Brilliant Basics Edition Podcasts
Tanvi Davda on the Evolution of the Wealth Management and Private Banking SectorAugust 04, 2020
Tanvi Davda, Managing Partner and Head of Clients at Saranac Partners, discusses the evolution of wealth management and private banking sector. The discussion covers the customer experience in the wealth management and private banking sector, entrepreneurship and the world of wealth management post COVID.
Hosted by Anand Verma, European Head of Digital Services for Infosys and Founder & CEO of Brilliant Basics, Infosys’ Design Studios
“Every part of the financial services business can be improved with the use of technology.”
- Tanvi Davda
Tanvi shares her thoughts about the role of technology and customer experience in wealth management and private banking sector.
Tanvi shares her background.
In the past, Tanvi worked on the trading floor. What were some of the opportunities and challenges in that space?
Customer experience: how to bring online and offline experience together?
As a startup who is reimagining the whole sector, how do you actually build that portfolio of longterm business?
Tanvi shares a use case and real example of how Saranac Partners look at the client needs.
If somebody who's embarking on a journey like Tanvi’s, either it's a large institution or a startup who're dreaming of doing this, what will be two or three key points that Tanvi want them to think about?
How COVID-19 will impact the financial markets?
How has Saranac managed the transition from working from the office to working from home?
Does Tanvi think that majority of Saranac’s workforce will roll back to the office or does she see a much more of a blended hybrid model going forward?
What are the couple of things people should think about if they want to become successful entrepreneurs?
Tanvi shares her favorite book.
How can people find Tanvi online?
Anand Verma: Financial services industry is making a lot of changes to cope with this crisis, understanding that their business and the world may never return to the things as they were. Customers who have gone online may stay there, those banks or financial services institutions, they are many, that have closed the branches temporarily might not even open the branches again, even traditional personal services like advisory, mortgages, wealth management are increasingly going digital as has customer onboarding. Tanvi, what do you think about the role of technology customer experience in wealth management and private banking sector? That's the first part. And the second part is how is the sector evolving or evolved with the rapid digitization?
Tanvi Davda: So I think technology is fundamentally changing almost every area of the financial services landscape from insurance to banking, to wealth and asset management. And that pace of change is increasing, fundamentally fueled by client demand, by advances in technology and a new fintech entrance to each of those marketplaces. Wealth and private banking, the area I'm from, certainly no exception to that, although I would say it's probably the least progressive in its adoption of technology. But that's fundamentally changing over the spectrum of wealth management.
Tanvi Davda: If I think about the mass affluent space, we've seen the rise of the robo-advisor. So that's a digital platform that gathers data and uses that data with algorithms to fundamentally provide unbiased advice and execution across the investment landscape. And it really does provide a lower cost unbiased advice to those customers and they're gaining huge traction. I think the FCAs, so that's the regulator for financial services, has had more applications for robo-advisors than any other entrant into the financial services landscape. But even at the other end of the wealth spectrum, technology is essential to having a better client experience. Clients want to have a better understanding of their wealth, their investments and opportunities, and the technology allows them to do that.
Tanvi Davda: So if you aren't fundamentally changing a business model as a result of technology, the likelihood is you'll get left behind whether that's, as you say, in onboarding and risk management and analytics or client reporting, or just in product distribution. Every part of the financial services business can be improved with the use of technology.
Anand Verma: That's brilliant. Thanks, Tanvi. And exactly, that's what we'll be exploring in today's conversation. Welcome to the Infosys Knowledge Institute Podcast, the Brilliant Basics Edition, where we talk about digital disruption, design, and future of work. The topic today is a really exciting one, it's about the evolution of wealth management and private banking sector, entrepreneurship, and also a world of wealth management post COVID crisis.
