal step in our journey to cater to the holistic financial needs of our clients. By offering an extensive range of financial products and services, coupled with a user-friendly interface, we aim to empower our users to make informed financial decisions, grow their wealth, and achieve their long-term financial aspirations with confidence.

KEY HIGHLIGHTS FOR CHOICE FINX-

For Technical Traders - Integrated advanced technical chart ‘Trading View" which helps in real-time monitoring of company trend –o Add Price Alerts from Charts, Track Orders and Positions from the Chart window itself. and use Charts to place Orders o 65% of users are currently using the trading view as a charting system

Fundamental Insights & Research Recommendations o Added Fundamental analysis i.e. Quality Scorecard, Key Metrics and Share Holding Pattern to provide valuable insights into a companys financial health and performance. Also, track the recommendations given by our in-house experts in the Research Tab of the company page.

Option Strategy o Based on market dynamics and options volume, we made an option strategy (Beta) for our traders.

Hindi Language Added in Android App o Users can now access all the features of our app in their preferred language, making it easier and more convenient for them to trade and invest.

(A) Stock Broking Services: The groups Broking & Distribution Business is channelized through subsidiary M/s. Choice Equity Broking Private Limited herein referred to as "Choice Broking".

KEY SERVICES:

Equity Trading Derivative Trading Debt Market Instruments

Research& Analysis

Commodity Trading Demat Services Portfolio Management IPO/ OFS/ Other Issues

OUR EXCELLENT RESEARCH CAPABILITIES:

We offer Technical as well as Fundamental Research calls and both are managed by a team of experts in their respective fields.

FUNDAMENTAL RESEARCH:

The Choice Equity Brokings research team offers comprehensive research input to institutional clients with a coverage of over 80+ Indian companies. With our dedicated research and sales team we offer financial services such as but not limited to Investment ideas, channel checks, sector view, macroeconomic view, corporate connect, trade execution and bespoke research. Our research stands out by employing a data-driven approach to generate alpha.

Our research is distinguished by its unique insights and high-conviction content, stimulating investment discussions throughout our coverage universe. We provide exceptional coverage of vital sectors, including Automobile, Banking and NBFC, Pharmaceuticals, Healthcare delivery, Building Materials, Real Estate, and Information Technology spanning a wide spectrum of our extensive coverage.

By conducting meticulous research, we ensure that our investment decisions are based on comprehensive analysis and minimize the risk of investing in companies with questionable practices. Our goal is to identify companies with strong growth potential and align our clients investments with their values and long-term objectives.

TECHNICAL RESEARCH:

Our company specializes in conducting technical research on various financial instruments, including equity, commodities, and currencies. We offer short-term intraday trading calls based on our in-depth analysis. Additionally, we provide special occasional calls on significant days like Mothers Day, Valentines Day, and various festivals. Our expertise also extends to derivative hygiene strategies, ensuring risk management and optimal performance. The dedication and expertise of our analysts are reflected in the impressive success ratio of our calls, ranging between 70-80%. We take pride in our technical analysts, who are highly active on both electronic and print media, garnering excellent viewership and establishing themselves as trusted financial experts. Our analysts receive significant electronic media coverage, engaging with audiences for approximately 5 to 5.5 hours each day, reaffirming our commitment to disseminate valuable insights and guidance to investors and traders alike.

OUR JOURNEY

INDUSTRY TRENDS:

The brokerage industry generated a revenue of INR 382.00 Bn in FY 2023, expanding at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of ~13.73% from FY 2019 to FY 2023.

Close to 25 million demat accounts were added in FY23, at a monthly average of over 2 million despite lackluster returns and sustained volatility in the market.

The brokerage industry in India is transitioning to a fee-based model, from the earlier transaction-based one. With this shift, brokers are now offering new services, including investment and wealth management advisory.

There is also an increased focus on fund-based activities, such as margin funding. This is helping broker firms generate sustainable earnings. They are also expanding the range of products and services to strengthen client relationships.

The shift of trading platforms from offline to a mix of online and offline modes resulted in higher revenues for full-service brokers.

The increase in the activity in equity markets since the beginning of the pandemic was driven by robust corporate earnings, favourable liquidity in both international and domestic markets, higher internet penetration, and retail participation.

In the post-COVID era, Technological advancements have brought smart features, such as e-KYC, order management systems, analytical and charting tools and much more, to ease the investment journey for retail traders. With todays investor being immensely tech-savvy and expecting cutting-edge tech solutions for all their needs, brokers are increasingly investing in technology.

Post Covid, the broking industry witnessed a substantial surge in client accretion competitive pricing, increased marketing and digital offerings. There was substantial participation from new to market customers from tier-II/III and beyond. However, after reaching a peak of ~3.66 crore in June 2022, active clients have declined and reached ~3.35 crore in January 2023, owing to a large number of clients onboarded earlier being inactive.(3)

(1) https://_inance.yahoo.com/news/india-_inancial-brokerage-market-analysis-165300153.html (2) https://www.business-standard.com/markets/news/ despite-market-volatility-25-million-demat-accounts-added-in-fy23-123040700897_1.html (3) https://www.icicidirect.com/mailimages/IDirect_ Brokerage_SectorUpdate_Mar23.pdf

(B) Insurance Broking Services: The group offers Insurance Distribution Services through our subsidiary M/s. Choice Insurance Broking India Private Limited. The segment majorly focuses on Assisting Clients to buy the right Insurance Products as per their need and insured smooth claim processing.

