Most people think that the stock market is pure speculation. They often equate stock traders to gamblers and brokers as money hungry conmen. While this is true for most cases one man has taken it upon himself to change this image.
Pratik Patel has founded the NiftyMillionaire, a trading platform which he claims will help ordinary people become millionaires. He started NiftyMillionaire in 2013 with a vision to create millions of millionaires. A very ambitious undertaking. So far NiftyMillionaire, which is based in Mumbai, is serving more than 1500 traders from all over India, and has connected with more than 30,000 traders.
Only about 4% of savings in India is invested in equity or related instruments. While that is around 40% in developed countries like the US. “We are here to reduce this gap. At present, the market size of our business is more than Rs 4500 crore and there are more than 15 million traders in India. Since the middle class has access to a lot of liquid cash now, it is estimated to grow 10 times bigger in the next 10 years,” Pratik says.
He adds “Our system helps people use their money to make more money and this is the only way through which the middle class can think of achieving financial security. There is a lack of transparency in the finance industry and we are committed to changing the scenario. For that we have put up real trading contract notes on our website.”
He’s from a small town Unjha, in Gujarat. He comes from a prosperous family. His father and brother kept insisting that he join the family business in real estate. His father is his biggest inspiration but that doesn’t mean he will give up his dream. His dream is financial freedom for every individual. “This is what drives me,” he says.
When he was 18 his father went bankrupt. They didn’t even have money for groceries. Days became hard to pass and he started questioning where all the money they had gone. So he started to go to his father’s office, a small brokerage firm, to understand how things worked.
At 19 years of age he started to trade in the stock market. He relied on luck and it didn’t work out very well for him. So he started to spend hours studying about the markets, how they worked, where to invest and how to become a successful trader. He shared what he learned with the people in the office and they started making profits. One of the relatives that made a good amount of money following his advice shared a percentage of the profit with him too; his first earning. It was at this point that he decided that he will make a career in the finance market.
He started with a table, a computer and one employee in his father’s office. He went out and met each trader he dealt with personally, going to small towns and broking firms in search of clients.
He had also applied for a Computer Engineering Course at Ahmedabad Institute of Technology (AIT). He was accepted and went to the college. He tried to manage both his business and education but he realized that he had to choose only one: the Engineering degree or his passion for creating a world class financial tech company. He chose his business and dropped out. He says that it was a very tough decision to tell his parents.
After this he started to operate his office from his flat in Ahmedabad. In just four years he was operating one of the best advisory firms in India. “I had a huge office of 8500 sq. feet area and more than 100 employees,” he says.
But he still had a lesson to learn about people. Some of his top-level employees weren’t as ethical as he thought. They were doing underhand deals and cheating clients. All of his four years of hard work was at stake here. But by the time he got the information it was too late, the damage done was too severe.
And to make matters worse his marriages was just 15 days away. He was distressed but he decided that he didn’t want to ruin his family’s happiness and didn’t tell anyone about it. But he realized that this was something that he couldn’t hide from his fiancé. “She was the one who would have suffered the most, so I shared with her that my pockets were empty now and that she should move ahead in her life,” he says. “But she stood by me.”
The marriage went smoothly but now he had to face the question about his future. The reputation of his advisory firm was ruined because of some of his employees’ greed. And to add to that, firms all over India were losing money and reputation too. He says that he could have made money if he continued with the firm but his morals wouldn’t allow it. So he closed the firm down.
Now he was back to square one and he didn’t even know where to go from here. He did have this urge to solve the problem of traders losing their hard earned money in stock trading. He says that 95 percent of traders are losing money but none of the companies care.
He cared and so he, along with his wife Foram and a long time trusted associate Pravin Desai came up with the concept of the Nifty Millionaire Club. He explains it in short “In this concept, traders follow money and risk management along with the power of compounding to create wealth,”
As his business was gaining momentum he started hiring MBA grads. His reasoning behind this was that when the person is totally unfamiliar with the finance markets they will not have any pre-conceived notions. He only allowed passionate people to join him; people who were determined to help others. Only those who shared his values and ethics were selected. He says, “We brought in those who believe in doing more with less; and those who embrace and drive change.”
Money is not his motivation
He had learned a precious lesson from his previous failures that people who were only motivated by money are not to be trusted. In his own words:
“I had earlier hired people who only worked for money. I suffered some big blows of my life being with them. I started again and am on my way to follow my passion and finally have a strong team of Niftiens whose thought process will take us to the next level.”
His company is planning to celebrate Financial Freedom day to create financial literacy in the country.