Promoter, Angel Group
Two decades ago, Dinesh Thakkar had a team of three and revenues hardly worth the name. Today, he has more than 1,700 direct employees and 15,000 indirect employees. He is looking at a gross turnover of Rs 2,500 crore per day. The gods have surely smiled on Thakkar, a first generation stockbroker and promoter of the Angel Group.
Born in Mulund (a suburb of Mumbai) in a business family with a solid reputation in textile trading, business was always in his genes. Says Thakkar: “I had the family background that encouraged me to be independent. I never thought of taking up a job. Also being closely associated with business from my childhood, I knew the fundamentals of starting an enterprise and had a fair appetite for risk too.”
Educated at St John the Baptist high school, Thane, he went on to complete his studies from K.C. College, Churchgate. Subsequently, he wanted to do his masters in computer engineering. But life had other plans for Thakkar. Says he: “To be honest, academics never attracted me. Physics and trigonometry were my favourite subjects. And I wanted to do a course in computer engineering, just because it had a mystical element to it.”
The ability to innovate and take risks was his signature style. Little wonder then that he found his ideal calling in the highly volatile world of shares, stocks and equities. Recalls Thakkar: “Life is always full of surprises and unexpected twists. I was exploring opportunities and knew that to start any business, I would need capital. The only way I knew of making big money was through trading in the stock market. So, attracted by the prospects of making money fast, I invested in a few stocks with borrowed capital.” He came to make money to finance other plans. But he didn’t have to look for other opportunities.
It was a journey full of thrills. Sure, it was tough at times. “The first few months I made profits followed by a few months of losses,” remembers Thakkar. “I realised that trading was a zero sum game. If I had to win, I needed more information and better trading tools.” So he ended up devouring books on fundamental and technical analysis to get a better grasp of market volatility.
Being an entrepreneur, Thakkar sensed an opportunity in stocks beyond trading on his own account. “I rented a small office on Dalal Street, took two partners and two people to work for me. I became a sub-broker on the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) and borrowed some more money for working capital.”
Other brokers at that time were not too bothered about providing good service to their clients, particularly small ones. So Thakkar saw an opportunity area. He took it as a challenge to serve individual clients. With his stress on doing proper homework, his recommendations were more accurate than those of others. “Seeing the success of my recommendations, many started opening accounts with me. Thankfully, they were able to relate to me and liked my straightforward manner of giving advice.” The business took off and he never had to worry about getting clients any more.
Angel Broking is today a big brand name in retail stockbroking services in India. It has memberships on the BSE and the National Stock Exchange as well as on the two leading commodity exchanges in the country —NCDEX and MCX.
So what explains his success' Asserts Thakkar: “Our clients’ interests always come first. We strongly believe in listening to our clients’ needs and delivering personalised services to fulfil their investment and trading objectives. And, of course, we never compromise on quality.” With such sound business ethics to guide him, Thakkar hasn’t taken a wrong step yet.
Is he always immersed in annual reports and numbers' He gives a vigorous no to that one. “I like listening to music in the morning and do meditation alongside. On weekends, I like to socialise with my friends not from the industry. Going to movies with my family is equally de-stressing,” says the broker with a difference.
Stockbroking is critically and excitingly poised and Dinesh Thakkar is all set to ride the surge.
Based on a conversation with Shibani Chattopadhyay in Calcutta