Why Choice
Customer Base of over 300,000
Employees Contacts of over 3000 Employee
CBA Network
Government and Corporate Connections
Physical Branches over 75
Good and Timely payouts
Technology Platform (Connect, Policy, B2B)
Why Insurance
Large Industry
Growing Industry
High Commissions
Recurring Revenues
Reinvesting in Growth

OPERATIONAL UPDATE

We are proud to announce partnership with Government of Maharashtra under the Gopinath Munde Shetakari Accident Insurance Scheme to settle insurance claims. Under the scheme, we will be serving over 3 crore farmers in Maharashtra, which is in line with our vision of meeting the requirements of the underserved population of India.

Choice FinX is the Online Platform through which insurance services - motor and health insurance products are sold. It enables a user to easily look for instant quotes, comparison and policy issuance.

With our expansion across new geographies, the insurance business has seen a huge surge. Till date we have covered around 75k+ lives through the policies. The claims settlement ratio has been more than 95%. Our operational efficiency has led to a 14% Reduction in Claim Settlement TAT. Additionally, we have tied up with more than 25 insurance partners to sell their policies on our Choice FinX platform.

Choice FinX has been upgraded with all the latest features to simplify the process of buying an insurance policy.

Know Your Policy: To identify errors or inconsistencies in their insurance policy documents to avoid claim rejections or delays

Digital Vault: To allow anytime and anywhere access to all insurance-related documents

Dispute Resolution: To help settle rejected/ delayed or short settled claims with real time tracking of status

We are proud to announce that we have been recognized as the Rising Star Broker of the year for achieving a high level of excellence in India Insurance Summit & Awards 2023

WAY FORWARD

Emphasize the establishment of dedicated teams tailored to specific products, ensuring appropriate guidance and assistance throughout the policy duration for both Corporate and Retail Clients.

For Home and Appliances Insurance, a novel concept, the coverage encompasses damages caused by electricity load, floods, theft, and more. Choice is currently working towards creating this insurance product to address such faults and damages, providing options like insurance with OEM tie-up.

Regarding Small ticket Health Insurance, the focus lies in developing a plan that strikes the right balance between coverage and affordability. The company advocates for clients and operates independently from insurance providers, offering relevant suggestions to safeguard client interests.

The insurance industry in India is expected to witness significant growth and transformation in 2023, driven by various factors such as the increasing adoption of digital technologies, regulatory measures, and changing customer preferences. Here are some of the trends that are expected to shape the industry in 2023.

The Indian insurance market is predicted to reach $200 billion by 2027, providing ample opportunities for all insurance players to grow (1).

The IPO of Life Insurance Corporation (LIC) of India was the largest IPO ever in India and the sixth biggest IPO globally of 2022. As of November 2022, listing of LIC accounted for more than a third of resources mobilized in the primary equity market until November 2022.

The insurance sector has pushed insurance companies to adopt strategies to remain relevant in a digital-first economy. The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority India (IRDAI) has unveiled a slew of measures to boost the growth in the insurance sector, including the introduction of Bima Sugam, a one-stop online platform that will allow insurers to sell products directly to customers.

In 2023, the drive for cross-selling & Upsell is likely go hand in hand with the growing need for personalized insurance plans and premiums. Customers will choose customized insurance plans over currently available ‘off-the-shelf products in this digital economy. In the long run, it is anticipated that P2P insurance, flexible coverage options, and microinsurance will be the best options.

The adoption of innovative "Customer-First strategies" will significantly change how the industry conducts business and shapes the customer experience landscape.

The insurance industry is under pressure to keep up with the pace of change. New entrants in the form of digital-first insurers and innovative start-ups to the market are offering new products and services at a much faster rate than incumbent insurers. This means that enhancing speed to market with better integrations and low-code tools is a must

Indias insurance penetration was pegged at 4.2% in FY21, and the life insurance industry is expected to increase at a CAGR of 5.3% between 2019 and 2023 (2)

(1) https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/blogs/voices/outlook-for-general-insurance-industry-2023-a-promising-and-transformative-year/ (2) https://www.ibef.org/industry/insurance-sector-india

(B) WEALTH SERVICES

The group offers its Wealth Services through our subsidiary M/s. Choice Wealth Private Limited. The segment majorly focuses on Mutual Fund Distribution.

Overview:

A trusted advisor and AMFI registered mutual fund distributor

Strong research team to support client advisory

State of Art Super App "Choice FinX" provides end to end services for Wealth Management and investment in Mutual Funds.

Key Services:
Mutual Fund Distribution
Financial Planning
Research & Analysis
Bond Distribution

Products:

Mutual funds

Bonds: Potential to arrange the bonds as required

Corporate Fixed Deposits: Tied up with Bajaj, HDFC,

Mahindra & Mahindra and Shriram

State Development Bonds

Other Products: G-sec, T-bills, SGB

Importance of Mutual Funds (MF) and Systematic Investment Plan (SIP):

Diversification: Mutual funds allow investors to access a diversified portfolio of securities across various asset classes, reducing risk compared to individual stock investments.

Professional Management: MFs are managed by experienced fund managers who conduct in-depth research and make informed investment decisions on behalf of investors.

Flexibility: MFs offer a range of investment options, catering to different risk appetites and investment objectives, from equity funds to debt funds and hybrid funds.

