scorecardresearch
RIP Rakesh Jhunjhunwala: The incredible journey from Jhunjhunu to Dalal Street

RIP Rakesh Jhunjhunwala: The incredible journey from Jhunjhunu to Dalal Street

A Chartered Accountant by qualification, Jhunjhunwala was bitten by the stock market bug very early in his life; used to check stock prices even when in his teens.

Born on July 5, 1960 in Rajasthan’s Jhunjhunu district, Jhunjhunwala knew early in his life that he wanted to be a part of the stock market. Born on July 5, 1960 in Rajasthan’s Jhunjhunu district, Jhunjhunwala knew early in his life that he wanted to be a part of the stock market.

There are many well-known investors in the Indian stock market but if there is one name that undoubtedly occupies the top slot and probably has the maximum interest and following, it has to be Rakesh Jhunjhunwala, also known as the ‘Big Bull’ of the Indian stock market. 

Born on July 5, 1960 in Rajasthan’s Jhunjhunu district, Jhunjhunwala knew early in his life that he wanted to be a part of the stock market. A Chartered Accountant (CA) by qualification – he cleared his CA exams in 1985 - he had started following stock market news and developments when he was just in his teens. 

Incidentally, his sister got married in 1975 – when he was just 15 – and that was the time when he started reading the newspapers to understand more about stocks and the correlation between news and price movements.

Also Read: Rakesh Jhunjhunwala was asked if Priyanka Chopra was his favourite actress: He gave a winning answer!

His father was a bureaucrat and used to make small investments in stocks and Jhunjhunwala always had a query or two for his father about the stock market who used to always tell him to read the newspapers. 

Interestingly, when he told his father that he wanted to get into stock markets, his father supported him but said that the support will be moral in nature and he should not expect any financial help from him. 

He entered the stock market in 1985 and stories about he starting with Rs 5,000 are quite well-known. What may not be equally known is the fact that the first person to lend him money was a woman who was a client of his brother, who was also a CA. 

The ace investor assured the lady that he can get her a return as high as 18 per cent – this was the era when bank fixed deposits gave 10 per cent. He did not have much to give her as security against the loan but he convinced her to first lend him Rs 1 lakh and another Rs 1.5 lakh after 15 days during which he will arrange for the security. 

Then, there was another person who gave him Rs 5 lakh and so began his stock market journey with the Rs 7.5 lakh in his account. Tata Power was his first buy. 

While he did make money on his initial trades, it was not always a rosy picture for Jhunjhunwala, who got married in 1987. There came a few years of no income and, in his own words, he was able to get through because his father was managing the house and the kitchen. 

The phase also made Jhunjhunwala realise the importance of capital in the stock markets. 

“I realised that the passport to growth is capital and no father is going to give it, no father-in-law is going to give it. That capital had to come from trading,” Jhunjhunwala had said in an interaction with another ace investor Ramesh Damani for CNBC TV18. 

Interestingly, while he has always been referred to as 'Big Bull', he was in the opposite camp when Harshad Mehta - who earned the sobriquet of 'Big Bull' in the early 90s - arrived and gained prominence on Dalal Street. Mehta is often credited to be the man behind the first bull run of the Indian stock markets and, in the process, made quite a few enemies as well.

Jhunjhunwala was relatively new to the market when Mehta emerged on the scene and was part of a so-called bear cartel, which comprised of Manu Manek and Radhakrishna Damani among others. The popular web series Scam 1992: The Harshad Mehta Story captured these moments of the stock market in much detail.

The rest, as they say, is history as Jhunjhunwala became one of the best-known investors of the Indian stock market and even though he got caught on the wrong foot on quite a few trades, his inherent bullishness on India and the Indian growth story remained intact throughout his life.

Also Read: Rakesh Jhunjhunwala, the 'Big Bull': The incredible journey from Jhunjhunu to Dalal Street 

Also Read: Rakesh Jhunjhunwala death: What will happen to Akasa Air now?
 

Published on: Aug 15, 2022, 8:37 AM IST
Posted by: Arnav Das Sharma, Aug 15, 2022, 8:31 AM IST