Trend analysis of Investment Patterns of ITES Employees


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Trend Analysis of the investment patterns of ITES Employees.

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Trend analysis of Investment Patterns of ITES Employees

  1. 1. Trend Analysis: After doing the trend analysis for 200+ data (Krishna please put the exact figure after totaling 118 samples of mine + 44 of Bhavani’s and X of Merlin’s) I have come to a conclusion about a few things about the way the employees at different career levels and ages of BPO industry save and invest: 1. Most of the BPO employees when they join the industry in Bangalore, they are 20-21 years old. The minimum qualification required is graduation/diploma (10+2+3) in most of the reputed MNCs and hence the students who do not want to study further/ do not have the opportunities to study further join the BPO industry. They get a good brand name like Infosys BPO, Accenture BPO, IBM BPO etc., get all the facilities like Gym, swimming pool, recreation facilities etc along with transport facilities. They get health insurance an life insurance (Free of cost in some companies and at a nominal cost for the entire family in some others) from the company. They get fast career growth, opportunities to do further studies like MBA/PGDBA/ MS/PMP/CCNA etc. and all the good companies support the employees in these. They get opportunities to go onsite through the company (US, UK, Canada, Australia etc. ) if they are good performers and they get good growth and compensation packages and incentives. When the BPO industry started in 1997 in India (With GECIS, Gurgaon, EXL, Convergys being the key players), youngsters were skeptical to join the BPO industry. There were night shifts and the way our Indian Mentality. However with time the industry stabilized in India and the high end jobs started coming to India. There was a ‘’sinking skills ladder’’ and slowly now KPO (Companies like KPMG, Medical Transcription Companies etc- Sparsh BPO, GE Analytics, a lot of innovation in IBM, Intel etc. is done by ITES employees) and LPO (Legal process outsourcing (Companies like Infosys BPO, Accenture BPO have LPO units where lawyers are hired), highly specialized jobs for healthcare industry where doctors, medical analysts, bio-medical students, bio-tech students are hired. 2. I got to know that GENPACT has Exec MBA with IMT- Ghaziabad, Accenture has it with ISB- Hyd, XLRI, Symbiosis etc, IBM BPO has with Sikkim Manipal Univ, IIM- Khozikode etc. Infosys BPO runs the maximum numbers of programs for its working junior management executives. We got this excellent program with Welingkar business school. Infosys has tie ups with IIM-A, IIM-B, Sikkim Manipal Univ., Symbiosis, IIM- Joka (For Sourcing and Procurement Management and supply chain management) and many other institutes. So many people, who were unable to do a full time MBA for different reasons, join the ITES industries and then get rigorously trained for their required skill sets. People have become voice resources ideally for taking calls (Simple processes to highly complex processes like router support- Cisco TAC team, to giving support to GE Med systems – owned by GECIS- GENPACT). The data resources get enormous exposure to the F & A, S & P, CME, MFG, HRO & Payroll, Healthcare, BFSI, Collections and many other environments. They become excellent in analytics, excel skills and are great in producing excellent PPTs and running Macros and doing highly skilled jobs. Hence the ITES industry is playing a vital role in ‘’India Shining’’. 3. We collected data from various educational backgrounds (B.E/B.Tech, B.A (Arts), B.Sc, B.Com, B.Sc – IT/BCA, BBA, BBM, BHM, MBA- Finance & Actuarial Sc, MBA- International Business and Int. Relations. MBA/PGDBA, M.A (Arts). M.Com, M.Sc (PCMB), MCA/M.Sc, PHD, C.A etc. So the common myth which people have that only people with less skills, and less educational background only join the ITES industry was broken. There were six sigma certified professionals, PMP Certified Professionals, Dip (Mech), ITIL, CCNA, MCSE, CCIP Certified professionals and many others with many other certifications. Many of them had come from manufacturing industry (Typically in the quality teams with GB, BB and MBBs) and have blended into the service industry and are creating values for the clients. We found that GECIS/GENPACT runs six sigma projects and saves millions of dollars every month. Accenture has an Opex model (Operational Excellence) and they run on lean- Six sigma model. All the projects there are first certified by the
