Choose Wisdom Over Money
Start a business where you think you have an edge over others. But running a business is like being in a sport, you need to have an edge to win. And you also need to maintain that edge by constantly honing it
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NITHIN KAMATH, 37, Founder & CEO, Zerodha
Success mantra I haven’t hit a genetic lottery in terms of my skill set. Whatever little success I have had is because I chose a profession that I loved and somewhere during my career I learnt to work passionately without having any expectations. The advantage of not having expectations is that you are not demotivated when something doesn’t work. You just find an alternative solution.
The driving force behind your journey The driving force has been the conviction that we can be the best. The goal is to help a lot more people participate in the capital markets in India and so play our part in helping build our nation in that way.
Business advice My uncle once told me the significance of the Goddess Saraswati sitting on a rock and Goddess Lakshmi on a lotus. Money is like the lotus, never stays rooted to a spot. What you have today, may be lost tomorrow. Goddess Saraswati, the incarnate of knowledge and wisdom, sits on a rock. Once you learn something, that knowledge stays with you forever. So, as a business, it is always better to keep improving the product and service by learning new things and applying them. Money will flow in as a by-product.
Tips for budding entrepreneurs Start a business where you think you have an edge over others. But running a business is like being in a sport, you need to have an edge to win. And you also need to maintain that edge by constantly honing it. I always keep this Larry Hite quote in mind: “If you don’t bet, you can’t win. If you lose all your chips, you can’t bet.”
Government support With Aadhar e-kyc, we have taken our account opening process completely online which has helped us save a lot of time and paper. UPI-based payment solutions for fund transfers are promising alternatives to the current methods. Having said that, the government has to continue to develop on the numerous initiatives it has launched over the past few years.
The team I might be the face of the business today, but the only reason we are where we are is because of all the people who form Zerodha.
The inspiration I admire Azim Premji the most for his down-to-earth personality even after building a business empire. Not only has he built a successful business, but has also been actively giving back to the community.
The next step We have grown into a successful brokerage firm disrupting the business and pushing the incumbents to change for the better. Now, we want to expand into other spheres of financial services — lending, insurance, etc.