Anand Verma: I'm Anand Verma, European Head of Digital Services for Infosys and founder and CEO of Brilliant Basics. I'm absolutely delighted to welcome Tanvi Davda who is the Managing Partner and head of clients at Saranac Partners. Tanvi, thanks for joining us today. Tanvi, before we kick off the discussion about the sector itself, your background is so interesting. You've got extensive amount of experience in financial services, financial markets, both capital markets as well as wealth management arena globally. You also have two degrees, one in BSc chemistry, second one is MSc in financial studies. I'm really excited to open up with us, how did you get to where you've gotten to so far?
Tanvi Davda: So it's been in the galactic journey, let's put it like that. So as you say, I got a degree in chemistry, but like many people at that point, we joined the financial services' arena. So I actually joined the trading floor of a big investment bank knowing really nothing about financial services. And in fact, at the beginning, even the language they used was so alien to me, I really didn't know what people were talking about, but it was one that fascinated me and one that trained me well. So I was very fortunate that I got to work with a phenomenal team that invested in me and was patient with me, and I got to learn about the world of investments taking on a number of different roles and having the opportunity to go and work in a number of different countries.
Tanvi Davda: So I spent the first 17 years of my career, as you rightly say, in the capital markets' arena, firstly, working for Credit Suisse and then for ABN Amro, which was then taken over by Royal Bank of Scotland and doing really quite a broad variety of roles from trading, sales, structuring, as well as from more operational roles, being a chief operating officer. So really it was quite a diverse experience that I had. And then post the financial crisis, I actually moved into wealth management, again, an industry that I had little knowledge of, and joined Barclays Wealth, which was on a growth journey to really build up its capabilities in this space.
Tanvi Davda: And again, I had phenomenal opportunity there, I spent five years at Barclays Wealth learning and developing and really understanding the arena of a private wealth management. And that of course, all before four of us that all come from Barclays heritage co-founded Saranac Partners. So Saranac Partners focuses on the community of people that we described as ultra high net worth individuals. And what we do is we provide advice and solutions for our clients across the spectrum of their financial needs, whether they'll be simple or significantly more complex.
Tanvi Davda: So we founded the business in 2015, we'd never been entrepreneurs before, we'd never started a business before, but we started with a blank sheet of paper and we really sought to try and understand and build something that was going to be there for clients over the longterm and was truly bespoke and advice led. So that was the founding principles in thinking about how we do things differently, where we can challenge ourselves to create a different client experience. And of course, that's how I met you, Anand, because that was our journey in thinking about the client experience and the ability to provide clients with insights and analytics and reporting for them on their financial holdings.
Tanvi Davda: And when we looked around in the marketplaces to technology solutions that we might be able to enable that, we didn't like anything we saw. So we did that thing, which many people do where they go, "How hard could it be? We'll design our own." And so with the help of Brilliant Basics who were just phenomenal, we were able to build something bespoke, creative, that fundamentally gave clients a level of access and insight into their financial holdings, which I think is almost one of the best things we created at Saranac Partners, and certainly our clients love it. So thank you, Anand, to you and the team for all of your help in that journey.
Anand Verma: Thank you. And you and your team remain one of our favorite, favorite clients and partners. So we're absolutely privileged and humbled by that experience. And what a story, one startup helping other startup to build something really amazing together as well. So thank you for the opportunity, thank you for believing in us as well, and we have thoroughly enjoyed that closeness and partnership, and we continue to be close.
Anand Verma: Just Before I move on to the core of the topic, you said you worked on the trading floor in the capital markets. And this is like we're talking about 17 years ago, right? And there I ask, almost a male dominated industry and especially the trading floor, what were some of the opportunities and challenges you saw in that space?
Tanvi Davda: And fortunate, it was even longer than 17 years ago, but that would be belying my age, so we wouldn't go there. I was very fortunate because one of the things about being on a trading floor is actually, it's very flat, there's a little hierarchy. People fundamentally are willing to give you a chance, give you a shot. And you work hard, you learn. And those places are fantastic opportunity to be a sponge and to learn from all those going around you and to really absorb it and take it in.