Liquidity: Investors can buy or sell mutual fund units at their convenience, providing easy access to their investment capital.

Systematic Investing: SIP allows investors to invest small amounts regularly, fostering financial discipline and benefiting from the power of compounding over the long term.

Affordability: Mutual funds provide an opportunity for individuals to participate in the capital markets with relatively small investment amounts, making them accessible to a wider audience.

Transparency: Mutual funds provide regular reporting and disclosure of portfolio holdings and performance, ensuring transparency and enabling investors to make informed decisions.

Our strategy to add clients:

Developing a comprehensive marketing and outreach plan to target potential clients from various demographics and market segments.

Utilizing digital platforms and social media channels to enhance brand visibility and attract a wider audience.

Offering personalized financial planning and investment advisory services to address the unique needs and goals of prospective clients.

Leveraging existing client relationships to generate referrals and recommendations through a client referral program.

Participating in industry events, seminars, and workshops to establish thought leadership and build trust with potential clients.

Collaborating with strategic partners, such as CBAs/Sub brokers to expand the network and reach a broader client base.

Incorporating technology-driven solutions, such as online onboarding and robo-advisory platforms, to streamline the client acquisition process and enhance convenience.

How we are educating customers:

Conducting educational seminars, webinars, and workshops to enhance financial literacy and create awareness about investment concepts and products.

Developing educational content, such as articles, blog posts, and videos that simplifies complex financial topics and educates customers on investment strategies.

Providing personalized one-on-one sessions with clients to understand their investment goals and educate them on suitable investment options.

Offering investment guides and resources that explain the fundamentals of investing, risk management, and the benefits of diversification.

Maintaining an informative and user-friendly website that offers educational materials, FAQs, and investment calculators to help customers make informed decisions.

Regularly communicating with clients through newsletters and market updates, providing insights and educational content on current market trends and investment opportunities.

Engaging with customers through social media channels to share educational content, answer queries, and encourage discussions on investment-related topics.

Industry Trends:

Mutual Fund industry has seen a surge in investor participation especially from the youth in the recent years. Factors such as favorable market conditions, strong performance of mutual funds, broad range of investment options and the availability of online investment platforms have contributed to the growth of AUM. Some of the key trends that are expected to shape the industry in 2023

The India Mutual Fund Industry Market is predicted to develop at a CAGR of 22.5% until 2028 (1)

Inflows into Indian equity mutual funds jumped 31% sequentially to 205.34 billion rupees ($2.51 billion) in March 2023, the highest in 12 months (2)

Contributions to systematic investment plans (SIPs) rose over 4% to a record 142.76 billion rupees from 136.86 billion rupees. Over 700,000 new SIP accounts were opened in March (3)

Numerous governments, regulatory bodies, and other authorities are expected to strengthen and develop their current mutual fund industries. Additionally, regulatory bodies keep looking for ways to work with e-wallets, e-commerce distribution, and other comparable platforms to increase the reach of mutual funds

Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) funds are becoming increasingly popular among Indian investors. As more and more investors are becoming conscious of the impact of their investments on the environment and society, mutual fund companies are now offering more ESG fund options to attract these investors.

With the growing popularity of ETFs, mutual fund companies are now offering more options to attract these investors. More than 160 ETFs are on the offer currently.

(1) https://www.marketwatch.com/press-release/india-mutual-fund-industry-market-analysis-of-share-trends-growth-factors-developments-product-innovation-and-forecast-till-2031-2023-02-24?mod=search_headline (2) https://www.reuters.com/markets/asia/india-equity-mutual-fund-in_lows-rise-1-year-high-march-industry-data-2023-04-13/ (3) https://www.reuters.com/markets/asia/india-equity-mutual-fund-in_lows-rise-1-year-high-march-industry-data-2023-04-13/

2. NBFC SERVICES:

Our main focus and driver of growth in the upcoming years have been the NBFC business. We firmly believe that the potential in this sector is immense, and we are highly confident in our ability to achieve substantial growth in this area. The business experienced significant growth in FY23, marking a year of progress for us in this domain.

During the financial year, we achieved significant milestones in our NBFC business. We successfully pivoted into retail lending by launching our Choice Money app, catering to the borrowing needs of MSMEs in a smooth, timely, and affordable manner. Our retail lending products focused on MSME Business Loans, Commercial Vehicle Loans, and Supply Chain Finance. Our primary target market was MSMEs located in Tier-3 and below geographies.

This year we ended with a total loan book of Rs. 2,356 Mn and a retail loan book of Rs. 1,105 Mn. We started digital lending for retail during the second quarter of this year with a focus on Tier 3-5 cities, which received a very encouraging initial response. Our retail Loan book reached Rs 22.3 Mn within the first 15 days of launch.

We have built a strong team and an easy to use application – ‘Choice Money to facilitate our transformation from institutional lending to retail lending. Choice Money has successfully picked up with more and more disbursements through the app. With the use of technology and our proprietary credit underwriting system, we show the initial loan offer to the customer within seconds on our mobile app and are committed to disburse the loan within 24 hours of detailed and physical verification. We are backed by the lenders like State Bank of India, NabSamruddhi Finance Limited (A subsidiary of NABARD) and AU Small Finance Bank. We are rated at BBB with stable outlook by India Ratings Private Limited (a Fitch group company).

