Published on 09/09/2017 12:00 AM
Most of what I previously wrote was from our point of view, our vision, our ideas etc. However this is one from the other end. Over the past year I have interacted with nearly 500 professional investors, fund managers, brokers, analysts, bankers, consultants across all sizes of institutions. I saw them as my advisors, mentors, clients, friends and took in whatever they had to throw at us. Went back to our desks, updated our plans and solved the problems that they gave us.
The brief summary of what we heard can be broken down to three things
- Increase coverage – We went to people with 120 companies, they said this is low, we should have 250 there. So we went back with 300, this still was not good enough, clearly the number had to be nearly 500. So we went back with 600, turns out even with this we still missed some. So we now have nearly 700 companies and a pipeline with 100 more in the works. With this we believe we would have all companies greater than Rs5bn in market cap and all the relevant companies.
- Make the solution a lot more comprehensive in terms of Data and Features – The problem was to eliminate the need for multiple systems as much as possible. Could we merge basic databases, news sources, with our models and productivity tools? So we went about adding things like a comprehensive analytical toolkit for comparing and filtering companies across financial and valuation criteria. We also added quarterly financial data and shareholding patterns of all companies in a clean and investor friendly format. Next we are going about adding certain basic information like products, geography, management etc. Our next big thing is a theme analyser that would help search strength of themes within a company’s investor communique. The idea being that it becomes a complete solution from a data and research standpoint.
- The third demand was to allow them to be able to take outputs from the platform – We had designed the system to be a complete work environment (i.e. DIY analysis system), so we never thought this would be big ask. But lots of people we spoke to were adamant on the download features. I was baffled why would they want to download stuff and then work again on it. Its only when we spoke to a large number of them did we realize that people were still thinking of DistrictD as a basic database and were looking to integrate it in their regular workflow which was still offline in nature. So we added download buttons everywhere. In fact you can now download a complete book for any company now from DistrictD. But then someone comes and asks us to allow even a print option! Phew!
There has been a fourth very important feedback nearly a tie with the third feedback, which is to get consensus data on the platform. Well that is one problem that I still have to be able to solve.
Currently DistrictD technology is receiving over a 1500 page views per month and we hope to continue to grow this as we take this to a much wider group. I would like to thank everyone with whom we had a chance to interact and who have given us a patient time and hearing and valuable guidance along the way.
Please keep throwing problems at us and allow us to surprise you with the solutions.
Do let me know your thoughts if any, would be very interested to hear them.