Tanvi Davda: So that's really why it was such a fantastic opportunity and a learning space for me. And I have to say I had a, I mean, entirely male dominated group, but an incredibly supportive team. In fact, they remain my friends today many, many years after I stopped working in that firm and in that space.
Anand Verma: That's brilliant. And that's so good to hear that the support was there for you to thrive and prosper in your journey. With regards to Saranac, when I got to know about Saranac by meeting your first time, I was so nervous. I remember that in that room we were talking about agile and spins and customer experience and all those kinds of stuff. And one of the things that really struck the chord with me was how laser-focused you guys were about customer experience and customer experience in the digital world. So how do you bring offline and online experience together?
Anand Verma: And you were describing the pillars of Saranac in terms of the way you're reimagining the industry, and you briefly mentioned what Saranac actually does. I would love to know what is the ethos of Saranac when it comes to customer experience and the way you think about the customer experience?
Tanvi Davda: Thanks, Anand. And so the way that we think about everything we do at Saranac is fundamentally, we founded the business to do things differently, to create a community based around likeminded people that have a shared wisdom and a collective learning. And we wanted to work really in partnership, which is why the partners part of Saranac Partners is so important. And we work as partners, not only internally, but also with our clients to create what we hope are compelling opportunities and really meaningful solutions. And that's really how we started. We think about what we do differently, we're different in what we believe, and we're different in what we do.
Tanvi Davda: So we always start with the question, we seek to listen and understand, and we don't make assumptions around what people need. We genuinely try to co-create a path with our clients and therefore hope we will be trusted partners for them over the long term. And everything we do has to reinforce or support that client's experience. But that's what we believe is key to building those longterm relationships. And longterm relationships is what our business, but almost any business is really all about.
Anand Verma: And that is super interesting, longterm relationship, especially in a sector that is in some cases crowded with the number of kinds of private banks, large and small wealth management advisory firms out there. And one of the key things you're talking coming to my mind was, as a startup who is reimagining the whole sector, how do you actually build that portfolio of longterm business? Was it really hard at the beginning or was it easier because there was some previous relationship? What was the sense of nervousness when starting a new business for any entrepreneur? And did you guys feel that at the beginning?
Tanvi Davda: So we definitely did this the hard way in that we did it by winning clients one by one by one, we didn't start with any founding client or business. We did it on a field of dream spaces. We said, "We will build it," and we fundamentally believed that because we are different, they will see that difference that clients will engage with us and stay with us. And that's absolutely been our experience, been going for just over three years now. And what's been fantastic is that our clients have become our greatest advocates. They are able to bring other people too to us.
Tanvi Davda: And that community is really important and we want to celebrate and enjoy that community and bring other people to that experience. So that is really how we've gone about doing it as well as challenging ourselves and asking our clients to challenge us, to improve wherever they see things could be done better. So we look at other industries, we look at our competition, and we see how we can continuously improve. And that's really important to us. We want to continue to evolve and continue to grow, not just in terms of our clients, but also in terms of what we offer and how we offer it.
Anand Verma: I think that constant evolution is also an example of a startup mindset. And it looks like not just you're imagining the sector itself, but also the ways of working, which must be exciting for people who come from large companies where it might be too process driven to some coming into a company like yours, which is agile and fluid, and you're learning from each other and clients are your biggest advocates. And that creates a completely different sense of purpose for the organization than some of the other approaches the large companies. Would you agree with that sentiment?
Tanvi Davda: Yeah, absolutely. I think that coming out of a big institution, whatever that institution is, and coming to a startup or a nascent business is a big shift and some adjust better than others, but it certainly allows you to really change the way you work, change the way you think, change the way you operate. And this current crisis is forcing everyone to do that. And I have to say, I think there are businesses everywhere that are really stepping up to that challenge. And so it's forcing us all to be more entrepreneurial in the way we think, the way we operate, the way we want to live.
