Aditya Agarwal did Bachelor of Technology (B.Tech.) in Chemical Engineering from Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay. Over the years, Aditya has accumulated vast experience in telecom, BFSI, knowledge services, and FMCG sector by working for companies like Monitor Group, Escape Velocity, and more.
After realizing that majority of people were struggling to invest their monthly surplus and had cash lying idle in their bank account, Aditya, along with Prashant, conceptualized Wealthy.in, which is an online investment service that makes it super easy for everyone to invest like a professional.
Please provide a brief overview of your product/ service.
Wealthy is an online investment service that makes it super easy for everyone to invest like a pro. We are in the business of making people Wealthy by helping them take smart investment decisions with as little as Rs 2,000. We have also made it super easy to invest and our unique paperless process has made investing an Amazon-like experience.
Wealthy right now offers 10 different investment planning strategies that can serve different needs of different kinds of people. We have combined our financial expertise along with smart technology that ensures that your money is invested correctly at all times.
What inspired you to build the above product/ service?
Before Wealthy, I was running a real-estate investment platform and was also a part of a few angel investing groups. I realized that majority of my friends were struggling to invest their monthly surplus and had cash lying idle in their bank account. The problem was prevalent across different age and income groups in my social circle. My parents were also reliant on my brother-in-law for advice on their savings and investments. Everyone around me needed assistance in their investments. While the need was clear, how do we go about fulfilling the need at scale in a profitable manner was less clear.
Prashant had worked with Morgan Stanley for 7 years and had built investment products for the bank’s wealth management business. Eureka moment was his suggestion that why don’t we automate the investment advisory and continuous portfolio management and make that available to retail clients in India. He had seen this being used by Banks across the world for their wealthy clients.
Once we tested the feasibility of automating advisory the path to realizing the dream became clearer. Completely paperless KYC and onboarding were another breakthrough for us that has helped us set up an Internet-only financial services firm in a short period of time.
What is your life mantra?
Live a life so that you have no regrets.
What was the most challenging part of your journey till now?
After locking in on the core service that Wealthy will offer, the next big task was to find the right team to build product and company. Old networks and startup-focused platforms like Angel.co were of great help in finding the right team for us. As a financial services provider, we also needed to comply with a lot of regulatory requirements especially when it comes to onboarding the customers. Here, Prashant and my prior experience in dealing with regulators and lawyers helped us sail through. Our angel investors were also of great help especially in connecting us to the senior leadership of large mutual fund companies. Because of those connections, we were able to launch with our unique paperless and instant KYC process in less than 4 months.
Share some details about the investments that you have been able to fetch for the business till now.
Angel investors. We are lucky to have some of the most helpful angel investors, people like Zishaan Hayath, Abhishek Goya, Rohan and Arjun Malhotra of Investopad and some senior bankers.
How do you protect yourself from the problem of Brain Drain?
We are lucky to not have faced that problem. In fact we are beneficiaries of reverse brain-drain. My co-founder and the financial genius behind Wealthy’s algorithms quit his job at Morgan Stanley and moved back from London to come and start Wealthy.
According to you, what are the three qualities an individual must have to achieve success?
When I was young my grandfather would often say that Knowledge, Hard-work, and Destiny are the three pillars of success. Loosely translated, in economic parlance, Destiny translates to timing. Even if you have everything, if the timing is not right, then you might not succeed like you imagined.
Which online tools/ services/ apps do you use the most and would like to recommend as well?
To stay in touch with friends and family, I use WhatsApp. For emails, I use Inbox by Google. To make notes or save useful documents, I use Evernote. For my investments, I will use Wealthy once our mobile app is ready.
Share any one habit which you think makes you more productive.
Switching off the Internet on my phone.
Answer in less than 50 words
I don’t consider myself as successful but every successful person I know is madly in love what he / she is doing. Falling in love with what you do is the only tip I know of.
- One mistake you believe every individual must avoid:
Start investing early in life. I thought that I will be an entrepreneur and will make millions one-day so what’s the point of small savings. I made two mistakes there, a) under-estimated the effort / time it takes to get to millions and b) under-estimated the power of compounding. No matter who you are, you should be investing some amount every month, however, little that might be.
- One most important lesson that you have learnt till now:
It always takes longer than you think it would take.
What are your plans for next 3 years?
We want to build Wealthy as a service that can help put our users onto a financial path that gives them confidence about their future. If someone is a spender then our service will first help him become a saver before transitioning him to a smart investor. And if someone is a saver then our service will help him / her become a smart investor.
Our next offering is a step in that direction where we would be able to help an average saver invest his money smartly without needing to pour over financial data.
If you get a chance to start your career again what would you do differently this time?
I have had a great career. But in my first 15 months of my career, I sulked a lot about where I was working. I sulked about the quality of work, people, and environment. I wish I hadn’t done that. I lost out on a lot of fun and learning by sulking during those first 15 months of my career. If I got a chance to start again then I would start at exactly the same place I started but with a lot less sulking.
What are your top three getaway destinations?
Goa for the end of year. Muktehswar for Monsoon. Udaipur / Bikaner to just put your feet up and chill at home. However, I haven’t had the chance to go to Mukteshwar in a long time now.
Share a quote that inspires you the most.
There are a couple of them. First one by William F. Sharpe “There is no reason in expecting reward for just taking a risk” and second by JRD Tata “No success or achievement in material terms is worthwhile unless it serves the needs or interests of the country and its people and is achieved by fair and honest means.”