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Business News/ Money / Personal Finance/  'What our schools fail to teach us: How to invest'
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'What our schools fail to teach us: How to invest'

Looking to address the fear of losing money that stops people from investing their hard-earned money, StockGro has grown to three million daily active users. But there's still a lot of ground to cover, said the company's founder & CEO Ajay Lakhotia, at the Mint India Investment Summit 2024

Financial literacy has been lacking in the traditional education system, and this lack of knowledge leads people to make uninformed investment decisions based on tips from friends or family, which often results in them incurring losses, said Ajay Lakhotia, founder & CEO of StockGro.Premium
Financial literacy has been lacking in the traditional education system, and this lack of knowledge leads people to make uninformed investment decisions based on tips from friends or family, which often results in them incurring losses, said Ajay Lakhotia, founder & CEO of StockGro.

In a culture that teaches children to save money from an early age, some say that the education children receive while growing up still lacks vital aspects related to money. That is, the art and science of investing money.

With financial education lacking in most Indians and people hesitant to invest due to a fear of losing their money, there are still a lot of people who just save their money and never invest. But one startup is looking to change that.

Ajay Lakhotia, founder and CEO of Bengaluru-based StockGro, a social trading platform, said that by creating a gamified and social learning environment, the company has been able to address the needs of those who are fearful and hesitant about the idea of investing.

Lakhotia, speaking at the Mint India Investment Summit 2024, on Saturday, March 30, said that historically, financial literacy has been lacking in the traditional education system, and this lack of knowledge leads people to make uninformed investment decisions based on tips from friends or family, which often results in them incurring losses.

"The core problem to that is the culture in India, and it's not just India. In India, in Asia, in Southeast Asia and the Middle East, our culture and fabric, our education system, and our families have taught us how to save money. My parents have always taught me how to save money," he said. "[But] No one has taught us how to invest money, and this is a problem you start facing when you actually start earning."

To help find a solution for it, Lakhotia, discussing the topic at a fireside chat titled 'How to build a Social Media Rocket-Ship to simplify adoption in Fintech Sector' said, StockGro looks to provide a platform where users can learn and practice investing in a safe, virtual environment, and build portfolios with virtual cash and compete against each other. This takes the fear of investment away and gives people a sense of community and accomplishment.

Further, by incorporating elements of social media onto their virtual investment platform, StockGro has allowed users to follow experienced investors and participate in discussions.

Lakhotia explained that they have leveraged the core mechanics of successful social media platforms, such as giving users bragging rights, a sense of community, gratification, discoverability, and gamification. Incorporating these elements creates a loop, which keeps potential investors engaged, he says. Building a successful portfolio has also allowed their users to brag about their achievements and connect with others who share their interests.

The startup, which came up during the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020, and has grown to about 35 million users, with three million daily active users. Lakhotia credited this success to the platform's ability to seamlessly integrate social interaction into the learning process of finance. "We launched with IIM Bangalore and today we have 900 plus business schools and colleges who are using us as a part of their curriculums to teach students how to trade and invest. That's what we have accomplished just by simplifying how social (interaction) can be integrated into finance," he said.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Varuni Khosla
Varuni is an Assistant Editor at Mint. She writes engaging and informative stories on luxury brands, hospitality news, business of sports, business of advertising and marketing, gaming, tourism and travel, and the business of alcohol. She is skilled in communication, research, and analysis. Varuni is passionate about covering the latest trends and developments in the lifestyle and business sectors.
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Published: 30 Mar 2024, 05:38 PM IST
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