Sustaining a good life on a single source of income has become difficult in today’s economy. With prices of basic human necessities of food and shelter reaching astronomical heights, the working class is finding it harder and harder to survive. A professional with a fixed income, is more often than not, burdened with a student loan or home loan, or by the expectations of his family to provide them with a fancy life with all the luxuries the world has to offer. In such testing times, it is always advisable to have multiple sources of income.
The smartest and, if implemented effectively, the most lucrative alternate source of proven income, has been the stock market. But if the market is not studied properly, investing in stocks could be risky as well. What people need is a user-friendly platform, which is easy to navigate, and secure enough for monetary transactions. In comes Nithin Kamath, an entrepreneur with a good amount of trading experience.
Nithin got a whiff of the financial markets and trading, at the young age of 17. Understanding it as a great way of making some money, Nithin started trading in Penny Stocks. And call it beginners’ luck or his hard work, but by the time he graduated from his engineering course, he had managed to make a decent pot of savings for himself. He eventually lost all of the Rs. 5 lakh he had made up with trading, between 2001 and 2002. For someone who had just graduated, this was a huge amount at the time. But this loss did not deter young Nithin’s determination of continuing to understand the profitable world of the financial market.
He started to employ himself at a call center during the night and continued to trade during the day, to build up his trading portfolio. He followed this routine for a couple of years, till one day an American NHI, impressed with his accomplishments in the trading market, handed a cheque to the young trader to look after his money. This was the turning point in Nithin’s budding career in the stock market industry. To further gain experience and hone his skills, Nithin became a sub-broker for Reliance Money in 2006. The unfortunate crashing of the market in 2008 actually resulted in Nithin starting with Zerodha.
Nithin had saved up some money till the market crash of 2008, and he used this sum as capital to invest in his brainchild Zerodha, a trading platform offering the cheapest, lowest brokerage rates for futures and options, commodity trading, and mutual funds. Zerodha was introduced in the market in 2010, equipped with a brokering license and the assistance of his younger brother, Nikhil Kamath.
What set Zerodha apart from other platforms, was not only its extremely affordable brokerage fees but also Nithin’s vision of making sure that people are educated on the platform regarding the different investment options available. This instilled a sense of security amongst his customers, which is important on any money-making platform. What started in a small office, with a team of about 30 individuals, is one of the leading financial service companies in India.
Zerodha is headquartered in Bangalore and has a physical presence in major cities across India. Nithin credits his tenacity of working hard and determination of making a lot of cold calls, in the initial stages of Zerodha, to the success the company has achieved today. This educated him in the tricks of the trade of stock brokerage. To fully utilize the Discount-Broking model, and to give the platform an edge over its competitors, Kailash Nadh joined as CTO of Zerodha. The platform today has 2.2 million customers and over 12 lakh, active clients, as per NSE data till February. With 800,000 daily active users, the platform also contributes to 15 percent of overall retail trading volumes in India.