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“Interview with Mr. Jaideep Bhattacharya, CMO UTI”

India is set to become the fastest growing major economy in the world by 2012 and will be third largest by GDP-size in the next two decades, behind China and the USA, mentioned in a global study by British banking giant.

business Updated: Jan 25, 2012 11:36 IST

1. What prompted the launch of the UTI Swatantra Yatra 2011?
India is set to become the fastest growing, major economy in the world by 2012 and will be the third largest in terms of GDP-size in the next two decades, behind China and the USA, as mentioned in a global study by British banking giant.
The world is currently growing through the third super cycle -- a period of sustained, high economic growth driven by a particular country -- which will go till 2030, and India and China are expected to be the biggest beneficiaries from the current cycle.
However, while we take pride in living this fact, it should be noted that 70% of the Indian population is from the rural/semi urban community and there is a big “Knowledge Gap” in financial literacy amongst these people who represent “Bharat” to leverage the financial opportunities arising out of this. Our journey last year was welcomed by the investors and common people. Encouraged by the response, we decided to launch Swatantra II.

2. What are the objectives of phase II of the Swatantra Yatra? What is the route to be covered and in how many days? Is there adequate emphasis on the rural masses?
To reach the rural masses the promoters and UTI officials travelling along with the caravan will communicate in the local languages and the body of literature is available in 13 languages, namely, English, Hindi, Marathi, Tamil, Telugu, Guajarati, Marathi, Malayalam, Kannada ,Oriya, Assamese, Punjabi and Urdu
Major focus this year is on financial education in schools and other educational institutes to seed the habit of saving and investment at an early age for a bright future. Strategic partnership has been worked out with NISM to develop literature to educate the school children about the importance of saving.
This platform will also be used for making the youth aware of the immense potential for lifelong limitless earning along with advertising the career opportunities that exist as financial advisors.
The focus this year is on SME clusters and the need to educate the workforce, namely, the leather workers of Agra, the bangle workers of Firozabad, the handicraft workers of Kumbakonam and the tea workers of Assam to name a few.
Diverse sets of audiences will be covered in industrial townships, such as the workforce from the sports goods and hosiery manufacturing sectors at Ludhiana, the tannery workers at Kanpur, the textile and diamond workers at Surat, the auto industry workforce at Pune, Chennai and Gurgaon, the textile workforce at Tirupur, the IT workforce at Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Bangalore and Pune, the BHEL and Telco workforce, the students of engineering and management institutes and schools etc.

3. What is the significance of the flower petal pattern in the route charted by the knowledge caravans leaving from the four metro cities?
* The caravans will start the journey from four places - Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, and Chennai and follow a petal pattern.
* Investor education meets will be conducted in 510 cities.
* 7 union territories.
* 99 Mega camp cities and 417 BDA towns.
* 204 Haats and 69 Industrial townships.
* Will be covering a total linear distance of 47,350 km for a deep and intensive coverage than ever before.

4. What are the aspects of financial planning to be covered by this UTI MF through this Yatra?
We have scheduled investor meets at various locations. These meets will provide an opportunity to the audience to understand the importance of financial planning. This is done through a presentation in the local language and a subsequent interaction between the audience and our officials and promoters where they get introduced to the different tools of investment like mutual funds, and listen to experts from the industry including, the Financial Advisors as well as have their doubts cleared by talking to them. Participation in these meets for anyone is free of cost. However, to ensure that the interested investors in the category benefit more, invitations will be sent out to those who register to benefit from these meets. Also, to make the camps far more inclusive and easy, the regional language of the area will be used to educate the people and visual aids will be used to communicate the message. As takeaways, reading material on mutual funds prepared by AMFI will be distributed as a means to elucidate the concepts in simple language.

5. What kind of media and literature are being explored to attract investors?
* Paper-based need analyzers and planners
* Systematic Investment Plan (SIP) calculators
* Retirement planning calculators
* Micro pension booklets
* Financial health booklets
* Investors guide
* An introduction to mutual fund booklet
* Multimedia tools
* AV’s in English, Hindi and vernacular languages

6. What separates UTI MF from others in the current market?
Our pan India presence through our 150 UFC and 460 business development associates makes us the largest entity in this segment in India. We also have the largest customer base of more than one crore customers and this makes us stand apart in Indian MF industry.

7. There is a lot of information available on the Net and through the relevant institutions. How is this Yatra expected to do anything different for investor education?
The knowledge caravans have been branded thus to attract attention and create a buzz wherever it moves. The route the vans take are so designed to include mandis, haats and other places in the hinterlands of India, which see high footfalls on particular days of the week. The caravans will be used to spread the benefits of investing through mutual funds as well as introduce the concept of participating in the capital market for economic growth. A mixture of Audio Visual tools, Street plays, Financial calculators, Paper-based need analysers and planners and other collaterals will be used to simplify the concept of mutual funds. Each van has a team of promoters and they are guided by a Relationship Manager, who is an employee of UTI MF.

First Published: Oct 29, 2011 15:38 IST