  2. 2. quality team and high level charts and SIPOCs are created before the go-live. Infosys BPO runs many programs to enable employees to take up YB, GB and BB projects and saves millions of dollars for the clients. There are similar models in the other BPOS too. 4. I came across 1 employee from Accenture BPO who had done his PHD in English literature. He was in the training team of Accenture BPO and he was a part time lecturer in Bangalore Univ. I came across another profile from Infosys BPO who is pursuing his PHD in Mgmt and he too is a guest lecturer in one of the B. Schools in Bangalore. Hence the myth of having less education was broken. 5. There were many PMP certified professionals who are into Pre-Sales and Project Management. There are CCNAs, MCSEs, working with HP, Dell, IBM etc. in very high end Infrastructure Support or Network support teams. They are remotely monitoring the networks of their clients in different geographic locations. 6. And I came across one profile from Accenture BPO who has done his Full Time MBA from ISB. He is in the senior management of Accenture- BPO handling multiple geographies. Another FT MBA from an Univ. of Australia is working with ANZ and providing business analysis to the bank. There was one more profile in Infosys BPO who was working as an agent in Accenture BPO, took a FT course from Narsee Monjee- Actuarial Sc. And now is working with Infosys BPO’s pre-sales team. 7. There were 3 C.As- one with Capgemini, One with Accenture BPO and another with Infosys BPO. They are all at the senior management- leadership teams. 8. There were M.Sc (Biotech), B.E (Biomedical), B.E (Instrumentation), B.E (Aeronautical Engg.), B.E (Comp Sc./ IT) etc who did not get jobs in their fields and then had joined the BPO industry. Many had moved to the highly skilled healthcare specialization of the BPOs and the rest had move to tech-support, quality, sourcing and procurement processes. 9. Most of the employees had joined as graduates are doing their MBA/PGDBA through the company exec MBA programs of distance learning programs run by different companies. We observed the hunger to learn and come at par with their other counterparts in IT industry or the business execs who had done FT MBA and were handling businesses. 10. There were X male respondents and Y female respondents (Krishna- please total everyone’s numbers). It is not that there are less women working in the BPOs, however since we did random sampling- hence we spoke with our friends who were in different genders. And a few women were skeptical about sharing their financial data also. However if we look at the statistics, we will find that at the junior management level, in the ITES industry it is almost equal employment between men and women. It is at the middle management and higher management positions, we could not find data from too many women. 11. We had a good mix of income groups. We observed that when an employee joins the ITES industry, since most of them come from other cities to work in a different city, in the first two years they are unable to do much savings. They have to take a house on rent (Mostly on sharing basis or P.G) and spend on monthly maintenance. However from the third or the fourth year of work, when their salaries are taxable, they start investing to save tax. Most of the employees open PPF accounts/ Take life insurance policies and start their investment portfolios. 12. We found that most of the women invest on gold/silver/platinum etc. However mostly it was in the form of jewellery, not bullions. Most of them buy them on occasions like marriages, diwali, Akshay tritiya etc. 13. Investing in paintings is a new investment option. I was trying to find among the respondents whom I spoke with during my data collection, if anyone has invested in paintings. However I could
  3. 3. not find any respondent answering ‘’Affirmative’’ to that question. 14. We found that many young employees in the age group up to 30 especially in Dell, Accenture and IBM spend a lot of money in parties, shopping and buying gadgets (Laptops, playstations, mobiles, cameras etc.) They take vacations using their credit cards/ Personal loans/ EMIs and believe in the philosophy of ‘’Live life King size’’ on credit. And live for today. However employees in Infosys and HP were more prudent in savings. We felt that the reason was that most of the employees of Infosys BPO come from small towns and are not used to the city life style. Hence they do not go out much on the weekends and spend the hard earned money on liabilities/ depreciating assets. Most of them have to send money to their hometowns, and hence they are more prudent with money. However in companies like Dell, Accenture and IBM come from middle class, upper middle class and they do not have many responsibilities on their shoulders. Hence until they plan to get married and start a family, they do not care much about savings and investments. Most of the employees in their 30s and early 40s had mentioned that they too had done that mistake when they had started their careers 10-15 years back and had learnt the hard way. We also felt that they were influenced by the US culture of borrowing money and surviving on credit cards as they closely work with the Americans and people from the western world who have an affluent life style. Most of those employees had ignored the instructions given by their parents, relatives and well wishers and had fallen heavily into the Debt trap. 15. However we were happy to see that most of the employees whom we had interviewed were oriented towards investments. However we cannot use this as an absolute data. Since the work cultures of companies as mentioned above affect the spending/ investing pattern, hence there are disparities in our data collection. We depended heavily on the Infosys data as we are working in that company. And the age group interviewed in Infosys was mostly between 25-30- the spending and savings patterns were different. Most of the respondents from the other companies were in the age group of 30-40; hence the spending and investing pattern were different. 