“While driving, you need to make decisions based on your brain and not the heart. If you give in to panic, you will meet with a road accident.” This is how Nithin Kamath, Founder and CEO of Zerodha, compares trading markets to driving on the road. As a teenage boy he started trading in stocks and went on to build a successful company as he grew up. A strong person who knows how to handle the barricades coming his way had started as nobody but last year he was listed among the top 10 businessmen of India.
Nithin’s story started when he was merely 17-year-old. After managing his father’s fund, he began spending considerable time as a professional trader. But because of lack of trading money Nithin took up a job in a call centre for the next three years. He says the market kept on tossing situations his way throwing him off balance and taught him to be a level-headed rider to overcome those challenges.
Like most young Indians, Nithin, too, enrolled for engineering but went on to become something that most of the graduates don’t – an entrepreneur. These were the days when he juggled college and trading by the day and worked at a call center by night. He quit the job only after three years when a client asked him to manage his money as he was happy with the returns Nithin gave on his investment.
Soon, he got more referrals and became a sub-broker when Reliance Money was launched. Being one of the most successful sub-brokers there, Nithin earned volumes that were more than the share of 1,000 sub-brokers put together. Somehow, he didn’t quite like the system and found something lacking in his current job. So he went on laying the foundation of Zerodha. The journey was struggle some but his faith in himself shone bright.
“As a trader, I constantly felt something was missing in the way RMoney was operated. There was something more that a trader requires which is why I decided to start Zerodha,” 37-year-old Nithin says.
In, 2010, India got its first firm that inclines on avoiding the existing price structure and offers a flat fee rate per trade. The core team of Zerodha comprises of Nithin’s brother Nikhil, and a few of his teammates from Reliance Money.
Nikhil handles the prop trading desk, risk management, and everything else related to trading. His colleagues Venu and Hanan handle everything related to compliance and customer service. Today, Zerodha has a team of over 60 people.
In US, 80 percent of the business is through discount brokers. This model has a challenge of credibility because it makes people wonder about the low rates. This makes them believe that either the business has a catch or the services are poor. Zerodha adopts the same model because people always follow it because of its low cost.
For someone who has no idea about how to make money from stock market should start by investing in diversified mutual funds. However, this will only save money but not make you rich. In order to rake in handsome returns one must make direct investments.
The stock market will only pay you back if you make smart investments by keeping an eye on how your familiar industry is doing. Like, a software engineer will have the least idea of how the medicine industry is doing, so one must be familiar about his industry exchange rates. One must also start reading about investments in order to make better investments.
Looking back, Nithin says, in 2009, market went crazy with fluctuations and was not following any trend. There were days when the market was closed hitting upper circuit after the election result. This was a defining year for him when he usually went in with five to 10 percent of his trading capital. He realized there was not enough passion in his 12-year career where he devoted his full time in the business while making 20 to 100 trades a days.
Nithin says, for most of the trading time, he had been focusing on money but there was no result. When he changed the strategy and began focusing more on the deals during 2007-2008 is when he derived success. His younger brother also joined the business with him, as trading was in their genes.
“My uncle keeps saying that Goddess Lakshmi sits on the lotus and floats. You cannot chase her down. You have to wait for her to come to you.” This is all he does to be a successful entrepreneurs. Does his homework well, makes smart investments, and exercises patience. Zerodha has more than 2,50,000 users and over 600 employees.