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Ex-Deutsche father-son duo show investors the way to Wall St with Globalise

Many Indians are looking at investing in technology giants listed on American bourses. Globalise attempts to get them on board with an online platform that enables them to place long-term bets on global companies from the comfort of their homes.

January 23, 2021 / 09:31 AM IST

As the Indian stock market keeps gaining momentum, a massive opportunity is also opening up for domestic investors to get a slice of the action on Wall Street. Looking to grab that opportunity, two former Deutsche Bank executives have teamed up to launch Globalise to help Indians invest in a Tesla or an Alphabet (the parent company of Google).

The father-son duo of Vikas Nanda and Viraj Nanda, both top finance executives based in London, recently launched the Globalise platform, which has an app as well as a web version. The target is to help Indian investors start placing their long-term bets on American stocks.

“There are more than 80,000 Indian children who are going abroad to study every year, that costs a substantial amount of money, we can also see the amount of money that flows out through the RBI’s LRS scheme, hence there is a need for Indians to start investing outside and we can help them do that,” said Vikas Nanda, chairman, Globalise.

As per the Reserve Bank of India’s Liberalised Remittance Scheme (LRS), any Indian citizen is allowed to send $250,000 per financial year outside India for any purpose. These platforms are trying to get a share of this money to be invested in global stocks.

The senior Nanda is an ace finance professional having spent more than two decades at Deutsche Bank setting up global teams and working on cross-border functions. While he has spent a considerable amount of time in India, he is now based in London.

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“The Indian stock market is only 3% of the global stocks, hence Indians looking for investment opportunities outside can use our platform for long-term financial goals,” he said.

While international investing has been a valuable business proposition for quite some time, sending money outside India under the LRS scheme requires paperwork. Hence, the complete system cannot be digital. Moneycontrol wrote on June 22 that startups were trying to convince the banking regulator to allow small amounts of money to be sent without physical signatures, but nothing has moved on that front yet.

Also read: Startups rush to target Indians' growing appetite to invest in global stock exchanges

Globalise is setting up a robust system in the country with a long-term bet that as the economy grows and more people have surplus money, this will be an interesting business opportunity and the regulator could also relax certain rules going forward. The founders are also setting up a strong leadership team to pull this off smoothly.

Ex-Karvy chief information officer Sridhar Kakarala has been hired as chief technology officer of Globalise, with former top Unilever executive Mukesh Saxena as chief finance officer and ex-RBI executive Arun Kamath as head of compliance.

“We are a Sebi-registered investment advisor, hence we are licensed to give investment ideas to Indian investors. We create basket of global stocks for them and we can also tweak the basket as per their personal choice,” said the elder Nanda.

Globalise has also partnered with brokers in the US through whom they create a broking account for Indian investors and help them trade in US stocks.

“Given the US allows fractional investments, Indians can even put in small amounts of money to start trading and then scale up their investments as they go,” said Viraj Nanda, chief executive at Globalise. Viraj was also with Deutsche Bank for a few years, after graduating from UCLA in 2017.

Having just started operations, Globalise has set a target of Rs 10,000 crore of assets under management by 2024. The Nandas believe that given the overall economic growth in the country and the role technology plays in simplifying investments, Globalise will be able to attain the goal within the stipulated time frame.
Pratik Bhakta
first published: Jan 23, 2021 09:31 am

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