|Key People||Managing Director Sudip Bandyopadhyay|
Reliance Money, part of giant Indian conglomerate Reliance, claims to be India's leading retail securities broker with around 3.5 million customers in over 5,000 cities and towns across the country, although the market there is fragmented. Reliance Money's latest quarterly pre-tax profit reported a significant drop over its latest operating year and the brokerage is currently marketing gold coins to India's cautious retail investors.
Reliance Money was launched by parent firm Reliance Capital - part of the Reliance Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group - as a comprehensive financial services provider for mostly retail investors and currently has over 10,000 retail outlets and another 20,000 touchpoints in 5,165 towns across India. Reliance Money offers its customers investment services ranging from equities and derivatives listed on major exchanges like the National Stock Exchange of India and the Multi Commodity Exchange to gold coin sales and forex services like money changing. It consistently ranks among the top three finance and banking companies in India, measured by total net worth.
Along with its parent, Reliance Capital, Reliance Money suffered a fall in revenue and a sharp fall in profits in the latest 2009 quarter compared to a year ago, presumably fallout from the 2008 financial crisis. Reliance Money's September-quarter revenues dropped from 680 million Indian Rupees in 2008 to 610 million in 2009 while pre-tax profit dropped more than half from 100 million rupees in 2008 to 40 million in 2009. Reliance Capital's net profit dropped by around one-third over the same period as consumer lending dragged results down.
Reliance can expect growth in the Indian retail brokerage sector over the next few years as the amount of total household savings directed to financial services rises from the current 3% to an estimated 5% by 2015, according to financial analyst firm Celent. Retail brokerage is currently highly fragmented in India with the top 10 firm accounting for just 15% of market share, representing a major opportunity for a brokerage like Reliance Money with significant bancking from a capital-rich parent company.
Sudip Bandyopadhyay was promoted to managing director of Reliance Money in April 2008 and his previous role as Reliance Money CEO was split into OTC services and broking and distribution services. Bandyopadhyay joined the Reliance Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group in 2005 and led Reliance Money from its inception in 2007 to its current position as retail brokerage market leader in India. He also serves on the boards of Reliance Financial Limited, Reliance Commodities Limited, Reliance Money Express, Standard Composite Insurance Brokers, Reliance Spot Exchange Infrastructure Ltd and Wall Street Finance Ltd.
Reliance Money is currently marketing Swiss-made gold coins to its retail-investor customers in conjunction with the Indian postal service and the World Gold Council. Such purchases have risen four-fold over the past year, with average daily sales rising from 1 kg to 4 kg, the postal services reports, and sales of 7-8 kg par day are predicted within the next year. The coins are sold in denominations from 0.5 grams up to 8 grams and range in price from around 1,000 rupees up to about 14,600 rupees.
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- Post offices see four-fold rise in gold sales in a year. MyDigitalFC.com.