Angel Broking is a Mumbai-based Indian stockbroker company. It was established in 1996 by Dinesh D.Thakkar. The firm offers a range of financial services, equity, and currency trading. The company has been rebranded now to Angel One. It has grown in terms of revenue after the digital transition. StartupTalky has taken an initiative to know about how digital transformation has helped Angel One to grow up to this.
Here is an excerpt of an Interview with Mr. Prabhakar Tiwari, Chief Growth Officer, Angel One
From Angel Broking to Angel One - How easy or tough was this rebranding and what goes behind the scene? In the first place, why did you go for this rebranding?
Rebranding is a huge exercise for any company. Being a legacy brand, we had to be extra careful with our efforts to rebrand ourselves. Angel Broking was established as a traditional broking house and it functioned the same way for about two decades. However, the Fintech wave disrupted the broking segment. The introduction of tech-based trading and investment tools made us change our business model as well. From 2015 onwards, we worked hard on developing digital solutions. By 2019, we were onboarding our clients digitally. But there was one problem. We were still perceived as a traditional broking company. Thus, to change this perception and reposition ourselves as a Fintech company, we rebranded from Angel Broking to Angel One in 2021. As part of this campaign, we also ensured that our clients know that even as a new-age platform, we bring with us the same unflinching dedication and commitment that was the hallmark of Angel Broking. In all our messaging in the media and social media, we communicated that even as Angel One, we will remain our clients’ trusted partner and are out there setting a new stage for the tech-savvy Millennials and GenZ aspiring to venture into the financial marketplace through electronic networks, without leaving the comfort of their desk or while on the move. The rebranding campaign included media addresses, social media activities like company employees adding One to their LinkedIn profile, articles and interviews.
Could you please share a few recent achievements of the company?
Angel One has added several milestones in its long journey of over decades. Until 2015, the company was proud of its network of 180 branches but by 2019, it completely transformed into a digital-first platform offering end-to-end digital investment solutions. Angel One showcased a phenomenal performance by expanding its client base to 10 million recently, thus more than doubling its client base since March‘21. This new milestone for the company is a testimony of the confidence the management demonstrated with its decision of evolving from a physical to a digital player in the retail broking industry. As of April 2022, Angel One’s market share in NSE Active client Base expanded to 10.2%, while its share in India’s Demat accounts expanded to 10.5% in April 2022. This robust growth in client base led to Angel One expanding its market share in overall retail equity turnover market share to 21.3% in April 2022 from 16.0% in FY21. I am happy to share that Angel is the largest listed broking house in India.
Trust is a major factor for all financial apps, what are a few ways you keep that maintained?
Trust is paramount for all financial apps. We take many steps to maintain it:
- Periodic vulnerability assessment of our applications and infrastructure
- Critical data access is restricted and only need to know basis
- Data encryption at rest and in motion.
- Data auditing
- Tech team follows various securing practices such as Open Web Application Security Project
How is a typical day in your life?
I start my day early with a walk and a meditation session. The next thing I do is read for at least half an hour to complete my day’s reading goal. Before starting my work, I take a look at my to-do list which I prepare at the beginning of the week. My workday starts with team reviews, taking account of the issues. Since these are structured reviews, they are already marked on my calendar in advance. Rest of the day goes into reviewing numbers and other listed tasks. After work, you will find me spending time with family. I also go for an evening walk and end the day with early dinner, so that I can sleep on time.
What are a few KPIs you track every day?
At the professional level, I track hourly and daily sales numbers. I look at the conversion rates for performance marketing, DIY and STP percentages, and cost & activation metrics of key channels. At a personal level, I keep track of the number of steps, I have walked in a day, and meaningful interactions & learning opportunities.
Finding ICP is something that few startups crack? How do you go about finding ICPs and targeting them?
It is a very interesting proposition we have. If we look at our key customer focus which is GenZ and millennials from tier 2, tier 3 and beyond, that’s a very defined customer segment for us. We also look at customer personas. We have three key customer personas – novice, investor and trader. In the journey across the functions, be it marketing, revenue or sales, we look at these key personas. We are into a mass retail business where we are adding nearly half a million customers on monthly basis. So, we use it for conversion rate optimization and activation percentage.
How to successfully run a referral campaign?
A referral campaign is all about satisfied customers, inviting friends and family to download the app and join the platform. It could be with both incentives and without incentives. If we focus sharply on net promoter scores, and key customer journeys, we can give them seamless opportunities for referrals.