Currently, there is a huge credit Gap in MSME Lending and a significant portion of MSME loans are processed by informal sectors. Our goal is to regularize and convert them to the formal sector of lending through our digital Journey, by giving loans to only those businesses which are registered under the Udhyam (MSME) portal of the central government

Key services:
MSME Flexi Credit for Micro Enterprises
Loan against Securities
MSME Supply Chain Finance
Vehicle Finance - MSMEs Commercial Vehicle
Loan against Properties
Supply Chain Finance

1. Loan Disbursements: We prioritized serving MSMEs and classified our loan book as a priority sector lending (PSL) book. Our monthly disbursement rate peaked at Rs. 30 Crores. We anticipate doubling our disbursement rate in the upcoming year, aiming for significant growth.

2. Geographical Expansion: To strengthen our presence and provide personalized services, we expanded our physical footprint. We opened 27 branches strategically located in Rajasthan, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Delhi NCR, and Maharashtra. These branches serve as dedicated points for customer origination and servicing.

3. Technological Advancements: Embracing digital technologies and enhancing operational efficiency have been central to our business strategy. We implemented a robust loan management system, mobile application, and advanced data analytics to improve customer experiences and streamline processes. Compliance with data privacy and cybersecurity regulations is a top priority to safeguard customer information and prevent data breaches in the digital era.

4. Profitability: We focused on growing our loan book profitably. This year marked our expansion phase, during which we built an experienced leadership team and state of the art tech platform. We maintained a Net Interest Margin (NIM) at 7.51% during the year and plan to further expand it in the future.

5. Asset Quality: We developed a healthy portfolio, with 0.04% Gross Non-Performing Assets as of March 31, 2023. Our robust underwriting mechanism assesses customers and their business operations collectively. We implemented internal scorecards, leveraging technology and alternative data, to expedite credit assessment.

6. Diversification of Products and Services: From the start, we diversified our product offerings to mitigate risks associated with specific sectors. Our focus on Business Loans, Commercial Vehicle Loans, and Supply Chain Finance ensures a balanced portfolio. Moreover, we plan to launch Solar Finance in the coming year, further expanding into a growing sector with low delinquency levels.

7. Risk Management: We have implemented controls at various levels of credit assessment and loan disbursement to mitigate associated risks. We have implemented Business Continuity Management practices along with establishment of Disaster Recovery site. We also prioritize regulatory compliance and have established a strong governance framework. Our policies, procedures, and internal controls ensure adherence to regulatory requirements. We consistently submit various returns to regulatory authorities, including Asset Liability Management reports, financial statements, risk assessments, and compliance reports.

Overall, our achievements in retail lending, geographic expansion, profitability, asset quality, product diversification, regulatory compliance, and technological advancements have strengthened our NBFC business and positioned us for continued growth in the future.

INDUSTRY TREND

NBFC Sector

CRISIL recently reported that riding on macroeconomic tailwinds, NBFCs are expected to see their AUM grow 11-12%, a four-year high to Rs 13 lakh crore by the end of this fiscal (1)

Microfinance loans in India increased 21.3% YoY at Rs. 3.5 trillion in FY23, backed by revised regulatory norms and higher demand (2)

Asset quality profile improved with loans due in more than 90 days dipping to 1.06% in March from 2.43% a year ago, according to industry group Sa-Dhan (2)

New regulatory norms have created a level-playing field and it is reflected in the growth of the portfolio of non-banking finance companies and NBFC (Non-Banking Financial Companies) working as micro finance institutions (NBFC-MFIs) (2)

The NBFC MFI group posted 37% YoY growth in portfolio at Rs. 1.39 trillion. Small finance banks posted a 19.03% growth at Rs. 58,431 crore of lending book. The NBFC group recorded 49% YoY growth at Rs. 29,664 crore at the end of March 2023. Banks recorded 3.22% growth in portfolio at Rs. 1.2 trillion (2)

The microfinance industrys number of loan accounts increased 10% YoY to 13.6 million in FY23, from 12.39 million in FY22. Lender wise figures show NBFCs registered the highest y-o-y growth (23%), followed by NBFC-MFIs (15%), banks (6%), and SFBs (5%) respectively, Sa-dhan said (2)

In 2023, NBFCs will play a larger role in supporting the socioeconomic construct of the Indian economy. The opportunity for credit penetration still remains very high in India (2)

(1) https://www.entrepreneur.com/en-in/leadership/indian- nbfcs-set-to-keep-rising-in-2023/442602
(2) https://www.ibef.org/news/microfinance-loans-grow-21- 3-yoy-to-us-42-36-billion-rs-3-5-trillion-in-fy23-says-report

Growth Opportunity: MSME

Lending Sector

The Indian MSME lending sector is expected to witness several major growth trends in 2023

The Ministry of MSME stated The Indian MSME sector is expected to become more formalized in the next 25 years that would open the gates to formal and affordable credit to registered MSMEs

MSMEs are widening their domain across sectors of the economy, producing a diverse range of products and services to meet the consumer demands of domestic as well as global markets. Hence, increased domestic consumption is expected to shape the growth strategy for the MSME sector in India

COVID-19 pandemic facilitated a significant shift in the MSME ecosystem from the traditional approach to the digital medium. In 2023, this momentum will continue, with many businesses projected to adopt the digital model amidst the Governments Digital India mission. Digital lending in India is expected to become a $1.3 Tn market by 2030

The ‘Udyam or ‘MSME Registration Portal, which crossed 1.31 crore MSMEs registered by 3rd January 2023, gets almost 20,000 new registrations daily

The credit supply to the MSME sector in India is expected to increase in 2023 https://kinaracapital.com/5-key-trends-and-developments-that-msmes-cannot-ignore-in-2023/

3. ADVISORY SERVICES:

Business Update

We are delighted to inform you that are Advisory business is growing steadily. Overall the Advisory Services segment reported a total Revenue of Rs. 1,264 Mn as compared to Rs. 686 Mn in FY22, a staggering growth of more than 80% on a YoY basis. The Advisory business can be bifurcated into Management Consulting & Investment Banking and Government & Infrastructure Consultancy.

