Mr. Sarvjeet Virk is the Co-founder & MD of the Finvasia group, a global financial services company which houses India’s fastest-growing zero-commission trading brand – Shoonya. At the group level, he is responsible for formulating strategies and assessing risk for businesses across markets, like capital markets and investment banking. He is also the face of Shoonya for investors, traders and business partners.
Sarvjeet, along with his brother Tajinder Virk, has established an ecosystem which is disrupting the financial sectors globally. He had the vision to offer innovative and real-time end-to-end financial solutions that cater to the needs of all investors, regardless of their experience level. Thus, Shoonya was set up with the aim to make investing accessible and affordable for everyone through the Zero Commission model, a customer-first approach to investing and an innovative multi-asset platform that offers cutting-edge tools and advanced comparability features.
Sarvjeet’s analytical perspective, combined with his business-oriented mindset and problem-solving approach, drove him to pursue dual MBAs—one in International Business from Amity University and another from Baruch College in New York. While in the US, Sarvjeet was actively involved in implementing multi-billion dollar projects, interacting with leaders and think tanks, and participating in high-level business processes. His experiences in the US led him to return to India to set up Finvasia, which is bootstrapped and has been cash-positive since its inception. He is successfully leading the organization and is now the youngest chairperson of CII, Chandigarh.
Driven by family values and a commitment to the community, Sarvjeet actively supports initiatives such as “Saved a Pind,” providing resources to rural communities. As an accomplished leader, Sarvjeet will continue to shape the organisation’s future with his visionary insights, driving it towards unprecedented success and growth.
Pioneering a new era of Zero Commission Trading Solutions with Shoonya by Finvasia:
What makes Shoonya stand out? How does Shoonya claim to be a ‘True Zero Trading Platform’?
Shoonya is at the forefront of a revolution in the Indian trading landscape. Since its inception, we have focused on providing traders with affordable trading solutions that democratize trading and encourage more people to become traders. From process innovation offered through our Zero Commission model to AI-led technological innovation, Shoonya has disrupted the trading community in India and created a positive impact for the investors at large.
Our Zero-Commission model not only sets us apart from the competition but also makes us a ‘true zero trading’ platform. We brought process innovation to the Indian trading landscape with the Zero-Commission model with 16 zero charges, eliminating brokerage fees, clearing charges, and hidden costs. We have made investing accessible and affordable for every individual, irrespective of their investment size or experience level. This disruptive approach has not only attracted a vast user base but also empowered countless investors to participate in the financial markets confidently, democratizing trading like never before.
On the other hand, we have led technological innovation with the industry-first AI-powered analytic tool that enables our customers to anticipate market movements, make well-informed decisions, and optimize their portfolio performance. It utilizes AI and machine learning to analyze extensive credible data of up to 1500 Indian scrips, providing predictive analysis and colour-coded signals for traders across many time horizons. It helps traders manage their risks and exposures, understand market volatility and optimize risk-reward ratios for robust strategies and save valuable time on research.
How is the I Know First association enhancing the decision-making capabilities of traders?
At Shoonya, we aim to empower traders with an innovative and user-friendly trading platform that enables them to make informed decisions and achieve their investment goals. Taking this vision forward, we partnered with I Know First, a globally-renowned AI-powered market analytics platform. With this partnership, we have introduced the country’s first AI-based feature to predict market movements and signals for different stocks.
The AI-powered platform provides analytics for up to 1500 Indian scrips, which includes stocks and indices from NSE and BSE. Our customers get the benefit of an AI-powered analytics view for all types of capitalization ranging from small to mid to large, helping them decide whether to hold, create or exit positions. The cutting-edge tool enables users to make informed decisions and optimize their portfolios.
How is the customer responding to IKF? AI-driven trades showing an uptick on the platform?
I Know First seems to be slowly but surely gathering attention by the platform users. AI model analysis is done on market indices to give wider perspective to our clients.
I Know First brings powerful AI based deep learning technology to the Indian traders. The Predictive Algorithm’s ability to identify the best opportunities and stock picks on a daily basis using extensive data research and analysis is unparalleled. The I Know First AI algorithm is being trusted by the world’s leading hedge funds, investment houses, banks, family offices, brokerage firms as well as high-net-worth individuals, allowing them to gain a competitive edge. This is a powerful feature for every Indian trader and it goes beyond the traditional advisory methods. We are confident that I Know First’s cutting-edge technology combined with Shoonya’s customer-centric approach will revolutionize the investment strategies of Indian traders. I Know First presents users with colour-coded Signals that enable easy interpretation of market movements and quick trading decisions. The dark green (BUY) and red (SALE) signals indicate strong market trends, while the light green and red signals represent weaker signals. I Know First’s Instant Heat maps is a predictive algorithm that allows you to generate instant heat maps for stock market forecasts across different time horizons of 3Ddays, 7Days, 14Days, 1Month, 3Months, and 1Year periods.
Furthermore, Shoonya’s clients can even analyze their existing holdings and make smarter decisions to rebalance portfolio based on investment strategies.
This feature was rolled out specifically for the users of the web version, and they are currently undergoing a free version. As a result of which the users are sampling the product. Given the positive adoption, of the web users, we expect an uptick on the app version of I Know First.
What is the market potential Shoonya is targeting? Any projections that we are aiming for 2024?
As of July 2023, India has an astounding 123.50 million Demat account holders, which is our target audience. We are targeting everyone from newcomers and passive investors to active traders, intra-day traders and long-term investors. Our Zero Commission model, along with our customer-first approach, is making investing accessible to everyone, empowering them to participate in the financial markets confidently.
We see some level of saturation in the metro cities with regard to opening of Demat accounts and rightly so, because the entire fintech world is targeting the same population. We see tier 2, 3 and 4 cities as our target markets and mostly in our opinion the next wave of growth of demat accounts will come from here. These markets also serve as hotbed for fulfilling India’s financial inclusion goals.
Specific to the Company goal, we’re aiming to be among the top 10 brokers in the next 18 months based on the number of active clients.
How is Shoonya breaking stereotypes in the broking industry in India? Why should a retail investor choose your app over others?
By design Shoonya was envisaged as a 0 brokerage business. The highest value of such a 0 brokerage model is derived by people who trade very frequently, which would encompass intraday traders & F&O traders. Given that our focus is on this segment, as mentioned earlier we’ve introduced I Know First feature to empower data based decision making, by unlocking the power of AI & ML. Further, we will soon be introducing the Account Aggregator onboarding module, where clients can share their declared accounts, with us for a seamless onboarding process. The earlier bottleneck where clients had to manually submit 6 monthly bank statements, will be eliminated and the onboarding process will be digitized.
What is the company revenue for FY 23? Please share the year-on-year growth percentage of Shoonya.
Year end 2023, Shoonya witnessed a YoY growth of 150%. The year 2023-2024’s expected growth pattern is even better than that of the previous year based on Q1. The upswing is a resultant of better growth led by acquisitions and surge in account openings along with trading volumes till date. We anticipate high revenue as we continue to focus more on new product and features for clients.
What is the active user base currently? Any key insights witnessed on the app that you may want to share?
Currently our active user base is close to 1,50,000 users. Interestingly, we’ve seen an over 300% rise in customers in the age group of 0-24, in Q1 2023-24 compared to Q1 2022-23. Similarly, there is an over 200% rise in the age groups of 25-34 & 35-44 respectively, in the same period.