Moneycontrol: A Pioneer in Digital Financial Services

Gautam Shelar | Business Head | Moneycontrol
Gautam Shelar | Business Head | Moneycontrol

In an exclusive interview with Insights Success, Gautam Shelar, Business Head of Moneycontrol gave some insightful answers highlighting the influences made by the company to take the finance industry to the next level. 
IS: From setting up a business from scratch to scaling up to large businesses like Times Group in the past and now as the Business Head for Moneycontrol – looking back, how do you define this journey?
Gautam: It feels marvelous to have been at the cusp of the digital revolution, the journey has been transformational and disruptive. I have had the advantage of witnessing and contributing to India’s growth chart of digitalization.  Having spent close to more than a decade in the media industry has been highly rewarding albeit challenging experience. During my stint with Times, my main focus was on leading innovations and building a robust team and support system that propels the growth of the brand in the perennially changing digital environment.
With moneycontrol, my role has expanded and accumulates the gamut of my experience in the digital media industry. At present, as India is going through a digital renaissance within a highly competitive market. It becomes imperative to be at the top of the game and constantly innovate our offerings basis the evolving dynamics of the industry. At the same time ensuring moneycontrol remains the leader of its segment by formulating strategies that blend creativity with innovative advancements. We have always strived to lead the game with an experimental approach, creating multiple touch points for our readers that constantly redefines the formats in delivering information and news. For instance, moneycontrol is one of the only Indian financial and business multi-platform publication that extends to creative albeit reader friendly web-comics, podcasts, and premium applications. 
IS: What was your source of motivation? Or, who is your role model or the person that inspires you? Have your family played a significant role in scripting your success voyage?
Gautam: All we need to do is persistently improve on ourselves by looking around us to find something that inspires us. I meet a lot of people every day, all from different industries and backgrounds, each one of them inspiring me in their own way. This whole experience has been nothing short of heartwarming and has truly brought a host of things into perspective.
Having said that, the biggest inspiration in my life is my mother. All my life, since the beginning she has being my icon. She is the driver in my life as she herself is an entrepreneur and I have seen her revel in the good times and not lose heart in the struggles. As they say, if family is your first school, then mother is your first teacher. She taught me that hard times can be overcome with sheer determination and will and enable you to emerge as victorious. I know how strong-minded she is and that has always inspired me to push myself to do more and more things in my life. She has thought me to get out of my comfort zone and do go for that extra mile.
IS: A decade of experience in digital media, how do you determine the key areas of a business that needs to be strategized?
Gautam: Determining the key focus pillars of any organization is of utmost importance. It is the foundation of the cores and beliefs on which a brand functions and operates. Designing a growth strategy involves envisioning deliberate long-term plans that is beneficial and leverages all the available resources to its optimum.  In my experience, these are the pillars that have aided me in developing a robust growth strategy for businesses –
Brand Ethos and Value – Molding an expansive chart of your brand’s ethos and the values that it will hold is the foremost thing in the growth chapter of any company. It is the North Star of any business that directions the rest of the operations and services of the business
Key Indicators – Identifying key indicators that affect the growth of the businesses, and constantly are innovating the services and offerings as per the changing requirements of the consumer
Talented workforce – A talented and skilled workforce is the key to lead a business towards growth. They are the propellers who take forward the brand ethos and values.
IS: Kindly introduce ouTr readers with the exquisite products and services offered along with talking about your role as a Business Head at MoneyControl.
Gautam: Internet has become the universal source of information for millions of people, at home, at school, and at work. Internet has changed the dissemination and consumption of information. People have access to real-time updates just by a click on their palms. Smartphone penetration aided by Jio’s acceleration in providing cheap data has revolutionized the bridge between people and digital. Leveraging the shift and transformation moneycontrol has constantly extended into multiple platforms and has further augmented its multimedia positioning through various innovative and value-added offerings to advocate financial literacy amongst its audience.
Ensuring that the consumer, be it a seasoned trader, investor or a newbie, receives everything at their fingertips, the moneycontrol website, app and podcast work in tandem towards the common goal of informing and educating the audience in matters of all-things-finance. With moneycontrol’s audience comprising of digital-first and conscious users, the platform aimed to deliver information through varied mediums (website, app, podcast) featuring information in distinct formats. Moneycontrol’s multi-platform presence serves it to be the one-stop-destination bringing all business news and trends for audience that is constantly on-the-move.