A) Management Consulting & Investment Banking

Management Consulting and Investment Banking services are offered to institutional and corporate clients through our subsidiary M/s. Choice Capital Advisors Private Limited ("Choice Capital Advisors"). It is a SEBI registered category-I merchant banker, offering services such as IPO advisory, valuations, corporate finance etc.

It includes business advisory, transaction advisory, taxation, business restructuring, and overseas business set-up with Customized solutions to support various business requirements.

Services offered -

We offer a wide array of services. Services offered by us can be classified into four broad categories -

Merchant Banking
Investment Banking
AIF services
Business Valuations
Merchant Banking:
Initial Public Offering (IPO)
Qualified Institutional Placement (QIP)
Rights Issue
Follow on Issue
Buy Backs
Takeovers
Institutional Trading Platform
Pre-IPO placement
Investment Banking:
Fund raising – Series A onwards
Transaction Advisory
Capital/ Company Restructuring
AIF Services
Due Diligence certificates for the amendments made to PPM
Formation of a new scheme
Formation of a new AIF
Business Valuations
ESOP
Fairness Opinion
Business valuations
Valuation of Shares

FY23 Performance Update

FY23 was an excellent year for this vertical. We closed 2 rights issue and 1 open offer. We kick started new business vertical

- Private Equity and strengthened our valuation vertical and advisory services. Last year we have worked with clients like Cred and Credit Vidya under the umbrella of valuation vertical, advised Continental Coffee on their subsidiaries and business operations. We had successfully filed 1 DRHP for main board IPO with an issue size of ~ Rs. 300 Cr and have 1 SME IPO in pipeline for FY24

We had provided consulting services to firms like Gland Pharma and ION exchange, which showcased our depth in understanding their business and our advice was highly appreciated by the clients as we have always had a client-first approach.

FY24 looks very promising to us with respect to IPO and other merchant banking activities. We have already onboarded 2 clients for rights issue and we shall be through with the listing of the issue for which we had filed the DRHP and that shall be a big milestone in the journey of our firm as that would be the first IPO filed by Choice group as BRLM.

Industry Trends:

The M&A market in India crossed USD 160 Bn in 2022 led by the growth in strategic M&A deals that grew 126% by value attributed to strong domestic demand and healthy corporates cashflows as well as low interest rates in H1 2022 providing a suitable environment for companies pursuing inorganic growth opportunities

Indias M&A activity is expected to remain strong in 2023, even as there are global headwinds from rising interest rates and elevated inflation levels leading to increased margin pressures for companies. Strategic M&A in India is expected to remain resilient backed by continued strong domestic demand and healthy balance sheets while PE activity may rebound backed by better valuations resulting in higher deployments, particularly beyond H2 2023 (1)

(1) https://www2.deloitte.com/in/en/pages/finance/articles/ India-MnA-Trends-2023.html

In FY23, USD 7.17 Bn was raised across 40 initial public offerings (IPOs). The number of companies listed on the NSE increased from 135 in 1995 to 2,113 by FY23 (till December 2022) Indias PE/VC investments were at USD 77 billion in 2021, which was 62% higher than 2020 (2)

Bain & Companys ‘India Private Equity Report 2023 indicates that Indian PE-VC investments surpassed USD 60 billion for a third time, as India demonstrated some resilience in the face of global headwinds (3)

(2) https://www.ibef.org/industry/_inancial-services-india#:~:text=As%20of%20January%202023%2C%20 AUM,(US%24%2018.09%20billion)

(3) https://www.bain.com/insights/india-private-equity-report-2023/

B) Government & Infrastructure Consultancy

The Government Consultancy & Infrastructure Consultancy is catered to our Institutional Clients including the consultancy to "Statutory Authorities" through our subsidiary M/s. Choice Consultancy Services Private Limited (CCSPL). The order book stood at Rs. 3.80 Bn in FY23 as compared to Rs. 2.75 Bn in FY22. These projects are majorly catering to Water Management projects under the Jal Jeevan Mission of the Government. 70% of these projects are catering to the state of Maharashtra. This segment has a huge potential for growth as we are one of the trusted partners of the Government to execute projects on the ground level seamlessly.

Under this segment, we provide feasibility assessment and detailed project report for water management, road & highway, affordable housing and waste management. Also provide project management and monitoring services.

Expert advisory services to government on various social initiatives Association with over 500 Urban Local Bodies, 25 State Departments and 10,000+ Panchayati Raj institutions.

