Mr. Asheesh Chanda is a postgraduate from IIM Bangalore Batch of 2002 and a Computer Science Engineer from IIT Delhi Batch of 2000. He started his career in the financial services industry in 2002 with organizations such as Citibank India and JP Morgan Chase.
In 2014, he ventured into his entrepreneurial journey with his first startup Kris Capital. It was a Singapore based global macro hedge fund. But it is 2 years later with is second venture that Mr. Chanda found his true calling.
SPOTTING AN OPPORTUNITY
At Kris Capital, Mr. Chanda was dealing with managed investments across multiple asset classes and programmed trading strategies. But due to various reasons he wrapped up that venture and started a second company to tap into the digital wealth management space targeting both accredited and retail investors. Highly influenced by how technology is changing every industry, Mr. Chanda was inspired to enter the Fintech sector. His vision was to create something that the market had not yet seen in its entirety. He put in a lot of thought and research to understand how portfolios can be creates such that they outperform the index as well as peer portfolios. While it is shop talk for others, in simple words – he tried to fuse the traditional means of investment banking with Artificial Intelligence heuristics to deliver the best investment experience. He saw a gap where mutual funds weren’t being to target small investors. This gap presented as an opportunity and thus was born Kristal.AI.
Kristal.AI is a new-age fintech startup that gives investors access to curated portfolios from the world’s top Portfolio Managers with the help of its proprietary algorithms. It has offices in Singapore, Hong Kong, and India.
Under his leadership, Kristal.AI has now built more than 40 strategies on its platform that focus on specific themes like biotechnology, EV, FAANG, and more. He has hired a diverse team of financial advisors, researchers, and market experts to take care of every aspect of a client’s needs.
It is his vision and foresight that Kristal. AI boasts of a client line-up that includes top names like Citibank, JP Morgan Chase, Google, Nomura and Standard Chartered and many more spread across Asia, Middle East, and the America, Kristal.AI continuously strives to provide the best investment strategies to its investors and build a community of portfolio managers, affiliated partners, and investors. Giving unmatched value and a seamless experience to each client is what drives Mr. Chanda.
GOING WITH THE FLOW
Mr. Chanda has a diverse experience of 15 years behind him and that is what makes him extremely perceptive about the market. He saw that the opportunity in India for a fintech company is huge. At the time when he started Kristal.AI, there weren’t a lot of players focusing on mutual funds for smaller investors. On the other hand, affluent, emerging investors weren’t getting undivided attention of the banks; this is where he planned to fit in. His vision worked and how. He has almost created and started to lead the digital wealth management niche.
His focus is on providing personalized investment services. His strategy is simple, the target audience is underserved and he is trying to use technology to tap into it. In India though, the work goes beyond what you have to offer.
New-age companies such as Kristal.AI also have to educate and make noise about their work. Very few people stray from traditional investment models and when it comes to money, people are extra cautious. Essentially, what Mr. Chanda is trying to do with Kristal.AI is to expand the buying by increasing awareness about the financial market.
LEADING FROM THE FRONT & INSPIRING UMPTEEN OTHERS
When Mr. Chanda began Kristal.AI, he had only 4 interns. Today, the company has a team of over 60 employees in Singapore, Hong Kong, and India. With the latest funding in place, Mr. Chanda wants to expand geographically in India and other APAC regions with varied offerings.
Mr. Chanda is a driven professional who wanted to break the norm. “I could see how traditional banking doesn’t live up to its promises. Therefore, I really wanted to help people have access to smart and easy financial solutions, no matter how much they want to invest,” shares Mr. Chanda. The trust that the investors put in Kristal.AI is what motivates him and his team.
Under his aegis, the company reached 10,000 customers recently and it’s only going to be upwards from here. In the near future, Mr. Chanda and his team are looking forward to adding more specialized services to their portfolio.
Mr. Chanda likes to keep his team highly motivated and for this he has ensured a very open and transparent work environment. All the team members – from an intern to the senior-most executive are respected equally and ideas are welcome from everyone. Each member can work as an individual contributor. There is absolutely no discouragement to anyone who wants to come forth and share. The organization is run on basic principles like passion, integrity and hard work.
The biggest influence on Mr. Chanda has been the advent of technology. He loves all things technology and truly believes that the ‘democratization of technology’ has changed the way we experience everything. A self-confessed quasi techie, Mr. Chanda is also a python programmer. He likes to spend a lot of his time understanding and trading financial markets.
An important trait of any leader is how much they can inspire and empower others. Mr. Chanda is a prime example of that. He stands by his team like a solid rock. If his team gets stuck, he pushes them to find new routes and keep moving. His biggest asset in this ever-changing startup culture is creativity. He highly values creativity and believes that it is at the core of everything he does.
At the end of the day, he knows that the startup culture doesn’t wait for anyone. You have to be relevant and you have to be quick. Fast-paced is not just an option, it is a necessity when you are operating in a dynamic industry. “Being fast-paced and adaptive means you have to be quick on your feet and those who aren’t, do not survive the process,” Mr. Chanda asserts.