Interview: Manu Awasty, Founder and CEO – Centricity WealthTech

Manu Awasthy

Interview with Manu Awasty, Founder and CEO – Centricity WealthTech

Manu Awasthy is passionate about wealth management and strongly believes that the ultra-rich in India are the most underserved digitally for their money management requirements. He is on a mission to change the status quo.

He has over two decades of leadership experience in top-tier banks and private wealth
management firms across consumer and private banking.

His understanding of the wealth management business has evolved along with the changing trends in the industry. This enables him to identify critical value gaps and find the right solutions to fill them.

Manu has a comprehensive understanding of the Wealth sector in the present financial environment. His key area of competence has been acquiring, cultivating, and progressively developing large Wealth Relationships.

Thanks to his excellent market knowledge, market analysis, and great client portfolio experience, he has the talent for founding and building a firm.

He enjoys providing great services to a select set of UHNIs and top-tier premium investors around
the country.

He constantly provides intelligent, fact-based advice that works, which is well-known
and recognised in the wealth management sector, despite unstable and shifting market conditions.

Along with being a passionate traveler, biker, and fitness fanatic, he also has a healthy personal life
and keeps up a reputable social network.

Tell us a little about yourself

Manu Awasty: I am Manu Awasthy, the CEO and founder of Centricity Wealthtech. I have worked in private banking companies and leading wealth management organisations for more than 20 years and was a senior partner at IIFL Wealth.

I have held sizable portfolios for HNIs, UHNIs, high-end investors, and Single-Family Offices (SFOs), all while playing key positions in the wealth management industry.

I did my post-graduation in management from the Indian Institute of Management’s advanced programme in finance blockchain and fintech (IIM-C).

I concoct to automate wealth management using tech-enabled platforms in order to democratise it. I am passionate about travelling and fitness. I was born and raised in Lucknow, and now my family and I reside in Delhi.

Please tell us a little about your entrepreneurial journey.

Manu Awasty: I am passionate about wealth management and believe that when it comes to digital money management, India’s ultra-rich are the least well-served.

I’m committed to changing the current situation. Along with the shifting trends in the market, my experience in the wealth management sector has developed. I am able to spot important value gaps as a result and come up with workable strategies to close them.

Kindly brief us about Centricity WealthTech, its specialization, and the services that it offers.

Manu Awasty: Centricity was created out of this strong desire to improvise and invent. A comprehensive integrated platform for data aggregation, analytics, portfolio reporting solutions, digital execution, portfolio review, and call to action make up our distinctive offering.

The digital demands of single-family offices (SFOs) and ultra-high net worth individual (UHNWI) households in India are not adequately met.

It is challenging for independent financial professionals (IFAs/MFDs/RIAs/ and financial advisers) to scale their practices, increase their revenues, and provide complete service to their clients. 

With decades of expertise in private wealth management, the founders of Centricity have a thorough understanding of the difficulties faced by wealth managers, their customers, and asset managers.

Thus, it offers a comprehensive stack of digitally enabled wealth management platforms and a variety of investment opportunities, value-added services for independent financial professionals to serve their clients, as well as do-it-Yourself (DIY) options for Single-Family Offices (SFOs), like multi-asset reporting and Order Management Systems (OMS).

What is your experience in Wealth Management?

Manu Awasty: Initially, as professionals in the private wealth management business, we as founders experienced several difficulties, including a lack of digitalization in customer experience and procedures including onboarding, research, and execution.

We also had substantial collective expertise in the investing field and handled elite clientele. The difficulties were only made worse by the fast-shifting regulatory environment and the reliance on proprietary product push.

The founders’ varied and illustrative experiences with global banks in retail banking, wealth management, and independent wealth consulting have given them a great aptitude for compliance and regulatory issues.

Experts from a variety of sectors, including equity, commodities, debt markets, and portfolio management services, make up the team, which is a successful mix.

How has wealth management changed over the years?

Manu Awasty: As technology has grown greatly over the years, wealth management has undergone tremendous change.

Business operations have been made easier by the advent of digital payments and online means of transaction, which has led to growth.

The arrival of digital currency, blockchain, and decentralised finance (DeFi) has made the financial services sector even more dynamic and quick-paced.

