Outlook Business
Curious Buyer Image Credit: Outlook Business
Curious Buyer Image Credit: Outlook Business

Curious Buyer

For Ajay Garg, investing is a 24/7 activity, even when he is out shopping.

Jash Kriplani

In the busy world of managing funds, sometimes it can be difficult to maintain a work-life balance. But, you can have the best of both worlds if you follow Ajay Garg’s lead. “I have started enjoying shopping now. Visiting stores with your family over the weekend can give you good insights about how consumers are behaving and which products they are likely to buy,” he says with a smile.

Garg, 46, has been managing funds at Birla Sun Life since 2006. Although he started managing the Birla Sun Life MNC fund officially in 2008, he started taking investment calls from 2006 under the supervision of A Balasubramanian, who was then the chief investment officer. Working with Bala sharpened Garg’s focus on quality investments. “He would tell us to avoid leveraged companies and focus on quality companies,” recalls Garg.

Since then, Bala went on to play a larger role as CEO, while Garg became a successful fund manager at Birla Sun Life. While Garg prefers to call himself a bottom-up stock picker, he took a more sectoral view in his early years as a fund manager. This was a time when the MNC fund bought Honeywell Automation in 2007. The US-headquartered Honeywell had several factors in its favour. The company was operating in a niche segment. It offered products and solutions for ce


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