This time around First Principles makes its way to possibly one of the most fascinating success stories to come out of the Indian start-up space. Zerodha’s cofounder Nithin Kamath joins Rohin Dharmakumar in this free wheeling chat about what makes him tick, why he is thankful no one ever invested in his idea early on, thoughts on their early success, and a lot more around building relationships, identifying risks, and seeking opportunities.

First Principles is a show where Rohin Dharmakumar, founder and CEO of The Ken, interviews some of the most successful business leaders, and entrepreneurs of our time on the lenses they use to look at the world around them. Lenses that help them see things that most of us don’t.

Access the full episode on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or wherever else you get your podcasts.

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Full Episode Transcript:


Nithin Kamath 

The thing is, we are almost like a bank. If someone opens an account with us and keeps his hardened money with us in terms of stocks. He’s trusting us like the way he trusts a bank. 

And that trust is extremely hard to get. It’s very easy to build a transactional platform where you go transact and it kind of deals down. Like this is one of these…weekend dates—you don’t really care about who that person is.

But if you’re going to get married, you’re going to care quite a bit. So a bank, a broker, you’re almost like getting into a marriage because you’re getting into this relationship, thinking, I’m going to be dealing with this person or this brand for my lifetime. And that is really, really hard to earn.

And I think that is really a lot more valuable than the revenues that we have today. And that’s what comes through all the 65 lakh customers who may not be really generating too much revenue for us.

The fact that they trust us with almost 200,000 crores plus of securities. So that’s how much customer securities are sitting in our Demat accounts. I can’t really think of too many brands out there who have that much trust with us.

Rohin Dharmakumar

Hello and welcome to episode three of First Principles, a new podcast from The Ken, where we ask some of India’s most successful entrepreneurs and leaders about their lenses.

These are the mental lenses that equip them to see and interact with the world differently than others.

On the one hand, these could be their personal philosophies, mental models, or decision making frameworks.