Wife: Rekha Jhunjhunwala
Age: 60 Years
Some Lesser Known Facts About Rakesh Jhunjhunwala
- Rakesh Jhunjhunwala is an Indian businessman who is popularly known as ‘the Big Bull’ or ‘the Phoenix’ of the Indian Stock Market. He started his journey with a meagre Rs 5000 as capital and built an empire worth Rs 19000 crores (approx.)
- Rakesh developed an interest in the stock market at a very young age after listening to his father discuss various stocks with his friends. In an interview, he said,
My father was also interested in stocks. When I was a young child, he and his friends would drink in the evening and discuss the stock market. I would listen to them and one day I asked him why do these prices fluctuate. He told me to check if there is a news item on Gwalior Rayon in the newspaper, and if there was Gwalior Rayon’s price would fluctuate the next day.”
- Rakesh followed his father’s advice to gather information about how the stock market worked, and he found the stock market very intriguing. He told his father about his desire to pursue stock trading; however, his father asked him to complete his graduation first. In January 1985, after completing his CA, he again went to his father to discuss his dream of getting indulged in the stock market. During a media interaction, when asked about how his father reacted, he said,
My father reacted by telling me not to ask him or any of his friends for money. He, however, told me that I could live in the house in Mumbai and that if I did not do well in the market I could always earn my livelihood as a chartered accountant. This sense of security really drove me in life.”
- Mr. Jhunjhunwala entered the market when Sensex was trading at around 150 points (it has crossed 45000 points as of 2020). Rakesh’s brother, who was a practising Chartered Accountant at that time, introduced Rakesh to some of his clients. His first client, Mr Mendonca, gave him Rs 1,50,000, and the second client gave him Rs 10 lakh to invest. He convinced them by promising a return of 18% as opposed to 8% they were getting from banks.
- Rakesh’s first big profit was of Rs 5 lakhs in shares of Tata Tea at Rs. 43, which later rose to Rs. 143, giving him a 300% profit. He also invested in Sesa Goa in his early days. He bought the shares at Rs 28 because he was quick enough to realise the fall in the prices of iron ores and then sold them at Rs. 65. The future maestro of Dalal Street made a profit of 25 lakhs in the first couple of years of his trading business.
- His major investments include buying 8 crore shares of Titan Ltd. in 2002-03 at around Rs 5/share, which skyrocketed to Rs. 1500 as of 2020. He also bought the shares of Lupin Ltd. at Rs. 150. As of 2020, the price of Lupin stands at around Rs. 975. Such investments helped Rakesh generate immense wealth.
- Mr. Jhunjhunwala also faced some hardship when his stocks fell by 30% after the 2008 recession, but he recovered almost all of his losses by early 2012.
- The King of Dalal Street co-owns the asset management company ‘Rare Enterprises’ with his wife Rekha Jhunjhunwala. The name of the company is derived from the initials of the joint owners, ‘Ra’ from Rakesh and ‘Re’ from Rekha.
- As of 2020, Rakesh is listed as the 54th richest Indian, Mukesh Ambani topped the list. He made the headlines in 2017 when he earned more than Rs. 875 crores in a single day due to the surge in Titan’s share price.
- Rakesh considers Radhakishan Damani, an Indian billionaire stock investor, as his business Guru. Rakesh and Damani made a lot of profit by short-selling the stocks during the time when Harshad Mehta was conceded as the Big Bull. In an interview, he said,
No, I made lot of money by short selling. Harshad Mehta was a dream. I made one of the biggest fortune of my life by short selling in ‘92. In fact, I will tell you about an incident. We started short selling from 4200. So BSE CEO Mr Mayya would call me and say you are short selling, I will take your badge. Again he called me at 3,500, at 3,000 and then he called me when the index was 2,200. I told him Mr Mayya, wouldn’t you have been happy if you had joined me, instead of firing me at every stage?”
- Mr. Jhunjhunwala’s life was portrayed by actor Kavin Dave in SonyLIV’s hit web series, Scam 1992: The Harshad Mehta Story.
- Rakesh Jhunjhunwala’s success mantra is to learn from his mistakes. In an interview, when he was asked what does it take to become a successful investor, he said,
If you do not believe the markets are supreme, you will never admit that it was your mistake. If you don’t admit that it is your mistake, you will never learn. To succeed in the stock market, one not just needs the ability to learn from mistakes, but also to blame only oneself for it.”
- Mr. Jhunjhunwala is also a philanthropist. In a conversation with The Economic Times, he said,
Ultimate giver is God and it casts a duty on us that this wealth be used for good social purposes. So it is the aim and ambition of my life that a good portion of the wealth that I earn would be used for good social purposes. The only sure income that I have is dividend income and I spend one-third of my dividend income in charity and I hope to do that in future and also with time I would like to endow at least Rs. 500 crores.”
- Writer Aditya Magal, after writing a satire blog titled “Secret Journal of Rakesh Jhunjhunwala,” which was loosely based on Mr. Jhunjhunwala’s life, went on to write a fictional parody novel in 2014 titled ‘How to become a billionaire by selling Nothing.’
- Rakesh Jhunjhunwala is a Hindi film enthusiast and chairman of Hungama Digital Media Entertainment. He has co-produced movies like ‘English Vinglish’ (2012) and Shamitabh (2015).