BigDecisions : Now take any Big Financial Decision with this platform

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Taking decisions in life is the most crucial part. We all wish that it would be so easy if we wouldn’t have to take decisions.
And when it comes to financial planning these decisions become the big decisions. We all need to take advice for taking these financial decisions and many of us end up with advice of “Google” or some “Relative GURUs”. Some lucky persons end up at the door of financial advisors (better I should say the financial salesman).

But, now BigDecisions.in has been launched by Findirect Services Pvt. Ltd to help the consumers to take better decisions. The aim of BigDecisions is to be a first stop for a consumer while he is starting to plan his finances.
Before going into the details, let’s see an example of BigDecision, which I tried to take –

I was thinking that “How much should I save for living a good life after retirement”, I entered my details like my salary, my age, my current expenditures etc. and the results shown are something like:

To fund 18 Years of retirement, you will need  78.02 lakh, 37 Years from now. You Will Need to Save 71,779 Every Year or 6,116 per Month for 36 years

 

The best part about BigDecisions is that it is providing personalized results but without any Contact Information. All the information you enter is of “No Contact” type.

What decision tools they have?

Currently they have decision tools to help with the following categories :

  • How much to save for your retirement
  • How much to save for your child’s education
  • Should you Rent or Buy a house
  • How much Life Insurance do you need
  • How much Health Insurance do you need
  • Should you Refinance your home loan

How does it work?

BigDecisions has a unique Mathematical Algorithm in the backend including data inputs that users might not have access to. Each user gets a personalized output according to the values entered.

Who founded it?

BigDecisions has been launched by Manish Shah and Gaurav Roy. Manish worked with Citigroup for 10 years in India and the US in the unsecured lending, wealth management and mortgage businesses. He was a part of the founding team at AEGON Religare Life Insurance where he spent four years setting up the branch network and running the business development function. Manish is an alumnus of IIM Ahmedabad.
And Gaurav’s experience spans management consulting (Arthur Andersen and KPMG), software development (Wipro Infotech), business planning corporate M&A and private equity. He was part of the founding team at Bharti AXA Life Insurance and in business development at AEGON Religare Life Insurance. Gaurav graduated in engineering from IIT Bombay and is also an alumnus of XLRI Jamshedpur.

Techaloo got an opportunity to have a talk with Manish Shah, we are sharing the snapshot of our conversation.

Buyer behavior is very different in India. Even in the online financial space, it’s been more about getting deals and price comparisons rather than first understanding the category followed by assessing how much is required after which price comparison becomes relevant. For e.g. people try and find the best health insurance plans without figuring how much they need in the first place.

The current version of BigDecisions is a result of 3 iterations over 9 months.
“The earlier versions were not good enough e.g., the user interface was not so interactive, we tested it with 1000+ users and we did not see users responding well so we had to change it. To make it more informative and user friendly we are adding videos to the decision tools as well. These videos will tell the consumer about the decision category, why they need the tool, why should they plan for this decision etc. “, Says Manish.

When we asked about the response till now, Manish replied, “We are happy with the response till now, 5000+ users have used the site and the most interesting and exciting part is the time they are spending and the amount of content they’re consuming.

BigDecisions is looking forward to provide their platform to serve the customers of banks, insurers and mutual fund companies. It will help people make smarter financial decisions without endorsing products to be bought.

As they are storing the “Non-Contact” information of users, in future they would like to provide research / insights to the financial services organizations to build the products what people are looking for. They are also interested in using the “Data Analytics” or “Decision Sciences” to serve us better.

BigDecisions have set their priorities to first get a finished product and have a stable core team which can take it to the new heights. Currently they are funded on their own but after getting the finished product with a stable core team they may look for funding.

Manish is a person who is not an entrepreneur by chance. He holds an MBA degree with 15 years experience so we couldn’t stop ourselves to ask few questions about entrepreneurship.

Techaloo : What is the importance of having management degree for an entrepreneur?
Manish :  I think, ” Having a management degree helps you a lot, it teaches you to see a problem in a more structured way. The course ensures you get used to working hard consistently. Apart from that the main benefit I see is the quality of relationships you create while studying.”

Tehcaloo : What is the best time to get into entrepreneurship?
Manish : While there’s no right or wrong time to get started, two stages in life are possibly the most conducive – First, when you’re  fresh out of college / post graduate school and you don’t have too many other responsibilities and second, when you’ve worked for a while so as to leverage your experience and relationships and have also created a somewhat sufficient financial cushion to fulfill your responsibilities.

Techaloo : What will be your advice for wanna be entrepreneurs?
Manish : (Laughs) currently we need the advice. But I can share my learning.

1. You won’t know the feasibility until you start so stop over analyzing and take your offering to market. Read “The Lean start-up”. It’s the best start up book I’ve ever read

2. As obvious as it sounds – be very conservative with spending cash. Avoid overhead like an office until you really need one.

3. Keep taking and implementing user feedback

Techaloo : What do you think about Techaloo?
Manish : Its very cool. While there’s a lot of entrepreneurial activity across the country there aren’t too many platforms working to promote student entrepreneurship. Good Luck with your venture!

So, next time you need some financial planning don’t end up at the door of “Google” or “Financial Salesman”. Use BigDecisions platform to take your big decisions.

Meet the team:

 manish_shah

Manish A. Shah (Co-founder & CEO)

Manish worked with Citigroup for 10 years in India and the US in the unsecured lending, wealth management and mortgage businesses. He was a part of the founding team at AEGON Religare Life Insurance where he spent four years setting up the branch network and running the business development function. Manish is an alumnus of IIM Ahmedabad

 

 gaurav_roy

 

Gaurav Roy (Co-founder & COO)
Gaurav’s experience spans management consulting (Arthur Andersen and KPMG), software development (Wipro Infotech), business planning corporate M&A and private equity. He was part of the founding team at Bharti AXA Life Insurance and in business development at AEGON Religare Life Insurance. Gaurav graduated in engineering from IIT Bombay and is also an alumnus of XLRI Jamshedpur.

 

 

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Mohit Bansal(23) is B.Tech in Electronics and Communication Engineering from Indian School of Mines, Dhanbad, India. He has interest in business and entrepreneurship and has published couple of research articles. He is also associated with various NGOs. He is with Techaloo when it was just in concept stage. The Techaloo site was not existing even then. Currently Mohit is working with Mu Sigma as a Business Analyst Profile.

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