“In the consumer internet product space, everything is replicable, but what really makes you distinct from your competitors is the thinking, orientation, and value system that you bring in. And that’s true for us,” says Subramanya S V, co-founder and CEO of wisdom. Wisdom is a nine-month-old wealth management app that helps people manage their money. The startup’s website says, ‘wisdom takes the guesswork out of sound, long-term investing. Breaking down this thought further, Sabu, as he is commonly known in industry circles, says, “wisdom’s vision is to be a complete online wealth manager, making investments accessible, easier and quick for anyone willing to invest.”
Wisdom – an idea that turned a venture capitalist, an investment management expert, and an investment banker into entrepreneurs
A former venture capitalist at Bessemer Venture Partners, Subaru wanted to move on to life on the other side of the table – as an entrepreneur. During that time, Ramganesh Iyer (Rams), his classmate at IIM Ahmedabad and an investment management expert, visited Subaru’s home. They started discussing ideas, and that’s when Ram suggested starting an online marketplace for financial products distribution. Rams had nearly a decade of experience in management consulting at Bain and the Boston Consulting Group and had been involved in research and advice on over Rs 250 crore of client assets.
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A month and a few discussions later, the idea was beginning to gain clarity. Subaru says, “We realized that it was best that we started with one product that could deliver a great experience to customers rather than trying to offer too many things right in the beginning. We decided we could start with the problem of how to help people save and invest their money.”
He says, “We observed that a lot of people let money lie idle in their savings accounts, running at three percent interest post-tax. They don’t invest in high-yielding assets, particularly the capital markets. This was primarily because investing, for many, is difficult and complex.”
Sharing how the third co-founder, Anand Dalmia, came on onboard, Subaru says, “Anand and I have been friends for a long time. The idea of wisdom got him interested in joining us.” Anand has more than a decade of experience in the investment banking space and has worked for reputed organizations like Macquarie, UBS, and Avendus. Anand joined wisdom from Macquarie Capital, where he led their investment banking business in the technology space in India. Today at wisdom, Ram heads research and content strategy while Anand leads the business development efforts Page Design Hub.
The three co-founders bring distinct yet complementing expertise to wisdom. While Sabu comes from an internet background, Ram is the financial services domain guy, and Anand comes from a sales and business development background. With a laugh, Subaru says, “Even in our personal orientation, we are all very different. While Ram is a deep-thinking guy and Anand is very outgoing, I am somewhere in between.” Wisdom began its journey as a rough idea in early 2015, and after a few months of refining the concept and researching the market, the founders incorporated wisdom in June 2015.
Making investments accessible, understandable, and quick. Sans marketing gimmicks.
Talk to many professionals, especially from non-finance backgrounds. They will tell you that while they want to invest their savings wisely, they find investments tricky, especially when financial advisory comes with loads of jargon. Then, there are hundreds of companies who all promise the same thing – the best deal to help your money grow, irrespective of who you are or what you want. At the end comes the stressful paperwork. After all this, you are never sure about what is really happening with your money. This is where wisdom stands apart.