Rachana Ranade: The Money Guru

The Fintuber on her journey as an influencer entrepreneur

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Rachna Ranade always wanted to be a teacher right from the time she was a child. She remembers filling her school scrapbook stating she wants to be a teacher, "My mom was a teacher, both of my grandparents were teachers. So maybe I can say it runs in my blood," reminisces Ranade. In spite of clearing CA in the very first attempt, when all of her friends would start working with MNCs and the biggest of firms, she decided to teach. She started teaching CA students, and then eventually started teaching, MBA students. From 2009 to 2018, almost 10 years, she taught them. And in 2019, she also started doing a lot of corporate training as well including the likes of SEBI. "Because I myself have been investing in the stock market since 2006, I thought, why not do something, else rather than teaching MBA? So that was a time when I started thinking, and thought, why not teach about the stock market?" states Ranade. During one of the classes a few students came to her and said, "why don't you take a separate course for us, we would love to enroll for that. So that actually clicked my mind. And then I thought, why not make a course based on my learnings on basics of the stock market." She aggregated her concepts and the very first lecture, which was one and half hours, she uploaded on YouTube. To her utter surprise, the really long video without any editing was doing really well on YouTube. She further put in the internal groups of all the colleges she was teaching in, which further added to her advantage. Those students further forwarded it to many of their friends.

That was a time when many students gave her feedback that she inspired even the non-finance background students, as they could understand every single bit of that lecture. With the snowball effect, the lecture got almost 25,000 views. That's how the journey started on YouTube. To this Ranade says, "I was a teacher. I am a teacher. It's just that I was teaching in four walls of a classroom. Now the walls have disappeared. It's YouTube as a platform, which has helped me to cross those boundaries." After the initial response, she got the confidence. When she taught students, she found that there is a gap missing between theory and practical life. When she taught corporates, they had experience about practical, but when it comes to investing in the stock market, they were a bit skeptical. She found financial literacy missing and thought if she were to fill that gap, then she needs to simplify concepts. That's where the audience resonated with her.

After February 2019, the first time she uploaded the video, the frequency of her videos was very less, maybe two or three in a month. But by the end of 2019, she had already reached two lakh subscribers. That's when she started getting that confidence if she makes this a first priority, then maybe something can click. She took the decision at the end of 2019 and said no to all the colleges she was teaching in. On the daring step she took, Ranade says, "It's just that I wanted to try something new in my life. And if I want to try, I want to give my hundred percent. Jan 2020 she started her journey as a full-time, YouTuber and in March 2020 the nation was under lockdown. The moment of setback came in as a big advantage for her as that was a time when people were at home, they had time to consume content over the internet. And she started doing live streams twice a day and got a real boost for her channel. The professional teacher and full-time YouTuber of Personal Finance never do scripting of my videos. "I just write down the main points that I have to talk about. I have bullet pointers in front of me. I just speak to the camera." Most of her videos are without any cuts, that's where her experience as a teacher comes in handy. Even today, she believes that content is king and most of her videos don't have much editing.

Rachna Ranade
C.A. Rachna Ranade

The Fintuber recently invested in the Fintech platform Wint Wealth. Talking about what she looks for in a startup, Ranade says, "I do at least three-four calls with the founders of the startup. I believe in that, connecting with the founder. It's not just about exchanging emails and investing in them. I try to figure out how the founder is. Is he passionate about his product or not? Second is the product viable or not product profitability profitable, but how do I see it in the coming three, four years, five years? Is there a potential in the product to become profitable or not?" Apart from brand deals and earning through YouTube monetizing the channel, she provides membership-based content and runs courses through her website. She believes that women are very good savers, but are not good investors. Inspired by her son, her dream project is doing something around finance for kids. As per her, 40% of her fund still gets invested in the stock market.

(This article was first published in the March 2022 issue of Entrepreneur Magazine. To subscribe, click here)