ICICIdirect.com is the largest equity house in India with a total retail clientele of 1.9 million customers and 922 sub-brokers. It provides end-to-end solutions (including Web-based services) through the largest non-banking distribution channel to cater to the diverse needs of both retail and corporate customers.
Since the liberalization in the early 1990’s, the financial sector in India has undergone a complex process of restructuring; capitalizing of new opportunities as well as responding to new challenges. The key challenge is the quality of services offered by the companies, which can be leveraged through constant upgrading of technology and product innovation (such as mobile trading, digital contract notes, reward points for trading in various products, and so on). In addition, the majority of customers are unaware of the importance of the financial planning and the way to use the technology (Internet) as a medium for trading in the securities market. However, securities market participants can actually leverage this challenge as an opportunity by educating people through seminars and free educational classes and focussing on young customers that are more tech-savvy and have more disposable income at hand.
Among the various participants in the Indian financial services market, ICICIdirect.com stands out for its services as well as the high value for clients. The company mainly operates in corporate finance including equity capital markets advisory services, institutional equities and retail and financial product distribution. Through its retail division, ICICI Direct, the company offers wide range of products such as a platform to trade in equity in both National Stock Exchange (NSE) and Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE), Margin, MarginPlus, derivatives trading, overseas trading, mutual funds, IPOs and on-line life insurance.
"ICICIdirect.com has a first-mover advantage in launching a low bandwidth site, which helps in trading at high speed – even through low bandwidth connections such as data card and GPRS," says Frost & Sullivan’s Research Analyst Harish Saraf. "Moreover, it has the first mover advantage in its 3-in-1 solution that enables the retail customers to tie in their savings bank, demat and brokerage accounts electronically and seamlessly."
The company follows the world class standards in maintaining its timeliness of service. The company tracks over 150 internal and external quality parameters, through its service quality tracking system. This helps the company in identifying the frequency of a particular query and minimizing the TAT for the same.
"ICICIdirect.com was the first broker in the industry to introduce digitally signed contract notes and online statements to its customers, which not only led to a paperless process between the brokers and customers, but also helped minimize the time and cost of customers in procuring data," notes Saraf. "In addition, the company initiated the low bandwidth mobile application for enabling customers to trade from anywhere globally from their Website.
The company offers financial health check-up services through its Automated Financial Planning module called Wealth Goal, Retirement, Investment and Protection (G.R.I.P). The module helps the customers to plan their finances across the life stage such as child education, retirement and so on. It also allows clients to customize their portfolio/asset allocation according to the risk-return appetite, which further helps them to maximize their return at a certain risk exposure.
"ICICIdirect.com brings out the ‘Money Manager Magazine’ to help customers understand the basics of financial planning and investments, track markets, news, products and services," adds Saraf. "This magazine, which updates the investors about the recent happenings in the market, has a circulation of 700,000 – the highest among any financial magazine in India."
Overall, ICICIdirect.com scores high on the quality and timeliness of its service as well as the impact of the service on customer value and cost-effectiveness of the services to customers. These achievements make it the worthy recipient of the 2010 Indian Frost & Sullivan Award for Customer Service Leadership in the financial services market.
Frost & Sullivan Best Practices Awards recognize companies in a variety of regional and global markets for demonstrating outstanding achievement and superior performance in areas such as leadership, technological innovation, customer service, and strategic product development. Industry analysts compare market participants and measure performance through in-depth interviews, analysis, and extensive secondary research in order to identify best practices in the industry.
ICICIdirect.com is the largest equity house in the country providing end-to-end solutions through the largest non-banking distribution channel to cater to both retail and corporate customers. The company has a dominant position in the core segments of its operations – corporate finance including equity capital markets advisory services, institutional equities, and retail and financial product distribution.
About Frost & Sullivan
Frost & Sullivan, the Growth Partnership Company, enables clients to accelerate growth and achieve best-in-class positions in growth, innovation and leadership. The company's Growth Partnership Service provides the CEO and the CEO's Growth Team with disciplined research and best-practice models to drive the generation, evaluation, and implementation of powerful growth strategies. Frost & Sullivan leverages over 45 years of experience in partnering with Global 1000 companies, emerging businesses and the investment community from 40 offices on six continents.