Industry Trends

Under Budget 2023-24, capital investment outlay for infrastructure is being increased by 33% to Rs. 10 lakh crore, which would be 3.3% of GDP and almost three times the outlay in 2019-20. This is a significant increase in the governments investment in infrastructure, which is expected to enhance the countrys infrastructure to reach its 2025 economic growth target of USD 5 trillion (1)

The government has launched the National Infrastructure Pipeline (NIP) combined with other initiatives such as ‘Make in India and the production-linked incentives (PLI) scheme to augment the growth of infrastructure sector. Historically, more than 80% of the countrys infrastructure spending has gone toward funding for transportation, electricity, and water& irrigation The Indian Railways expects to complete total revenue of Rs. 2,35,000 crore by the end of fiscal year 2022-23. The overall revenue of Indian Railways at the end of August22 was Rs. 95,486.58 crore, showing an increase of Rs. 26,271.29 crore (38%) over the corresponding period of last year

The overall infrastructure capex is estimated to grow at a CAGR of 11.4% over FY21-26 driven by spending on water supply, transport and urban infrastructure. Investment in infrastructure contributed around 5% of the GDP in the 10th five year plan as against 9% in the 11th five year plan. Further, USD 1 trillion investment in infrastructure was proposed by the Indias planning commission during the 12th five year plan, with 40% of the funds coming from the private sector

The Government has decided to continue the 50-year interest free loan to state governments for one more year to spur investment in infrastructure and to incentivize them for complementary policy actions, with a significantly enhanced outlay of Rs 1.3 lakh crore

The Awas Yojana budget estimate for 2023-24 constitutes an allocation of Rs. 25,103 crore to Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana-Urban and Rs. 54,487 crore to Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana-Gramin.

(1) https://www.ey.com/en_in/alerts-hub/2023/02/budget-2023-infrastructure-sector (2) https://www.ibef.org/industry/infrastructure-sector-india#:~: text=*%20Under%20Budget%202023%2D24%2C,the%2 outlay%20in%202019%2D20.

Internal Control System and Policy

The Companys Internal Control System encompasses the Policies and procedures that ensures protection of the Company assets, ensure reliable financial reporting, correct disclosures and compliance with all required rules and regulations applicable in the entire eco system in which Company is operating. It is into the Companys culture to execute the best practices when it comes towards Social, Environmental and Governance. The Internal Control System is designed to facilitate effective risk management system of the Company. The various committees of the Board, including the Audit Committee, periodically review the observations and recommendations of the internal auditors to further improve the systems and processes. The Company also has a strong internal audit framework as approved by the Audit Committee which ensures effective and efficient functioning of the various business operations of the Company. The Company conducts internal audits at proper and consistent intervals to ensure prevention and detection of errors and frauds, accuracy and completeness of accounting transactions thus enabling timely preparation of reliable financial information. The Statutory Auditors of the Company analyse the Internal Audit Report while conducting audit functions to ensure that no transactions clash with the Companys interests or statutory requirements. Further, the Audit Committee also evaluates the Internal Audit Report and the quarterly Compliance Report that are presented to the Committee and ensures that any issues raised in these reports are addressed in a timely and structured way by Management. Throughout the year, the Company reviewed and documented the adequacy and operational effectiveness of internal controls. Nonetheless, the organization realizes that every internal control framework, no matter how well built, has inherent limitations, and as a result, regular audits and review processes ensure that such systems are strengthened on an ongoing basis. The Audit Committee examines an Action Taken Report (ATR), which details the issues that need to be addressed and the steps taken to address them. The internal control mechanisms and environment are appropriate for the size and volume of the firm, with proper role and responsibility segregation and redundancy. When the management comes across any internal control weaknesses, non-compliance with statutes or area of improvement, it invites suggestions for improvements in existing practices from the Internal Auditors. The Company has adopted policies and procedures covering all financial, operating and compliance functions. These controls have been designed to provide a reasonable assurance over:

Timely preparation of reliable financial information;
Accuracy and completeness of the accounting records; and
Compliance with applicable laws and regulations;
Safeguarding of assets from unauthorised use or losses;
Prevention and detection of frauds and errors;
Effectiveness and efficiency of operations.

Human Resources

We are pleased to present an overview of our Human Resources initiatives and accomplishments in this years Annual Report. At Choice, we recognize that our employees are our most valuable asset, and fostering a positive and inclusive work environment remains at the core of our business strategy.

Talent Acquisition and Development: Throughout the year, we continued to focus on attracting top talent and nurturing a diverse workforce. Our recruitment efforts have been targeted and strategic, ensuring we bring in individuals who not only possess the necessary skills but also align with our companys values and culture.

Employee Engagement and Satisfaction: Employee engagement is vital to our success, and we have invested in various programs and initiatives to boost morale and foster a sense of belonging. Regular feedback sessions, employee surveys, and open-door policies have allowed us to listen to our employees concerns, suggestions, and ideas. By understanding their needs, we strive to create a workplace where everyone feels valued, motivated, and engaged.

Training and Skill Development: In line with our commitment to nurturing talent, we have continued to prioritize training and skill development opportunities for our employees. Through workshops, seminars, online courses, and mentoring programs, we have empowered our workforce to enhance their professional capabilities and stay up-to-date with industry trends. By investing in their growth, we aim to improve overall productivity and innovation within the organization.

Retention and Recognition: Recognizing the contributions of our employees is essential for maintaining a motivated and dedicated team. We have implemented various recognition programs to celebrate individual and team achievements. This includes spot bonuses, employee of the month awards, and public acknowledgments for outstanding work. Our efforts to show appreciation have helped bolster employee loyalty.

