Mind Over Money: Rock ‘n’ Roll to FinEdge – How Mayank Bhatnagar keeps himself mentally fit

In the demanding world of entrepreneurship, finding balance is often the key to success. Mayank Bhatnagar, Co-founder and COO of FinEdge, exemplifies this balance through his dual passion for finance and music.

Seamlessly integrating the rigorous demands of his professional life with his love for rock ‘n’ roll, Mayank’s journey is a testament to the power of dedication, creativity, and effective time management.

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From fostering mental and physical fitness to spearheading the revival of rock ‘n’ roll with his band ‘The Frontrow Bandits,’ and leading FinEdge towards transforming investment management, his story offers valuable insights into harmonising diverse passions while achieving professional excellence.

Edited Excerpts –

How do you keep yourself mentally fit?

I strongly believe mental and physical fitness are interconnected. Functioning at a higher state of health is extremely important to me. I do various things to cater to the physical aspect: regular workouts at the gym & running.

Over time, I have also inculcated the right eating habits that hugely contribute to physical wellness. Mental fitness for me can be defined as having and maintaining a state of wellbeing and cultivating awareness of how I think and how I feel.

Just as physical fitness provides me with an increased ability to respond to life, mental fitness helps in the same way.

It provides me more space to choose how to respond to a situation, whether that situation is a forethought, an external stimulus, or a feeling.

Music for me is my form of maintaining my mental fitness. It provides a total workout to the brain and heart.

Concurrently, I have another interest that keeps me quite charged up. It is my love for travelling to off-beat locations, especially by road. Exploring new destinations, cultures, and perspectives can stimulate creativity and inspire new ideas.

Music seems to have played a significant role in your life from childhood. Could you elaborate on how it has influenced your personal and professional journey, particularly in founding ‘Frontrow Bandits’?

Through my formative years, musical performances have been an integral part of my life. My family had always been musically inclined and that played a part in my early influences, particularly in the musical genre of rock n’ roll.

Over the years, I witnessed a decline in the audience for traditional rock ‘n’ roll music, sparking my desire to resurrect this form of music. With this feeling becoming dominant, I formed ‘The Frontrow Bandits’.

It was like a start-up in many ways. Many challenges were faced such as finding our unique sound, the right set of people and navigating through a space that was totally unknown.

Beyond creating music and resurrecting the genre, the vision was to enrich lives of our audience with music that shaped us when we were younger.

What is exciting is that our musical message isn’t confined to Delhi but it’s making its way to many more cities across India through our performances.

How did you go about forming the ‘Frontrow Bandits’ with like-minded individuals who shared your passion for rock ‘n’ roll music? Can you share any memorable experiences from the band’s inception in 2019?

As I mentioned, the formation of Frontrow Bandits was a natural progression from an interest or a hobby to something more substantial.

The idea to spread musical memories of the past was very appealing to me and that is how the band was created.

Our ensemble comprises of 5 members from diverse backgrounds with an explicitly shared love for music. Dhruv is a professional guitarist. Tanmay is our bass guitarist, Shubhendu is our drummer, both are successful tech professionals.

Ayush is the keyboardist, an ex-IIT Delhi alumnus who forwent a successful career in a consultancy firm for his pursuit of music.

On stage, we have had many memorable experiences during our performances but the most consistent and satisfying feeling is when the audience comes up to us appreciating what we do.

After all, the idea behind our immersive musical performances has been to create an experience for our audience that transcends mere entertainment.

Could you share some insights into the creative process within the band? How do you collaborate to create and refine your music, considering the diverse backgrounds and influences of the members?

Within our band, the creative process has been symbiotic. We start by sharing ideas, and music that we would like to cover. Each member contributes unique perspectives and musical styles, which we integrate into our performances.

Through experimentation, jam sessions, and feedback we keep refining our music. To challenge each other creatively, we ensure that we pick complex melodies or rhythm patterns that makes the creative journey even more interesting.

Please take us through your journey of setting up FinEdge?

FinEdge built its proprietary investment management platform – Dreams into Action (DiA) to democratise access to investment solutions to the people who needed it the most – specifically, to those who are ready to sacrifice small amounts of money from their paychecks today to meet their family’s financial goals for future.

Most people who sought solutions towards financial goals or financial freedom, unfortunately, became easy targets for mis-selling.

Since their investments were not very large, they were mostly sold high-commission products such as traditional life insurance, which were detrimental to their long-term financial future.

At FinEdge, we identified core reasons behind this problem of incorrect products being sold to the masses thereby building upon solutions in the DiA software to address the ‘advice gap’ that exists in the country.

Our unique bionic business model solves the problems plaguing investors i.e. lack of client centricity, scale Vs relationship paradox, lack of customization, return-focused rather than goal-centric approach and lack of investment behaviour management.

The DiA platform focuses on enabling the investment expert and the investor to have better conversations (customisation), setting correct expectations (understanding investing belief), finding investment purpose (goal setting), joint decision-making (building conviction) and then investing in the right products (Mutual Funds) by following a disciplined strategy (Systematic Investing) to meet their financial goals.

Following this sequence of events leads to investing resilience, that is the ability to stay invested despite market volatility.

This process, that integrated the science and psychology of investing, has been seen as critical to successful investing and wealth creation.

As a digital wealth management platform, FinEdge has more than 19,000 clients across 1600 cities and manages more than 1100 crores of goal-based investments.

Balancing professional careers with a passion for music can be challenging. How do you and your bandmates manage to juggle your corporate responsibilities with rehearsals and performances?

The balancing act starts from a clear differentiation between professional endeavors and interests. I believe that utmost priority should be given to professional commitments and once you do find time beyond that, it is great to pursue your hobbies.

As a group, we respect each other’s professional commitments and make adjustments in our practice schedules accordingly. There have been times when we have practised at 1 AM without disturbing our work schedule. It is all about consistency, persistence, and adjustment.

What inspired you to pursue rock ‘n’ roll music specifically, despite the demands of your corporate career? How do you find fulfilment in both aspects of your life?

I love rock ‘n’ roll music because it lets me express myself freely. Balancing my passion for FinEdge and my music brings me immense satisfaction. Music and work energize me creatively.

Both parts of my life complement each other, making me feel fulfilled and contributing towards my growth as a person.

The Frontrow Bandits seem to have a unique blend of seasoned professionals and tech-savvy musicians. Ultimately, it is teamwork which makes a memorable performance – something which is common in achieving professional goals. Your thoughts?

Absolutely! The Frontrow Bandits have a happy mix of experienced musicians and tech-savvy folks. But what really makes us unique is our teamwork.

It’s just like achieving goals at work — when everyone works together, great things happen! Each band member brings with them their unique skills, and when we combine them, we come up with a good performance on stage.

It’s all about playing to each other’s strengths, whether in music or professional life. Teamwork truly is the essence for success.

Finally, what advice would you give to others who aspire to pursue their passion for music while balancing their professional careers?

My advice to those balancing their passion for work and music is to prioritize time management and commitment.

Set clear goals for both music and your career, and create a schedule that allows you to dedicate time to each aspect regularly.

Stay focused on work and do not let one come at the cost of another. In my opinion, the sweet spot lies when both passions start complementing one another, fuelling growth and fulfilment.

(Disclaimer: Recommendations, suggestions, views, and opinions given by experts are their own. These do not represent the views of the Economic Times)

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