Venkat Raman –
Owner-operated and family-owned companies often stop shy of expansion for fear of losing control but the step-by-step approach of a market leader in mortgage and insurance brokerage is becoming a source of inspiration and perhaps investor attention. It is also becoming a model in the finance sector.
Auckland based Global Financial Services Limited (GFSL) is on the threshold of lateral expansion, capitalising on its phenomenal growth.
The value of mortgage finance arranged by the Company during the past financial year alone was an impressive $831 million. As mentioned in our April 1, 2016 issue, accounting for 115 bank holidays during the year, the total amount arranged as mortgage loans works out to $3.4 million per day, a feat that would certainly be a record in New Zealand.
If success is hard to achieve, it is harder to sustain it and promote succession planning.
GFSL Managing Director Ajay Kumar realises that the only way up is through the corporate elevator, with human, capital and material resources to ensure safety and growth. He has established a professional team of advisors including Darrin Franks, an insurance veteran (who was earlier Distribution & Marketing Head at AIA New Zealand) and Mike Skilling, a banking veteran (Bank of New Zealand).
“With the total value of mortgage loans organised with banks through our company valued at more than $4 billion and insurance premium of $2.5 billion since our establishment in March 1999, we are now ready for the next stage of development,” he told this reporter during an interview as his firm marked its 17th anniversary two months ago (Indian Newslink, May 15, 2016).
GFSL and Mr Kumar continue to win a number of Awards every year, the first of which perhaps occurred at the Indian Newslink Indian Business Awards 2009 at which he received the Best Marketing Excellence Award sponsored by TV 3 in the presence of the then Governor General Sir Anand Satyanand and Prime Minister John Key.
The latest in the line-up was the ‘Mortgage Advisor of the Year Award 2016’ presented at the annual conference of the Professional Advisors Association and Institute of Financial Advisors Conference held in Auckland on July 28 and 29, 2016.
“Each of the companies behind the Awards won by GFS is known for high levels of integrity and honesty. We are therefore proud of having won the Awards given by them. We are of course always conscious of the fact that these were made possible only by our customers. They are of course the real judges of our quality of performance and standard of service,” Mr Kumar said.
Like many businesses that sprout their wings later and become national phenomena or global players, GFS began 17 years ago in the garage of its owner Ajay Kumar.
Mr Kumar had three unshakable factors that helped him to establish growth: Experience (more than 25 years as a banker in India), honesty and self-confidence. Each of these qualities quickly multiplied to include integrity, transparency, accountability, community and social responsibility and the ability to form and lead a team of professionals and motivate them with the opportunity to grow with him.
From its own unique ‘Loan Liquidation Formula’ which enables customers with the propensity to pay off their mortgage loans faster and specialist and sharp approach to insurance of all kinds, GFS has been an institution with a difference. It would follow principles, no matter who remain the principal.
As Mr Kumar said, “In 2015, GFS established a management team to guide and take decisions for the company. We have already seen how it has changed the trajectory of the company to providing even better service to customers and improving the quality of operations to the best international standards.”
- Growth has no limits for Ajay Kumar
- ASB General Manager (Business Banking & Retail Specialist Services) Ian Boyce presenting the Number One Broker Award for New Money Advanced Award’ to Ajay Kumar on October 19, 2015
- Ajay Kumar receives the ‘Best Financial Advisor (Mortgage & Insurance) Award from BNZ Director Mai Chen, watched by AIA New Zealand Chief Executive Natalie Cameron at the Indian Newslink Indian Business Awards on November 23, 2015