Mr. Rupakumar Pradhan, CFPCM, CWM®
M.A (Eco.), PGDBM (Marketing), PGDCA, LLB, LICENTIATE (III)
While at school, I was an average student with an inclination for new things, new ideas, new concepts, and an eagerness to learn further. Yes, I was not the most talkative student. I have learned some life lessons the hard way, and I accepted some of these hardships by getting into the zone of overconfidence at times.
Yes, During my graduation days, I spend my free time doing tuitions (9th and 10th standard students) to earn some pocket money for myself; this gave me an insight into the world of teaching. That was the time when I developed a love for teaching. I encouraged myself to experiment with learning by education and to share my experiences with the students. Whether you believe it or not, I had my own experience of learning while teaching. Late in my college career, I had some soft corner for teaching in my mind.
After graduation, I have to sharpen my economics knowledge and advice from my elder brother; I joined Ravenshaw University to complete my Post-Graduate in Economics. During my first year at the Ravenshaw University, I lived in my brother’s residence, a practicing advocate at Odisha High Court. In my second year, I shared a hostel room on campus with my friend Samar Pradhan I met in our class. In the entire hostel life, our friends enjoyed dinner together, the endless night chats, a late-night campus visit, and our warden trying to catch us for making a sound at night….those are happy fond memories. All are serious about their career; we all used to prepare for competitive exams for our future careers as no other options or opportunities for us in those days.
I have had many failures in my life and realized that failures and life go hand in hand. It’s impossible to live your life and not face any defeat. My understanding is failure is life’s best lesson. Does my story sound similar – If yes, we are already virtual friends by now. If not, then read on!
In 1997 after completion of my PGDBM, I started my corporate career. I worked with leading Life Insurance Companies, Broking Firms, Wealth Management Companies, and Health Insurance companies in India. During this corporate life phase, I learned many concepts relating to Financial Planning, Wealth Management, Financial Markets, Portfolio Management, Investment Advisory, Business Development, World of Sales & Distribution, and use MS-Excel.
In this corporate voyage, I realized that I need to enhance my skills to explore more to learn more, grow faster, and provide the best financial advice to my clients. Precisely in 2005, I thought about CFP Certification and Financial Planning Profession. Why CFP Certification? Because I want to be a full-fledged financial planner! After all, that was what the CFP mark is all about. I have enrolled in CFP (CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER) course and passed in October 2009 to chase my dream to become a ‘Trusted Financial Advisor.” And to be honest, I had the most elegant idea of realizing my dream to become a financial planner.
With a rich professional experience of over 13 years in this corporate world, in 2010, I left my well-settled corporate job and started our own company ‘SmartMantra Financial Services Pvt. Ltd.‘, to realize my dream and an organization committed to providing financial solutions to clients worldwide and to teach & coach the students pursuing the CFPCM program.
Yes, every entrepreneur, including me, no matter how prepared, trips over unexpected hurdles and obstacles. I faced many challenges and difficulties during this CFP professional practice journey and faculty for the CFP course journey. I met with the challenges of how to scale with integrity. But I never gave up and kept visualizing what I would do and what my practice would look and feel like if I were a financial planner.
As a CFP professional practice, I have all the optimism about how well things will work for clients to write a ‘Comprehensive Financial Plan’ (60-70 pages written report). But as I started to hear more and more objections in the initial years, I started losing motivation and thinking that what I was doing wasn’t unique or valuable.
I faced the hit of a slump like this in my professional life. I believe that getting through it is a matter of doing the right stuff, day in and day out, without losing your optimism. It is a grind, but if you persist, you can get through.
In the initial year 2010 of CFP course teaching as a Faculty, I took 5-6 students class due to low awareness about CFP professional courses, especially in Bhubaneswar, Odisha, and India. Now things have changed after one decade; graduates are eagerly interested in joining for CFP course and in starting their career in financial planning and wealth management.
During my time at reputed companies in India, I spent most of my free time taking training sessions for the employees and doing my public speaking training. In my difficult times to earn some extra money as an entrepreneur, I have conducted training sessions for reputed life insurance companies, mutual fund companies, and various B-School students. And I had fallen in love with taking training sessions. What I started to cope with a difficult time and stress turned into a desire to change my life.
In December 2018, I added another feather in my cap CWM (Chartered Wealth Manager) Certification in my professional practice journey.
By having conviction and believing that financial planning is a noble profession that can transform and add value to people’s lives, I have applied the knowledge, experience, and skills to advise my clients on preserving family wealth, legacy and harmony.
As a columnist in The Dharitri Odiya Daily newspaper for more than a decade and a regular contributor to various leading journals, newspaper websites, and my blog, I express my views on financial planning, wealth management, and finance create financial awareness. Yes, As a panelist in TV shows, my responsibility is to strengthen financial literacy and financial inclusion in India. I am sharing the financial literacy message and supports of financial inclusion by empowering the customers to make informed choices leading to their economic well-being and social cause.
People often ask me how to write, produce pages and pages of a comprehensive financial plan for clients, write blog posts, write features for publications, and write my book. Because I love it, it is my response, and I write every single day.
My first book – “JOYFUL RETIREMENT- The 7 Step Strategy for Healthy, Wealthy and Early Retirement.” I have penned down my experiences and knowledge about retirement planning for ordinary people who never bothered about it much until they read through financial literacy mighty words.
I have been writing, researching, and talking about money issues for 11 years as a columnist, a panelist, a financial planner, a faculty, a trainer, and the book’s author – Joyful Retirement. Yes, I could not have done all of this without the constant support and feedback from you, my clients, my audience, my reader. I am deeply grateful.
In this entire 24 years journey of corporate life and professional life, I have faced many challenges and difficulties, but It’s truly fascinating to me how I approached problems and challenges. Yes, my success is driven by my mindset. My best friends were – Discipline and Focus, Right Attitude, Perseverance, and Vulnerability, and the most critical question always asks myself ‘Why,’ and there was no looking back on this journey.
Miles to go……. Yes, I hope you’ll stay along for the entire journey!
Author of Best Selling Book- "JOYFUL RETIREMENT"
CHARTERED WEALTH MANAGER - AAFM, USA
Started My Own Company- 'SmartMantra Financial Services Pvt. Ltd.'
Corporate life with leading companies in India.
CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER - FPSB Ltd., USA
Post Graduate Diploma in Business Management– IMIS, Bhubaneswar
Master of Arts (Economics) –Ravenshaw University
Bachelor of Arts (Economics) –Utkal University