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BW Businessworld

Had Lot of Newer Launches and Changed our Technology to a large Extent during Lockdown: Ashishkumar Chauhan, MD & CEO, Bombay Stock Exchange

In two months, BSE has become the second-largest exchange in India in commodities and also launched almond futures contract in June.

Photo Credit : Umesh Goswami


In the lockdown, the government of India and SEBI included the stock exchange services in the category of essential services. Ashishkumar Chauhan, MD & CEO, Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) has said, “In a way, we had to work during the lockdown period since we had to keep the markets open. So, after the lockdown was announced, we made it public on the twitter itself that we are going to stay open. Chauhan was recently speaking at a BW Dialogue on Leadership organized by BW Businessworld.       

Informing about the achievements that the BSE have made during the period, Chauhan said, “In a short span of two months we have become second-largest exchange in India in commodities.” He elaborated, “In June, SEBI gave us approval on option on commodities, which was directly buying options on gold and silver. Now in a short span of two months, we have become the second-largest exchange in India in commodities and the largest exchange in gold options already in India.” Also, Chauhan also shared that the BSE has launched almond futures contract after getting approval from SEBI in June.  

Analyzing the overall situation during the lockdown period, Chauhan informed, “We had a lot of newer launches and changed our technology.” Adding to that, he stated that the BSE has undertaken the journey of trading from 400 crore a day to 40 lakh crores a day in 25-26 years. Chauhan says: “Why it has happened is because of the technology.” “Services that were physical are being dematerialized,” Chauhan said.  

BSE has been doing a lot of business planning: Business Continuity Planning, Disaster Recovery. “But”, Chauhan shared, “Nobody thought that we had to work from home. So we had to build a new way of working in a short period of time.” Chauhan informed, “We ended up raising 3.25 lakh crores of funds largely in bonds and commercial papers for Indian corporates because there was real need for liquidity in early phases – and BSE came in handy.”  

On Disconnect between Dalal Street and Real Street  

“There is nothing right and nothing wrong, the trust is somewhere in between,” says Chauhan. He further elaborated, “What does a (stock) market do? The market for a stock is basically the market for long terms assets, which will yield you the profits at the long term. What the stock market does is take all the current information to their calculations and project forward to next years.” That is how the market reacts, Chauhan explained giving the example of COVID pandemic, when new information that they have never heard of.  

Taking the discussion further, Chauhan shared his key observations and advice on investing. He says: “You should learn to invest and not trade. Frequent trading is not a good idea.” Chauhan is strongly of the opinion that an investor should invest and not speculate. Chauhan emphasized “You should learn to invest and not trade. Don’t try to time the market – that now the market is going up and now the market is going down – don’t invest in speculation.” “Moving ahead, each business will have to figure out newer ways of doing business, newer products, and newer areas to go into,” Chauhan shared. 

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