Rakesh Jhunjhunwala is India’s most successful investor. At the end of the 19th century, after investing only five thousand rupees, he became the owner of 11 thousand crore rupees within three decades. It is as if the risky and challenging investment sector has become an industry under the magic of India’s Warren Buffett. Written by Nasreen Shawkat
Successful share trader
India’s billionaire, most successful stock trader and investor and producer Rakesh Jhunjhunwala. He was a Chartered Accountant by profession. Rakesh was called the ‘Warren Buffett of India’ for his successful investments in the stock market. He was an unrivaled investor in this huge financial market in India. He has become the owner of 5000 rupees to 8000 thousand crore rupees just by investing in the stock market. This legendary investor was also called the Mogul of Dalal Street. This one of India’s most talented and successful businessman passed away on August 14. His death has left Indian investment markets reeling. Rakesh and his wife Rekha Jhunjhunwala’s biggest and most profitable investment was in the jewelery business of Titan Company. Its current share value is around 30 thousand crore rupees (4 billion dollars). After his death, there were fears about the future of this huge stake and his dream airline Akasa Air.
It is said that powerful people rise from the center of power. But in the case of Rakesh Jhunjhunwala, this saying did not last long. Rakesh Jhunjhunwala was born in 1960 in a Marwari middle class family in Rajasthan, India. Their father Radheshyam Jhunjhunwala was an Income Tax officer. And mother Urmila Jhunjhunwala was a housewife. He spent his childhood in Hyderabad with two sisters and a brother. Later he grew up in Mumbai. At that time his government official father got transferred and came to Mumbai. In 1985, he graduated from Sydenham College of Commerce and Economics, Mumbai. He then joined the Institute of Chartered Accounts of India to pursue his Master’s degree.
Later Rakesh got married to stock market investor Rekha Jhunjhunwala.
Rakesh Jhunjhunwala’s story of becoming the ‘Warren Buffett of India’ is quite thrilling. He first entered the share world during his college life. But he started his journey as a professional investor at the age of 25. Later he gradually established his own investment company, Rare Enterprises. His company was one of the first trading companies in the stock market. Through which he invested in commercial companies in India’s telecommunication, hospitality and financial services sectors. Rakesh’s investment career began with investing in Midas Touch. In an interview with the Economic Times of India in 2021, Rakesh expressed his strong confidence in India’s economic potential to surpass China, the world’s second largest economy. At that time he said, ‘You may think me a fool, you may call me whatever you want, but I can tell you one thing, India will overtake China in the next 25 years. But I may not live to see it.’
At the time of his death, Rakesh’s largest and most profitable investments were in Titan Company’s watch and jewelery business and various Tata products. He also invested several times in housing projects. He was the chairman of Hungama Media and Aptech and was also a director on the boards of Viceroy Hotels, Concorde Biotech, Pravog India and Geojit Financial Services. A successful investor, Rakesh also produced several films in Bollywood, the Indian film industry. From 2016 to 2021, his investment films included films like ‘English Vinglish’, ‘Ki and Ka’, ‘Shamitav’. It is known that he also loved giving investment advice to actors. He was the 36th richest person in India in the 2022 list of the world famous magazine Forbes. As of July 2022, Rakesh’s net worth is $5.3 billion. 42,400 crores in Indian currency, making him 438th in the world’s richest list.
Despite being rich, Rakesh Jhunjhunwala lived a very simple life. In 2021, he went to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi. At that time, a picture of him in a wrinkled white shirt with the Prime Minister went viral. Later he attended a special meeting of India Today. When he was asked about the folded shirt there, Rakesh said in response, “The white shirt will get wrinkled, what can I do about it?” I ironed the shirt for Rs 600, but it still had creases. I even wear half pants to office. I look at things differently when there are no customers in the office.’
The mogul of Dalal Street
Rakesh’s investment sector is in the hands of his father. He was 10-12 years old at that time. With his father being an income tax officer, he grew up always hearing important financial matters related to taxes, shares, money, profits etc. in the family environment. He invested in the stock market for the first time while studying commerce in college in Mumbai. After completing his college studies, he obtained his Master’s degree from Chartered Accounts of India. Rakesh’s journey to becoming a street mogul began after completing this course.
At that time, Rakesh’s father used to discuss the stock market in detail with his friends. He got interested in the stock market after hearing about shares from his father.