16. We also observed the difference in investing pattern of employees staying with families. Since they did not have to spend on rent, maintenance much, they were able to invest in real Estate at a very early age. However people from other cities, towns and villages had different challenges as most of their salaries were spent on rent and maintenance. Also they were interested to invest in a property to save on the rent and use home loan as a tax planning method, however it was difficult for most of them to buy a house/flat with the limited income they had in the ITES industry. However a few had invested in cheaper properties in Attibele, Anekal, Devanahalli, B.G Road extn, Whitefield etc. Since post recession, the property rates have stabilized in Bangalore, many are able to invest in properties- especially dual income families. However many had faced problems while buying the property and a few had gone into litigation too. 17. However most of the employees, who had once fallen into the Debt trap, became cautious later, paid off their debts, tore off their credit cards and started investing wisely. That was a positive trend. 2008’s recession was another big lesson for the ITES employees who realized that even though we get our salaries on time, however many had lost their jobs, and the fluctuation in the market had affected their spending patterns. I spoke with a few ex-employees of Satyam who had lost their jobs after Satyam fiasco. Also many who had lost their jobs in Goldman Sachs, First Source, Accenture and other companies due to recession, health reasons, and family contingencies had to quit and take a break etc. They all had learnt their lessons and had started clearing off their debts and had started saving and investing. They realized that even though they were aping the US culture, however Indian Govt. does not give unemployment benefits like the US Govt. and there is no social security after retirement. Hence they started saving and investing. 18. Then we realized that most of the employees prefer ‘’Medium Risk Medium Returns’’. This goes well with the Indian mentality. A few liked high risk high returns and we came across only 1 female who was interested in ‘’High Risk high Returns’’. Mostly men were interested in that and they were mostly aggressively investing in the equity market and mutual funds. We also saw that
  4. 4. such employees were investing in real estate and many had more than one property- one for living and one for earning rental income. 19. We realized that employees start saving in FDs and Govt. bonds in the first few years of their careers and all of them were continuing investing in FDs every year. Most of the people who invest in FDs keep a target in invest a certain amount every year in FDs and happy with the safe haven of investment. 20. Mostly employees do not take up separate health insurances and they depend on the company provided insurance. However many prefer to have a separate life insurance in spite of having company provided life insurance. Also the trend to insure the entire family with one insurer was observed. That assured lower premiums and better benefits. However we realized that comparatively smaller companies like Aircel, Obopay mobile tech, Tata Teleservices, CompuCom CSI Systems Pvt. Ltd, do not for pay life, and health insurances. 21. We observed that most of the people were reluctant to take insurance for home contents, however most of them had taken home insurance for the building (against natural calamities and EMI protection against job loss etc.). We did not explore the option of car insurance much due to lack of time. 22. Since most of the data was collected via phone, face to face, we got a good insight of the investment patterns of the employees. The responses which came through e-mails were mostly incomplete/ not much information was provided. At many instances we had to call the employee again to verify/collect some data. 23. Most of the respondents are investing between 15-25% (Krishna- collate the entire data and check). 24. Most of the employees in the age group of 30+ prefer to invest in long term instruments. Some invested in medium term FDs and MFs. Very few people prefer short term investments. This was in sync with the Indian mentality of ‘’Let the money grow and we can use it later when we need to make some big investments/ marriage/ child education, property etc. 25. We did not see many employees investing in Govt. Bonds. Also investment in the equity market is very less. (Krishna please put the exact %) 26. Most of the people who have children have the main goal of investing for children’s education. We saw a positive trend that many employees who are planning to get married in the future and have children in the future also are investing prudently keeping in mind about the child education. 