Nithin Kamath’s success story with Zerodha began at the age of 17 when he started trading penny stocks in the market.
Nithin Kamath and his brother Nikhil Kamath are now on the Forbes list of billionaires. The two businessmen are behind Zerodha, a successful fintech product that disrupted the stock broking industry. They are among 16 new Indian billionaires. Nithin Kamath, the CEO of the company, is ranked 1104th on the global list of richest people with a net worth of Rs 27,000 crore (2.7 billion dollars). Meanwhile, Nithin Kamath, the CFO, has a net worth of 1.1 billion dollars and is ranked 2405 on the list.
HDFC Securities recently reported that Zerodha earned a profit of Rs 2500 crore in the last fiscal year. According to HDFC Securities’ report, Zerodha is expected to earn a revenue/PAT of Rs 55 billion/25 billion (+10/12% YoY) in FY23E. The report also stated that Zerodha’s core revenue is expected to be Rs 43 billion (net of pass-through charges), with brokerage/float income/other charges at 63/27/10% FY23E.
Nithin Kamath started Zerodha in 2010 without external funding, and his brother Nikhil Kamath later joined him. Together, they built India’s biggest broking firm, which has a customer base of 12 million.
Nithin Kamath started trading penny stocks at the age of 17 while studying at the Bangalore Institute of Technology. He made a profit of Rs 5 lakh, but he lost most of it when the market crashed in 2001-2002. Later, he worked at a call center for a meager salary of Rs 8000. However, things turned around when an American man asked him to manage his money. In 2006, he became a sub-broker for Reliance Money. He then started Zerodha in 2010, a company that provides affordable brokerage services for trading stocks, commodities, and currencies. The company is now India’s largest broking firm, with a customer base of 12 million.
Nithin, in his free time, enjoys playing the guitar with his son Kiaan and likes to indulge in activities like running, cycling, and swimming in nature. Additionally, he has played basketball and poker, and he is a big music lover.
He mentioned in his writing that he wasn’t a very good student. He took loans to invest in stocks in the early 2000s, but he lost everything. To repay his debts, he worked at a call center for four years. Later, someone asked him to handle their portfolio, which led him to quit his job.
They discovered NOW, a trading platform that was free to use. They started Zerodha and their friend Venu was responsible for handling operations. None of them had any prior education from prestigious institutes such as IITs or IIMs, and they were all new to the industry. However, they all shared a passion for capital markets.
Their idea of charging a flat fee (less than Rs 20 per trade) instead of a percentage fee, which was the norm for other platforms, brought them initial success. Later, they developed their own technology products that contributed to their present success.
In his post, he expressed that he wants to share with people that they can achieve business success by questioning the real expenses of revenue, valuations, and growth instead of just pursuing them constantly. He also added that success is relative, temporary, and also depends on luck.
It is reported that both Nithin Kamath and Nikhil Kamath earn around Rs 100 crore per year and own most of the company.