Anand Verma: That's the necessity is the mother of invention. We are seeing that and we'll talk more about that in our second dear topic or second topic, I must say. Before we move away from this customer experience side of things, I just want to quote a few things to you and ask for a use case, an example, how Saranac looks at this. So McKinsey estimates that 75 to 80% of transactional operations and up to 40% of most strategic activities can be automated. Operation staff will have very different set of tasks thus will need different kinds of skillsets.
Anand Verma: There's a massive surge in the skill transformation refactoring that's going on, instead of processing transactions or compiling data, they'll be using technology to advise clients on best financial options and products, do creative problem solving. And you've talked about simpler problems and complex problems pulled from a client perspective, develop new products and services to enhance the customer experience. Let's talk a little bit more about the customer experience part from Saranac point of view. Also, the customer needs are changing and customer demographic is also changing.
Anand Verma: And I was stunned by this when working with Saranac, the way Saranac was looking at the customers and the clients of all kinds was very different angle to my previous work that I had done with some of the other banks. Can you just share use case and real example of how do you look at the client needs, right? What kind of variability you look at? How do you bring digital and physical together in a real use case mindset?
Tanvi Davda: I think this area is weedy changing significantly. And one of the key drivers is that I think clients want greater control. That is irrespective of whether your client is a millennial in that early 20s and 30s, or whether the client is actually a baby boomer in their 70s and everyone in between. So I think if you can give your clients a better understanding of this situation, provide analytics in terms of how they're investing or saving, transparency over what they're paying for so that they can judge for themselves the value that they receive. They want that ability to understand that not necessarily by just sitting down with an advisor all the time, but essentially to better inform themselves around their choices. And so digital capability that supports that is absolutely essential.
Tanvi Davda: My belief is that as we emerge from this COVID crisis, that people's financial and emotional wellbeing is going to be a key driver of behavior. And that means it's really incumbent on financial services business to be able to support that irrespective whether you're dealing with a mass affluent retail client or an exceptionally wealthy private client.
Anand Verma: Right. Then I think the changes, the current situation as a broad will also impact a number of industries, including financial services. And what I like about what you're saying is clients and customers want more control and they want more transparency. And in some cases, in my own experience, they're certainly not getting it, my own personal experience with banks and the bank that I personally deal with as well. Tanvi, if somebody who's going on embarking on a journey like yours, either it's a large institution or a startup who're dreaming of doing this, what will be a two or three key points you want them to think about?
Tanvi Davda: So the first I think is to search for the problem that you're trying to solve or the area in which you think you can do things differently or make a difference. So I think that's the first thing is that, what is that thing that you really wants to be able to solve? How do you want to operate? That's really important, knowing what your framework is for building something, whether that's within an institution or outside of it is really around, how do you think about things? How are you going to develop this? And who do you need in order to support you in terms of doing that?
Tanvi Davda: One of the amazing things that we have with you and Brilliant Basics is that you introduced us to a whole different community of new businesses, startups, nascent businesses that were doing amazing things. That's a community you don't generally get to become aware of in large institutions. And having that help, that support, that partnership is incredibly valuable when you're starting out with a new business. So finding those partnerships, finding those people with expertise and asking for help, I think are some of the key ideas.
Anand Verma: That is brilliant. And I've seen that with my naked eyes, with what you guys have done, the plethora of multi-skilled, multi-discipline people you're brought in to solve complex problems is a unique way in the digital world that we live in. Stay with us. Once again, you're listening to the Infosys Knowledge Institute, the Brilliant Basics Edition. Today, we are talking about the evolution of wealth management and private banking sector. I can't thank Tanvi enough for joining my podcast, but we've been talking a lot about the customer centricity, we've been talking about clients want control and transparency in the world of wealth management.
Anand Verma: To continue the conversation to the next segment, Tanvi, let's talk about the impact of COVID-19 basically in your space. I've spoken to some of your colleagues as well about how the changes in remote working is happening. What used to be an industry where people will come to a physical location in a wooden cladded rooms and all those kinds of stuff will start to get distract as we move through this crisis, it's really testing us all aspects. Businesses everywhere face immense disruption, millions of individuals are getting impacted, and we might be on the tipping end of recession here.