27. We did not see too many women who have invested into property on their own. Most of them were co-owners of properties with their husbands and were using the same in claiming tax benefits. Even though we did not have a column for ‘’Marital status’’- while talking to the respondents- we realized that women who were single were mostly investing in FDs, gold/silver, Insurance and a very few in real estate, MFs and equities. However men who were single were also interested in investing in properties keeping in mind that they will get married in the future and it will be an asset. However the majority of the population who were married only were real estate owners. 28. There were a few employees investing in RDs, or had left their money in Savings A/C without investing in any instruments. Some had invested in Chit funds too. 29. In future most of the employees want to invest in property. Even the employees who had a home in Bangalore were ready to invest in Pune, Coimbatore, Mysore, Trivandrum, Gujrat and other upcoming cities. Some wanted to invest in other cities because their parents live there and they want to build a house for them. However many wanted to invest in the upcoming cities where IT-
  5. 5. SEZ parks will come up and they will get good returns later. Many had bought lands in other cities and waiting for them to appreciate, and they have plans of selling them. A few had bought properties and had converted them into P.Gs to earn extra rental income. There was one profile from Accenture BPO who had bought 3 properties. He wants to do an MBA from the top 5 B- Schools in India and he does not want to take loans. Besides he comes from a very humble background and his family cannot support him financially during his two year program. Hence he invested wisely so that the 3 rental incomes can take care of his and his father’s expense during that time. 30. There was a good number of population who wants to save for tax planning. However most of them were individuals in their early career levels earning less than 5 lakhs per annum. People earning more were interested in creating wealth, retirement, child education, property etc. 31. There were quite a few respondents who were saving for their own/ siblings marriages. Many women did not want to put the burden on their fathers and were saving for their own marriage. Men were mostly doing that, or the ones who were married, many stated that when they got married, they had spent from their savings. Their families had contributed little/no money for the expenses. Even honeymoon was planned by the husband and wife and in dual income families, both had contributed for the same. 32. There were many respondents who want to save for higher education like FT/ PT MBA, Six sigma courses, ITIL, CCNA etc. They were an ambitious lot who believe in the philosophy of ‘’Learning till we are alive’’. Many want to go to the US/UK/Australia- or have already gone there for higher education (Mostly MBA/ MS). Some lost their jobs in the UK, Australia, Middle East during recession and came back to India and again started working here. Most of them had started their career in Bangalore, went abroad for a few years- some for studies and then started working and some went for work and simultaneously studied and then came back to Bangalore and are working in the ITES industry here. 33. Most of the people were skeptical with disclosing the ‘’Total amount’’ of investments they have. 3 profiles were more than 1 Crore. One of them is a C.A, above 50- in Accenture leadership team. Another was an MBA from ISB- Hyd in the age group of 30-40. Another was a young guy in his 30s who had started his career with a basic B.Com degree in GECIS Gurgaon- did six sigma certifications, and then moved to Accenture Bangalore and joined the Quality team at an Asst. Manager level and now is at a senior management level. Even though his salary and age is much lesser than the first 2 employees, his risk appetite is so high that he invested so well and increased his portfolio to more than a Crore which is commendable. He did his MBA and many other certifications while working and has proven the myth that people with better education can only have wealth. The rest all had savings in different ranges which we can check from the analysis in the graphs. More or less we were convinced that the employees are investing, however they can save and invest much more as they are young and are earning well. However we realized that most of the young BPO professionals below the age of 30 are unable to save due to high maintenance cost (Most of them are from outside Bangalore) and due to their spending habits in parties, shopping etc. However most of the respondents who are 30+ had already done those mistakes and are saving and investing prudently. We found a few of them with very high income and very low corpus. 34. We realized that investment was more to do with habit than knowledge. We realized that people from commerce background and finance background had a better knowledge about the different investment instruments; however it is the habit and discipline which determines the portfolios. A few employees used professional help from different investment firms as their knowledge was not up to the mark, and were doing very well in terms of investments. And we observed that many employees who did not have the habit or discipline of investing, were not doing it in spite of earning huge sums.
