The 'Finfluencers' who mean business

A few city-based ‘finfluencers’ are creating relatable and engaging content on social media to educate a younger audience on matters of money.
Representational Image (Express Illustration)
Representational Image (Express Illustration)

"A friend introduced me to the concept of finfluencers. As a person with financial background, I found their content extremely interesting. The fact that someone used cosplay to explain hardcore financial topics via short reels; that intrigued me,” shares Yashwik Ahuja from Model Town.

The 21-year-old has been religiously following influencers such as Sharan Hegde, Anushka Rathod, and Neha Nagar. Just like Ahuja, many youngsters are now following digital content creators who focus on financial content—they’re commonly known as ‘finfluencers’—for their innovative take on finance, a subject that is often considered boring.

The rise of finfluencers can be attributed to the pandemic. As unemployment increased during the national lockdown, more people used their free time to study the stock market and their finances. The idea was to look for newer avenues to generate money in a volatile market. This is especially pertinent to today’s twentysomethings who have recently started earning.

“In 2020, while the whole world went into lockdown; there was one very interesting thing that happened—the stock market crashed. It was the first time many witnessed a 40 per cent dip in the market; some were devastated, but many young people saw it as an opportunity to buy quality stocks at discounted prices. But the problem was, most were first-time investors with no idea on how to even open a Demat Account,” shares Amit Singh (29), co-founder of Gurugram-based Unfinance, an online community of more than six lakh Indians that helps spread financial literacy.

AIMING TO SAVE SMARTLY

Almost everyone aims to become financially independent sooner rather than later. Given the number of novel ways one can invest money, people have started ditching traditional routes for newer avenues.

“I believe becoming financially free is to have enough money to survive even in case of no income flow. That means, if a person becomes jobless or wishes to move out of a job, they won’t have to worry about money,” points out Neha Nagar (27) from Greater Noida, founder of taxationhelp.in.

TRAINING WOMEN ON MONEY MANAGEMENT

“Women who earn their own money are still dependent on their husbands or fathers to manage or invest it. It is sad to see that educated women are still financially uneducated,” mentions Priyanka Bhatia (37) from Saket.

Bridging this gender gap in finances, she founded Women on Wealth, an initiative that has been providing financial education to over a few lakh women since 2011. By focusing on a wide range of financial topics such as personal finance, investments, mutual funds, stocks, etc., a few finfluencers are helping women achieve financial autonomy.

“As someone who has started earning recently, I have developed a willingness to manage my own finances and not be dependent on anyone else,” mentions Shriyanshi Badoni (23), who is pursuing an MBA from Indian Institute of Foreign Trade.

FREE FROM FINANCIAL JARGON

A primary reason for the stark rise in consumption of financial content through social media is that finfluencers go beyond technical jargon, and try to engage their audience with short, quick and relatable everyday examples.

“Today’s generation doesn’t want to read newspapers or books. Everything has become so fast, and with that, everyone wants information in the shortest form possible,” mentions Nagar. Badoni, who has been following influencers Akshat Srivastava and Ankur Warikoo for over a year now, adds, “They have helped me tremendously. I mostly follow them on YouTube; their content is organised in a way that takes you from beginner to advanced levels. It is an entire journey in finance.”

HELPING MAKE SENSE OF NUMBERS

The financial literacy rate in India is low. In such a scenario, content creators doling out advice on matters related to money and investment is a boon to young adults, most of whom find it difficult to make sense of numbers.

“Most Indians don’t have access to basic financial services. Getting them access to easy financial education and helping change the financial landscape of the country is our larger vision,” says Singh.

Adding to this point, Nagar shares, “It also helps me in many ways. People come up with their views in the comment section, which gives me an added perspective.”

There is no doubt that these influencers have been able to change the mindset of many Indians, thanks to their snackable content. However, Bhatia believes that people must go beyond ‘influencing’. “Proper financial education is intensive work.

While you can inspire people on social media, a more lucrative way to become financially independent is to be part of courses that will give you practical experience,” she concludes.

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The New Indian Express
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