Anand Verma: So while there is speed of the recovery depends on the large extent of the success of public health measures globally, as well as interventions, governments and central banks, the pandemic will certainly cause wealth to potentially contract in the near term. Just before we talk about the remote working and the morale and the ways of working, just from a wealth management, financial services perspective, do you have a viewpoint in terms of how COVID-19 will impact the financial markets?
Tanvi Davda: Well, I think it will accelerate the pace of technological change in the marketplace, whether that's in retail banking or whether that's in insurance or whether that's in any other aspect, including wealth management. As I say, I think one of the key changes to take place as a result of this is that people will be very focused on their financial and their emotional wellbeing. And that means that people are going to be much more thoughtful and vigilant about their wealth. And that really doesn't matter what end of the spectrum your wealth is, whether you're incredibly wealthy or not really wealthy at all.
Tanvi Davda: As you say, there will be and they continue to be job losses across many industries. And that is very difficult for lots of people. At the wealthier end, you've seen a significant loss in wealth as well, but you've also seen an increase in philanthropy and people giving. So I think that people will really change their behavior in terms of the attention they pay to their financial wellbeing. I think that the way that, what clients expect and what they demand and how they interact with their financial services companies will change.
Tanvi Davda: And I think that been an area that everyone is familiar with, and retail banking, digital banks are a great example of this. They have been growing at an extraordinary pace. And I think that there will be a fundamental shift to those banks as a result of this crisis. People aren't going to physical branch to go and do stuff, they're able to actually do everything remotely. So I'm of the belief that the technology will enhance and advance people's choices in terms of what they can do and where they can go. So if I look at Monzo or Starling or Revolut as the three digital banks.
Tanvi Davda: None of them have been around for that long, I think, probably five years at the most. And they're challenging traditional banks that have been around for hundreds of years with significant resources at their disposal. And those digital banks are wining. I mean the traditional banks will fight back, that's for sure, but I think there's a fundamental shift taking place and I don't think that will be reversed. Was it at Breakfast some months ago, obviously pre the crisis with a group of people that could have been our clients and prospects that's to say they're pretty successful, some of them are quite wealthy, and the subject to digital banks came up.
Tanvi Davda: And one of the things I was astonished to learn, it's probably around 20 people in the room, so almost every single person in the room was a client of one of these digital banks. So I think that with this crisis, they will have found a new set of clients and pace of change in terms of their development enhancing their offering, enhancing their service is just unparalleled compared to traditional providers. So I think that's one of the areas that there will be a real change. In my space, I believe that private clients are going to be more private. That traditionally, when people have wanted to come to the office to have a discussion, actually that's no longer going to be the norm.
Tanvi Davda: What will be more the cases that actually people will seek to do things remotely, which is fantastic because we're able to support international clients as well as domestic clients. I think that they will invite you to their homes, but they're certainly not going to seek to travel into Central London and Mayfair to, come and visit you in the same way. So I think that allows you to really improve and enhance the tools that you use to work with, with your clients. So those are some of the things that I think are changing.
Anand Verma: Now, that's really fascinating. And just to add to your points, we're also seeing in our own business like these four areas of disruption. The first one is what they're calling as overnight digitalization, which is basically the companies who are not digital starting to overinvest in digital and move at the pace double or triple the speed they used to move at. So that's the first one.
Anand Verma: The second one we are seeing is this natural movement towards creativity and innovation, but focusing on what generates value really quickly. The third one, which is really interesting and I would love to talk a little bit more about, this is the whole concept of employee wellness, employee experience, employee health, remote ways of working. And the last one, which is obvious in any crisis is the whole cash preservation and cost containment.
Anand Verma: So these are four patterns we are seeing. Now, the differences between 2008 and now is the first three are new entrance to the crisis management, because digital is the only way out in the crisis like COVID-19 in the current situation. So one thought or question on my mind is, how have you guys dealt with this? Because you've grown significantly in the last five years, your team are incredibly versatile. How have you managed the transition from working from the office to working from at least 60 or 70 home offices, right? So I'd love to hear your thoughts on that.