  6. 6. 35. We saw that many respondents have taken home loans. The reasons they stated for taking home loans were: Tax saving on the principle amount. Making an investment which will appreciate with time. Many mentioned that in the last few years when the stock markets have crashed, only property and gold have been safe heavens for investors. Many mentioned that their properties have appreciated 100%-400% in 5-10 years. No other instrument has yielded them such results. Many mentioned that during the global recession between 2008-2010, when the property rates were low in Bangalore, they invested in properties from SJR, Purvankara, Shobha and other developers which they could not afford to buy before 2008. Many mentioned that property rates were sky rocketing between 2002-2008 when the IT boom came to Bangalore; hence they could not buy anything. However during recession the rates stabilized and they could invest in a decent property of their choice. Plus in 2002-2004 when they came to Bangalore from other cities and towns, they were in the entry level positions and their salaries were less. However they made up their minds to stay back in Bangalore and hence chose to buy properties here. Many got married and bought properties in joint name along with their wives in dual income families. Many mentioned that they could not afford to buy properties in Bangalore. Hence they bought properties in Coimbatore, Trichy, Pune, Kolkata etc. where their families reside. Many mentioned that for investment purposes, they bought properties in Bhubaneswar, Trivandrum and other upcoming cities and they have put them on rent/ waiting for the prices to go up and they will sell them off. 36. We also saw that a huge percentage of employees have taken car, bike loans. The reason they stated was, due to Bangalore transport system (The buses are not available in many routes and post 8 PM the Auto drivers charge exorbitant amounts), many had to buy a vehicle even though they could not afford it. The petrol prices have hiked and that has affected their budgets. Many accepted that these are depreciating assets and taking them on loan was not the best option, however the situations forced them to do so. Many mentioned that on weekends to take the entire family in a bus for a movie/ dinner was cumbersome as the buses do not ply on all the routes. One has to change two or three buses to reach a destination. However many mentioned that after the Bus day was started by one of the FM channels on 4 th of every month, many have started taking company provided buses to go to work. Many have even started to use cycles to reach their work places. Most of the people mentioned that they prefer to stay close to office to save themselves from traffic jams, long time to commute and have a better quality of life. This was a positive trend we observed. Many mentioned that they use cars only on the weekends when they go out with their families for outings. 37. Many had mentioned that they have taken a personal loan or credit card loan and many have credit cards which they try to pay off every month, but are unable to do so. Many understand the repercussions of revolving credit and many are aware that they are paying 40-45% annually for credit card interests, however many are unable to control their expenses. Many in their 30s specially working in Accenture, IBM and Dell mentioned that when they were in their 20s, they had over-spent on credit cards. To clear off those debts, either they had taken personal loan, or they had done balance transfer from one credit card to the other. Many mentioned that they had 5-7 credit cards earlier and they were heavily into debts. But with time they realized that they need to change their lifestyles and need to pay off their balances and live a credit free life. However many of the respondents are still unable to curb their habits and are spending a lot on credit cards and getting into debt traps. And most of them mentioned the reason for using credit cards were partying, shopping and buying gadgets. Many accepted that they took the cards thinking that they will use them in emergency (All the big hospitals in Bangalore accept credit cards, credit cards give cash advance facility) however could not keep a check on their spending
