Reliance Capital eyes mutual fund boom in small cities

Last Updated: Mon, Oct 15, 2012 12:18 hrs

Reliance Capital will now expand further in small towns to sell its bouquet of mutual fund schemes, as part of an aggressive strategy to widen its reach in a market seen more than doubling to $365 billion by 2020, a top official said Monday.

"We aim to be present in each and every district in India by 2015," said Sundeep Sikka, chief executive of Reliance Capital Assset Management Company, a part of industrialist Anil Ambani's group.

"For that the first step is to double our branch network to 400 offices across locations and increase our distribution network by 5,000 agents, besides focusing on educating the investors," Sikka told IANS during a media off-site in this emirate.

"With new and friendly regulatory guidelines, we are entering Version 2 of mutual fund industry based on four principles: Benefit all the stakeholders, educate investors and distributors, penetrate new markets and take our reach beyond 15 major cities," he said.

"Our agenda for next five years is clear: To drive the industry into hamlets where money is lying idle in saving deposits. Growth will amplify with higher penetration in smaller locations. For that, we have to strengthen our 40,000-strong distributors' network."

According to him, the bouquet of mutual funds schemes launched by Reliance Capital takes care of people from the lower strata to high net worth. To grow, the company needs more investors and not schemes.

Reliance Capital Asset Management currently has a presence across metros, tier-II and tier-III cities, with 200 branches at 160 locations. "Our expansion targets 10 million investors from 7 million now," said Sunil Singhania, head of equities investment.

Reliance Mutual Fund currently has a total asset base of Rs.86,327 crore (around $15.6 billion). It offers 23 equity schemes, 21 debt schemes, two-exchange traded funds, and one fund-of-fund scheme in gold, where investments are made in other funds.

The company also has international presence in Singapore, Mauritius, Dubai, Malaysia and UK, with an offshore institutional investment worth Rs.4,200 crore (over $800 million).

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