Quick chat with Acumen founders!
“The beginning and journey of Acumen”– An interesting interview that will let you know how Acumen came into existence. Voice of people behind the scene:
Ayush, could you please share with us Acumen’s journey with respect to- the idea, name, motivation, tipping point and as to what made you feel that this is something you had to get out and do?
Acumen is our second venture. The motivation to do something big in life was when we started “Main Hoo Naa”, a tiffin service business in 2008-09. We started this business with an initial investment of Rs 15,000 along with the help of Ram Kumar (used to cook food for us and stayed with us). We had to stop this business after six months, as we could not find reasonable number of customers.
Abhinav and I were working in the same industry (Wealth & Insurance) and very well knew what exactly our customer problems were. We wanted to stop customers being misguided with wrong selling and provide precise solutions. In March 2009 (during year-end hard drilling activities), over a mug of beer in Taj, Abhinav brought up the idea of wealth management with Gautham (our mentor) and to our surprise he gave a green signal to proceed further. With Gautham’s approval and our intension to educate our customers, ACUMEN came into existence in October 2009.
Started with a very small office space in Bannerghatta road, Bangalore, with just two tables and four chairs to start our operations. Since we did not have monetary back up, we decided that one of us quit the job and the other continues to support the leaving. In August 2009, Abinav quit his decently paid job in PINC investment and I continued in Ageon Religare Life insurance. Acumen was founded in October 2009 and the founder members are Kumar Abhinav & Kumar Ayush. First six months was very tough with late night working to acquire clients. However, I joined Acumen in Feb 2010 and in April 2010, we took a strong decision to shift our office from Bannerghatta road to Mahatma Gandhi road. Our running cost went up by 10 times but was important as we were finding it difficult to acquire clients.
Did you have a mentor/investor?
We were privileged to have Mr. Gautam Sinha as our mentor as we were young and inexperienced (Abhinav with civil engineering background and I was holding MBA degree and 2.5 years’ experience in market). Gautham played a very vital role in our success. He has guided us through out and motivated us to do bigger and better.
What are the various products & services that Acumen provides? [Scope of service, target audience]
The product and services includes- Portfolio Management services, Real Estate etc. Our target audience are all the people who are looking to invest and are serious investors.
What is your business model?
We acquire clients mostly through referrals. However, we do get leads from BIMA DEALS where we pay some amount to get leads on a regular basis. We conduct corporate presentations, from where we get clients.
What are your plans for the immediate future?
Our immediate plans is to capture as many clients as possible and make our presence felt among corporates. We want to explore social media to acquire clients and to create brand awareness.
What are the main challenges you’ve faced so far?
To educate clients regarding good advantages about investments, one has to invest equally, if not, more in financial products vis a vis to GOLD and REAL estate.
What is it that keeps you going – fame/adrenaline rush/money?
Actually, it’s a mix of all. However, our ultimate satisfaction would be to fulfill our client expectations.