How tech is driving financial awareness among Indian youth

The pandemic has also played a crucial role, and people realised how important it is to have a second stream of income and not just live paycheck to paycheck.

Remember the first time you had to file your taxes? For most of us, it was a nerve-wracking experience though it’s quite a simple procedure to follow. In the traditional schooling curriculum, we are hardly taught (or least introduced to) one of the most important skills that we would need later in life—how to manage and grow our money. In adulthood, we face it directly, and many find it extremely confusing. 

Gone are the days of just FDs and PPFs

Probably, when you got your first salary, you may have thought about investing in a PPF and FD, just like our fathers did. But times are surely changing. Millennials know better and are curious about other ways to build their portfolio and not follow old-school ways. The pandemic has also played a crucial role here. People realised how important it is to have a second stream of income (or passive income) and not just live paycheck to paycheck. In fact, a media report says that Central Depository Services Limited (CDSL) reported that clients opened 5 million new Demat accounts in the first nine months of 2020 (when the pandemic was in full swing). This value is half the number of accounts opened over the last five years.

The rise of “finfluencers”

Beauty, fashion, and food influencers are some of the most-watched influencers in India on popular social media platforms like YouTube and Instagram. Now, finance influencers (or “finfluencers” as they are called) are the new rage in the Indian content space, raking in millions of views. Such has been the rise that we are seeing YouTube making dedicated videos depicting their journey in the space of finance content creation. Recently, YouTube Creating for India showcased the inspiring journey of CA Rachana Ranade (one of the biggest finance content creators in the country). She has a whopping 3.74 million subscribers on YouTube and around 690,000 followers on Instagram. 


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Rachana has a ‘Basics of Stock Market’ lecture series, which has gained massive success. Even music videos don’t garner such views often. The first lecture of her stock market lecture series has over 21 million views. Her videos do consistently well on YouTube. 

Demystifying the jargon in finance

Ranade says, “In India, there is so much jargon about financial planning and stock markets that common people feel they will never be able to understand it. I am using YouTube as a platform to spread financial education among the masses. I started teaching MBA and CA students in 2009. Some students suggested that I make a full series on stock markets. I even recorded the course. Then I was suggested to upload the recorded course on YouTube. Within three months, that lecture got more than 25,000 views. And just like that, I took a leap of faith. I became a YouTube creator in Jan 2020, and in March 2020, a lockdown happened. That’s when people realised that the situation is quite serious.”

Akshat Shrivastava is another popular name in the finance content creator niche. He is an ex-BCG and Dalberg consultant and has around 145.4K followers on Twitter and over 1.07 million subscribers on YouTube. He makes mainly finance content (along with career and some lifestyle content) on stock markets, how to pick up the right stocks, mistakes to avoid, how to make money moves to retire early, etc. Pranjal Kamra is one of the most followed finance influencers with over 4.15 million YouTube subscribers and over 388K Instagram followers. His stock market videos have generated millions of views.

Reels to engage with the younger generation

We all know the attention span of consumers is decreasing, and short-form content is becoming more and more popular with the younger generation. 

Not just YouTube (which is still traditionally for long-format content), finance content is garnering crazy views on Instagram reels too. FinancewithSharan (run by Sharan Hedge) has over 1.6 million Instagram followers and over half a million subscribers on YouTube. He is known for his informative yet entertaining reels. 

Sharan, in a media interaction, adds, “Not many people want to watch a 10-minute video on finance. So, I had to figure out a way to condense so much information about finance in a 30-second format so that it reaches as many people as possible.”

Trading and investment apps

Even a decade back, so many apps and online platforms (read: Zerodha, Upstox, Scripbox, Groww) did not exist that could make investing so easy. Anushka Rathod (another popular business and finance content creator with around half a million Instagram followers) says, “5 to 10 years ago, it was so difficult to invest in a stock. Now you have a phone. The onboarding time is hardly 10 minutes, and then within a few more minutes, you can buy a stock. It is literally that simple.”

Nithin Kamath, Founder & CEO of Zerodha (one of the biggies in the online stock broker space), in a 2020 Economic Times interview, said that the company has been adding more than 200,000 new customers every month. April was the largest, but in August again, the company did more than 200,000, he informed. 

Last year, Ravi Kumar, co-founder and chief executive of online discount broker Upstox, told media that the company’s customer on-boarding accelerated over three times in FY21, and it added over 2 million customers. This took the customer base to over 4 million. He further said that over 80 per cent are in the 18-36 age bracket, while over 70 per cent of the new customers are first-time investors.

Digital wealth management service provider Scripbox recently raised $21 million in funding and informed the media that the average age of Scripbox users ranges between 40 and 45, and 25-30% of its customer base is new to capital markets and mutual fund investments. 

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Sreejani Bhattacharyya
I am a technology journalist at AIM. What gets me excited is deep-diving into new-age technologies and analysing how they impact us for the greater good. Reach me at

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