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Here’s What India's Youngest Self-Made Billionaire Has To Say To Other Entrepreneurs

by Starlene Portillo / Jan 14, 2021 01:29 AM EST
Nikhil Kamath

At 34, Nikhil Kamath has a net worth of $1.55 billion (Rs 11.3 thousand crores), making him the youngest new billionaire in India.

Last October, Forbes India has released its list of India's 100 Richest, where Kamath, as well as his brother and co-founder Nithin, have ranked 90 with their stock trading platform, Zerodha.

Dubbed as the "Robinhood of India," Zerodha accounts for 15% of India's total daily retail trades and has seen a doubled user registration at 4 million during the height of the pandemic.

In 2020, India experienced a surge in retail investing as the financial services industry started gaining momentum in recent years. The emergence of COVID-19 and its consequent lockdown protocols have only deepened the market, with previously unbanked customers opening accounts and savvy consumers looking into investments beyond traditional assets like gold and property.

"The pandemic has been good to us, which is a strange thing to say," stated the billionaire Kamath. "People had a lot more time, people were at home and, unfortunately in many cases, they were in a position where an alternate income could have been very useful," he added.

The youngest self-made billionaire began stock trading at 17 after dropping out of high school at age 14 to play chess full-time.

"No one was going to hire me without a college degree, which meant I had to do something which didn't require one," said Kamath, whose international chess career has fallen short over time.

He then worked with his brother, using their savings to start a simple and affordable brokerage platform for everyday investors, and in 2010, Zerodha was born. The brokerage company takes its name after a combination of "zero" and "rodha," which is the Sanskrit word for barriers.

Furthermore, Kamath has shared his best piece of advice for other investors. The first of which is to diversify their portfolio.

"The one thing you realize as a trader, as an investor, after having spent so many years in the market, is nobody knows what will happen tomorrow," advised Kamath. "It is kind of impossible and pointless to try and make that prediction, so we ask people not to lever as much as possible," India's youngest self-made billionaire added.

His last advice was setting a maximum amount for loss in order to gauge one's financial ability.

"A lot of new people are very interested in financial markets, and with that, I think there will be many, many opportunities in fintech," concluded Kamath.

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