A school dropout is today’s India’s youngest billionaire. Nikhil Kamath is the youngest member of Forbes India’s 100 richest 2020 list. He is one of the best traders and a philanthropist who actively supported Bengaluru during the Covid-19 pandemic through a mass feeding programme. He enjoys his time with his family, loves travelling and adventure sports. Here he speaks about his new venture True Beacon and more.
1. Why did you start True Beacon? Why that name?
We just had one day’s deadline to come up with a name, and we decided on this. In other words, for Marquis world of asset management, I thought ‘True Beacon’ would sound good because it is trying to unclutter the world and make it a bit efficient with a cleaner, cheaper service.
A couple of years ago, while I was trying to allocate personal capital to hedge funds and asset managers, the ecosystem had many inefficiencies. I had to pay somebody as much as 2% to set up a fund for me, and there was a management fee. We wanted to change the ecosystem and decided to start our hedge fund.
2. Is your brother Nithin Kamath also a part of this venture?
Yes, He is! We do everything together. We are partners in all the businesses. Richard Pattle has joined us as our new CEO.
3. How would you define Nikhil in one word?
4. Any advise for the budding entrepreneurs, especially during this pandemic induced crisis the entire world is going through?
There hasn’t been a better time for entrepreneurs across the world. There is so much money chasing in the start-up ecosystem. Be thankful that you are building something in an ecosystem that rewards good products so quickly. Pick the right ecosystem, and it is very important to pick the right sector. You should not just pick what has done well in the last decade but rather focus on what you could do well in the future.
5. What is your favourite activity with your family?
My family for me is Nithin, my parents and my nephew. Maybe have dinner together, or play a game.
6. Is True Beacon just Bengaluru bound?
It is not just Bengaluru. We have investors from every part of the country and outside of the country as well. We manage ultra HNI clientele funds and invest in the equity markets. It is not geography bound.
7. What are the other areas you would like to invest in?
I have spent a lot of my time in the fin-tech industry. So it would be fin-tech.
8. How is it to work with your elder brother? What is that one quality you would like to learn from him?
It has been fun. We have been doing this together for a long time now. I think he is very good at dealing with and inspiring people and great at managing a large team.
9. You are our country’s youngest billionaire. How does it feel, and what has changed for you since then?
Not much has changed. It’s about valuations and multiples. Not much has changed practically for me, and I pay less attention to it.
10. You are considered a Youth Icon. You are considered an inspiration by millions. What is your one piece of advise for them?
We are in a time where we should all cherish the fact that there are so many opportunities available out there, and there is so much funding at hand. Use the opportunity rightly and build the stuff that interests you, take more risks, move out of their comfort zone and explore something new.