‘Mutual Funds Sahi Hai’ – The anatomy of a campaign that fortified a category

The Mutual Fund industry has grown by leaps and bounds over the last few years, becoming one of the most preferred investment options today. As per industry reports, assets managed by the Indian mutual fund industry have increased from Rs 25.60 trillion in September 2019 to Rs 27.74 trillion in September 2020, a growth of 8.35%. Over the past few months, we have seen the stock market quite bullish despite the pandemic situation, with the Sensex crossing the 40K mark. With the Government having set a target of becoming a $5 trillion economy in GDP terms by 2024, it was required that the industry too set its sights on the future and plan to increase mutual fund penetration in the country by reaching out to Tier 2 and 3 towns.

Category and awareness building

It has been observed that the Indians are increasingly moving away from physical savings to financial savings, however the realisation that to beat inflation they will have to change from traditional savings options to equities and mutual funds is happening at a much slower pace as it will take time for deep-rooted habits to change. Therefore, to build the Mutual Funds category, Association of Mutual Funds in India (AMFI), a nodal association of mutual funds across India, launched an investor awareness campaign – ‘Mutual Funds Sahi Hai’, which has met with quite a bit of success. Over the years, AMFI has been coming out with several campaigns to create awareness amongst consumers and educate and properly guide the investors on the mutual fund investments. AMFI is dedicated to developing the Indian Mutual Fund industry on professional, healthy and ethical lines and to enhance and maintain standards in all areas with a view to protecting and promoting the interests of mutual funds and their unit holders.

Next level campaigns with cricketers

The ‘Mutual Funds Sahi Hai’ campaign this time roped in popular cricketers to move the conversation to the next level by talking to the retail investors across the country and penetrate the smaller towns. The ‘Mutual Funds Sahi Hai’ campaign had some high decibel visibility during the recently-concluded IPL 2020, which gave them the best reach and viewership during the pandemic times to engage with audience. With about 4 months to go for the current financial year to end and with the economy trying to get back on track, the investment climate may also look up for investors to plan their year-end investments, starting with the tax saving schemes.

Right communication to educate and build investor confidence

The Mutual Funds business is not without risks due to the market uncertainty and volatility. A lot depends on how the fund manager of the fund house is equipped to take appropriate decisions and devise investment strategies to protect the investor’s interests of safe guarding the capital and growing their hard-earned money with utmost care and concern. It is, therefore, important that every piece of communication that is being released meets the SEBI guidelines and follows the rules framed by AMFI, which is helping and guiding the investing public.

In an effort to grow the category on the one end and educate the investor on the advantages of investing in mutual funds, AMFI is moving in the right direction to help all the mutual fund brands. While the ‘Mutual Funds Sahi Hai’ campaign is working towards achieving their end objectives, we also need to understand how these campaigns have helped the mutual fund brands and what kind of communication the various mutual funds brands are devising to engage with the audience for their brands.


Giving his views on the campaign, Ajay Kakar, Chief Marketing Officer, Aditya Birla Capital, said, “The Mutual Fund proposition is very strong and relevant for people who don’t have knowledge about the investing opportunities and the markets. Or, even if they do, if they don’t have the needed time to devote to their investments and investment decisions.”

However, this industry has had a relatively slow start. Even after several years of opening up to the private sector, industry penetration remains a low 5%. This means that a large segment of investors have remained deprived of the benefits of the category.

So, who will invest in creating category relevance? Individual players have invested in their own investor education communications, but with limited budgets, their campaigns have not been consistent. And since they were individual efforts, they didn’t get the desired impact.

That’s where the AMFI campaign came in and backed a sustained investment on a pan India and 360 degree basis. It has undertaken the task of creating category relevance among the masses. It spoke the language of the common man to explain the benefits of investing in mutual funds. More recently, it has even roped in celebrities (which individual fund houses have not been permitted to) to spread the word.

Speaking further, Kakar said, “Today, the industry enjoys approximately 12% penetration. While products, distribution and a track record of performance have helped this increased penetration, the impact of AMFI’s efforts and campaign cannot be undermined. It has definitely helped rope in a broader segment and geography of investors, into the category.”

So, when the tide rises, so do all the boats.

It is now up to each fund house to ride on these category awareness and relevance spends by investing to create brand and product pulls for themselves. Those who do, will reap benefits disproportionately as compared to what their individual and stand-alone efforts would have.

According to MVS Murthy, Head - Marketing & Digital, Tata Asset Management, the ‘Mutual Funds Sahi Hai’ campaign has heightened the awareness of mutual funds as a category. He further added, “We are definitely finding the impact in terms of increase in knowledge of mutual funds. In sync with the launch of this campaign, we too started 2 key initiatives – one on investor education and one on SIP mobilisation. The two distinct impacts have been that, month on month the number of unique users to our website have increased due to investor education and our SIP campaigns have set a month on month increase in number of SIPs that got set through marketing channels. Our message to investors is ‘Har Din Sahi Hai’, which gets a lot of tail wind from ‘Mutual Funds Sahi Hai’, as our campaign encourages our investors to choose any day to invest in something that our regulator says ‘Sahi Hai’.”

On the messaging front, Murthy noted that there are several types of funds and hence, constant messaging is the key. Besides, putting these funds in a simple narrative and context is important. For example, the utility of both equity and debt funds in the context of long- and short-term goals with illustrative narrative is important. Video and Vernacular are the other key aspects to keep in mind when you are addressing a pan India audience. And finally, the transaction journey needs to be smooth for channel partners and investors too.

Radhika Gupta, MD & CEO, Edelweiss Asset Management Ltd, pointed out, “In past few years, mutual funds as an investment option are gaining popularity and efforts are being made by the mutual fund associations to educate investors. Mutual Fund communication is perceived to be technical and complicated and, therefore, demystifying it has been one of the key objectives. At Edelweiss AMC, we’ve embraced storytelling, using simple everyday analogies to make our message more relatable and, therefore, touch the heart of our consumers. Our consumer is someone who is probably 25-55, online savvy, wants to achieve more in life and hopefully will connect to these stories. Through campaigns like ‘Advice Zaroori Hai’, which is using topicals and everyday events to emphasise the importance of advice, or through our Money Konnect platform, which uses Ramayana (something that we’ve all grown up with) to talk about money tips, or our recent campaign around Balanced Advantage Funds and kabaddi, we’re trying to bring financial services to every home through storytelling.”

Gupta further said that with everyday situations as the backdrop, the ‘Mutual Funds Sahi Hai’ campaign impresses upon the mind of the prospective investors that mutual funds are the right option for them.


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