This list of Frequently Asked Questions is meant to provide a well rounded view of Mainstream from different aspects and perspectives. The FAQ has different sections, each of which gives the answers to several questions that may arise in the mind of a curious observer. It talks of many matters that might not have been adequately dealt with or explained elsewhere in the website or in other literature about Mainstream.
1Who we are
  1. When was Mainstream founded?
    Mainstream was incorporated as a Private Limited company on 15th June, 2005
  2. Who are the founders of Mainstream?
    Manoj Pandey and his wife Pamita Pandey
  3. What is the significance of the name Mainstream?
    Was there any particular train of thought behind choosing this name? The idea was to have clients who would no longer be on the fringes but in the Mainstream of the investment and financial world.
  4. Where is the Mainstream office located?
    We are currently located in rented premises in Kalkaji, New Delhi. Within 18-24 months we shall be moving to our own premises in Sector 62, Noida, Uttar Pradesh.
  5. What is the background of the founders?
    Manoj has an MBA in Finance and Marketing. He is also a Financial Planner (CFP) certified by the Financial Planning Standards Board India. He has 5 years of experience with Bajaj Capital as an Investment Advisor and Manager, and an additional 4 years in various other organizations in Sales and Marketing.

    Pamita is a graduate in Commerce with a Bachelor of Commerce (B.Com) degree. She has had 4 years’ experience in Bajaj Capital in the Insurance division and has worked for 2 years in other organizations.
  6. What motivated the founding of Mainstream?
    Manoj had always been inspired by entrepreneurs who have created successful companies that lasted centuries. He wanted to create an organization of that kind. The desire was to build a world class organization that could create happy and successful investors.
  7. What is Mainstream’s vision?
    Mainstream aims to be the most admired Financial Planning and Wealth Management company in India. We wish to achieve this through our people, processes, ethical dealing and complete dedication to our clients. Our clients should get value worth many times the fee they pay. We believe that financial prosperity is essential (though of course not sufficient) to live a happy and peaceful life. Mainstream wants to be a vehicle to awaken their abundance that lies within, thereby enabling them to live a life free of financial stress.
  8. How does Mainstream want to make a difference? What is its mission?
    Mainstream wants that every family practice financial planning. Everyone should have a financial plan and use it to fulfill their financial and life goals.
2What we do
  1. What are the activities of Mainstream?
    The main activities of Mainstream currently are
    • Goal based financial planning
    • Investment Planning
    • Insurance Planning
    • Execution of transactions in Mutual Funds and some other financial products
  2. How do you ensure that there is no conflict of interest between your advisory and investment functions?
    Mainstream has separate divisions for Financial Planning and Investment Planning, and the client is free to choose us or somebody else as their investment service provider. Also, we practice full disclosure of our income from distribution of financial products to help the client decide on their service provider for executing transactions.
  3. How flexible is Mainstream in the design of service products offered to clients?
    We have various pre-defined service packages that the clients can choose from depending on their interest, need and demand. We are flexible and at any time, the client can upgrade to a more comprehensive package. We are also open to customizing a package to suit the special needs of a client if none of the regular pre-defined packages fulfill their requirements.
  4. How do you take care of your clients on an ongoing basis?
    We aim to be in regular touch with our clients in keeping with our philosophy of long term engagement, rather than just a transaction based association. To this end our practices include:
    • A dedicated relationship manager for every client
    • Goal based portfolio reports are sent on a quarterly basis
    • Portfolio review is carried out twice an year
    • Financial plans are reviewed every year
    • Investment portfolio is available online round the clock through our website for reference

    Besides all this, we remain in contact through newsletters, mailers and phone calls.
  5. What asset classes do you deal in?
    Our Investment Division deals in
    • Mutual funds (equity, debt and liquid funds)
    • Bonds and Fixed deposits of high credit rated companies
    Our Insurance division deals in
    • Life Insurance products
    • Mediclaim
    • Other General Insurance protection such as vehicle insurance, householder insurance and many others.
    We recommend that insurance and investments be kept separate, and we advise that clients buy mainly Pure Insurance products
  6. What is the risk to a client if Mainstream ceases operation?
    Mainstream is dedicated to providing you with high quality and high integrity advisory services for a lifetime. However, even if for some reasons beyond our control, we are forced to cease our operations there is no damage done to your investments or insurance. Mainstream’s role is only that of an advisor and this can always be provided by somebody else. None of your investments and protection are through Mainstream directly. They are through companies that will continue to exist even if for some unlikely reason Mainstream has to shut shop.
3Why we do
  1. What are your core ethical values?
    1. Integrity – We hold that the interests of the investor are paramount and do not seek to bolster our business by jeopardizing the well being of the investor
    2. Transparency - All our transactions and working are based on strong internal systems, and we keep the client fully informed of all relevant facts at all times
    3. Professional competence – Our advisors and staff are fully qualified and trained to carry out their functions
    4. Confidentiality – We do not share the personal or financial details of our clients with anybody
  2. How do you ensure these values are not compromised?
    1. By selecting people who believe in ethical values
    2. By having a process that promotes transparency
    3. Strong adherence to processes to maintain the confidentiality of our clients
    4. Always strive to upgrade our knowledge and skills in the relevant areas such as financial planning and investment advisory.
  3. What is your approach when a client does not take your advice?
    The most important part of our process is execution of the given advice. We provide all our support in executing the “Written Financial Plan” whether the client does this through our other group divisions or from outside. We do not give up just because the client is taking a long time to execute the plan. Our support and assistance always remain intact.
  4. Do you give advice to clients even though they may not have asked for it?
    Yes, if we feel it is important for the client’s well-being. Our advice is not strictly limited to business only. The broader objective is to create a financially literate society so that people address their financial goals and live a peaceful life.
  5. What happens if your advice is proved wrong by subsequent events?
    We strongly believe that we have the power within us to control our destiny. Our advisory business is built on that premise. Our advice is developed on the basis of each client’s unique situation and risk tolerance. So in a way the client is developing his/her own plan with our support and assistance. We follow the universally acceptable principles of Financial and Investment planning and regularly review the plan, thus always remaining in control of the situation.
4How we do
  1. What are the systems you have in place to take care of the interests of the client?
    We have separate divisions for Financial Planning and Execution services. The client can choose to execute his/her plan through us or from anywhere else. We share the information of our benefits (commission etc) from principal companies while executing client’s plan. This transparency helps the client take well informed decision.
  2. How much use do you make of technology?
    In our system, there is a judicious balance between the use of technology and human interaction. We believe that Financial Planning is an interactive and relationship based activity where the role of Financial Planner is of utmost importance. He keeps alive the motivation of the client and helps him/her take sound decisions without being swayed by emotion.

