meet Chandrakant Sampat
“to be a good investor all one has to do is dream.”
the advice sounds cliched, but Chandrakant Sampat inspired an entire generation of investors in India with that line.
informally, he has been called India's first value investor. late Chandrakant Sampat was born in a Gujarati family. in the 1950s, he decided to leave his family business to invest in independent India’s fledgling stock market.
Sampat’s decision worked well in his favour and he could ride India’s growth story from its earliest days.
“i got into the markets because it was relatively simple. all you needed was a cheque book and a pen. I identified opportunities out of listed issues,” Sampat said.
his investment philosophy was really simple. he would only buy those companies “that are in a business that even fools can understand, have very little debt, have free cash flows or do not have much capital expenditure”.
it comes as no surprise that he invested majorly in consumer goods companies and made his fortune by investing in FMCG giants like Hindustan Unilever (HUL), Procter & Gamble, Indian Shaving Products (now Gillette) and Colgate, from the time they went public.
as a classic value investor, Sampat held on to his investments for the long run.
he held firms like HUL and Gillette for so long that after the dividend payouts and bonus shares, his average cost price came down to a few paise.
Sampat, as mentioned above, is credited with inspiring a whole generation of stock market investors.
Radhakishan Damani, founder of supermarket chain DMart and fabled value investor, started his career on Dalal Street as a speculator. it was only after getting inspired by Sampat he realized that long-term investing was the only way to grow and preserve wealth.
Parag Parikh, also a celebrated value investor and founder of Parag Parikh Financial Advisory Services (PPFAS), considered Sampat the Warren Buffet of India.
in 2015, when Sampat passed away at the age of 86, Parikh had remarked that whatever he was, it was because of Mr Sampat. “he was my inspiration to enter the capital markets,” Parikh said.