Tanvi Davda: It was quite a change and it was a pretty much an overnight change. We took the decision to shift 100% remote on the 17th of March, and so the next day, we were all working at home. What's fantastic, and the team have been brilliant, is that we had tools and capabilities to do so. We have video conference capabilities, we had the ability to transfer phones, everyone had a way to work remotely. And so actually everything worked incredibly well, including the investment management team putting through thousands of trades from their kitchen tables, as it were.
Tanvi Davda: Of course at that point, it was both a health crisis and a financial crisis, markets have been incredibly volatile and saw a very quick move in terms of down, in terms of markets. And then through April and May, an incredibly quick recovery. We're certainly not out of this crisis yet either on the financial side or on the health side. But actually, the team, I mean, really raised to the challenge. We became closer to our clients than we were before. Private clients is really a personal business, you spend a lot of time with your clients and it's a people business. And when you remove the ability to actually spend time with people face to face, then that is quite a difference. And it's certainly a difference for the way that the industry has worked for years and years and years.
Tanvi Davda: But it's really interesting, we've become closer to our clients as a result of this. We have been able to engage with them directly, give them very much personalized advice and support because each situation is different, and come up with ideas and solutions and opportunities. And the team have done all of that whilst obviously juggling what everyone has juggled, which is care and concern for their families, homeschooling, and in a home environment where we've got multiple people attempting to work in different things.
Tanvi Davda: And a change in the way that you collaborate and support, our business is very much a team sport, it isn't an individual sport and it's really important that the team are able work together and collaborate and communicate to ensure that we can give the best ideas and the best solutions for our clients. And I have to say, it's been really extraordinary. There've been heroic efforts by people within our business, but I mean, across businesses, I mean, I'm blown away by how businesses have adapted and changed their core capabilities, taking their talents, whether it's Dyson or Formula 1, to take that talent and put it to a different purpose.
Tanvi Davda: I think that's just extraordinary what those companies have done. And I think it really shows you the capabilities and what people are really able to do. I think you've seen more entrepreneurial-ism in this crisis than we have done in hundreds of years and in a way, because every single person has had to find a new way of doing things. And I think that is going to be something that actually stays with people and stays with businesses and hopefully, creates new entrepreneurs and new opportunities out of what has definitely been obviously a huge crisis and a devastating crisis for many people.
Anand Verma: That is incredible and can only attest to that. And human beings are incredibly adaptable. And what this has shown is companies have become incredibly adaptable in this situation. And some have taken a little longer than the others, but I think a point about being able to move at speed and solving not just their organizational challenges, but also solving the humanity challenges has been remarkable, remarkable to see.
Anand Verma: So I completely agree and concur with what you are leading too. And one of the things that comes to my mind is, while that terrorism continues in the offline, if I can use that word carefully, offline world, as businesses are reopening now and the lockdown is easing, do you think that majority of your workforce will roll back to the office or do you see a much more of a blended hybrid model going forward?
Tanvi Davda: Yeah, so we've reopened our office. We opened it up on 8th of June, so we've been open for pretty much a month now. And the reality is that actually, whilst it is used by a few people, the vast majority of people have actually set themselves up and we've reinforced that set up to allow people to work really well from home. And so I'm not expecting there to be a rush back to the office as it were because people have actually found a balance in terms of being able to juggle the many things that people have going on in their lives and actually set themselves up. And I think that there are definitely different challenges in that in terms of, you don't have that same social element that you're used to at the office.
Tanvi Davda: As you know, we do a Thursday afternoon huddle where we all get together and just have a moment to reflect on what's been going on this week, to celebrate stuff that has gone well, to actually reflect on things that perhaps could have been done better, but most of all, actually just to come together and spend time as a group. That is really hard to do even over a Zoom call because you can't all chat to each other. And so whilst you end up having lots of incredibly productive work discussions, and there are obviously less distractions when you worked in the office in some ways, that sort of connectivity is something that you need to build.
