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BY Eularie Saldanha

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While a majority of Indians are still averse to investing, MVS Murthy, Head Marketing, Digital & Corporate Communication, Tata Asset Management Limited talks about the company’s recent financial literacy campaign, the importance of educating investors, use of AI, brand’s challenges and more…

Q] Tell us about your recent financial literacy campaign which weaves a Tata Mutual Fund story into everyday life incidents…What was the insight behind this campaign?
Our campaign Har Din Sahi Hai is perhaps the only global campaign which runs every day depending on the day’s significance. Not many people are aware of the mutual funds category, and only about two crore people go out and invest. 80% of the investment happens through the IFA and the distribution fraternity, which needs to constantly educate their customers. As a brand, we also want to go out and educate the investors as much as the distribution fraternity wants to. We have the secret desire to replace the ‘good morning’ messages with Tata’s ‘Har Din Sahi Hai’.

Q] Can you tell us why the Tata Quant Fund, part of the financial literacy campaign is being promoted solely on Digital? What was the kind of response you have received?
The Quant Fund is AIML-powered and surprised us with the kind of numbers and participation that we received. Our fund purely runs on the intelligence which has been plugged into it and there is no intermediary. For a product like this, we had to go after people who were comfortable with technology. Digital suited us well because we could pick and choose our audience. When we look at the success we saw from this form of evangelical communication, we did twice better than we expected and the numbers will be out shortly. We had 100% retail participation and crossed Rs 60,000 crore of AUM (Assets Under Management) through funds. We used video, voice, and infographics. At a physical level, our head of analytics travelled across the country explaining the concept to people. Even competition took notice and a well-known fund recalibrated their strategy to meet the increased competition.

Q] This is the first Mutual Fund in India to use AI and Machine learning... How is this helping you?
Most of our big data stories around data analytics work in an environment where streams of data are pulled in to help create intelligence and predictive models. In this case, it’s entirely opposite as the intelligence is already present and has picked up all the past inferences, driving novelty to the product. Back tested results have shown that this data has performed well in all sorts of market conditions and is staying true to its nature, even now as we monitor it.


Tata Asset Management is the investment manager for Tata Mutual Fund, which has an investor base of over 19 lakhs in India. It manages investments right from childhood to retirement and offers a wide choice of funds for every need across the entire risk-return spectrum, which include equity funds, hybrid funds and fixed income funds.



Q] A lot of consumers are averse to investing in mutual funds, given the fall in market value of shares. What are you doing to help restore the faith of the consumer in your brand?
As a manufacturer of mutual funds, we are trying to tell the consumer that he doesn’t need to wait for a particular event to start investing in mutual funds. A lot of people who have been investing for the last 5-10 years have all reaped benefits. ‘Har Din Sahi Hai’ is one of the campaigns that we have rolled out to get more people to invest. A lot of investments have come from first time investors to Tata Mutual Fund, affirming that we were getting traction. This tells you that the market is ready to experiment with a tech-powered mutual fund, given that somebody is willing to keep talking to them. Our campaign, ‘Mutual Funds Sahi Hai’ has added to the knowledge about mutual funds, with people wanting to go out and experiment. The distributors have started getting us more business because they find value in what we offer them.

Q] Which mediums have worked best for you and which are the mediums that you will invest heavily in going forward?
Outdoor as a medium coupled with Digital has worked well for us and is something that we will use even in the future. We want to focus on Video, Voice and Vernacular, and want to be a content factory driven by data. It’s the job of marketing to draw every external influence towards what we produce inside, in order to create better products.

Q] The fictional audio series ‘Ishq Bhi, Risk Bhi’, was podcast in original creation on Awaaz.com. Was there a reason you chose not to use Radio for this?
The content on Awaaz.com will be there forever, as against Radio where I would have to buy spots. There are ten episodes of ten minutes each and we have done two such sessions, the second of which is yet to go live. 100,000 people have heard the podcast at least on an average for 20 minutes. We got so much of time by spending perhaps less than a million rupees. If I were to do the same on Radio, it would have turned out to be extremely expensive. A large part of the Hindi speaking population have been listening to it and over the past 3-4 weeks, we’ve tracked listeners from Calcutta, Bangalore and Mangalore. This is India’s first audio drama for investor education and we want to build on this and make many more.

Q] Apart from gaining new customers, what are you doing to maintain your existing customer database?
On the existing portfolio, our fund performance has gotten better over the last year and our equities are doing reasonably well. There are a lot of existing investors who are coming back and investing with us. There was a blip about 18 months back, leading to a dropout. However, the whole book looks good now. We are spending a lot of time trying to vernaculize content. There is an opportunity for a lot of people who are now looking to invest, if you connect with them in the language they understand.

Q] What are the challenges you face in a segment as cluttered as mutual funds?
The primary challenge we face is the distillation of information, since we are in a startup sort-of mode as far as the industry is concerned. This kind of education requires you to be deeply entrenched into the ecosystem. Tech has enabled a lot of things, but the investor still wants someone who comes and speaks to them physically.

Q] What is your target market-share in the category and which are your strongest performing markets today?
We are at number 13 and our stated objective is to be in the top five by 2025. Our lineage gives us the opportunity to go and pick up any market that we want to explore. From where we are today, it will be a bit more expensive for us to go out and acquire customers in metros vis-à-vis in tier II and tier III towns because of sheer cost of media, dispersed population and the lower attention spans in these markets.

Q] How do you anticipate the mutual funds category to evolve five years down the line?
Over the last 3-5 years, we are attracting newer categories of investors. We will have more innovative products and will make use of technology, the way we have with our Quant Fund. You will see combinations of equity and derivatives, commodities and debt coming in, if the regulator approves. We see ourselves as a serious player in the ‘Jan Nivesh’ journey of a lot of investing people.

MVS Murthy brings to the table 20 years of experience and has worked across leading Advertising and Digital Marketing Agencies, Banking, Broking and General Insurance companies. In his present role at Tata Mutual Fund, he is responsible for driving business through Digital and Marketing channels. He also looks at building inorganic growth partnerships, particularly with Technology Companies and Start-Ups.

Be a Netflix in the mutual funds category. Content multiplied by regional languages is everything.

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