Nikhil Kamath is today famous as one of India’s youngest billionaires and co-founder of the country’s largest trading brokerage Zerodha.
Nikhil Kamath is famous today as one of India’s youngest billionaires and a co-founder of the country’s largest trading brokerage Zerodha, but not many know it Kamath started business at the age of 17 after leaving school.
Kamath, 34, spoke about his childhood and his journey to become India’s youngest billionaire in an interview with Humans of Bombay.
Kamath told why he did not like school since childhood. “Nobody told me that ‘you should do something, you just have to do it’ it was bothering me,” he said, “Over time, he lost interest in formal education and started playing chess.
Nikhil Kamath started his first business at the age of 14 with a friend – he bought and sold used phones. However, when his mother came to know about this, he closed the business.
He told Humans of Bombay, “He thought I had stopped doing the phone business at school and thrown away all the phones!”
Kamath said, “Since then my school started hating me; they didn’t want me to give up my board exams and ask my parents to meet me.
Basically they wanted me to feel sorry about myself. Feel… that’s when I’m out. ” Kamath says that when he dropped out of school, he had no plans. His only plan, he says, was to earn money.
He quickly got a call from a job center at the age of 17 and he moved out of the house to live with his girlfriend.
He used to work in a call center from 4 pm to 1 pm and he got up early in the morning to try his hand in business. “Nobody wanted to hire me without a college degree.
That meant I had to do something where a degree was not required.” Kamath told CNBC in January this year – shortly before he and his brother, with whom he later started Zerodha, joined the Forbes India Rich List.
Kamath told Humans of Bombay, “Around 18, I started stock trading properly, Dad gave me some of my savings and said, ‘Let it work.” They just had blind faith, ”
It was only his father who trusted Nikhil Kamath. Very soon, he was arranging money for his boss and colleagues at the call center.
After that, he left the call center to start Kamath Associates with his elder brother, Nitin Kamath. In 2010, he accumulated his savings and started Zerodha.
According to Bloomberg , if Zerodha were to command valuation multiples as per its listed peers today, it would cost around 35 billion rupees.
Zerodha co-founder and CIO told Humans of Bombay, “From being a 14- year-old school dropout, working in a call center, to Zerodha to True Beacon, I’ve explored two-three things that I know I know How to do well, and live with them, and becoming a billionaire did not change that — I am still the same man who works 85% of the day… “