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Chess

The chess champion who became India’s youngest billionaire entrepreneur

The chess champion who became India’s youngest billionaire entrepreneur
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By

Abhijit Nair

Published: 27 Jan 2021 1:15 PM GMT

Out of the 2,825 billionaires in the world a total of 3.6% i.e. 102 billionaires belong to India. While the likes of Mukesh Ambani and Gautam Adani are well known amongst the citizens of the country, the others continue to fly under the radar.

One such personality who manages to stay out of media scrutiny is the founder of Zerodha, Nikhil Kamath. After establishing this financial service company at a ripe young age of 23 in 2010, Kamath went on to become the youngest Indian billionaire at the age of 33 in the year 2020.

But, did you know this shrewd and smart businessman was once a chess fanatic?

In fact Kamath was so much in love with the 64 squares on the board that he quit school at a young age of 14 to pursue the game of chess professionally. But life had other ideas for a young Kamath as he could never reach the level required to play the game at a higher stage.

This forced him to leave chess altogether and start trading at the age of 17. Surviving in the market being a minor without any experience is surely a daunting task, but Kamath not only survived but also excelled at what he did. Nikhil still praises chess for helping him to make his huge fortune.

Kamath is an avid biker but whenever he has free time, he goes back to the chessboard. His idol is Russian Grandmaster Garry Kasparov, whom he admires for his aggression.

But mere survival was never his ambition; he was desperate to make it big. With eyes full of dreams, Nikhil at the age of 23 started his own venture, Zerodha, with his brother Nithin in 2010.

Today, Zerodha is one of India’s biggest financial service platforms with around 15% of the country’s total retail trade done through it. The rise of Zerodha as a premier platform for finance in the country is as inspiring as any other!

Kamath does credit chess for aiding his growth in the business world and was quoted by CNBC as saying, “Chess teaches you how to work under a structure, in a system, but yet try and be creative within that system.”

Also read: A world champion in chess, why does no one speak about Mallika Handa?

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