Success does not have an established formula. If it were, everyone would be successful. It is an enigmatic synthesis of personality, hard work and circumstances that occurs rarely. One such instance is Ms. Amisha Vora. Coming from a humble background and rising up to become one of elite decision makers in a country of over a billion people is proof of her success. With close to 30 years of rich experience in Indian equities she is a well-respected decision maker in the equity markets. She is one of the leading women entrepreneurs in India today and is regularly featured on leading business channels like CNBC, ET Now etc for her views & insights. She is a member of the CII National Committee on Capital Markets, the Advisory Committee (SME) of NSE and a member of the CII. She was recently awarded as “Woman Entrepreneur of the Year” & as one of “Asia’s Most Admired Leaders”. Through sheer hard work and determination, she has established herself in the male dominated industry of financial services.
Amisha grew up in a modest household in Mumbai with her 3 sisters. Her mother always instilled in them the importance of karma and always praised people who had done something for others. Even as a child, Amisha used to tell everyone that one day she would grow up to be wealthy so that she can help the needy.
Her education up to college level was in Gujarati language. She was a division topper throughout and a gold medal winner in 10th Standard. Despite having to switch over to English medium at the famed Narsee Monjee College, she managed to top her division. Her teacher was so impressed that she took her paper around to other classes. According to Amisha her ability of comprehension and asking the right questions helped her excel in her academics. Little did she know that these abilities were to be the foundation of her rise to prominence in the corporate world.
She is currently the Joint Managing Director with one of the most reputed financial services companies in India – Prabhudas Lilladher (PL). She is responsible for PL’s Retail, Investment Banking and NBFC divisions catering to a diverse set of clients – individual investors from humble salaried class to HNIs and corporate clients of various sizes in India & abroad. Thoroughly customer centric, her thoughts are always focused on “how can I serve my clients better and help them realise their financial goals.” Powering the financial growth of clients is the motto of the company and Amisha has left no stone unturned in ensuring that. According to her, the success of a company is determined by how satisfied their clients are.
Her journey from employee to owner is a true testimony to the power of determination and hard work. She joined Prabhudas Lilladher (PL) in 2000 as VP FII Sales. Her innovative ideas helped PL gain more corporate access. She was promoted to Head of Institutional Sales and then as Director of Institutional Sales in the subsequent year. She streamlined the business in the international territories and executed strategies to increase the number of clients and built strong relationships with clients to ensure steady business. Along with her partners she improved corporate access, fundamental research and institutional sales as evidenced by credible rankings in Asiamoney and rapid growth of the institutional business which grew 36 times in 6 years. Her innovative Conferences on Banking (2003) & Power Equipments (2005) led to a 4 to 5 times appreciation in those stocks. She along with her partners and team members took the revenues from Rs.9 Mn to Rs.1100 Mn in a span of 5 years.
In 2005 Amisha proposed that PL enter the Corporate Advisory business through a new company PL Advisory Services Pvt. Ltd. in which she held equity stake and was appointed as Director. Under her the Corporate Advisory business helped corporates raise over USD 1 Billion during 2005-08. In 2007 she became a Joint Managing Director in the holding company of the Group and for PL Capital Markets Pvt. Ltd. when PL acquired an Investment Banking License.
Buoyed by the success of the launch of Corporate Advisory and Investment Banking businesses, Amisha spearheaded the foray of PL into the NBFC business. She set up the NBFC business in PL with a view of making PL’s suite of offerings even more comprehensive using her experience and knowledge of the financial industry.
She took over the reins of the Group’s Retail broking business in 2013 in addition to Investment Banking and NBFC. Since then, she has strengthened PL’s presence in key markets apart from spearheading a complete change in how the retail business is being done, led by technology and the quality of advisory services which has resulted in a CAGR of 34% in the top-lines, higher than market growth. She is credited with several firsts at PL including an innovative stock advisory product, InvestActive, leading process automation initiatives and pioneering algorithm based advisory in India.
She expanded the Retail footprint of the company by aggressively recruiting Progress Partners (franchisees) relying on a mix of attracting veterans as well as giving ambitious first timers a chance to establish their businesses.
Amisha is a strong believer in the power of preparation. Before every meeting, she makes a point know everything there is to know about the person she is meeting and then think of how she can add value to that person’s knowledge. According to her, if you are not adding value to their knowledge you are wasting their time and your own. In every interaction, make sure people get something out of it and they will remember you for it. It is this attitude which enabled her to win the coveted “Best Salesperson of the Year” award by Asiamoney for an unprecedented 3 consecutive years!
Her extra-curricular interests include Indian classical dance and instrumental Indian classical music which in her words “take her away to another dimension.” She has a genuine curiosity in learning about other areas outside her expertise and often likes to pick the brains of experts be it the intricacies of digital marketing or the esoteric world of art. She says “In our line of business it is not the ones with right answers but the ones who know how to ask the right questions who succeed.
Her go getter attitude is very inspiring for her team. Often during meetings, she will pose the question to her team “Why can’t we do that?”. Amisha has always avoided taking shortcuts in life and business. She believes that short cuts prove to be the longest cuts eventually. Hard work and perseverance is needed for success and clients realise when someone is trying to short-change them or has not done their homework before a meeting.
Amisha is a firm believer in open feedback. She is always available to her team be it night or day and genuinely encourages her team to share their views especially when they have a point of view that differs from hers’. One of the key reasons cited by her team for their loyalty to her is her frank and direct communication – she speaks her mind – be it bouquets or brickbats. She is sharp in her criticism and lavish in her praise. She believes that building a right team is critical to expanding business.
Amisha’s mission for her team, being financial advisors, is to add value and wealth to the clients. Never think of short term gain for yourself at the expense of what is best for the client. She wants to grow her company into the leading financial services company in India based on ethical practices and integrity. According to Amisha the most satisfying part of her job is when she receives positive feedback from clients. Her formula for success is 2 Ps – Preparation & Perseverance – both are essential for achieving success. Amisha’s story is an inspiration to aspiring entrepreneurs everywhere that their grit and perseverance can help them realise their dreams no matter what the odds.