Exclusive: Shavir Bansal's Finance Journey and Mission for Financial Literacy
Exclusive: Shavir Bansal's Finance Journey and Mission for Financial Literacy
Photo Credit: Shavir Bansal
- Shavir Bansal: Pioneer in finance
- Bekifaayati: Transforming finance in regional languages
- Shavir's journey & future plans
Shavir Bansal is the driving force behind the online persona 'Bekifaayati', a dynamic financial expert and creative entrepreneur with a substantial following of over 2 million enthusiasts across various social media platforms. Recognized as a pioneering figure in the world of social media finance, Shavir holds the distinguished title of the first 'finfluencer' to deliver financial guidance in regional languages, sparking a significant shift in financial conversations.
What inspired you to become a digital content creator in the field of personal finance, particularly focusing on regional languages in India?
My journey into becoming a content creator with a specific focus on regional languages was driven by a mix of professional experience and a desire to make a difference. Having spent 4+ years with Kotak Bank, I couldn't help but notice the gap in financial awareness among the general public. It struck me that the majority of Indians lacked access to basic financial knowledge.
As I began to gain some traction on my main channel, it became clear that the need for financial education extended even further, especially in tier-2 and tier-3 cities. I had already figured out what resonated with audiences on social media, and I saw an opportunity to take my content to the next level by addressing insights in Native Languages.
Can you tell us more about the different channels you've launched, like BeKifaayati Hindi, BeKifaayati Marathi, and others? How do they cater to the diverse linguistic and cultural backgrounds of India?
Absolutely, let me dig a bit deeper into our multiple-channel strategy. 'Bekifaayati Hindi' primarily targets individuals aged 35+ in tier-1 cities, while also catering to 25+ in tier-2 and tier-3 cities. We've recognized that this age group has specific financial needs and challenges, and our content is tailored to address those.
Launching 'Bekifaayati Punjabi' was a natural choice for us, given my roots in Chandigarh and a deep understanding of the nuances of Punjabi culture. We've already become one of the biggest finance channels in Punjabi. We've been able to connect with the Punjabi audience on a personal level, and the response has been outstanding.
For 'Bekifaayati Marathi' and 'Bekifaayati Bangla,' we observed signals that there was an existing demand for financial content in these languages. While there were a few creators already making finance content, we saw an opportunity to offer a fresh perspective and a unique approach to personal finance that resonates with the local audience.
As for 'Bekifaayati Kannada,' it's been a bit of a challenge. We're still working on cracking the code to connect with the Kannada-speaking population. It's an ongoing journey, and we're actively working on finding the right formula to engage and educate this audience effectively.
Your mission is to make personal finance accessible to everyone. How do you adapt your content to suit the varying financial situations and backgrounds of your audience?
You're right; personal finance is just that – personal. We believe that everyone, regardless of their financial situation or background, should have access to financial knowledge. Apart from adapting our content to suit the varying financial situations and backgrounds of our audience, one significant initiative we've done is launched a member-exclusive community 'bekifaayati.co.'
This platform is designed to provide a personalized experience for our audience. In this community, anyone can ask questions related to personal finance, and one of our financial experts will provide tailored answers and guidance. This approach has been incredibly well-received since its launch last week.
With 3 million social media followers, your message has clearly resonated with a broad audience. What's the most rewarding aspect of being a financial guru and helping people improve their financial literacy?
It's humbling to see our audience grow to 3 million followers, including our regional subscriber base. But you're right, the numbers are just one part of the story. The most rewarding aspect of being a finance content creator is the real impact we have on people's lives.
Let me share a small anecdote that captures this rewarding journey. When I started, I naturally reached out to my friends and asked them to subscribe and watch my content. Over time, I noticed that most of them began to find real value in what I was saying. Today, many of them have developed investment strategies, have their insurance in place, and are actively planning their retirements.
This transformation, not just in my friends but in our broader audience, is incredibly fulfilling. It goes beyond the numbers; it's about witnessing the positive changes in people's financial lives.
Could you share some success stories or feedback from your followers that demonstrate the positive impact of your financial education content?