  7. 7. habits. 38. Most of the respondents mentioned that they do investments once a year during the financial year end for tax planning. Some mentioned that they do investments once in every six months (FD, Gold/Silver, Bi-yearly insurance plans, RDs, Govt. Bonds and equities). And some aggressive investors invest once a month. Most of the respondents who invest once a month have a monthly PPF, monthly RD, or monthly insurance schemes. Most of the respondents said that they save money every month and after 4-5 months convert them either into an FD, or some pay MF premiums, or buy gold/silver during festivals. Some even make part payments for their home loan principles as floating home loan rates have gone up in the last few years and many want to pay off their home loans ASAP. Very few respondents who invest in equities mentioned that they do it on a monthly basis and keep a strong eye on the market on a daily basis and ask their stock brokers to invest regularly on their behalf. 39. Most of the respondents chose ‘’Medium Risk Medium Return’’ (Krishna please add the numbers). We observed that the respondents who chose ‘’High risk high returns’’ mostly had exposed themselves to the equity markets directly or through mutual funds. They also had invested a lot in real estates and had bought more than one house/flat and were earning rental income. All the respondents who chose ‘’High Risk High Return’’ were men with an exception one woman. (Accenture BPO employee- Age 25-30). 40. Many respondents had responded ‘’yes’’ to the question ‘’ Have you ever suffered a loss due to investment of money?’’- Most of them had lost money in Equities, MFs and a few in short terms ULIPs. Two ladies mentioned that due to the home loan interests going up, they are paying a lot more in the interests. One lady mentioned that she had purchased ‘’silver’’ on the advice of someone as silver rates were going up. But when she realized that the prices were going down, she sold it in the fear of losing more money and incurred losses. 41. We observed that most of the respondents had started saving after 3-4 years of their jobs. There were some exceptions that had started saving and investing from their first pay checks. We realized that families played a vital role in inculcating the good habit of saving and investing. Parents had given guidance to the young professionals and many professionals especially women did not bother to do investments on their own. They just sent money home and allowed their fathers or brothers take care of their investments. However where the employees had come from different cities and the families did not insist them to save/invest had mostly gone into the Debt trap. We realized that employees from humble backgrounds were more prudent with savings and investing than from employees from affluent or middle class families. 42. The employees who were staying with their families in Bangalore were more into saving and investing as they did not have to pay the rent and they could save a huge chuck of their salaries. Even for the food, electricity bill etc. since they were living with their families, they did not have to bother much. Hence many of them managed to invest in properties, FDs etc. a huge chunk of their salaries. Even if they were extravagant, it did not affect them that much as it was only about 25% of their salaries they were spending on parties, shopping, vacations etc. 43. Most of the people chose ‘’ Secured Future for self and family/ Good health/ Happy Retirement’’ as the main advantage for investing. The next percentage mentioned about ‘’ Increasing Wealth/Good Returns/Hedges inflation/Helps to realize long term goals’’. Long term goals included buying expensive furniture, gadgets like LCD etc. taking vacations in exotic locations etc. Some of them had a long term goal like buying an expensive car, villa, marriage of self or children, education of children etc. 44. We realized that the respondents who had children were very concerned about the future and education of their wards. All of them wanted to invest diligently for their education etc. Most of them had already taken plans for the education and had taken good insurances covering the entire family. Many of the BPO employees were interested in upgrading their skill sets and were
  8. 8. constantly taking up programs on six sigma, CCNA, ITIL, MBA, MCA, PMP and many other courses. They believed that spending on education is like an asset which will yield returns later. 45. Many respondents wanted to ‘’Save for the rainy day/ contingency’’ like any major illness to self or family members. A few of the respondents had to leave jobs or take long sabbaticals due to health issues or self or father/ mother/ spouse etc. During those months they had faced difficulties as they did not have any income and the expenses were huge due to hospitalization and the medical insurance only takes care of the hospitalization. Many other expenses have to be borne by the family. During recession many respondents had lost jobs or during Satyam fiasco many had lost jobs and they narrated their bad experiences and now they have become more prudent with savings and investments. 