In a collaborative effort between Quora For Business and 1 Finance, Keval Bhanushali, co-founder and CEO of 1 Finance, provides valuable insights into the current landscape of financial services in a free flowing chat with Neha Chimbulkar of Quora. The interview discusses intent marketing, consumer behavior, the impact of partnerships with Quora, emerging trends, and more.
In this exclusive interview, we dive deep into the world of personal finance with Keval Bhanushali, the visionary leader behind 1 Finance. He shares the inception of 1 Finance, its noble mission, and the innovative strategies that have propelled it to the forefront of the industry.
Below are excerpts from the conversation.
How did 1 Finance come to be? What inspired its creation? Can you give us a little perspective on the necessity of a platform like this?
When India was undergoing a digital revolution and every one was trying to tap into the mass affluent or the MNI segment of India, which was growing rapidly. However I observed that organizations were mostly trying to sell things to people in this segment rather than actually solving for them.
So having built multiple financial organizations, I collaborated with Jeet Marwadi, a second generation entrepreneur of the Marwadi family, who overlooked the group business, which predominantly revolved around financial services, education and renewable energy. From the very beginning both of us were very clear that we don’t want to build an organization just for valuations. We wanted to build a purpose led, value driven organization. So rather than how 1 Finance came to be, I would say that 1 Finance just had to be, it was just time.
Could you expand a little bit on the scope of personal finance topics and services that 1 Finance covers?
The current state of the Indian mindset with regard to financial planning revolves around growth in money. Wealth creation is the primary and the only objective. But if we look at the developed economies, we observe that after a certain point in life, once a person has achieved financial independence, they realize that just wealth creation alone doesn’t really give them anything because the goal of financial planning or personal finance is not to be rich at a 80 year old with 100 other ailments when you can do nothing about your money.
This is where financial well being comes in, both Jeet and I understood that we must crack the code on a way to achieve peace with money, whether it is having too much money or a certain segment of money. That is what 1 Finance is, it is not about wealth creation but more about financial inclusion, education and well being.
In the field of personal finance, trust is paramount. Since 1 Finance is the new byproduct of an erstwhile entity, how did you at 1 Finance go about establishing this credibility and ensuring that there’s dependability on the information that your team provides to its stakeholders?
From the very beginning we were absolutely clear that transparency is the door to trust. Trust is one of the most used words in the branding and marketing campaigns in the field of financial services. However, we have not done even a single branding campaign that talks about trust. Because we believe that if you have to ask for trust, you technically are sure that you don’t deserve that.
We decided that the only thing that we can do is be open and transparent, and leave the rest up to our customers, who will decide whether to trust us or not. And that’s where we are right now. We are the fastest growing RI in the country. We thought that people would have problems sharing their data, but 99% of our customers are overwhelmingly supportive. They’ve been coming out talking about their financial problems, and their psychological biases with regard to money, and that’s the reason we are able to solve it.
Can you tell us about the vision that underpins the MoneySign® campaign?
The MoneySign® is the only patented psychology framework for financial personality assessment in the entire world right now. We have received a patent from India and have filed for the same in the US and UK as well.
With regards to vision for this, there was only one thing which was very important, transparency. Beyond that we also focused on the underlying emotion of honesty. These were the elements we wanted in every campaign, every creative and every platform that we deal with.
So when we were selecting platforms for our campaigns, we found that Quora was the right fit for us, given that our target audience is pretty niche and Quora had the technical capabilities to segregate them. Moreover, the ethical approach of Quora was something that really resonated with us.
Could you tell us how Quora Video Ads align with your objective of being a reputable source of financial guidance?
Video ads were something new and interesting for us, we had great response there because the target segment was very precise. This allowed us to dive deep, whether in terms of geographical targeting or utilizing the various filters at our disposal. So I’m really glad we used this feature and continue to use it.
What would be one advice that you would like to give to aspiring marketers?
Don’t get lost in irrelevant data. Instead, focus on understanding your users. Identify the platforms that align with your goals, and double down or even triple down on the best ones. It has consistently yielded excellent results for us across all the businesses we’ve built. Avoid the common mistake of spreading yourself too thin across numerous platforms in a limited capacity.