How India's First Financial Education Company is Helping People Achieve their Money Goals
Financial literacy in India is not very good, especially among women
Financial inclusion in the country is poor but financial literacy is poorer. For example, an individual can open a bank account via Pradhan Mantri Jan-Dhan Yojana and be part of the formal banking system. However, the same person may or may not understand key financial products like insurance, wealth management, etc.
For a matter of fact, in India, many people consider insurance as an expense rather than an investment. Additionally, individuals even consider equity linked saving scheme (ELSS) as a tax saving instrument instead of an investment product. This outlook is what Mrin Agarwal is looking to change.
After spending over two decades as a financial advisor for the large financial corporation and financial coach for a multi-family office, the women entrepreneur realized the financial literacy in the country is not very good, especially among women.
This inspired Agarwal to start Finsafe to educate people and help them achieve their financial goals.
One of Its Kind
Finsafe claims to India’s first financial education company. It operates in the impact segment and yet is a profitable company. The startup partners with corporates on annual basis and run their financial wellness agenda.
Talking about Finsafe, Agarwal says, “Financial wellness agenda is at a very nascent stage in India. Most corporates are still focusing on physical and mental health but really not on the financial health which has an impact on the former subjects.”
According to her, there are very few corporates who want to do it in a structured way and pay for it. So, there is a long long way to go.
“As we got it into, there is a huge gap that exists level for financial literacy among the educated. So, the idea was to create programs for people so they can manage their money better.”
For the Women
Somewhere in the journey, she also felt that women typically are not aware of money managing options.
Among the educated population, Agarwal thinks less than 10 per cent of women would be managing their money and the change will come only through self-motivation.
“Most of my clients were only men and I would never see the spouses involved,” she says while adding that, “With more out of passion, I started financial education platform for women - called Womantra.”
The shepreneur believes that women can have an impact on so many individuals who are her support system as she can inspire others in her own journey to be financially independent.
“In other words, financially independent women can have a positive influence on others to take money management up. Take an example of children often mimic their parent's behaviour, which also includes your saving and spending habits. If they see their mother doing this an early age, they will be inspired to manage their finances well,” she noted.
Just before saying goodbye to us, we asked Agarwal to share a few tips that could help one manage their money better. She says:
Knowledge is Power: You could have a very good advisor and everything else but unless you read yourself, you cannot be financially independent.
Get Dirty: Unless you get your hands dirty, you will never learn the art of investing or realize your goals.
Learn to take Risk: Get out of your comfort zone otherwise you are never going to achieve your financial goals.
I am a Mumbai-based journalist and have worked with media companies like The Dollar Business Magazine, Business Standard, etc.While on the other side, I am an avid reader who is a travel freak and has accepted foodism as my religion.