Mirae Asset is a South Korea-based financial services conglomerate. Mirae Asset Capital Markets India is one of the marquee occupants at Equinox, in Mumbai’s Bandra-Kurla Complex (BKC). In an interview with The EDGE, Robinson Francis, COO at Mirae Asset Capital Markets India, talks about the firm’s empowering work culture and the perks of having an office at Equinox
How do you envision Mirae Asset’s role and impact within the evolving Indian financial services landscape in the coming years, particularly in the context of changing market dynamics?
Mirae Asset has shown its commitment to the Indian financial services over the years. Because of its patience and endurance, it has become a renowned brand in the Indian financial markets. Being a global organization, Mirae Asset endeavours to bring its capabilities on global products, services and technology to the Indian investors. Its presence and growth indicate its firm belief in the Indian growth story.
Mirae Asset operates in 17 global markets across various verticals, i.e., investment banking, wealth management, asset management, insurance, financial services, real estate consulting, venture investment, social contribution, and capital and financing. In 2017, Mirae Asset Capital Markets made its entry into India and focused on investment banking and institutional broking business. We faced the challenges of a new entrant, the Covid pandemic and continuous regulatory changes. But we have still managed to thrive and grow. We successfully launched our retail stock broking platform in April 2022. Today, we proudly serve nearly 500,000 customers, and our daily transaction volume ranges from 16 to 19 lakhs trades, a truly impressive feat.
The stockbroking business has also transformed over time, especially with the emergence of discount brokers. Previously, traditional investors relied heavily on broking firms for guidance, but now they are more tech-savvy and independent in executing trades. Our focus has been to provide most transparent and affordable products, and simple UI/UX in our digital interfaces to our customers. In this changing landscape, our platform has excelled. However, our commitment to innovation and leading the way in technology enhancements continues to drive our journey in the dynamic Indian financial services arena, promising ongoing excitement and dynamism.
How significant do you consider the workplace in your list of priorities for employees? And can you provide more insight into the role that offices play in this context and your reason for choosing the Brookfield properties campus?
Our business is closely tied to the stock market timelines, and various segments, such as equities, derivatives and currencies, operate on different schedules. It’s crucial for us to have teams available during these market hours and provide them with flexibility. Thus, in terms of the workplace, office location matters a lot, and our office in BKC is centrally located and closer to the financial hub, to regulators, exchanges, clients, etc. Being closer to Kurla railway station, it is convenient for major workforce to travel. From business perspective, many of the financial Institutions are having their offices in and around BKC thereby reducing the journey time for meetings. Additionally, the vibrant campus, featuring a fantastic food court and green spaces, creates an enjoyable working environment.
How is Brookfield Properties adding value by creating an enjoyable and engaging workplace for your employees?
Brookfield Properties definitely elevates our workplace experience. They organize a range of engaging activities – from sports competitions to women’s events and entertainment – making the office a fun place to work. Our employees actively participate in these events, contributing to the lively atmosphere and ensuring everyone stays excited about coming to work. Additionally, the practice of sharing information in public areas such as lifts and corridors helps build a sense of community among employees and brings them together.
Do you think working from the office being essential for fostering a collaborative culture and employee development, or do you see a flexible hybrid structure as the future?
During Covid, we adapted to remote work, but as a part of essential services, some of our workforce continued to operate from our offices. We find that having employees in the office is crucial due to the rapid changes in our industry, which require constant learning and knowledge sharing through collaboration. Our business thrives on multiple people working together on actionable plans, and in- person engagement has a significant advantage over remote work.
Given that ESG is a top priority for Brookfield Properties and offices are increasingly emphasizing sustainability, what’s your perspective on the impact of sustainability, and how do you view Brookfield Properties’ contributions in this regard?
I must commend Brookfield Properties for their remarkable efforts. The upkeep of the campus is exceptional and the greenery within the campus provides a refreshing and inviting atmosphere compared to the surroundings outside. This lush environment adds a vibrant vibe to our workplace, setting it apart from standalone buildings.
Regarding our experience at Equinox, it’s been just eight months, and we’ve already expanded due to our growth. Our current floor is fully occupied, prompting us to secure additional space on the floor above.
I would also like to express our gratitude to Brookfield Properties for a very helpful gesture. Early this year, when our chairman visited India, Brookfield Properties extended their support to ensure a seamless visit, helping navigate traffic and facilitating entry and exit from the campus. The assistance is greatly appreciated.
One word to describe the culture at Mirae Asset?
Innovation. It’s ingrained in everything we do, setting us apart from our competitors.
Any ongoing idea or trend in your industry that excites you?
The advancements in AI and ML are incredibly promising. Businesses across sectors are delving into their potential and in our industry, we’re particularly thrilled about harnessing AI and data analytics to gain deeper insights into investor behaviour, allowing us to align our strategies accordingly.
How do you keep your team motivated?
Flexibility in working hours, diverse roles to prevent monotony and encouraging innovation are key.
What is Mirae Asset’s well-being mantra, and how does it contribute to a thriving and healthy workplace culture?
Mirae Asset’s wellbeing mantra centers around innovation and fostering a culture of open expression. We encourage our employees to voice their ideas and believe that even small ones can lead to significant innovations. This approach aligns with our non-hierarchical culture, which promotes open communication and includes skip-level meetings to stay closely connected with our ground level teams. This dynamic atmosphere contributes to a thriving and healthy workplace culture that values innovation and the contributions of every team member.
Favorite spot in your office or campus?
While there are several favourite spots, I particularly enjoy the green spaces around the building, which are perfect for post-lunch walks and provide arefreshing break.