MARKETS & INVESTING | Staff Reporter, Singapore

SmartKarma CEO Raghav Kapoor will talk at the SBR's Hottest Startups Panel Briefing 2017

He will zero in on the challenges of B2B model.

Over his career, Raghav Kapoor, CEO of SmartKarma, has worked in various positions of leadership across major financial institutions. Prior to co-founding Smartkarma, Kapoor was a managing director at Religare Capital Markets from 2010 to 2014. He joined Religare upon the successful exit of Aviate Global (Asia), where he was a founding partner. From 2006 to 2009, Raghav was vice president of Regional Equities Sales at Citigroup, where he grew and managed several large relationships.

Outside of his passion for technology, Kapoor brings to Smartkarma his love for investing. He was ranked as Asia’s Number 1 investment idea generator from 2011 to 2013, based on the performance analysis of over a million top investment ideas.

Kapoor graduated with first class honours in Computer Science from Cambridge University, and a Master’s degree in Management Science & Engineering from Stanford University.

We spoke with Kapoor to find out more about his thoughts on speaking at the upcoming Singapore Business Review's 20 Hottest Startups Panel Briefing 2017, happening on July 11, 2017, 8:30-11:30AM at the Meeting Room 3345, Suntec Singapore Convention & Exhibition Centre.

What are your previous experiences and positions held that contributed to who you are as a​n entrepreneur today?

I am originally from India, but came to Singapore for junior college and went on to attend Cambridge University, where I studied computer science, later doing a masters at Stanford University. I began my career in finance with Citigroup and went on to launch a boutique brokerage house, Aviate Global (Asia), which was later acquired by Religare Capital Markets.

While immersed in the world of finance, I witnessed the global financial crisis of 2008 and also watched as the scandal unfurled over the Ponzi scheme of Bernie Madoff, which defrauded thousands of investors. It made me realize that asset management is not as clean as I had thought. Each time a scandal surfaced, new regulations would be formed and changes to the industry would be accelerated.

I felt that the way business was being done in capital markets would dramatically change, and felt the calling to participate in this change, to lead it and help it evolve to a whole new level. This was the genesis of Smartkarma.

What are your key business philosophies?

At Smartkarma we want to have a lasting impact and fundamentally change how people do investment research. Good research is at the center of investing, and Smartkarma seeks to break down the traditional silos in the market to bring efficiency to a global industry that has long suffered from opaque pricing and bloated cost structures. Its vision is to bring simplicity, efficiency and transparency to the investing world.

The name of the company embodies some of my key business philosophies. “Smart” represents both our focus on quality, and the collection of intelligent, innovative and creative people working together. “Karma” represents both our core values and our focus on collaboration. It differentiates us from incumbents, and signifies a new approach driven by collective actions, work and deeds.

Can you give us a glimpse of what you will talk about at the ​20 Hottest Startups Panel Briefing 2017? (Panel 1: What's next in the growth of fintech in Southeast Asia?)

I will talk about the globalisation of Asia based fintech companies, thoughts on what’s going on in the capital markets space of fintech, and challenges and advantages of B2B business model.

The SBR 20 Hottest Startups Panel Briefing will be on July 11 at the Meeting Room 3345, Suntec Singapore Convention & Exhibition Centre.

If you are interested to attend, you may contact Nikki Quiniquini at nikkiq@charltonmediamail.com or at +65 3158 1386 ext 238.

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