    We use technology wherever it can be useful or can increase productivity and ease of use. There are various such areas like Online Portfolio Access, Client Relationship Management, Online Investment, Online Financial Plan View and many more. Besides, we are always available over the phone, email, social media, SMS and Skype.
  3. Are there any operating manuals available to your employees to guide their work?
    When somebody joins Mainstream, he/she undergoes a very extensive training programme. This programme covers our values, vision and mission besides technical competence. People have to pass certain tests and gain hand on experience before they qualify to handle live clients.

    Then as a reference for working on an ongoing basis, we have a Standard Operating Procedure manual that tells people how to handle every situation in the most effective manner keeping the best interest of the client and Mainstream in mind.
  4. How do you train your employees?
    All new employees undergo training for a six month period. During this time they learn about
    1. Mainstream’s mission, values and vision
    2. Mainstream’s ethical standards
    3. Bringing about client delight
    4. How to become the brand ambassador of Mainstream
    5. How to remain motivated in their work
    6. Technical knowledge such as Financial Planning, Investment Advisory, Client Servicing and many other topics
    Every employee has to carry on with his/her training continuously year after year. They have to get the required training credits to continue their association with Mainstream.
  5. How do you ensure consistency in your service?
    We have a standard operating procedure for servicing clients. For example, we adhere to a turnaround time of addressing any client complaints on the same day, and if for any extraordinary reason we are not able to do it on that day, then we communicate this delay to the client and take care of the matter on the next business day.

    So all employees maintain the same service standards and everyone is trained and motivated to do that.
  6. What happens to a client if a particular employee is not available?
    Every client is assigned a Relationship Manager (RM) and Assistant Relationship Manager (ARM). It would be unlikely that both of them would be absent. So a client can communicate with the ARM if the RM is not available. If both of them are not available (which is very rare), then he/she would be provided a new RM immediately.

    A client can always contact senior functionaries of Mainstream such as the Director-Financial Planning or the Director-Investment Advisory, as the case may be, whenever required.
  7. Can you advise clients who are not located in Delhi?
    For those clients, we interact through Skype, email and phone for Financial Planning.

    For executing the plan, they can use the online route for investment and insurance. Or we can send the filled application form to them, which they can return after signing and with the respective cheques.

    There is continuous hand holding with the client during this whole process.
  8. How do you locate new clients?
    Our existing clients are our biggest source of new clients. They refer us to their friends. We seek references from every client. Since most of them have had a great experience with us, they want their friends also to be benefitted.

    Besides we conduct group presentations and investor awareness programmes. We also have our presence in social media such as YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and our Blog, besides our Website, email and telemarketing. All these efforts provide us valuable leads.
  9. What is the drop-out rate of your clients?
    We have a near perfect record of maintaining our clients. Some clients have initially continued with having part of their portfolio with other advisors such as Banks besides us, but once they saw our quality and service standard, they have shifted their entire portfolio to us.
5For whom we have done
  1. What is the profile of your clientele?
    Our financial planning clients are within the age group of 30-50 years. They are middle and senior executive in their organizations as well as professionals such as Doctors. They are busy and successful people in their respective fields who want our assistance to address their financial goals.
  2. Do you specialize in any category of clients?
    Our niche is in providing comprehensive financial planning to address all financial goals. People in the age group of 30-50 are ideally suited to take our services.
6How are you different?
  1. What sets Mainstream apart from other providers?
    We have a unique financial planning methodology called “AWAKEN”. This programme helps you peep into your dreams and find ways to attain them. This programme strikes a judicious balance between living in the present and securing your future.
  2. Can one speak to any current client of yours?
    Yes by all means you can talk to our existing clients and their experience with us. However, as a matter of confidentialty, we do not disclose their financial details.
7Why come to you?
  1. Give three reasons for a client to choose you as their financial service provider.
    1. We have been here for more than a decade through all the market cycles. dWhen others have vanished or change track, we remained here in our speciality area of Financial Planning and Investment advisory. You can trust us for long term planning.
    2. We have always maintained our high ethical standards even when it has meant lower earnings. We have always refrained from selling high commission products (like ULIP, Capital Protection Funds etc) simply because we don’t want to prosper at the expense of our clients. Every member of Mainstream has to follow strict ethical standards.
    3. We are competent in the area of “Goal Based Financial Planning” and “Investment Advisory” and constantly strive to improve our knowledge and skills.