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Nikhil Kamath, 

Co-founder and CFO
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ALL HELL IS GOING to break loose in the private market is the feeling that Nikhil Kamath is increasingly harbouring. “A lot of founders, especially unicorns, don’t have their feet on the ground. They continue to live in a bubble, oblivious of reality,” says the 36-year-old who is not only the chief financial officer and co-founder at Zerodha, India’s leading stockbroker with over 10 million users, but also manages investments outside of their bootstrapped venture which threw up over ₹2,000 crore in profits last fiscal!
Just as true blood brothers, the Kamath duo — Nikhil and Nithin — do not follow an ‘us-and-me’ approach to wealth creation. “Be it in business or personal wealth, we are in it together,” says Nikhil, the younger of the two.
His observation of start-up founders being oblivious of reality comes from his interactions as part of Gruhas, a venture capital fund that began with a focus on real estate investments and prop tech. Without divulging financial details, Nikhil says the fund has made 19 investments till date. “We are not exactly angel investing, it’s closer to a Series-A kind of deal,” says Nikhil. The fund is now looking beyond real estate in other consumer-facing businesses.
Even though he is sizing up alternative investment opportunities, for now, Kamath has turned conservative about the investing climate in general. From an ideal asset allocation wherein equity would account for 55%, Nikhil has drastically reduced exposure to 36%. “I had done down to 33% till recently as I feel there is more downside to the market,” says Nikhil, also the co-founder of alternative asset management company True Beacon. For now, gold and fixed income is where Nikhil sees more safety, with alternatives making up for around 5%.