Radhakishan Damani’s journey
even if you’ve not heard of him, you’ve heard of his super popular company, DMart. Radhakishan Damani’s journey to becoming India’s fourth richest man is now narrated as a folk tale on Dalal Street. his story is about patience, perseverance and a belief in one’s ideas.
Damani was a late entrant to the stock market scene. he started seriously investing when he was 32. at the time he was called Mr White and White because he always paired his white shirt with white pants. that became his calling card. very early on, Damani realised that instead of speculative day trading, long-term investment was a better way to grow capital.
as a value investor, Damani would hunt for stocks that had strong fundamentals but were undervalued. Damani is credited with identifying stocks such as HDFC, ITC, Crisil, and Blue Dart. he also invested heavily in multinational FMCG firms like Gillette, Colgate, Nestle, and HUL.
even as a long-term investor, Damani was quick to realize if a bet had gone wrong. he would learn and not hesitate to book a loss.
the pivot from an investor to entrepreneur made him the billionaire that he is today but what he learnt from the market he applied to DMart.
Damani founded Avenue Supermarkets, the parent company of DMart, in the year 2000 and launched the first store in 2002.
unlike peers who wanted to rapidly scale by renting as much property as possible, DMart followed a slow and steady approach of buying properties to build stores.
when Damani decided to take DMart public in 2017 its IPO was oversubscribed 104 times. Since listing, the stock price has gone up 447%. this has taken Damani’s net-worth to $16.5 billion, making him the 117th richest man in the world.
famously, Damani has been media-shy and has never given an interview so everything known about him is urban legend. But there are breadcrumbs that one can pick up on. And there are several lessons to be learned.