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BW Businessworld

From Phantom Money To A Real Job

TrakInvest is a virtual trading platform where users can trade with dummy or virtual cash across the top exchanges of the world but are armed with real trading information and hone their trading skills without any risk associated

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Bobby Bhatia, ex principal at JP Morgan with a profound career in equity trading and stock market, while mentoring students realised how millennial with ample amount of talent and skills are bound by the nature and asymmetry of the market that dampens their confidence to take a leap in the world of trading. With an aim to give an edge to an average retailer and disrupting the whole recruitment system, TrakInvest was established in 2013.

Operating from Singapore, TrakInvest is built on three basic components- learn, share and earn. TrakInvest is a virtual trading platform where users can trade with dummy or virtual cash across the top exchanges of the world but are armed with real trading information and hone their trading skills without any risk associated. In short, it is like testing the waters before you take an actual plunge.

Spotify of trading
Terming it as the ‘Spotify of Trading’, Bhatia says, “TrakInvest want to give an edge and advantage to people who do not have money but are very good with trading and individually showcase their intelligence and ability”

Due to asymmetry of information in the stock market, the bigger institutions have access to more knowledge due to their orientation and resources as compared to an average person who is limited by his position. This lays down the foundation of TrakInvest of giving an edge to the average retailer.

“TrakInvest will create a paradigm shift as no longer do one has to rely on traditional sources of information, brokerage, research reports and help crowd source financial information which would be available only to the retail who has been at a disadvantage,” says Bhatia.

Apart from letting users play in the virtual stock market with phantom cash, the platform also allows users to follow or ‘Trak’ the top performers to learn more.

Fancy degree v/s practical knowledge
Up till now the recruitment process is done through resumes which could be analyzed from two different perspective. One, people with fancy degree but very little practical knowledge and potential candidates with not very fancy degree but equipped with tremendous knowledge of trading. Therefore its a loss for both the recruiter and the potential resource. TrakInvest aims to bridge this gap and help identify sincere talent which is not a part of the mainstream recognition.
You could not be an IIT or an IIM, but could be a great trader and should be given an opportunity. How well you do at a university level doesn’t guarantee how well you will do in life.

Earn while you learn
The earning component comes from the fact that you could be a trader and could use the platform for social listings, connect with the broker and make money. Students can build their virtual portfolios, participate in multiple games across different universities and based on the performance during that time period, could avail cellphones, cash prizes and even internships and real jobs.

“We through our sister platform HYRD, we are getting them recruited into jobs. The incentives are not restricted to the top performers, but also the ones who are improving, have maximum followers, most active,” says Bhatia.

TrakInvests has already done about 100 internships. Recent ones include internships in a Thailand based company FWD. New features are being added by the company based on the shared economy model where the top performer get to earn through followers and a part of the earning goes to the platform.

For corporates it becomes a branding and a lead generation tool, an education CSR and most important of all, talent identification tool. For consumers its education, upscaling and job opportunity and an earning opportunity.

Financial education, empowerment
The high velocity exchange of information on social media accelerates TrakInvest’s aim to empower the common man to leverage trading information for awareness and financial independence. As a part of the GOTC programme, an online global certificate programme, the content has been build up in multimedia fashion including Youtube video, tutorials, basic investing fundamentals etc.

TrakInvest has tied up with universities and run global trading competitions. Universities and colleges like IIT, IIM, IIFT, Narsee Monjee use the platform to conduct games for higher engagement and to learn in the campus. Apart from this multiple companies such as Religare, FWD, International school of business run their campaigns via this platform.

TrakInvest had partnered with Reuters initially for research and reports but have redesigned the system in the form of recommendations rather than elaborated reports which make the learning process more complicated. The system takes into account factors like price volatility, earnings projections, market consensus etc and accordingly makes recommendations to the users. Apart from this a confidence score is given to the companies based on the observations more than 10000 people and traders which help the users make decisions in a well informed way.

“Our fundamental philosophy is different. Most of the other competitors and platforms that exists have strategy to become a brokerage or sub brokers eventually. There is no other platform that has been built from an education perspective as we have,” claims Bhatia.

Future plans
TrakInvest plans to bring in newer methods of educating through technology which would be beyond apps. If you are talking about creating a new market, you have to give the users something new. No longer can you give the users just an app or an average experience.

The company plans to lay focus in India, Singapore and South East Asia market and expand its territory with new innovations and technology “Today despite the fact that we are in a virtual world, we have real platforms like the online brokers, insurance companies, independent consultants who are looking to move into the digital space and want to use our technology to conduct their business and get better insights. We want to make this a nationwide programme and perhaps in future tie up with NSE or SEBI, for financial education, health and investment,” he adds.


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magazine 14 November 2016 TrackInvest startups iims