Pranit Arora, Co-Founder and CEO at Univest
Great Companies: How did you get your idea or concept for the business?
Pranit Arora: The idea for Univest was born out of my personal experience as a positional trader in the stock market. I noticed a significant difference in returns between my investments and those of my father which were bought almost at the same time and identified the primary reason for this was he recognised the importance of knowing when to exit stocks. Soon enough, I pitched the idea to my co-founder - Avneet, who had just returned from working in the United States. We realised that there was a need for a platform that could provide reliable exit signals on one’s bad investments and not just provide personalised investment options to the individual investors. This realisation, backed by a strong research carried over 1000+ users coupled with our belief in the power of AI and technology, led to the concept of Univest. We wanted to create a platform that empowers users to make informed investment decisions and achieve their financial goals.
Great Companies: What are the various services provided by Univest?
Pranit Arora: Univest is the trusted investment partner of more than 5 lakh plus investors, helping them maximise their returns. How? By our premium services like:
Exit Signal Management: Univest's unique exit signal management system leverages AI technology to generate robust exit signals for stocks in user's portfolios. This helps investors make timely decisions and optimise their investment returns.
Univest Elite: Earn up to 12% returns p.a. without worrying about market volatility .Also all these investment plans are invested via an RBI-regulated NBFC platform, ensuring utmost security.
Personalised trade ideas: Backed by 75+ years of trading experience, Univest's research team excels in identifying fundamentally strong picks from the bottom, which serves as the foundation for all trade ideas, whether short-term, medium-term, or long-term.
Financial Education and Research: Univest aims to empower investors with financial education and research. We provide market insights, and expert analysis to help users enhance their investment knowledge and make informed decisions.
Portfolio Tracking and Analysis: Our intuitive dashboard lets Users track and analyse their investment portfolios in real-time. Univest provides comprehensive portfolio performance metrics, risk analysis, and visualisations to help users monitor and optimise their investments.
DIY Tools and Research: Our platform offers DIY (Do-It-Yourself) tools that enable users to conduct their own research in just 60 words and explore investment opportunities. Univest provides access to historical data, market trends, and other analytical tools to support users in their investment decision-making process.
Wealth advisory support: We prioritise exceptional customer support and ensure that our users have access to prompt assistance and guidance whenever needed related to investments. Our dedicated advisory team is available to address queries provide assistance, and offer personalised investment support.
Great Companies: What makes Univest different from hundreds of other similar service providers?
Pranit Arora: Our cutting-edge exit signal management system utilises advanced artificial intelligence to generate robust exit signals for your personal portfolio stocks. This unique feature sets us apart from other investment applications in the country. Additionally, our AI technology utilises a personalised approach to determine the ideal investment options for each user, a feature that is currently rare in the market. In the investment sales arena, we foresee ourselves as pioneers in shaping the wealth management industry in the next five to seven years.
Great Companies: What were the struggles and challenges you faced and how did you overcome them?
Pranit Arora: Like any business venture, Univest has faced its share of struggles and challenges along the way. Here are some of the key challenges we encountered and how we overcame them:
Building the Right Team: Forming a high-calibre team with limited financial resources was a significant initial challenge. We overcame this by focusing on finding individuals who shared our vision and were passionate about our mission. We Carefully selected team members based on their skills, expertise, and alignment with our company's values. By building a strong and dedicated team, we were able to overcome resource constraints and drive the company forward.
Funding: Securing funding in the early stages of our startup was another challenge. We recognised that the funding ecosystem was not as well-established at the time, but we persisted and pitched our idea to angel investors. Through perseverance and demonstrating the potential of our concept, we were fortunate to secure funding from prominent angel investors in the country. This financial support enabled us to fuel our growth and expand our operations.
Pivoting and Adaptability: The market dynamics and customer needs in the financial industry are constantly evolving. We faced the challenge of breaking into the social investing sphere, but we anticipated monetization-related difficulties and made a strategic pivot early on. This taught us the importance of adaptability and the willingness to make course corrections. By being agile and responsive to market demands, we were able to position ourselves effectively and meet the evolving needs of our customers.
Regulatory Compliance: The financial industry is heavily regulated, and ensuring compliance with relevant laws and regulations was a challenge. We tackled this by dedicating resources to understand and stay up-to-date with regulatory requirements. We established robust internal processes and controls to ensure compliance in areas such as data security, user privacy, and financial regulations. By prioritising compliance, we built trust with our customers and stakeholders.
Competition: The financial services industry is highly competitive, with numerous players in the market. To overcome this challenge, we focused on differentiating Univest by offering a customer-centric approach, advanced AI technology, and unique features such as our exit signal management system. We also emphasised the importance of continuous innovation, enhancing our services, and providing exceptional customer experiences.
By addressing these challenges with determination, strategic decision-making, and a
customer-centric approach, we were able to overcome hurdles and propel Univest forward
on our journey to success.
Great Companies: How do you plan to grow in the future? What does 5 years down the line look like for Univest?
Pranit Arora: Our growth strategy for the future is ambitious and focused on expanding Univest's reach and impact. Five years down the line, we envision Univest as a leading global player in the financial services industry. Here are some key aspects of our growth plans:
Product Diversification: Univest plans to diversify its product offerings to cater to a wider range of financial needs. This includes expanding our investment options, introducing new financial products, and providing comprehensive solutions for wealth management, retirement planning, and other areas.
Technology Advancements: We will continue to invest in advanced technologies such as artificial intelligence, machine learning, and data analytics. These technologies will enable us to enhance our AI-driven investment recommendations improve user experiences, and further refine our exit signal management system.
Customer Growth and Engagement: Univest aims to reach and positively impact a significant number of users. We aspire to onboard millions of customers, empowering them to achieve their financial goals and improve their investment outcomes. Building strong customer relationships, providing exceptional service, and fostering engagement will remain key priorities.
Global Expansion: We aim to expand our services beyond India and establish a presence in international markets. Our goal is to become a prominent financial services provider on a global scale, catering to investors across different regions.
Strategic Partnerships: Collaborating with strategic partners will be an essential part of our growth strategy. We will seek partnerships with financial institutions, wealth management firms, and other key players in the industry to leverage synergies, expand our reach, and provide a comprehensive suite of services to our customers.
Continued Innovation: Univest will maintain a strong focus on innovation to stay ahead of industry trends and address evolving customer needs. We will continuously improve our technology, develop new features and tools, and leverage emerging technologies to enhance the user experience and deliver cutting-edge solutions.
Overall, our vision for the future is to be at the forefront of the financial services industry,
leveraging technology, customer-centricity, and innovation to create a positive and
transformative impact on the financial well-being of individuals globally.
Great Companies: If you had one piece of advice to someone just starting out, what would it be?
Pranit Arora: Embrace challenges as opportunities for growth, surround yourself with a motivated team, and maintain a resilient and persistent mindset to increase your chances of building a successful startup.