We're fortunate to receive a lot of positive feedback and success stories from our followers that highlight the impact of our content. We often receive DMs and Comments on a daily basis, with viewers sharing how our content has helped them make informed decisions in various financial areas.
For instance, we frequently hear from individuals who credit our guidance for helping them choose the perfect credit cards, select the right insurance plans to protect their families, or make sound investment choices in mutual funds. These stories of individuals successfully navigating the complexities of finance through our content are incredibly rewarding.
What are your future plans for BeKifaayati? What can your followers and the public expect from you in the coming years?
We have some exciting plans on the horizon in the next 6-8 months. 3 major initiatives to look forward to are:
Expanding our language reach by launching channels in Tamil, Telugu, and Malayalam. This will enable us to engage with even more audiences across the Southern Part of India.
Second, we're gearing up to scale our community platform, bekifaayati.co. This platform has been a massive hit with our audience, and we're committed to enhancing its features and user experience to create a thriving space for discussions and personalized assistance.
Additionally, we're also in the process of developing a tech product in the Credit Card Space. This will empower our audience to make more informed decisions when it comes to credit cards, furthering our mission of providing valuable financial tools and resources.
Personal finance can be an intimidating topic for many. How do you approach simplifying complex financial concepts and making them relatable to a wide audience?
Over the past 3 years, we've adopted several strategies to simplify complex financial concepts and make them relatable to a wide audience.
One key approach has been storytelling, especially for long-form content on YouTube. We've found that weaving narratives into our content not only engages our audience but also makes the information more memorable. Entertainment is particularly crucial for short-form content (IG Reels and YT Shorts), where grabbing attention quickly becomes super important.
Additionally, we place a strong emphasis on adding our personal experiences and real-life stories to our content. This not only makes the content more relatable but also shows that we've faced financial challenges and made financial decisions in our own lives.
Can you tell us about the specific challenges you've encountered in educating people about personal finance in regional languages, and how you've overcome them?
We launched 'Bekifaayati Kannada' about 1.5 years ago. While our other regional channels took off immediately, we struggled to gain the same level of engagement with our Kannada-speaking audience. It became apparent that we hadn't yet struck the right chord with the local viewers.
We've been actively experimenting and adapting our approach on the Kannada channel. We're committed to overcoming these challenges and finding the right formula to engage and educate our Kannada-speaking audience.
What advice do you have for someone who is just starting on their financial literacy journey? Where should they begin, and what key principles should they keep in mind?
I often recommend a simple 4-step formula to help individuals sort out their finances:
Step 1: Begin by focusing on paying off any existing debts that you or your family might have. It's essential to get rid of any financial burden as it can cause unnecessary stress.
Step 2: Once you've tackled your debts, aim to build an emergency fund that covers expenses for at least 9-12 months.
Step 3: After having your Emergency Fund, It's crucial to get both your Insurances (Health and Term) in place for both you and your family.
Step 4: Finally, as you become more financially stable, consider starting to invest according to your financial goals and risk appetite.
How important is the role of digital content creators in spreading financial literacy, especially in a diverse and dynamic country like India?
Genuine finance content creators are playing a vital role in improving the financial literacy of the nation. I can see the impact visibly in my close circles, I am sure the overall impact is much larger.
However, it's important to acknowledge that, like in any field, there are a few bad actors who take advantage of the situation and exploit their audience. Such individuals can tarnish the reputation of the broader finance creator community, which is what we're witnessing right now. Nevertheless, the impact of genuine finance content creators in India is undeniable.
Lastly, what message do you have for aspiring digital creators?
The content creation landscape is expanding at an incredible pace, and the competition is growing every day. Here are a few things to keep in mind.
Consistency is crucial. It's not just about creating content; it's about doing it regularly. Your audience needs to know they can rely on you for fresh content on a schedule.
Next, find your unique edge. What sets you apart? It could be your video editing skills, your storytelling prowess, or your in-depth knowledge of a particular niche. This uniqueness will help you catch the attention of your audience, especially in the early stages.
Lastly, staying informed and adapting is essential. Trends, algorithms, and tools are always evolving. Be ready to pivot and seize new opportunities as they arise.