Gaurav & Manish ShahFounders of BigDecisions Published On: Tuesday, October 25, 2016 Views 2677


"The greater danger for most of us lies not in setting our aim too high and falling short; but in setting our aim too low, and achieving our mark."

In India, most people take financial decisions based on emotions, not Math. Gaurav & Manish Shah wanted to change that mindset, for which they created BigDecisions, an in-depth financial calculator that enable people to take more informed financial decisions.

Part of their technology startup also include creating textual & visual content to engage people , so that they can learn more about  life and health insurance, retirement planning, children’s education and buying or renting real estate, and other subjects related to financial planning.

In their quest to change the mindset regarding financial planning, they also want to make individuals independent with the help of their DIY financial calculator. And in next 3 years, they want BigDecisions to be India’s biggest online platform for smart financial decision making.

Please provide a brief overview of your product/ service.

  1. DIY calculators – They are perhaps the most in-depth financial calculators available in India which help you plan your money and financial journey
  2. Content – We do a mix of written + visual + video content which has been read by over 10 million Indians in the past year

What inspired you to build the above product/ service?

  1. After spending close to two decades in the financial services industry, I know that the average Indian consumer takes financial decisions on emotional basis, not math. There is an increasing desire among Indians to be informed about financial services.
  2. The world is shifting towards DIY investing and we have built tools which enable DIY investing decisions and primarily help in taking financial decisions.

What is your life mantra?

Get ahead while doing good. Chase what matters!

What was the most challenging part of your journey till now?

The DIY culture of financial planning does not exist in India. Hence, overcoming this mindset is a continuous day to day challenge that we grapple with. This affects our design, technology and content efforts.

Share some details about the investments that you have been able to fetch for the business till now.

In December 2014, News Corp one of the largest media conglomerates bought BigDecisions. We are now a News Corp company.

According to you, what are the three qualities an individual must have to achieve success?

I think courage, persistence and a sense of purpose behind what you’re doing.

Which online tools/ services/ apps do you use the most and would like to recommend as well?

I’m a big fan of Google analytics because it’s a true reflection of how a web business is doing. I’m also a big fan of LinkedIn Pulse. I’ve found by thoughts resonating with a large audience (I’ve been quite surprised to have reached 80,000 followers since I started actively writing for the medium 6 months or so, ago).

Share any one habit which you think makes you more productive.

Avoiding social media through the first half of the day. I think overusing these platforms is a huge time and energy drain.

Share any one habit which you wish to change in yourself.

I’m constantly worrying about the future. I wish I could live more in the moment.

Answer in less than 50 words

One tip to success:

There’s no silver bullet. I guess playing to your strengths and staying at it would come closest.

One mistake you believe every individual must avoid:

Do what you believe in rather than what’s cool. For example, starting up is often over glamorized. If you’re not comfortable with the uncertainty, there’s no point forcing yourself to like it.

One most important lesson that you have learnt till now:

Check your pre-conceived notions at the door. Test your beliefs and hypotheses with real users.

What are your plans for next 3 years?

Scale BigDecisions to make the country’s biggest and best money platform.

If you get a chance to start your career again what would you do differently this time?

I’d stick to pursuing my first love, Cricket!

What are your top three getaway destinations?

Goa is an all-time favorite. Barcelona and Vienna are 2 cities that I love. Ladakh is on my bucket list though and I believe it will make it to the top of my list.

Share a quote that inspires you the most.

“The greater danger for most of us lies not in setting our aim too high and falling short; but in setting our aim too low, and achieving our mark.” – Michelangelo

Inspiring Entrepreneurs

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