46. Most of the respondents below the age of 30 with the income less than 5 lakhs wanted to invest to get the tax benefits. However many were not aware of the different tax instruments and the process to declare it to their respective finance teams in their companies. However people with higher income group were more interested in creating wealth, safeguarding the future of self and family and children’s education. 47. There were many respondents who wanted to invest money so that they can generate alternate sources of income. During the recession and otherwise in MNCs since the job security is low, the employees had realized that even though they get good salaries and perks, they need to invest aggressively to take care of any contingency in today’s ever changing environment. 48. A few mentioned that they want to invest as ‘’Investing is a good habit’’. A few mentioned that ‘’It increases the knowledge of the market. 49. To the open ended question ‘’ What do you think about the disadvantages of investing money?’’, most of the respondents answered ‘’None’’. Indians as a community give a lot of importance to savings and investing and the same flair was found in the group of ITES employees irrespective of the fact whether they were able to invest or not. Only a few respondents mentioned that they live for the day and do not believe in saving for tomorrow. We followed that most of them come from very affluent families and many of them want to join their family business at a later stage in life. Now they are just enjoying their lives in Bangalore without the restrictions of their families. 50. Some others mentioned that ‘’Cash in hand/liquidity reduces’’ when they have to invest. And they cannot live a lifestyle which they want and can to take luxurious vacations and spend on the things they want to buy now. They have to invest, wait for the money to grow and then they can buy it. Most of the people were not happy with the wait and sometimes used to fall in the debt trap. 51. Many respondents were unhappy with the market conditions and mentioned that even after investing aggressively, there were no guaranteed returns and there was always a chance to lose money. They were upset with the returns received lesser than expected and were unhappy that the plans they had made were affected. Most of the people wanted to take the risk in the equity market, but looking at the volatility, were not able to take the risk. Many had bitter experiences with investing in ULIPs, MFs and equities. Even property market was not safe as many got into litigations etc. as they could not buy dispute free properties. 52. To the question ‘’ What are the problems you face while investing?’’ most of the respondents said none. Since our data had a huge number of commerce graduates, BBM/BBAs, PGs, CAs, ICWAs, MBAs, MBA (Fin) etc. and the others from other backgrounds also had a good knowledge of the market as they watch NDTV Profit, read newspapers and various financial journals. A few take consultations from investment consultants too. Hence the awareness levels regarding investments were high. However the ones who were spendthrifts, in spite of having knowledge about investments were unable to do so. I spoke with a respondent who was a CA Inter, and had all the requisite knowledge was in a debt trap. He was about to be married shortly
  9. 9. and he was mentioning that in the last 2 years he has paid off his credit cards. However he is still paying off his personal loans and for his marriage he will have to take more loans. 53. The next biggest issue was ‘’lack of proper guidance’’ ambiguity in products and the sales exec selling those policies hiding most of the vital information and fooling the respondents. Most of the respondents faced problems in buying MFS and shares and ULIPs. Buying a litigation free property in the budget was the biggest challenge for most of the respondents. And most of them mentioned that property dealers/ developers/ builders too advantage of their lack of knowledge and many of them faced problems as the properties were not ready on time. Hence they had to pay the EMIs and house rents and it was a huge burden on them. 54. Most of the respondents who were married and their wives were not working had mentioned that one person’s earning is not enough to survive comfortably in Bangalore and even though they want to do proper investments, they are unable to do so. Most of the sensible couples had first settled down in Bangalore, got themselves secured in their jobs, and then had bought a property and planned for a kid at late 20s or 30s. Since the salaries are not at par with the IT industry, however the property rates are very high; the ITES couples had to struggle a little more and took longer time to plan their families. 