Nitin Kamath; a name that I am ashamed to admit I was not aware of. Founder of Zerodha, India’s biggest stock brokerage company in terms of volume of trade, along with his brother Nikhil. They are the richest self-made Indians under the age of 40.
Boasting a massive client base of over 2.5 million, let us take a dive into how this massive company was started. And the brains behind it; Nitin Kamat.
The Early Days
One would not exactly expect a boy who pursues engineering to have an acute interest in trading and stock brokering. However, Nitin Kamath was one of the few who dared to dream outside the box.
Ever since the age of 17 years, he had been trading since he was introduced to it by a friend. Through his college days as an engineering student, he never stopped trading. He got a grasp at understanding the ups and downs of the stock market.
Now I know this may sound like an interesting opportunity for college students and a way for easy money. However, not everything comes easy. Nitin Kamath did manage to make quite a bit of money through stock trading. However, when the markets crashed in 2001 and 2002, he lost all of it.
But there was no stopping to this young business mind. Instead of letting the market crash tear down his spirit, Nitin Kamath kept at it. He dropped out of is college and joined Reliance Money as a sub-broker.
With his skills, he was able to make good money for himself by bringing in clients for the company. However, luck did not favour him a second time. In the market crash of 2008 and 2009, he ended up losing a significant amount of money.
At this point in time, most people probably would have given up as it is common knowledge that the line of business and stock-brokering is a profession with significant risks. And that many are unwilling to undertake. But that is for most people and Nitin Kamath here was an exception. He decided to keep grinding.
Zerodha; the inception
The years 2008-2010 were one of the worst years as the massive global financial crisis had unfolded. The existing stockbroking companies were facing a downfall as they were unable to keep up with the dynamic changes that were required by companies to come out of it.
Not to mention that people, in general, tend to have little or no knowledge about trading and investments and hence, younger generations were unwilling to enter this line.
This was the time when Nitin Kamath decided to set up his company, Zerodha. With almost 10 years of trading experience under his belt, he felt the serious need to bring in some drastic changes in the way trading was carried out.
He felt that a solid online platform was needed which would be user-friendly. Hence, digitization was the need of the hour.
Nitin Kamath’s aim was to become an online-broker with the help of the latest technology which would be more considerate about the clients instead of just being all about the profits. He was of the opinion that most young people do not enter this industry owing to the huge brokerage fees charged and he wanted to change that.
An interesting aspect of Nitin’s company is the name itself which is a twist on the Sanskrit word ‘Rodha’ which means obstructions and adding zero at the beginning gives the meaning ‘No Obstructions’. He wanted Zerodha to be exactly what its name suggests; a hassle-free trading platform.
Nitin Kamath, along with his brother Nikhil brought about key changes in the trading and stock brokering landscapes. They decided to introduce technology-efficient and cost-efficient services to the customers.
Since the technology used was outdated in the previous firms and Nitin Kamath had no intention of making the same mistake. He had a far-sighted vision and made sure not to repeat the mistakes of his predecessors.
Where is Nitin Kamath is now
The brothers have created history and went on to top the list of the richest self-made business personalities under the age of 40 years.
Their strategy of not going after the money and instead of bringing ease to clients have struck a chord with the people in the industry. It has also resulted in a massive trust from the part of the clients to the company and the brothers.
This is in itself, a massive achievement. Although the firm has faced quite some challenges, Nitin Kamath’s dedication to not take the easy route and exploit his massive client base is the reason for the same client base to increase exponentially every year.
To hard work, honest work and never giving up, Nitin Kamath is indeed a person to look up to and deserves to a household name.
Want to read another inspiring story? Check out our article on Ritesh Agarwal.