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Metropolitan Stock Exchange: India’s National Stock Exchange Best Brand of the Year 2018

In Conversation with Balu Nair, Interim CEO, MSE on Metropolitan Stock Exchange


MSE has been at the forefront of innovation. Be it pioneering initiatives of a trading platform immune to sun outage,  shortening of settlement cycles to save cost of margins,  state of art risk management systems that has ensured default free settlements, or launching India’s youngest benchmark index called SX40, MSE demonstrated the ability to sustain offering innovative product over the last decade.


What would you define as the unique value proposition of the product: the functional, emotional and differentiating product benefits that have contributed to providing an enduring brand experience to customers?


MSE is a Market Infrastructure Institution and Third National Level Exchange in India. Being a Market Infrastructure Institution which is well regulated by the SEBI, the offerings are standard and as per the product framework specified by the regulator. However, what differentiates us is our customer centric approach which includes personalized service and user friendly interfaces. We provide a platform which facilitates creation of new market participants and hand hold them to build their business through various strategic initiatives.


What are the physical, character and personality attributes of the brand that have evoked and inspired consumers’ self-expression and personal identity?

MSE’s brand personality has been that of a thought leader in the currency derivative segment and as a responsive Exchange. Since 2008, it has launched several investor awareness initiatives such as India’s first handbook on currency derivatives segment, promotional material in regional languages for nationwide participation, educational and awareness programs in partnership with trade associations. The exchange has also deployed superior technology to for better product experience.

Balu Nair Metropolitan Stock Exchange
Please provide an insight into the brand marketing strategies that have effectively penetrated consumers’ psyche, established a meaningful relationship with the target audiences and ensured positive brand perception.

Currency derivatives are financial instruments with great economic utility. MSE has been at the forefront of guiding new users in the market to demonstrate the economic utility and hand hold them to participate and benefit from it. This positioning of taking the lead and being an expert has been at the core of MSE’s marketing strategy. It has translated to a very meaningful relationship where several market intermediaries have continued to be members of the exchange despite challenging times.


How has the brand extended its presence to the frontiers of internet advertising and social networking? What is the level of significance the brand accords to utilizing social media as a competitive edge?


 The exchange firmly believes in connecting with the financial ecosystem digitally. The brand is actively working on several digital interfaces that will help boost connectivity with our stakeholders and market participants through Digital and Social platforms.   

Please outline a few key marketing endeavours in the past decade that you feel have been landmark initiatives in reinforcing the legacy of the brand’s promise to influence consumer intent and enhanced the brand’s propensity to drive affirmative consumer action.

In 2015, brand embarked on a journey to create its own identity and re-branded itself as MSE. It was bold decision to move from the legacy and re-establish a stand in the marketplace. Within just 3 years, the brand is popular amongst the target audiences with much evolved values. Innovation and developing new markets was always a part of brand’s DNA. MSE is dedicated to take capital markets to the newer territories and audience groups. Hence, effective roll out of knowledge enhancing initiatives forms a core part of the brand delivery.


How has the brand derived strength from innovation as a sustainable differentiating strategy adding to long-term brand equity? Please provide a few instances of measures implemented towards this goal.

MSE has been at the forefront of innovation. Be it pioneering initiatives of a trading platform immune to sun outage,  shortening of settlement cycles to save cost of margins,  state of art risk management systems that has ensured default free settlements, or launching India’s youngest benchmark index called SX40, MSE demonstrated the ability to sustain offering innovative product over the last decade.

What is the key leadership values that drives the brand.

 Responsiveness and Delivering value proposition for stakeholders are the values that drive MSE.

What type of employee satisfaction programs are conducted by your brand

Periodic reviews, Offsites for training and skill development, Rewards and recognition across all levels of the organisation are few of the programs that are conducted by MSE to ensure great degree of employee satisfaction.

How much does your brand emphasis on employee training & development, kindly elaborate.

The business of running an exchange is domain centric and needs high level of skilled and certified employees. Hence, the emphasis on training and periodic skill upgradation is core to the progress of MSE as a brand.

What are your brands most effective intangible motivational tools for employees.

We are launching a program for spot reward and recognition as well as mentoring for the existing employees by the leadership team. This would be the most important tool to drive motivation for the employees.

Which area of social responsibility is more significant for your brand

We intend to grow our business in a responsible manner and make our customers and investors as partners to our success. Investor education and awareness programs are our significant initiatives in this regard.


About Metropolitan Stock Exchange of India –
Enhancing value through differentiated offering and wider choice

While India’s household savings at 30% is among the highest in the world, its equity penetration is less than 2%. Mumbai accounts for more than half of the total cash market turnover with Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Delhi, Hyderabad, Rajkot and Kolkata contributing a sizeable chunk, leaving out large swathes of India outside of what is arguably a proven wealth creation process. On another note, only 3,000 of the 7,800 listed scrips are actively traded in the Indian markets, with equity accounting for 75%+ of market activity. The trend is reverse in developed countries, with non-equity products such as bonds accounting for over 80% of trading in some. There are clearly two large challenges – Low and highly concentrated equity penetration and ironically, the emphasis on equity.

Since its inception in 2008, MSE—the third national stock exchange to be operational—is committed to addressing these two challenges by encouraging broader participation in equity and growing the non-equity segment(s). On the anvil are a slew of differentiated products, some likely to be the first in the Indian market. The product positioning of MSE shall be complemented by reduced operating cost for members, better utilization of their capital and technology upgrade.

After a brisk start and a lull thereafter, MSE has regrouped itself to journey irreversibly on the path to not just recovery, but profitability by FY 2019. Its net worth today is in excess of INR 100 crore and it has successfully renewed its license with SEBI. MSE today has metamorphosed from a promoter-driven entity to a professionally managed one supervised by a Board of Directors.  Top public and private sector banks like  State Bank of India,  Punjab

National Bank, Bank of Baroda, Bank of India, HDFC Bank and many more along with large corporates like MCX, IL&FS together hold 66% stake in the exchange. Marquee investors like  Dr. Rakesh Jhunjhunwala,  Mr. Radhakishan Damani,  Mr. Nemish Shah, Mr. Kalparaj Dharamshi, Mr. Amal Parikh and many more together have 34% stake in the exchange.

Metropolitan Stock Exchange of India offers a transparent, hi-tech platform for trading in Capital Market, Futures & Options (F&O), Interest Rate Derivatives, Currency Derivatives, ETFs and Debt Market. At present, 245 companies are listed on the exchange, and about 1,300 large corporates are available for trading in the permitted to trade category.

Among the stock exchanges, MSE offers the lowest admission and deposit fee, lowest transaction charges and good infrastructure support to its members. In line with global best practices and regulatory requirements, clearing and settlement of trades done on the Exchange are conducted through its subsidiary Metropolitan Clearing Corporation of India Ltd., an accredited Qualified Central Counterparty, which has the unique achievement of never experiencing any shortfall in settlement obligation since inception, amongst all national stock exchanges.

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