Tell us one growth hack tip which worked like wonder?
The digital transformation has worked wonders for Angel One’s year-on-year growth. We understood that GenZ and millennials want everything at the touch of a button, so we started building solutions that fulfilled their financial needs and provided a seamless experience through our state-of-the-art products. The underlying tip here is to understand the client's needs. They are the ultimate answer for the company’s growth.
How does Angel One use technology for growth?
Digital offerings across industries are becoming more sophisticated and consumers want seamless, customized and engaging interactions with the brands. We use an integrated marketing technology stack to enable a personalized engagement with people and build meaningful relationships, which lead to the company's growth. Like we are leveraging social media platforms to reach our audiences.
We are using various analytics tools that help us to optimize our marketing investments, with consistent audience targeting and lower cost of acquisition. This coupled with our several award-winning marketing campaigns like Aage Badne ka Smart Sauda, #ShagunKeShares, rebranding, BudgetKaMatlab, etc. are expanding our bandwidth. All these initiatives were based on data-driven marketing.
Taking into account the language challenges for users, we also promote content in vernacular languages. We are leveraging the use of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning to provide our clients with a better experience. One of the key challenges has been to attract the new clan of young investors while making sure we do not alienate the existing users of the company.
Our stellar performance over the years is the outcome of leveraging these advanced technologies. They continue to define our innovation journey. We are using better dormancy prediction models. The seamless integration of AI and ML is enabling a personalized investment experience. Like the deployment of AI through the data with temporal signals gives out personalised recommendations and journeys. We have developed a new machine learning-based forecasting model to improve top-of-the-funnel quality. We also built a new propensity model to improve client activation.
How is Angel One a tech-first culture organization?
We have always believed in focusing on advanced technologies to provide a superior experience to our customers. For this, we have imbibed a tech-first culture at Angel One so as to drive change in a continuously evolving world. Recently, we concluded our Bug Bash event where more than 1000 company employees from marketing, sales, product, tech, etc., participated to find bugs in our upcoming Super App codenamed Angel Spark. Such activity is rewarding for both the company, employees and users who get improved products and services. This has been the first ever bug bash at Angel One, something that most of the big tech giants (mostly American) like Google and Microsoft do. Indian companies haven't done this so far except for us.
We are also increasing the number of women workforce in the tech department. We are hiring female Software Development Engineers to promote diversity and inclusion and strengthen our tech team.
We have recently set up a tech collaboration space in Bengaluru, which will play an important role in how our products and technology shape our future and the future of millions of our customers. Our tech collaboration space is not an office, because it's devoid of every hierarchical arrangement that traditional offices are made of. This place is for ideas, innovations and most importantly, failures. Some of the finest developers, data experts and product managers are making this place their workshop and experiment with great ideas to create a product that will make for the finest fintech platform for India.
Few tools you can’t live without?
I use my smartphone to plan my day. I look at customized dashboard that is prepared by the analytics team and Google Analytics360, Appsflyer reports on an ongoing basis.
What are your upcoming plans for Angel One?
We are coming up with a Super App, which will offer a variety of financial services ranging from investing to purchasing various third-party products on a single platform. The app will further simplify finance for our clients. Currently, the app is in the beta testing phase. It will be launched in Q1 FY23. Our aim is to provide the best-in-class user experience to our clients. From the development viewpoint, the teams are ensuring that the Super App covers all key areas - Reliability, Scalability, Predictability & Personalisation. We aim to strengthen our relationship with our clients during their wealth creation journey. Taking a step forward to offer our clients with superior products for building wealth, we have applied for a license for setting up our Asset Management Company. Through this, we plan to disrupt this industry by offering passive investment and smart beta products to our clients.
How do you keep yourself updated with what's going on in the marketing/business world?
I am a voracious reader and more than leisure reading, I end up spending time catching up on marketing, sales, technology updates, current affairs and news from around the world. Apart from this, I also believe in networking and keeping in touch with my peers and colleagues from my sector and others. It is an important and helpful way of understanding what is going on in the industry. I am a part of marketing and business groups and that's how I try to stay relevant and up to date with happenings in the marketing/business world.
If you have one piece of advice to give an entrepreneur, what would it be?
I always advise young entrepreneurs to understand the market before developing any product and service. Market research is the key differentiating factor between a successful and unsuccessful business.