In conclusion, our Human Resources team remains committed to supporting our employees and driving the companys success. By nurturing a diverse, engaged, and skilled workforce, we are confident in our ability to tackle future challenges and seize opportunities for growth. We extend our gratitude to all employees for their dedication and hard work, as well as to our stakeholders for their continued support in our journey.

Risk Management

Risk management entails regulating anticipated future occurrences that could have a negative influence on corporate operations and functioning. It is about taking a proactive rather than a reactive strategy. Risk management forms a vital part in the Companys businesses and the Company is cognizant of the prominent role it plays in its long-term success. Companies are often exposed to various kinds of risks which include market risk, credit risk, liquidity risk, operational risk, fraud risk and cyber risk and thus the Board has constituted the Risk Management Committee of the Board to put in place a Risk Management Policy which acts as a framework to identify, assess, monitor and mitigate various risks associated with the business.

The Company has applied an all-inclusive risk management framework to identify, understand and manage risks associated with the business. This risk management framework helps in conducting business in a well-controlled environment and works as a mechanism to identify, assess, monitor and mitigate various risks associated with the business. With this as the backdrop, Company has in place a Risk Management Committee that has approved Risk Management Framework which helps to periodically assess the expected and unexpected events, under which it is imperative to make effective strategies for exploiting opportunities. Accordingly, the Company has identified key risks and developed plans for managing the same. The Risk Management Committee also reviews various processes in the business and takes required corrective decisions to protect the value for its stakeholders. The details of the Committee and its terms of reference are set out in the Corporate Governance Report forming part of this Report. The Board of Directors has adopted a ‘Risk Management Policy which integrates various elements of risk management. The risk management policy is a comprehensive manual that establishes the framework in assessing risk in a structured and well-defined manner. The reports of the internal auditors is reviewed and discussed by the Audit Committee of the respective operating companies including the review by your Companys Board. The Company clearly defines and covers Company-wide qualitative and quantitative statements on aggregate risk level and types of risks being monitored at the entity level. It is further cascaded through individual/ group limits to different business lines across various parameters, including products, sectors, geographies and, counter-parties. The Risk Management Committee and the Board of the Company are continuously monitoring these limits.

1. Regulatory Risk:

Regulatory risk is the risk of a change in regulations and law that might affect an industry or a business. Such changes in regulations can make significant changes in the framework of an industry, changes in cost-structure, etc. The Company is prone to regulatory risk which includes potential financial loss due to changes in government regulations or enforcement actions that might adversely affect as it affects not only the Company but the entire industry. It can also result from the failure to comply with existing regulations or to adapt to new regulations and on account of inadequate observance of regulatory requirements or differences in interpretation of regulations vis- -vis the regulators.

Risk mitigation: The Company has a team of proficient professionals who manage the compliance with applicable laws, rules, regulations, and guidelines affecting our business by keeping themselves updated with the changes and amendments on regular intervals. The Compliance Team is backed by strongly supported Corporate Functions team that helps to quickly put into the action any change in regulation. All the new guidelines, circulars, notifications are complied with in a timely manner. The Board ensures formulation of all the applicable policies as well as its implementation. Internal audit is also conducted to identify risks early so that the businesses can take proactive steps to mitigate potential legal and regulatory issues.

2. Operational Risk:

Operational risk is defined as the uncertainties that an organisation is expected to face during its day to day business operations in a particular sector or industry. Operational risks might result in the breakdown of an organizations internal operations, failure to obtain proper internal authorizations, improperly documented transactions, failure of operational and information security procedures, computer systems, software or equipments fraud, in adequate training and employee errors. Unlike external factors, such as economic or political events which are also referred to as systematic risks, operational risk is entirely internal. Our businesses are dependent on people and processes. Although the risks are not expected to result in the breakdown of the business, the level of risk is dependent on the decisions made by the internal management of the organisation.

Risk mitigation: The Companys effective and pre-emptive Operational Risk Framework is overseen by the Companys key management team which consists of professionals of high level of commitment and the team is well versed in the key issues relevant to the holding company structure. The team examines operational risks and incidents in a way to ensure robust continuance of processes and systems. Well defined policies, operational processes and systems have been devised for our operations that are checked on a periodical basis. Regular audit are done by internal auditors to monitor the adherence of policies and processes. Maker/ Checker mechanism has been put in place to ensure compliance with laid down systems and procedures in all areas of functioning of the Company.

3. Financial Risk:

The Company is exposed to the following risks arising from financial instruments:

i. Credit risk; ii. Liquidity risk; and iii. Market risk (including interest rate risk)

i. Credit Risk - Credit risk is the probability of a financial loss resulting from a borrowers failure to repay a loan. Essentially, credit risk refers to the risk that a lender may not receive the owed principal and interest, which results in an interruption of cash flows and increased costs for collection for the Company. Lenders can mitigate credit risk by analyzing factors about a borrowers creditworthiness, such as their current debt load and income. It means a risk when a counter party will default on its contractual obligations resulting in financial loss to the Company. Credit risk arises primarily from financial assets such as trade receivables, investments, other balances with banks, loans and other receivables.

