From dropout to fintech disruptor: Zerodha’s Nikhil Kamath

Nikhil Kamath, 35, co-founded Zerodha, India’s largest trading platform by volume, with his older brother Nithin in 2010 in the southern Indian city of Bangalore.

While it took Zerodha — the name is a combination of “zero” and “rodha”, the Sanskrit word for barrier — a couple of years to get its first thousand users, today it has 4.5 million active monthly users and is the country’s largest trading platform by volume.

Kamath, who grew up mostly in Bangalore, dropped out of school after class 10 at the age of 16 — uncommon for someone from a middle-class family whose father worked in a state-owned bank and mother taught Carnatic classical music.

Kamath spoke with Al Jazeera’s Megha Bahree about dropping out of school, setting up Zerodha, India’s ongoing stock market run, and True Beacon – his latest venture of managing assets for the ultra-rich.

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