Stock market veterans who have known Damani since his initial days on Dalal Street recall how he would carefully listen to market players more experienced than him
Avenue Supermarts’s spectacular debut on Tuesday has boosted the networth of its reclusive founder Radhakishan Damani’s networth by around Rs 23,862 crore or USD 3.6 billion.
At 10:15 am, Avenue Supermarts shares were trading at Rs 582.90, a premium of 95 percent to their issue price, after hitting a high of Rs 611 earlier in the session.
The trader-turned value investor-turned grocer owns a little over 410 million shares or 66 percent in the company, directly as well as through his investment arm Bright Star Investments, and various trusts. Excluding the 90 million shares held in the trusts, Damani’s stake in the retail firm he founded in 2002 is still worth a good Rs 18,649 crore.
The lack of a formal college degree did not stop him from becoming one of the finest investors in the stock market, and then one of the top entrepreneurs in the fiercely competitive retail industry.
Stock market veterans who have known Damani since his initial days on Dalal Street recall how he would carefully listen to market players more experienced than him.
“He would listen to many stock ideas, but follow the strategies of only one or two people whose views he thought to be logical,” says a broker who used to execute Damani’s stock market trades, “and that approach helped him build his initial capital in his formative years as a trader.”
And Damani appears to have used an improvisation of that technique when he got into the retail business.
“If there are 10 principles or acts needed to run the business, I would pick the two or three that mattered most and then drive them to be a market beater in those things,” Damani is quoted as saying in the book Supermarketwala, authored by Reliance Retail CEO Damodar Mall.
“It is okay for me, if I am even below average in the other seven things,” Damani says.
The value of Damani’s holdings in other listed companies— spread across investment arms Damani Estate, Bright Star Investments and Derive Trading — was around Rs 2,600 crore at latest market prices. And this includes only the stocks where he holds over 1 percent, and so has to be disclosed to stock exchanges.
His investment arms Damani Estate and Bright Star Investments together made a net profit of Rs 75 crore through share trading in financial year 2015-16.Also read: With D-Mart IPO, reclusive RK Damani readies for big league