Nikhil Kamath is the co-founder and CIO of brokerage firm Zerodha. In 2010, he launched the trading platform Zerodha which is a combination of two words ‘Zero’ and ‘Rodha’ (Rodha is a Sanskrit word for barrier) with his elder brother, Nithin Kamath. Nikhil always had a business mind and was disinterested in his studies. His first business model was selling used phones, which started at the age of 14. He had to shut that down due to his mother’s intervention. Reportedly, his mother threw his phones away as she felt he was too young for the business. Nikhil wasn’t good at studies, thereby, decided that it was best for him to drop out and look for other options. After dropping out, Nikhil managed to get a job at a call centre at the age of 17 for a salary of meagre Rs 8000. After learning how to trade stocks, he started managing his father’s savings. Kamath quit that job in 2004 to start a trading firm called Kamath Associates with his elder brother Nithin, who was also working as a part-time stockbroker. Zerodha became India’s biggest trading platform during the COVID-19 lockdown, with its user base, increasing by 100% every month. The biggest selling of Zerodha is that a nominal fee of Rs. 20 is charged for every intra day trade, irrespective of its size. Nikhil and his brother founded the hedge fund Rainmatter in 2014 with a capital of INR 50 crores. The purpose of the hedge fund was to fund tech start-ups.
In 2019, the team of Zerodha started another asset management company called True Beacon. The company focuses on investing in the Alternative Investment Fund (AIF) space. The $2 million investment fund generated a 40% return in its first year by investing in volatile markets. Zerodha is also planning to start a mutual fund-based AMC and has applied for its license in 2020. In 2020, Nikhil became one of India’s youngest billionaires at the age of 34. He has been featured on the cover page of various renowned business magazines. His interviews have been published in various business magazines and newspapers. His idol was the Russian grandmaster Garry Kasparov.
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