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Interview: “Pandemic has been a watershed moment for investors,” says Abhisek Puglia of GoalTeller

In an interview with TechGraph, Abhisek Puglia, Founding Member of  GoalTeller said, “The pandemic has been a watershed moment for investors as apart from the usual pouring of funds into equities.”

Read Complete Transcript Here:

TechGraph: Let us start with the first things first, can you tell our readers more about GoalTeller?

Abhisek Puglia: GoalTeller is an All-in-One Financial Planner, ensuring that investors are provided with end-to-end financial planning /advice and also guidance. GoalTeller proprietary algorithms simulate various situations of life and create a customized financial plan covering investments, insurance, taxes, and goals. The platform caters to both retail and mass affluent clientele. 

TechGraph: GoalTeller has been offering custom financial plans for its customers. How are you powering the growth of this segment?

Abhisek Puglia: Financial Planning plans consist of Free Tier which will capture 50% of the features and then paid tiers for premium features like (Online Consultation, Transmission Planning, etc. A nominal ₹1000 per year for comprehensive actionable advice ranging from investments, goals, insurance, lifestyle, and taxes.

We did a few rounds of closed user group testing and we have had immense learnings. Users want full guidance on their financial plans and they prefer a platform where advice, execution, and a single view of entire finances are available. We are building a platform that has all of these. We understood that users appreciate that an advisor who is charging them fees is far cheaper than banks or wealth managers who earn commissions. 

So, an advisor like GoalTeller is free of conflicts! These learnings are what we are incorporating in our launch plan and we hope what we experienced in the CUG will be visible post our public launch too! We believe our dynamic and adaptable, conflict-free advisory model is what users need.

TechGraph: What makes GoalTeller different from other platforms, which are already available in the market?

Abhisek Puglia: While there are many, I would like to focus on a few of them. Our platform is comprehensive and we take care of users’ investments, goals (lifestyle), and the family’s future. The pandemic has made lots of people realize how important terms & health insurances and succession plans are for the family’s secure future.

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Secondly, and if I could say, more importantly, our advice via prompts & notifications would be all-encompassing. The depth to which we have gone and will continue to explore ensures that the advice to each user is very specific, personalized, and relevant. This also ensures that the discipline needed to achieve a plan gets imbibed in the users over time.

Finally, our GoalLineTM helps users visualize their full financial future and make amends as needed. The feedback of users in the CUG was very encouraging to this aspect of our product.

TechGraph: With the AI rollout process speeding up, How GoalTeller is going to capitalize the same?

Abhisek Puglia: We are taking one step at a time. Our algorithms for advice on investments, goals, and financial security are already in place. However, as we have more users, learning from them would boost our algos significantly. Most of the things needed for good financial planning are very basic & fundamental and we have ensured we got those right in the first step. 

TechGraph: How did the pandemic impact GoalTeller business?

Abhisek Puglia: Things that we thought won’t happen easily seem like a cakewalk now. Our entire product has been developed remotely. Our team members worked from all across the country – Bangalore, Raipur, Mumbai to remote places in Bihar, Uttar Pradesh & Haryana. Now we are voluntarily going to the office.

However, the pandemic has been a watershed moment for investors as apart from the usual pouring of funds into equities, the other paradigm change that is being witnessed is the digitization of investments wherein increasingly all asset classes instruments are now available for investing, redeeming, or exiting, advise at few clicks of a button. This has been the biggest positive for our business.

TechGraph: What is the roadmap for GoalTeller going forward?

Abhisek Puglia: We are primarily bootstrapped but we did raise a small pre-seed round from marquee investors like Rainmatter (Zerodha), Dr. Ranjan Pai, Kunal Shah, Raghunandan Gangappa amongst others. So, growth will come not from spending or cash burn. 

We intend to launch our product in the last quarter of 2021 and capitalize on a few strategic partnerships that we have entered into to have a sizable user base. Some of our investors have been generous in helping us in this endeavor.

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