Rakesh Jhunjhunwala was not bullish on the Indian inventory market. No. He was bullish on India and all the things that got here with it, together with shares.
He was not the primary on Dalal Avenue – the street the place BSE is situated – to earn the sobriquet ‘Massive Bull’. There was Harshad Mehta earlier than him. However what made the Jhunjhunu-born Chartered Accountant stand aside was the truth that he earned it and wore it with satisfaction for practically 4 a long time throughout which many well-known names got here to the market and a few even pale away.
He had robust views and, extra importantly, was blunt and slightly unabashed in expressing these views. His informal snide remarks throughout interacting with media or giving speeches have been additionally fairly well-known.
However he was at all times open to listening to opposing views and, if not satisfied, would respectfully say “we will comply with disagree” or “I reserve the appropriate to be flawed”.
Whereas he would come throughout as a perpetual optimist, he fancied calling himself a “realist”, at all times able to wager on India. By the way, a few of his decade-old statements associated to Indian home establishments – as an alternative of overseas traders – driving the Indian markets would now look prophetic.
His deeply ingrained perception and conviction on India and its potential is strongly corroborated by a few of his long-term bets – firms that can develop as home consumption or discretionary spends go up.
His love for Titan is now a part of market folklore. He has held a stake for over 10 years in firms like Escorts, Autoline Industries, Agro Tech Meals, Bilcare and Geojit Monetary Providers.
Even whereas speaking concerning the pandemic affected Indian economic system, Jhunjhunwala – on the India Right this moment conclave final 12 months – mentioned: “India is coming right into a section that India has by no means seen, hamara time aayega nahi, hamara time aa gaya hai (India’s time won’t come, it has already come).” His agency perception was that not simply the last decade however your complete century belongs to India.
Such catchy strains got here naturally to him. Greater than a decade again, in one in all his media interactions, he had mentioned: “Bhaav bhagwan hai, hum kadradaan hai (worth is God and we simply want to understand that)”.
“RJ’s potential to see the way forward for India, was sans pareil,” says First World’s Shankar Sharma, who was typically seen with Jhunjhunwala in media debates however with opposing views.
“He noticed what no politician ever did. And that normal his funding considering past knowledge and numbers, the place we will miss the woods for the timber,” provides Sharma, who’s also known as a ‘Bear’.
Jhunjhunwala’s starvation for a superb funding and his inherent wager on ‘India Development Story’ was seen even when his well being was falling aside and he was certain to a wheelchair. What else would clarify his $35 million funding final 12 months in Akasa Air during which he held a stake of round 40 per cent.
Many out there imagine, it was a shot at making a legacy when it comes to making a model or a enterprise – a lot on the strains of his modern Radhakishan Damani, with whom he labored carefully throughout Mehta’s time, and who went on to create the present-day fashionable commerce big Dmart – at the moment among the many 20 largest listed firms of India.
By the way, his abrupt demise got here lower than a fortnight of celebrating the maiden flight of the low-cost provider – and likewise lower than a month and a half after celebrating his 62nd birthday.
“Rakesh Jhunjhunwala is personally going to be missed. He was at all times to the purpose and pragmatic. He actually knew how one can have fun events in addition to how one can gracefully settle for defeat,” says Sumit Agrawal, Founder, Regstreet Regulation Advisors who has suggested Rakesh Jhunjhunwala and Uncommon Enterprises on numerous issues.
“He by no means withheld his phrases or tone. His departure is saddening. I distinctly keep in mind an anecdote when he and I have been going to Sebi for a gathering. It was regarding a matter the place Sebi’s approach of sure transactions was totally different than his. After debating with me for lengthy and understanding execs and cons of sure choices, he instantly mentioned that the regulators are like your partner. Proper or flawed, you need to at all times defer to them to maintain concord. Life is all about views. Let’s settle it and transfer on,” provides Agrawal, a former Sebi regulation officer.
The ace investor who got here to the inventory market in 1985 with simply ₹5,000 in his checking account additionally had a tryst with the leisure business, turning right into a producer with the 2012 Hindi movie ‘English Vinglish’, following it with two extra movies – ‘Shamitabh’ and ‘Ki & Ka’.
“Rakesh was a profitable investor as a result of he was greater than a easy investor – he was a public markets investor and a dealer, an investor in new firms and personal firms,” says Samir Arora of Singapore-based Helios Capital.
“To achieve success in investing it’s important to have an open thoughts and never work with some narrowly targeted formulation. He was very approachable whereas being one of many richest individuals of India and really open about his funding concepts and to share them with others. Genuinely (a) pleasant particular person,” provides Arora.
Curiously, his open mindedness — and foresight – pitted him in opposition to a number of the largest market gamers of the time within the early Nineties.
In 1989, a socialist authorities headed by V P Singh was in place and forward of the finances, there was an enormous buzz that the federal government would go for a socialist finances with new taxes being launched. It definitely didn’t imply effectively for the markets.
However Jhunjhunwala was bullish. He believed that Singh who was a ‘thakur’, understood enterprise and so would by no means enable a finances that’s unfriendly in direction of the enterprise group.
He had taken enormous positions forward of the finances and within the coming days he noticed a lot of his investments double in worth!
Lastly, if not by anything, then his reputation might be gauged from the truth that hashtags associated to Jhunjhunwala have been among the many prime developments on Twitter on August 14. Maybe the primary time that an Indian particular person inventory market investor broke the Web.
A few of the largest names from the political class, together with the prime minister, dwelling minister and the finance minister together with the who’s who of India Inc tweeted – some to supply condolences and others to share fascinating anecdotes and learnings from the person with many names – Rocky, RJ and even bhaiya (elder brother) for a lot of.