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Part 2: Soumya Rajan of Waterfield Advisors on entrepreneurship, liberation and legacy

Part 2: Soumya Rajan of Waterfield Advisors on entrepreneurship, liberation and legacy

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11 Januari 2024

A few weeks ago, we published an episode with Soumya Rajan of Waterfield Advisors. We discussed what it was like to bet your future on an idea that no one had tried before, in India.  In Soumya’s case, that idea was a business model around wealth management. You might remember Soumya saying it really wasn’t easy.  Her peers had doubts. Her clients had doubts. Her family had doubts. She had doubts.  But she dug her heels in. 12 years in, Waterfield Advisors is now India’s largest multi-family office and wealth advisory, managing over 40,000 crores for its clients. We covered a lot of ground around Waterfield’s early years.  And then, we took a break. We had some coffee, looked around the studio offices, and came back in to record again.  And slowly, the next hour of our conversation became about looking ahead.  Soumya detailed her vision to me. Waterfield is planning to expand to Dubai this year. And perhaps even more international offices after that.  In fact, Soumya said, she wants to build an organization like J.P. Morgan – out of India. JP Morgan traces its history nearly 150 years back. So naturally, I asked Soumya: how do make sure you build a company that’s around for 10, 20…even 50 years? How do you build a truly defensible and lasting moat? Her answer was very interesting. Soumya said Waterfield will continue what it started with – never manufacturing their own products, and continuing to remain only an advisory. She explained, Waterfield would never go into distribution – which is where the money is.  It will always be an advisory.  Again, Soumya has a big bet – she believes that Waterfield needs to give up growth and scale in the short term, to succeed in the long term.  And in this episode, she explains why this will work.  We also talk about:  --> Being unapologetic about entrepreneurship --> Learning to let go as a CEO --> How to use AI as a friend  --> Building a ritualistic work ethic  This is episode 35 of First Principles—The Ken's weekly leadership podcast. P.S.: If you have any submissions for book recommendations, interesting reads, #SilentSunday pictures or songs for the First Principles newsletter, send them here.

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