Tanvi Davda: And there are people that obviously live alone, there are people that live in households where there are multi-generations, there's all sorts of different circumstances. And that's quite important to recognize as an employer that everyone's got a very different circumstance and actually three of this period that people have had to deal with different issues in their home and work setups. So whether that is you no longer got any form of childcare or school care, and you've got to juggle teaching your kids, which I have to say has been one of my challenges, or whether it's been that actually you genuinely have no social interaction because actually you live by yourself and feel somewhat lonely.
Tanvi Davda: And I think that everybody has had a different set of challenges and issues. But what's really important is actually as a community, as a firm, we hopefully have supported each other and being understanding, and being more tolerant of different challenges and try to help each other at different times and create almost that support network, which you traditionally never, perhaps didn't rely on in the same way. And I know you've been fantastic at giving us lots of tips as to what you're doing. And that's the other thing that I love about this, in that people have been very generous with their thinking and what they've been doing. And that has made us all better and all stronger because I think that there's no playbook for this. No one knows how to do this.
Tanvi Davda: So genuinely you can invite people to come with ideas, and that's what we did. We did very much so in the firm and actually almost was surprised at how much enthusiasm as it was for discussing and reimagining how the business should operate and how we could work and what it could mean. And so I think actually partial remote working will remain a feature for us going forward, and the office will actually have a different purpose in the way that it traditionally had. We're figuring this out like everybody else is and we will see how things evolve. But what we want to do is make sure that we can continue to challenge ourselves and stretch our thinking to evolve and develop in this changing landscape.
Anand Verma: So exciting. And I love what you said about society is becoming more tolerant and there is a sense of this open source of playbook, nobody has gone through this. The whole world is suffering because of this, but also whole world has come together to share their intellectual property to make each other better, each other stronger, and which is a real socio economic change that's happening out there as well which can only make us better at everything that we do. And talking about betterment, the last strand to our conversation, if I may, is about entrepreneurship.
Anand Verma: And Tanvi, you're an incredible business leader, I can even call you an entrepreneur. The five-year long journey, starting a company from scratch, just to share with the listeners and budding entrepreneurs, what are the couple of things they should think about in becoming successful entrepreneurs? And not even successful entrepreneurs, even giving it a shot and getting on the ladder of entrepreneurship.
Tanvi Davda: So the first thing is I don't really consider myself an entrepreneur, possibly an accidental entrepreneur, but certainly not an entrepreneur in the way that you are and many others. But I guess the biggest tip I would give to people is to have what is described as a growth mindset versus a fixed mindset. So I don't know if that's a term you're familiar with, but it was devised by a Stanford professor, Carol Dweck, and actually she's written a book called Mindset.
Tanvi Davda: And it really explores the idea that people believe that actually, if you have a fixed mindset, you have a belief that actually you have a inherent ability to do stuff and that you are therefore either successful at something and talented at something or you're not. And therefore they focus in terms of what they believe they're capable at. So, that's what a fixed mindset.
Tanvi Davda: And then a growth mindset fundamentally believes that actually challenge and failure is a huge learning opportunity and that actually with hard work and persistence that you can evolve and develop and genuinely get better at something. And that giving it a go is absolutely worthwhile because even if you fail, you will learn something from it and it will make you stronger and better as you go forward. And that's something that I certainly try and impart to my kids who sometimes that when they first do something, find it hard and genuinely say, "Well, I'm not good at that."
Tanvi Davda: But it's actually incredibly important as an entrepreneur and in a business is to have this ability to really create a growth mindset. And that means that actually, it's okay to fail. You have to push yourselves outside of your comfort zone, then you need to challenge yourself and you need to challenge your colleagues because that's how you will get stronger and that's how you will develop. And I think, although, and as I say, I don't describe myself as a entrepreneur, I have definitely failed at more things than I have succeeded in. And I think that that mindset of giving it a go, trying things, and almost agitating to do better is something that stands entrepreneurs in good stead, but all of us in good stead in terms of trying things out.
