Chhattisgarh-based financial education and investment platform Phenology was founded by Pranjal Kamra in June 2017. The law-studying founder says the company’s debut was “an emotional decision”.
Between 2010 and 2016, while Pranjal was studying law at Hidayatullah National Law University in Raipur, he was struggling with the course. One evening at home he found his father watching ‘D Street Ka Dawn’, a show hosted by Ragesh Tambe.
“When my father saw these shows, I was not usually interested. I kept a distance from the weavers because I was not well versed with the stock market. But the program was very different from the others.”
The backdrop of the show was Don. He used to get calls from the audience asking if he should invest in a particular stock. Pranjal, now 27 years old, recalls that the show was very dramatic and the show influenced him at the age of 19.
Game of luck
“I decided to start investing in stocks because of Rajesh’s show,” he says.
In his third year in law college, Pranjal’s father gave him Rs 25,000. He recalls, “If I had lost money, I would have had to concentrate on my studies and if I could have increased the money, I could have ‘continued investing’.”
He says, two months before this incident, Pranjal’s father gifted him a scooter TVS Vego. He says, “Because it was my first scooter, I was very excited about it. Therefore, the first stock I bought was from TVS Motors, it was related to my love for that scooter. ”
His investment of Rs 25,000 in TVS Motors stock had increased almost 10 times. He says, “I realized that this is what I wanted to do for the rest of my life.”
In the next two years, Pranjal did not focus on his law course. He recalls moments associated with reading books on finance in classrooms and preparing himself for a different career.
After his son realized his lack of interest in law, Pranjal’s father forced him to enroll for a course in company secretaryship. Pranjal says, “I found it very theoretical and could not connect with subjects.”
He used to leave his classes and exams and spend time playing cricket.
Pranjal recalls, “One day I received an email from the CS body that they had tied up with the National Institute of Securities Markets (NISM). When I came to know that there was an institute focusing on teaching about the stock market. ”
Pranjal enrolled in NISM after completing his law degree. He says, “I was very low in confidence. I was a new graduate dropped out of NLU. There were 140 students, and my rank was 137. “
Fortunately, Pranjal got admission in NISM from where the seeds of phenology started.
From youtube channel to registered startup
Pranjal remembers NISM’s journey as an eye-opening experience.
His roommate in college, Kushraj Singh, came with a vast knowledge of the stock market space and the two often discussed the ‘secrets’ of the industry. “We discussed why most Indians refrain from investing in the stock market,” says Pranjal.
The reason was obvious. There was no one to handle people willing to invest in the stock market. There were cases of mis-selling of financial services in the investment advisory space.
After identifying the problem and several brainstorming sessions, Pranjal was finally convinced to start in the field of financial education.
Phenology began as a YouTube channel with almost no traction but has become the fintech brand it is today. The YouTube channel has more than 17.5 lakh subscribers and the number of registered users on the platform is 2.5 lakh.
The SEBI-registered investment advisory company offers four products and services – Finbox, IdeaBag, Masterplan and Super Fund. The bootstrapped startup works on the ‘no commission, no bias’ principle and earns a revenue of Rs 2.2 crore.