Nikhil Kamath is an Indian entrepreneur, trader, and investor. He is famous for being the co-founder of ‘Zerodha,’ a financial services company.
Nikhil Kamath was born on Friday, 5 September 1986 (age 35 years; as of 2021) in Shimoga, Karnataka. His zodiac sign is Virgo. He attended Oxford Senior Secondary School in JP Nagar, Bangalore, but later, he dropped out of the school after completing class 10. Rediff Business Standard
Height (approx.): 5′ 9″
Eye Colour: Dark Brown
Hair Colour: Black
Family & Caste
Parents & Siblings
His father, Raghuram Kamath, is retired from Canara Bank. His mother, Revathi Kamath, is an environmentalist and a Veena player. His elder brother, Nithin Kamath, is the co-founder of Zerodha Company.
Relationships, Wife & Children
While he was in school, he was least interested in studying as he did not understand the practicality of the subjects, and the only subject he liked was Maths. At the age of 14, he started selling old phones, but his mother asked him to shut down the business. When he was 17 years old, he started working at a call centre for a salary of Rs. 8000. As per some sources, he even made a fake birth certificate as the minimum age requirement for the job was 18 years. He used to work in the call centre from 4 pm to 1 am, and he worked as a stock trader in the morning. It was that time when he left his parents’ house and moved in with his girlfriend. During an interview, he talked about moving out of his parents’ house, he said,
I learnt a lot; when you move away from the family ecosystem and the judgement of relatives, you get down to the real stuff.”
Soon, he learnt the skills of stock trading and started managing his father’s savings. He then convinced his manager at the call centre to allow him manage his money, and in return, his manager marked him present with extra incentives. In 2004, he quit the job at the call centre, and along with his brother, he started a stock trading firm Kamath Associates. After almost four years, both the brothers started ‘Zerodha,’ which is a trading platform and is made with a combo of two words ‘Zero’ and ‘Rodha’ (Rodha is a Sanskrit word for barrier).
During the COVID-19 lockdown, Zerodha became India’s biggest trading platform as its user base increased by 100% every month. The USP of Zerodha is that for every intra day trade (irrespective of its size) a nominal fee of Rs. 20 is charged. According to 2021 stats, Zerodha makes over 5 million orders (worth more than $1 billion) daily which is around 15% of India’s daily equity volume.
In 2014, Nikhil and his brother started the hedge fund ‘Rainmatter’ with a capital of Rs. 50 crores to aid funds for the tech start-ups. They worked with a policy that every investment they deal with must be less than 1 million dollars. Some of such investments are Digio, Learnapp, Finception, Smallcase, Sensibull, and Quicko. The Kamath brothers started an asset management company ‘True Beacon’ in 2019 to invest in the Alternative Investment Fund (AIF) space. As of 2020, Zerodha will be setting up a mutual fund based AMC.
In June 2021, he faced accusations of using malpractices while participating in Viswanathan Anand’s simultaneous online chess games against celebrities on 13 June 2021. The event was organized by chess.com. In the event, Kamath was the only one among the nine celebrities to defeat Anand as all the celebrities including actor Aamir Khan, cricketer Yuzvendra Chahal, and singer Arijit Singh had all lost. Later, it was found that he defeated Anand using the aid of the computer following which Chess.com closed his account for “violating the fair play policy.” The Hindu Later, Kamath admitted to using the computer aid and posted an apology note on Twitter.
I had help from the people analyzing the game, computers and the graciousness of Anand sir himself to treat the game as a learning experience. This was for fun and charity. In hindsight, it was quite silly as I didn’t realise all the confusion that can get caused due to this. Apologies…”
Kingfisher Towers, Bangalore
- Audi A6
- LeCoultre watch model
- Octa Lune model by F.P. Journe
- 1990 rose gold Rolex Day-Date model
- Franck Muller Cintrée Curvex model from 1998
- 2015 Rolex Submariner
- 2017 IWC Big Pilot watch
- 2018 Blancpain Villeret dress watch
- He travelled a lot in his childhood as his father had a transferable job. Nikhil shifted to Bangalore along with his family at the age of nine.
- His teachers were disappointed with his academic performance and wanted to punish him by not allowing him to appear in the 10th board exams. He then decided to drop out of school. In an interview, he said,
I had no plan when I dropped out–the only plan was to make money. I come from a typical, middle class, Brahmin family– all my cousins are the MBA, PhD kind, so questions like, ‘What’s he going to do with his life?’ were asked.”
- He was a chess champion while he was in school and participated in various state and national level chess championships. In an interview, he said,
Chess teaches you how to work under a structure in a system, but yet try and be creative within that system.”
- He talked about his journey in an interview, he said,
I’ve kept moving instead of sulking about what didn’t work out. From being a 14-year-old school dropout to working at a call centre, from Zerodha to True Beacon, I’ve figured out the 2-3 things I know how to do well and stuck with them. And becoming a billionaire doesn’t change that–I’m still that guy who works 85% of the day and lives with the insecurity of, ‘What if it’s taken from me?’ So my only advice would be to not sweat about this stuff–5 years later, the things you’re worrying about now, won’t matter–so why not do what you have to today and have ‘stupid faith’ that it’ll all work out…somehow?”
- He loves painting and playing the guitar in his leisure time.
- He has got two tattoos inked, one of his tattoos is on his left wrist that reads ‘Shalom’ in English and Hebrew, and the other is a tattoo on the right arm that reads ‘BE HERE NOW.’
- At the age of 34, in 2020, he became one of the India’s youngest billionaires.
- In an interview, he talked about his relationship with his brother, he said,
My brother and I have a great relationship, we’re more like friends. He is, however, as competitive as a 10-year-old boy, but in a nice way.”
- Nikhil has been featured in various renowned business magazines.
- Nikhil and his brother Nithin’s interview have been published in many business magazines and newspapers.
- He has a collection of more than 500 books, and he is a book lover.
- According to his interview, the Russian grandmaster Garry Kasparov is his idol.