Financial Daily from THE HINDU group of publications
Monday, Feb 17, 2003
`Attempts on to win back confidence' Mr Deepak Mungla, Country Sales Manager, Alliance Capital MF
KOLKATA, Feb. 16
IT is both the best of times and the worst of times for Alliance Capital Mutual Fund in India. Having decided to stay put in this country after months of uncertainty the MF is trying to win back what it has given up. And while the fund management team `seeks to achieve' its own targets, Alliance is busy re-building its asset base. Mr Deepak Mungla, Country Sales Manager, has his own story to tell.
Excerpts from an interview:
What is the fund's current focus on the sales front?
We are stepping up our distribution activities in a big way. The idea is to interact with intermediaries of all categories, including banks and institutional distributors. The idea is to tell them that Alliance has decided to stay on course in India and is bent on performing.
The fund has made a special effort to talk to large, national distributors. This is expected to translate into fresh business opportunities for us from quarters that are hardcore believers in mutual funds.
Our strategy has also led us to hold small and focussed meets with clients of select distributors. Here we are restating our positions and taking feedback from these investors.
What sort of response have you received so far?
From what we have seen so far, one can safely comment that Alliance has passed a major test. The institutional investors have already acknowledged our efforts, and positive signals are coming from them.
The retail side should also catch up soon. You will appreciate that it will not be easy for any body to win the confidence of the man on the street. But there will be no end to our attempts.
Are distributors listening?
There is evidence that our asset base has been growing. In fact, our assets under management (AUM) are already higher than our January 31 tally an indication that our channel partners have been generally supportive of our efforts.
Alliance is particularly bullish on the equity market. We are telling investors that they should increase their exposure to this class of assets on a selective basis. Also, they should not worry too much about income funds, which are also expected to bounce back, the latest decline notwithstanding.
Is there a retail approach as well?
Yes, the retail market always plays a critical role... in a way it's the truest measurement of a fund's well being as far as sales are concerned. Frankly, there is no one, sure-fire retail strategy. This market has to be developed over time, and here we will depend largely on the relationships forged by intermediaries.
Going forward, where do you see Alliance's figures?
I do not wish to project numbers, but it's important that we get back to where we were by recovering the ground that we have lost. Remember, purely from the sales point of view, Alliance had been among the leading players in the domestic funds industry, and we would not like to lose that status.
We wish to attract investors from across the board, both wholesale and retail. There will be a range of schemes to choose from, serving all categories of risk-takers.
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