Know Your Fund Manager | Sanjay Chawla, CIO – Equity, Baroda BNP Paribas Mutual Fund

Let’s start with your personal story

I come from a family of engineers and I surprised my parents by not pursuing my engineering academic learnings professionally. I completed my Master of Management Studies (MMS) from the BITS, Pilani. My college is renowned for its rigorous academic programs and emphasis on both theoretical and practical knowledge, which provided me with a solid foundation in finance, economics, and management principles. The program was instrumental in honing my analytical and quantitative skills, which are crucial for a successful career in finance. My education in engineering and management equipped me with an enviable ability in soft science and hard science- which helps me to evaluate all investment decisions.

How did you land up in this job?

Currently, I am the Chief Investment Officer – Equity at Baroda BNP Paribas Mutual Fund, overseeing all equity investments. I landed this role due to my extensive experience in fund management, equity research, and management consulting, spanning over 33 years. The formative years of my career were spent on the sell-side which laid a strong foundation for a fundamental understanding of business. The last 15 years on the buy-side helped me manage the risk and appreciate the market cycles effectively.

Which funds are you currently managing?

At Baroda BNP Paribas Mutual Fund, I oversee a diverse range of equity and hybrid products. Total AUM is approximately 24,000+ cr.*
*as of 30th April 2024

I am directly managing some of the flagship and strategic products. All the funds are sector-agnostic and across market cap. These include Balanced Advantage Fund, Flexi cap Fund, Large & Midcap Fund and Focused Fund. This accounts for close to 1/3rd of the fund’s AUM. Endeavour is to create a balanced portfolio that can weather market volatility and deliver consistent returns.

What is your investment philosophy and how will you describe your investment strategy?

My investment philosophy is based on fundamentals and is grounded in thorough market research and analysis. We emphasize a long-term perspective, aiming to identify and invest in companies with strong fundamentals, robust growth potential, and sustainable business practices. This approach helps us to mitigate risks and capitalize on opportunities across different market cycles.

In addition, we prioritize investments that align with environmental, social, and governance (ESG) criteria, reflecting our commitment to responsible investing. By integrating ESG factors into our investment process, we aim to generate not only financial returns but also positive societal impact.

What gives you the kick while managing other people’s money?

The thrill comes from knowing that every investment decision can contribute to someone’s financial well-being, whether it’s helping a family save for their children’s education, ensuring a comfortable retirement, or enabling someone to achieve their financial dreams. The responsibility is immense, but so is the potential to make a positive difference.

My goal is to manage funds with a focus on delivering sustainable value and to help our unit holders achieve their financial goals.

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