Zerodha is a bootstrapped company based in Bengaluru founded in 2010 by Nithin Kamath. It has pioneered the concept of discount broking in India. Although broking is perhaps one of the oldest industries, Zerodha has done it differently by moving traditional operations to the online medium, as operations were predominantly offline.
“With Zerodha, Nithin has worked relentlessly on solving the woes individual Indian investors face”
Zerodha always had a lower cost of operations and has passed the cost benefit to its clients. Traditional brokerage fee is somewhere around 0.75% whereas Zerodha charges a flat fee of Rs. 20 per transaction and zero fees for equity investing. Secondly, brokerage firms treat various investor classes differently, so they have their HNI clients (High Net Worth Individuals) and low net worth clients but at Zerodha, treatment to all its clients is same and that was also disruptive at that time. It offers one deal to all clients.
In its seven years of operation, the company has introduced some technologically advanced trading platforms to capital markets, introducing ‘brokerage as a service platform’ – where an entire brokerage and its technology platforms are available in the cloud for developers and startups to build their own platforms, the first of its kind in the world, offering high-end education material available free of cost to empower the investor community and recently, launching its direct mutual fund platform.
Zerodha has a client base of 6 lacs+, over 900 employees and contributes over 5% of the daily retail trading volumes across all various exchanges in India.
Currently, the biggest challenge for its business is to find a way to bring in the next 10 million people into trading. Everything it does and builds a business now is towards solving the problem of bringing in more millennials to trade.
A brief about the founder
Nithin had been a stock trader for over a decade before founding Zerodha in 2010.
With Zerodha, Nithin has worked relentlessly on solving the woes individual Indian investors face. On top of being extremely low cost, Zerodha is also the first Indian broker to offer investments completely free of charge and to introduce its investing platforms in several regional languages in rural India.
In 2014, he won the CII “Entrepreneur of the year” award. In its annual business review, the Economic Times featured Kamath as one of the 10 Indian businessmen to watch out for in 2016, who will be most influential in their respective industries. Zerodha has also won ET Startup Award of the Year (Bootstrap) 2016 and most recently, Nithin was adjusted as one of the achievers in finance sector at BW 40 under 40 in 2017.
In addition, Nithin has been working on creating an ecosystem for spurring innovation in the financial technology industry in India. He has founded Rainmatter, an R&D fintech incubator and fund that has invested in several fintech startups and actively produces financial innovations for the mass market.