55. Many respondents mentioned that ‘’ Difficult to part away with lump sum amount for good instruments’’. Many mentioned that they are unable to invest in the product/ property of their choice- hence they have to go for the second best option. Maintaining a discipline and investing on a regular basis was also a challenge for many. Many respondents had mentioned that they had broken FDs to take vacations, or buy some expensive gadgets etc. Later they had regretted a bit, however for them at that point of time their family’s happiness was more important. 56. A few respondents mentioned that ‘’ What should be the optimum investment even if we set a realistic ROI’’. Many were unable to set the upper limit for their investments from their salaries. If they were investing too much then they had to curb their day to day desires which was difficult, and if they were investing little, then they were worried about contingencies and future. 57. Some respondents found it difficult to understand the fine prints (The documents for the fin. Products)/ Premium allocation charges. They found the fine prints very ambiguous and lot of ** which mentioned a lot of exclusions which they were not comfortable with. 58. A few respondents mentioned that ‘’ can’t save enough money to invest/ Always end up paying a lot of tax.’’ Most of the respondents below 30, and with single earning household mentioned this. 59. A few women who were from affluent families also did not have the tendency to save/invest as they knew that their fathers and husbands will do the needful. They were spending their money doing shopping, partying, spending lavishly for a good lifestyle. However most of them had realized the importance of investments post recession and had started doing good investments. 60. For the question ‘’ What percentages of your salary you spend for monthly maintenance/Expenses?’’ most of the respondents mentioned between 35-50%. The respondents who spend less than that are mostly either living with their families, or have invested in a property and are paying huge EMIs. We had excluded the property EMI from this calculation. So monthly expenses included food, electricity bill, telephone bill, petrol bill newspaper bills etc. which were their compulsory monthly expenses. It did not include buying any big gadget/ furniture, paying for vacations etc. in that question. This was to assess the monthly budget of ITES employees and to assess their saving and investing patterns. Most of the employees who mentioned above 50% are spending huge amounts on house rent and most of them are single person earning and other dependants on him/her. 61. There were a few respondents who were single mothers (Divorced/ widowed). They were finding it very difficult to manage with the single income and manage the expenses of the child. One of
  10. 10. them is not even getting proper alimony from her ex-husband. And two of them had quit their full time jobs and were working from home as they had to take care of their young children. Those mothers sounded very responsible and concerned about the futures of their children in today’s volatile situation. Most of their parents were supporting them emotionally; however they were not comfortable financially. 62. I had one respondent who was visually challenged, Infosys BPO. He mentioned that he finds it very challenging to go to banks and different financial institutions to do his transactions. The websites he accesses for collecting data is not friendly to visually challenged. Also the documents which he has to sign before taking up a policy is not in Braille, hence he has to always depend on his family for his investments. He also mentioned that a large part of his salary goes in his medications and he has separate health insurance and he sounded quite concerned about his future. 63. Most of the respondents who had small kids had a lot of challenges. Most of the women/wives after child birth had to take sabbaticals as in nuclear families they did not have enough support to leave their child and come to work. Also work from home option, which is available in the IT Sector is not available in the ITES sector. Hence the household income reduced after the childbirth as the woman had to take a break and the expenses increased as the childcare in Bangalore is very expensive. I found most of the couples struggling with small children with the expenses and their savings and investments were badly depleted during the initial few years after the child was born, till the woman joins back. Most of the time it is challenging for her to join back after a gap of 2-3 years and they might get again entry level jobs. 64.