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Equity culture spreads among women in South

R.S. Rangarajan


WOMEN INVOLVED in discussions

Madurai , Dec. 21

Ms Seethalakshmi, a housewife, took to trading in shares and mutual funds in April 2004. Today at 54, she is a happy and satisfied person as she is successful in her initiative. Her employed son, who opposed her entry initially, is happy to entrust to her part of his salary to continue her tryst with destiny, she told Business Line here recently.

A B.Sc graduate, 31-year old Ms Gayathri, a housewife, is in the business for the last four years. She and her company of friends in Srimathi Ladies Association in the Naicker New Street in the town, discuss among themselves the tips they get from the broking firms and take decisions. They also follow the comments by technical analysts in the CNBC TV programmes.

"The regular TV serials these days during the hour do not attract us as much," she said and told Business Line that "eight times out of 10 we chose to apply for in the initial public offering, we succeeded".

Trading in shares is not any more a male bastion. Every one is aware of the change taking place in the metros. What is revealing is the increasing participation by women even in non-metros too, such as Madurai and other towns in south such as Dindugul where Ms Selvi Raman, at 47, is in the trading activity for the last three years in the company of her friends in the Ladies Club there.

She told Business Line over phone that "even a loss could be sustained and turned profitable overtime by a right calculation".

A phenomenal change in the conservative south, especially in the last couple of years, says the Branch Head, Karvy Consultants Ltd, Madurai, Mr S. Kumaravel.

Three out of every 10 transactions in the city now could be traced to women who either visit the office or conduct business over phone, he said.

His associates at Theni and Karaikudi, respectively, Mr K. Rajeshkumar and Mr RM. Ramanathan, vouch that there has been a 30-per cent increase in their participation compared to earlier years. "Five years before, there were hardly 10 operators in the city; but now, there are more than 100 terminals and more branches of broking firms are getting spread in these parts which partially explain the growing confidence over the market and its stability to sustain the interest," adds Mr Kumaravel.

Technological upgradation of activities coupled with transparent operations fortified by the regulatory mechanism in the market in the last few years is distinctly responsible for the change. The demat system has made the operations much easier and trustworthy.

TV Channels and print media have not only made flow of information quicker but also provided a learning experience for a good many to pick the threads of the trade confidently, says Mr G. Balakrishnan, President, Madurai Investors Association.

The 55-year old Ms Valli Annamalai, who is in the trade for over two decades, opines that the present scenario is a good opportunity for housewives to engage their time beneficially as this provides a sense of satisfaction and a sense of pride in contributing to the family.

Counting on experience, she adds that `delivery-based approach is the best option to stick to'.

Explaining the strategy in trading, Ms Radha Ramanathan, housewife, expressed a preference for equities over mutual funds, with a reasonable long-term approach in operations as they fetched good returns.

Ms J. Sudha, a post-graduate and a housewife, emphasised that both risk-taking and safety should be equally provided for.

Given her family background, she said, she indulged in intra-day trading too to a certain level. Her foray into futures and options segment has initially failed; but, "I am determined to succeed," she said.

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