The awards ceremony was peppered by speeches, interviews and a panel discussion on the state of the economy, the financial sector and the importance of sustainable wealth creation
2018 may have proven to be a tough year for Indian finance but every crisis has served as an opportunity to the fundamentally sound. It was against this backdrop that Moneycontrol hosted the inaugural edition of the Moneycontrol Wealth Creator Awards.
The award ceremony -- which recognised the top wealth creators from across India’s financial-services industry: banks, broking firms, asset management and insurance companies besides individuals and fund schemes – was peppered by speeches, interviews and a panel discussion on the state of the economy, the financial sector and the importance of sustainable wealth creation, and had in attendance the who’s who of Indian finance.
Ramesh Sobti, CEO and MD, IndusInd Bank, won the award for the ‘Best Financial Services Personality of the Year’.
Over the past 10 years, Sobti has led a transformation at IndusInd, with the bank’s loan book and market capitalisation increasing 15 times, even as its asset quality has remained excellent. In fiscal year 2018, the bank’s loan book grew 28 percent while its net interest income rose 24 percent.
The other winners were Bandhan Bank (‘Best Bank’), Motilal Oswal (‘Best Broking Business’), HDFC Standard Life Insurance (‘Most Promising Debut in the Big League’), Bajaj Finance (‘NBFC Wealth Creator’), ICICI Pru Life Insurance (‘Life Insurance’), ICICI Lombard General Insurance (‘General Insurance’) and Aditya Birla Sun Life AMC (‘Best AMC’).
Harshvardhan Lunia, Co-Founder of LendingKart, won the award for the ‘Fintech Personality of the Year’, while Anurag Agrawal won the ‘Social Impact Creator of the Year’ award. In fund schemes, Axis Bluechip was named the ‘Large Cap Fund of the Year’ while L&T Midcap was adjudged the ‘Mid Cap Fund of the Year’.
The highlight of the ceremony was an address by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, who said Moneycontrol helps policymakers like him get data that help in decision-making.
"There is a need for improving debate on economic issues, which should be backed by data. Moneycontrol is a platform for providing that kind of data," said FM Jaitley.
Minister for Commerce and Industry, and Aviation Suresh Prabhu, who was the chief guest at the event, said that wealth creation was important for the nation to grow and added that the government was doing its best to remove hurdles from the way of wealth creators.
Prabhu also spoke about policy. “I am hopeful of India breaking into the top 50 of the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business Index,” he said. India climbed to rank 77 in the EODB index, compared to 142 when the NDA government took power nearly four-and-a-half years ago.
He also said India could be a beneficiary of the ongoing trade war between the US and China and added that the government was making a push for increasing India’s share in manufacturing.
A panel discussion on the crisis in the NBFC sector was unanimous in its view that worst in the space was behind.
“We don’t think too many skeletons will tumble out of the closet [in the NBFC space],” said Dinesh Khara, MD of the country’s largest lender SBI.
Others said a consolidation was likely in the NBFC sector and that reckless lenders, who ignored matching the cash flows of their assets and liabilities, will have to introspect their business models.Even as the awards recognised the best and the brightest in Indian finance, former SEBI regulator M Damodaran offered some words of advice to individuals and entities focused on creating wealth for themselves and their shareholders: “If you want to make wealth based on values, honesty and not selling someone else short, then you will create wealth for yourself as well as the society.”