Risk mitigation: A Policy has also been adopted by the Company for dealing with counter parties that have sufficiently high credit rating. The Companys exposure and credit ratings of its counter parties are continuously monitored. The Company is able to arrive at decision by considering multiple variables and increase use of credit rating scorecards of the opposite parties. All these initiatives enable the Company to reduce credit costs, improve efficiency, maintain consistency, and, more importantly allow Company to build scale cost effectively. Your Company also has an effective review mechanism in place, which includes the credit risk arising from trade receivables and those are reviewed periodically. The Company has taken several steps to build a new-age credit portfolio management framework, stringent adherence to the prudent risk norms and diligently following the institutionalised processes have led to improved asset quality and thus, Management is confident of recovering all the dues.

Credit Risk reduces automatically when the transation of the company are conducted with those counter parties like Bank and recognised financial institutions with high credit rating assigned by the credit rating agencies.

Trade Receivables: Expected credit losses (ECLs) is used for measuring the loss allowance, however ECL does not include financial assets on which there has been no significant increase in credit risk since initial recognition. At each reporting date, the Company assesses whether financial assets carried at amortised cost is credit impaired. A financial asset is credit- impaired when one or more events that have a detrimental impact on the estimated future cash flows of the financial asset have occurred since initial recognition. It may not be possible to identify a single discrete event - instead, the combined effect of several events may have caused financial assets to become credit-impaired. If a financial asset is deemed to be impaired, then this will impact on its carrying amount and future cash flows. A simplified approach has been considered for measuring expected credit losses (ECLs) of trade receivables at an amount equal to lifetime ECLs. The ECLs on trade receivables are calculated based on actual historic credit loss experience over the preceding three to five years on the total balance of trade receivables. For the purpose of computation of ECL, the term default implies an event where amount due towards margin requirement and / or mark to market losses for which the client was unable to provide funds / collaterals to bridge the short fall, the same is termed as margin call triggered. Based on the Industry practices and business environment in which the entity operates, Management considers unsecured receivables as default if the payment is overdue for more than 90 days for direct customer. In some cases the management is very confident of its recovery in near future, impairment loss would not be provided for such cases based on the approval of business head for each reporting period. Probability of default (PD) on these receivables is considered at 100% and treated as credit impaired.

ii. Liquidity Risk: Liquidity risk is a financial risk that for a certain period of time a given financial asset, security or commodity cannot be traded quickly enough in the market without impacting the market price. Liquidity risk is the risk that the entity will encounter difficulty in meeting the obligations associated with its financial liabilities that are settled by delivering cash or another financial asset.

Risk mitigation: The Company protects itself against liquidity risk with the help of its prudent approach. The organizations approach to managing liquidity is to ensure, as far as possible, that it will have sufficient liquidity to meet its liabilities as and when they are due, under both normal and stressed conditions, without incurring undesirable losses or risking damage to the entitys reputation. The Company mitigates liquidity risk by managing sufficient cash and marketable securities and availability of funds through adequate committed credit facilities to meet obligations when due and to close out market positions. The Company has a view of maintaining liquidity with minimal risks while not affecting the investments planned by the Company. The Company monitors its cash and bank balances periodically in view of its short-term obligations associated with its financial liabilities. The Company invests its surplus funds in short term liquid assets in bank deposits and liquid mutual funds.

iii. Market Risk / Price Risk: Market risk is the risk arising from the adverse movements in market price for various securities, which may impact value of portfolio of investments in securities. It arises from movements in stock prices, interest rates, exchange rates, and commodity prices.

Risk mitigation: The Company has a well organized team that guarantess that the Portfolios and collaterals / securities are continuously monitored. These cautious and judicious liquidity risk management measures and practices clearly reflected the robustness of your Companys asset liability management.

Interest rate risk: Interest rate risk is the potential risk that arises from investment losses that can be triggered by a move upward in the prevailing rates for new debt instruments. The Company is exposed to Interest risk if the fair value or future cash flows of its financial instruments will fluctuate because of changes in market interest rates. Fair value interest rate risk is the risk of changes in fair values of fixed interest-bearing investments because of fluctuations in the interest rates. The Companys interest rate risk arises from interest bearing deposits with bank and loans given to customers. Such instruments expose the Company to fair value interest rate risk. Management believes that the interest rate risks attached to this financial asset are not significant due to the nature of this financial asset.

4) Product risk:

Product risk refers to the risks arising out of the products a company offers to its customer in the market.

Risk mitigation: The group offers its customers a well-diversified product range in line with customers need and market conditions which includes brokerage, mutual fund distribution, portfolio and NBFC management to its customers. This diversification and product range helps the Company reduce risks arising out of products.

5) Business Continuity Risk:

Business continuity risk refers to threats or risks that disrupt the functioning of a business. These threats maybe any untoward and troublesome incidents or disasters that negatively impact an organization which includes incidents like fire, natural calamity, cyber-attacks, data breaches, breakdowns of infrastructure etc. The Company is exposed to risk of loss data, clients or business that can adversely affect our financial results.

Risk mitigation: The Company has up-to date policies on Preservation of documents and records the internal checks are kept at regular intervals.

Cautionary Statement

Statements in this Management Discussion and Analysis Report describing the Companys objective, projections, estimates and expectations may be "forward looking Statements" within the meaning of applicable laws & regulations. Actual results might differ substantially or materially from those express or implied.

On behalf of the Board of Directors

Sd/- Sd/- Sd/-
Kamal Poddar Arun Poddar Ajay Kejriwal
(Managing Director) (Director & CEO) (Director)
DIN No.: 01518700 DIN No: 02819581 DIN No: 03051841

Mumbai: July 17, 2023