With moneycontrol realizing the demand for premium and personalised services, the platform rolled out Moneycontrol Pro and the Moneycontrol Podcasts. As the perfect product for loyal users who heavily consume market-related information and news, Moneycontrol Pro brings daily investment recommendations, curated markets data, exclusive trading recommendations, independent equity analysis, actionable investment ideas and practical insights from market gurus. On the other hand, the podcast property provided a means to an end by engaging with an audience that had been so far left untapped. The audio podcasts sheds light on the various aspects pertaining to investments, personal finance, market trends, etc.
The digital offerings by moneycontrol are the perfect amalgamation of in-house expertise and capabilities for breakthrough journalism and storytelling that provide high-quality content in captivating formats.
Along with this, I am also responsible for introducing new products and services, In addition to strategizing and processing plans for moneycontrol, that help generate advertising revenue. With the race to be the first in the information age being of paramount importance, the consumer can be rest assured that via moneycontrol they receive the latest news and reports that is backed with research, analysis and industry perspective.
IS: Digital platforms have far more outreach as compared to traditional business models. How has the financial sector embraced technology to create multiple channels to serve their audience better?
Gautam: Since 2014, a slew of policy measures like Digital India, Skill India, Make in India, Startup India, has thrust the nation towards an unprecedented digital revolution. In addition, with Reliance Jio’s enabled smartphone penetration and affordable data prices have aided digitization to grow from strength to strength and has gradually overtaken the traditional outreach of various business operations. Rapid advancements in technology has made digital an integral part of our everyday lives. It has altered the content consumption pattern of the consumers. The gradual shift from traditional to digital has not been restricted to one segment but all the industries. The growth of tech-driven initiatives has enhanced customer experience, thereby improving efficiency and reduced costs.
Subsequently, the finance sector has undergone meteoric advancements in the digital domain. People track stocks and all the latest trends on their screens instantly. Leading the way, moneycontrol is one of the only finance and business news destinations that also provide a mutual fund investment platform – Money Control Transact. It provides ease in handling end-to-end digital transactions with personalized recommendations for mutual funds based on multiple parameters. Extending itself to a multi digital platform; moneycontrol leverages it to reach out to a wider audience with readily available and informed knowledge on any company along with quick and real time access to the trends of the industry.
IS: Moneycontrol Pro –This exclusive application was launched on March 2019. Kindly take us through initial idea or concept that led to the development of this app along with the distinctive features that makes it your USP over others.
Gautam: Moneycontrol works towards a vital goal of providing insights along with informing and educating their audience with the latest trends in the finance and business industry. It has brought together the user and the experts all under one roof to ensure that the consumer, be it a seasoned trader, investor or a newbie, receives everything at their fingertips on one destination. By identifying the rising demand for premium and personalized content, we released an ad-free moneycontrol Pro app to give our audience more personalized and customized presentation of the financial news and allowing them to keep track of the latest events around the globe. The exclusive content is backed with credible and authentic insight backed with extensive research and expert analysis. With content that goes beyond the mainstream our readers get to make an informed investment.
Our services allows them to monitor and update their watchlists and portfolio’s related to Stocks, Mutual Funds, ULIPs, Bullion, commodities, futures and currencies to monitor. With our readers having a real-time watch over the price and volume of stocks, the app has also stolen a march over its competitors by providing an enhanced charting tool to assist the investor. This strategic idea leads to immense knowledge sharing in the trading and investing sector, resulting in the consumer making a much-more informed investing decision.
IS: How do you depict the growth trajectory of Moneycontrol for the coming years?
Gautam: The long-term aim for moneycontrol was to build a platform that caters to all the demands and requirements of the reader related to the finance and business industry. The backbone of the growth has been to provide accurate information and research-based analysis to our audience and become the go-to platform for all their financial decisions. For instance, one of our offerings based on Mutual Funds is the ‘Moneycontrol Transact’ that enables the users to understand and undertake all the Mutual Fund activities comprising of making investments, viewing recommendations and analyzing markets/investments on-the-go. The app is highly personalized and enjoys a value-added feature that recommends suitable mutual funds to users based on the multiple parameters.
The Network18’s association with Reliance Jio lends aid in thrusting the platform on an incremental and radical innovation path. The future lies in deeper penetration of smartphones across the length and breadth of the country. We have forever striven to innovate and improve, while staying true to the quality and authenticity of the content. With a staunch objective of retaining our leadership position we have kept the consumer at the core and ensure that they make well informed investing decisions. By constantly innovating to cater to the evolving needs of the reader, we aspire to build trust in the minds of our audience. Moneycontrol, as the leader in the market sector, always looks out to give the consumer a fresh perspective, format and platform to access information, and we shall continue to churn out a host of services in the near future that they can be proud to use.

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