RadhaKishan Damani: Always Bullish

Don't be deceived by his modest ways; this stock market icon has his hands full with multiple successes
 RadhaKishan Damani

After winning an epic battle with Big Bull Harshad Mehta in 1992, Mr. RadhaKishan Damani is fittingly entitled as a stock market legend. This is indeed a remarkable act for someone who started his career as a speculator in the stock markets. But Mr. Damani’s priceless asset was his willingness to learn and explore that earned him many rewards. Sure in his initial days most of his early bets flopped but that did not deter him from evolving trading strategies of his own.

Famously described as ‘Mr. White and White’ (since he’s always dressed in white) by the big boys in Mumbai’s Dalal Street, Mr. Damani’s career has been pretty spotless - one with many highs and perhaps a few lows. Even though he prefers to maintain a low profile and can hardly articulate, not mentioning him in the business world is absolutely impossible. So when he quit the markets suddenly in 2001, everyone was taken by surprise. Known to follow classic rules of trading, he came under a major controversy and preferred walking out with a tidy profit. But little did others know that Mr. Damani, who was always passionate about retailing, was preparing himself to dip into India’s nascent organized retail sector. This was in 2001 and Mr. Damani was keen on proving himself as a skilled entrepreneur. And boy did he do well!

His nine-year old D-Mart retail chain offers value-conscious middle-class families awide selection of home utility products ranging from foods, toiletries, beauty pick-ups, garments, kitchenware, bed and bath linen, home appliances and many more. With his unique and simple strategies (that he’s not willing to share), Mr. Damani is changing the retail landscape of the country competing against biggies such as Big Bazaar, Hypercity and the likes.

At present, D-Mart has just 46 stores across Maharashtra, Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka but has been able to yield excellent profits mainly because the company owns these stores unlike Big Bazaar which rents it out. Plus, factors like establishing shops in residential areas, paying vendors in 2 days and selling goods fast have further reinforced D-Mart’s position.

But Mr. Damani has chosen not to stop here. While his retail business continues to mushroom and he builds his assets comfortably, he’s back at the stock market with new-found energy and spirit. His bearish views and calls have guaranteed him big wins again. Infusing his former passion with his smartness and experience, it can be anybody’s guess as to how things are likely to move forward for this old whiz.


Nargis Namazi

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