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Wednesday, July 10, 2013

From Dubai to Mumbai, Nisreen charts the path to success

Nisreen Mamaji began her career as a Management Trainee in Lintas after completing her masters in marketing from Sydenham Institute of Management Studies in 1988.
She moved to Dubai after her marriage. Her stint in financial advisory was completely by chance. Acting on a friend’s advice, she took up a role as Insurance Advisor with ALICO (AIG) (now Metlife) in Dubai. Besides being good with numbers, Nisreen had the necessary academic credentials to become an advisor. Nisreen has Bachelor of General Law (LLB) under her belt and is a Bachelor of Commerce. In fact, she bagged a gold medal in the first year of her LLB. She has also acquired CFP certification last year.
However, she found out the tough way that transitioning from advertising to advising on people on insurance was not a cake walk. Like her peers, she faced client rejections as she walked door to door selling insurance schemes in Dubai. “Sometimes people just banged their doors,” recalls Nisreen sitting in her compact office in Versova.
Nisreen says that it is important for everyone to experience rejection, which she believes has made her more resilient. She didn’t give up so easily and over a period of time acquired 100 clients which won her an award from the insurance firm. After spending close to four years in Dubai, Nisreen returned to Mumbai with her family and enrolled with ICICI Prudential Life Insurance, ICICI Prudential General Insurance and later dabbled in mutual funds. In 2002, she founded Moneyworks Financial Advisors to be a one-stop shop for her clients.
She had to make a fresh beginning in Mumbai. Although she had an elite circle of friends and acquaintances, she didn’t tap them to build her initial client base. She just spread the word about her practice without being pushy and slowly and steadily people turned to her for advice.
Nisreen works with all clients, irrespective of the portfolio size they assign her to manage. She helps her maids and watchmen invest in mutual funds through SIPs. She has also helped them open bank accounts.
Nisreen has a daughter who studies in 10th standard and a 19-year-old son who is studying engineering in Canada. Nisreen did a lot of homework about overseas institutions while she was sending her son to Canada. Now she also helps her clients plan for their children’s overseas studies. When asked if she would like her children to take over her professional responsibilities, she says that she would not force her choices on them.  
Despite her commitments at home, Nisreen prides herself on the fact that she is always available for her clients.
Nisreen has built a niche for herself in this male dominated advisory profession. Nireen faced a gender bias from men clients who sometimes doubted her ability to manage their finances. But her work spoke for itself. Today she caters to 150 clients spread across India and abroad, managing assets under advisory of Rs 25 crore.
Nisreen is close to women’s issues. She organizes workshops for women to apprise them about their rights and helps them achieve financial freedom. She is also associated with DSP BlackRock’s women investor education initiative ‘Winvestor’.
Nisreen is an outgoing personality. “I like to talk, write and meet new people.” says Nisreen. That clearly is  a big reason for her success.

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