Tanvi Davda: So that will probably be my key thing is to have that mindset of challenging yourself and going to do it. And even if it doesn't work out, you will learn and gain a huge amount from the experience. And that that will build resilience into you as an individual and your businesses. And I read an article actually a couple of weeks ago by the journalist, Azeem Azhar, and he talked about one of the key things emerging from this crisis is that those that will come out of it well will be those that have built resilience in their businesses. And I believe that that means not just in terms of the business and runway and those sorts of things, but actually resilience into the people, and also relevance. So are you relevant going forward in a post COVID world? And if you're not, then that is an opportunity to reinvent.
Anand Verma: Amazing. And the resilience is a word that I really connect with personally, but also we're seeing incredible amount of resilience from everyone as well. And what a great advice. Thank you. You might call yourself an entrepreneur, Tanvi, but I certainly consider you as a successful entrepreneur and a leader. So thanks for that advice and thanks for incredibly insightful discussion as well. We have a tradition on my podcast to talk about a favorite book that you recently read or reading and also some insights from that.
Tanvi Davda: Sure. So I've just finished a book by Malcolm Gladwell, his most recent book, called Talking to Strangers. So I don't know if you or your listeners are familiar with Malcolm Gladwell, but I am a huge fan. So he's written some fantastic books called Blink, Outliers. If you haven't read them, definitely worth a read. But Talking to Strangers is a great book because it talks about actually how we are biased and how we have certain misconceptions in dating with strangers. And in any business, that is a people business, which of course our businesses as well, it's a fascinating insight into just how easy it is to misunderstand people, to misread people, and the consequences that can have. So it's definitely worth a read.
Tanvi Davda: And I'm currently reading, but I've only just started, a book by Stephen Schwarzman who has written a book called What It Takes. Stephen Schwarzman is the co-founder and CEO of Blackstone and has an incredible journey. And he's written a book that really details the journey that he's had to building one of the most foremost financial services businesses out there. So that's where I've started, haven't finished it yet, but I know it's going to be a fantastic read.
Anand Verma: Amazing, and I'm going to order both of them this evening to my reading collection as well. So thank you for that advice. Tanvi, how can people find you online? Are you on LinkedIn or such platforms?
Tanvi Davda: I am on Linkedin, so people can find me on there. And obviously you can follow what we're doing at Saranac Partners which is also on LinkedIn or on our website.
Anand Verma: Great, thank you so much. And thank you for your time and highly interesting discussion. I've learned a lot from that, and I'm pretty sure our listeners will learn and share their views on this as well. Everyone, you can find the details of this show on our show notes and transcripts at infosys.com/iki in our podcast section.
Anand Verma: What a great discussion. You've been listening to the Infosys Knowledge Institute, the Brilliant Basics Edition, where we talk about digital disruption design and future work. Today, we had a discussion about the evolution of wealth management, financial services, the role of technology customer experience, and of course a world post COVID-19, and also entrepreneurship. Thanks to our guest, TanvI Davda, for being part of this show today. Also thanks to our producer and researcher, Yulia De Bari, and the entire Knowledge Institute and Brilliant Basics team. Until next time, keep learning and keep sharing, and of course, stay safe.
About Tanvi Davda
Tanvi is the Managing Partner and Head of Clients at Saranac Partners. Tanvi has over 25 years of experience in Financial markets across both the Private client and Capital Markets arena globally. Prior to joining Saranac Partners she was a Managing Director at Barclays Wealth. Tanvi also held a number of roles at ABN Amro, RBS and Credit Suisse in London, Asia and the United States.
Tanvi holds a MSc in Finance from the London Business School and a BSc in Chemistry from the University of London.
- Connect with Tanvi: LinkedIn
Selected Links from the Episode
- Saranac Partners
- ABN Amro
- Barclays Wealth
- Starling Bank
Mentioned in the podcast