IIFL Holdings Limited is a leading financial services player in India promoted by first generation entrepreneurs. The group is engaged, through its subsidiaries, in the business of non-banking finance, housing finance, wealth management, mutual funds and asset management, equities, commodities and currency broking, investment banking, insurance and other financial products distribution. IIFL has a customer base of 2.5 million, serviced by over 10,000 employees in more than 2,700 business locations.
The group’s evolution from an entrepre-neurial start-up to market leadership position is a story of steady growth by adapting to the changing environment, without losing the focus on its core domain of financial services. The group, founded in 1995 by first generation professionals, started business as an independent information services company. In 1999, during the early days of Internet, the management saw an opportunity in embracing the Web as a business model itself. All research was placed free on the website www.indiainfoline.com and it became instantly popular. The company launched www.5paisa. com, an online equities trading platform at low brokerage of 0.05 per cent (5 basis points), and emerged as one of the leading players in equities. Over the years, service offerings were expanded. The holding company was listed through an IPO in 2005.
A paradigm shift happened as retail investors put faith in IIFL’s own online trading platform the ‘Trader Terminal’- a revolutionary proprietary trading engine. The brand also made major investments in technology to enhance the investor experience. Moreover, IIFL’s use of technology and the Internet extended the trading facility from a broker’s office to the customer’s residence, office desktop or mobile platform. Through the Internet, IIFL empowered clients to place orders directly on the exchange. IIFL’s trading platform had an apt caption – Making Fortunes On Your Screen!
The brand recall of IIFL and www. indiainfoline.com has been tremendous. In early 2000, when Internet speed was unheard of in India, IIFL made a big impact by offering a million CDs free of charge loaded with all that one would conceivably want to know about business, investment and finance. In the print media, they have run one of the longest campaigns on financial literacy with easy-to-understand illustrations in all leading papers in India including a host of regional papers. In recent years, their tagline ‘When it’s about money’ has stressed on the following brand values: Trust is a must, Knowledge is the edge, Technology works wonders and Staying close always helps.
At IIFL, they have successfully implemented a number of innovative ideas in the financial services industry to rise from a start-up to leadership position in less than two decades. For instance:
• They gave away all their research free on indiainfoline.com and acquired millions of readers.
• IIFL pioneered online trading and revolutionised broking at the lowest rate of 5 basis points.
• They inducted a high-profile institutional team from a foreign brokerage house in a first-of-itskind deal in the Indian broking industry.
IIFL adheres to a set of values that can be summarised as GIFTS – Growth, Integrity, Fairness, Transparency and Service. Their brand promise has strong foundations as it is based on the four pillars of Research, Reach, Technology and Trust.