India’s leading stock exchange, the National Stock exchange (NSE), today organized a National Seminar on Economic Empowerment Through Financial Education in Varanasi, in association with the Securities and Exchange Board of India ( SEBI) and the Benaras Hindu university( BHU), at the University’s premises. The focus of the Conference was to advise investors about precautions they should take while investing, in choosing the right intermediary and the right products to invest in.
The keynote address was delivered by the Chief Guest, SEBI Chairman Mr. U. K. Sinha. The Guest of Honour, Ms. Chitra Ramkrishna, MD and CEO, NSE also spoke on the occasion and the Presidential address was given by Professor G C Tripathi, Vice Chancellor, BHU.
On the eve of the program Ms. Chitra said, ’’Our aim is to reach out to investors to inculcate a disciplined approach to investing, so that they can understand financial planning better and work towards a sound financial future.’’
Varanasi is an important cultural hub in North India, and the economy here is driven by tourism as well as small scale industries, involved mainly in the manufacturing of benarasi silk.
The seminar was attended by a large number of participants including academicians, bankers and industrialists. They were given information on various products that they could invest in, for example, exchange traded funds (ETF’s) including Nifty ETF’s, through which it is possible to invest in small amounts and risk is diversified.
Investors were given guidance on how to trade cautiously, so that they don’t get misled by market rumours and invest according to a wise investment plan. They were educated on the precautions they should take before, during and after trading. These included a discussion on checking contract notes issued by brokers to investors, to verify whether only authorized trades have been executed by the broker. Investors were also given advice on not getting lured by promises of exceptionally high returns and on the need to check the statement of accounts, to ensure that all transactions are as per the client’s advice and consent. They were informed about the investor grievance redressal mechanisms, so that they can get their complaints resolved at an early stage.
Investors were advised by the Speakers on the mandatory and voluntary documents that should be executed between the investor and the member broker and on the need for investors to see the risk disclosure documents, if they are first time investors. They were also advised that giving a power of attorney to the broker is voluntary and not mandatory.
In its endeavor to bridge the skill deficit, in the financial sector, the exchange has a partnership entered into alliances with 18 Universities across India to run graduate level and post graduate courses on financial markets, which make students more eligible for attractive jobs in the financial sector. The exchange has also tied up with CBSE and other state level school boards for various educational programs.
After the session on investor awareness, there was also a discussion on SME’s and the opportunities available for them to raise capital for their growth. Varanasi has a large number of small and medium enterprises which are engaged in silk weaving. Entrepreneurs were informed about NSE’s Emerge platform, on which SME’s can list and raise productive capital.
Ms Chitra said, ’’SME’s often face a funds crunch because of limited sources of capital for them. Listing on the SME platform of NSE helps them to raise funds for growth and innovation, gives them visibility and credibility among investors, apart from helping the companies to unlock value for its early investors to find an efficient exit‘’. Entrepreneurs were also informed about an alternative capital expansion route like the Institutional Trading Platform (ITP), available on the exchange. ITP is an exclusive platform for start-ups and growing companies to list and showcase their performance to their lenders and potential investors, without an IPO (Initial Public Offer). Here companies can raise funds through rights or placement issues.