Investors looking for specialised investing solutions is one of the most important trends we’re observing in wealth management.

One method for doing it is direct indexing. The population of high net-worth individuals (HNIs) in India is predicted to increase by 75% from 3.5 lakhs in 2020 to 6.11 lakhs in 2025.

From 13,637 in 2021 to 19,006 in 2026, the number of ultra-high net-worth individuals (UHNIs) is predicted to rise by 39%.

What do you see as the future of Wealth Management?

Manu Awasty: The wealth management business will transform over the coming decade, and experts will need to modify their practices to suit the demands of their customers.

Rather than focusing exclusively on goods, financial advisors now have the potential to own investment assistance and become a vital part of their customer’s life.

Wealth managers may expand their market share by leveraging a variety of digital capabilities. Wealth management is a long-term growth industry, fueled by expanding household and business wealth, underfunded retirement funds, over-reliance on non-financial resources, personal retirement accountability, and intergenerational wealth transfer.

The digital challenge cannot be ignored, as wealth management attempts to blend individuals and automation/AI into their processes in order to pioneer customized experiences. 

While still appreciating the importance of personal ties. By gaining a varied range of digital skills, wealth managers may become more customer-centric and grow market share.

What are some of the most common misconceptions about wealth management?

Manu Awasty: Every day, misconceptions confuse our perspectives on vital issues. Wealth management is no exception.

Regardless of how much money you have in the bank at present, you should be working diligently every day to improve your financial management skills. Some of the most widespread misconceptions regarding the wealth management industry include-

  • The stereotype of only senior and elderly people need to be concerned about their wealth management
  • Considering Google to be the one-stop solution for all finance-related queries
  • Wealth management is reserved for the Oprah-rich.
  • People with ample knowledge to make financial decisions need no assistance or advice.  

What is your advice for people who are looking to better manage their finances?

Manu Awasty: Most people keep talking about making more money, but few talk about exactly how to manage it properly.

While building money is crucial, it is also critical to safeguard and spend your funds wisely. To maintain long-term stability and liquidity, your hard-earned money must be saved, invested, and spent prudently and methodically. This may be accomplished through wise financial management.

  • These are the best ways to manage finances, especially for those looking to invest in order to improve their financial health and expand their wealth.
  • Make a personal budget and plan your investments with particular goals in mind.
  • Keep your expenses in check and create a dashboard where you can see all of your investments at once.
  • Set money away as a safety net in case of an emergency.
  • Plan ahead of time for retirement and save and invest to generate rewards when the time comes.
  • Make a strategy to pay off your debts and boost your revenue streams so that you may invest and profit.
  • Develop solid credit practices and spend carefully to improve your financial mindset.

What was the inspiration behind turning into an entrepreneur?

Manu Awasty: As they say, necessity is the mother of invention, and having worked in critical roles and marquee organisations in the banking and wealth management sectors, it was evident that the wealth-tech business is fragmented and missing in digitalisation and professional advising.

There was no centralised platform to provide entire operational capability with transactional, distribution, and consulting services.

We developed Centricity and put ourselves in the shoes of entrepreneurs to bridge these gaps and deliver a full tech-enabled solution architecture.

What are some of the biggest mistakes people make when it comes to managing their finances?

Manu Awasty: Money management is similar to many other aspects of life. We learn by practice and experience rather than from a textbook, and we all make errors.

Many times, petty mistakes or a lack of readiness for financial planning cause things to go wrong and result in financial disasters. These are some common ones:

  • Spending more money than you make and failing to save/invest.
  • Putting off financial planning till the next day.
  • Not having a strategy in place for emergencies or disasters.
  • Paying down high-interest debt gradually in order to accumulate additional interest.

What are your success tips for young and aspiring entrepreneurs?

Manu Awasty: Most young entrepreneurs, especially in today’s era, are well-equipped with information and skills. Most of the time, they lack the necessary mindset, tolerance, and experience to hold themselves together in difficult situations.

It is very important to identify the problem and gap in the market to solve and serve better. Make your products match the expectations of your potential customers, for which keep a close watch and keep tracking your audience.

Do study the market trends before you go find the money. Build a strong network and have a basic yet stable infrastructure. Keep a constant check on your finances to increase profits from them.

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