The Journey of Radhakishan Damani, from Dalal Street to D-Mart
By: Ashwathy Nair
A man who is famously known as the ‘retail king of India’ and ‘warren buffet of India’. Radhakishan Damani is the man behind the remarkable success of D-Mart, he is an investor, entrepreneur and one of the richest man in India. Damani is counted among one of the few self-made billionaires in the country who comes from a humble beginning. Born and raised in Bikaner, Rajasthan to an Indian Marwari family in 1965.
RD (Radhakishan Damani) started his career as a trader in ball bearings and had no plans to enter the stock market. But the fate had other plans for him which pushed him to the door of Indian Stock Market. After the demise of his father, he was forced to close down his business and join his brother, who was into the stockbroking exchange that was inherited from their father. From there, he started observing, speculating and trading under the mentorship of Chandrakant Sampat, who was an accomplished investor. Sampat was the one who encouraged Radhakishan Damani to dip his toes in the Indian Stock Exchange Market. The 1980s and 90s saw Damani stepping towards heights, as one of the most leading stockbrokers of the Indian Stock Exchange with his investments in various stocks that paid fruit, and soon he broadened the horizons into different other businesses.
Currently, Radhakishan Damani not only possesses a major stake in ‘Avenue Supermarts’, a parent company of D-Mart but also partially holds other ventures such as the alcoholic beverage producer, tobacco company VST industries, Blue Dart Logistics Services and United Breweries.
Radhakishan is famously known for his unique technique of short selling. He is one of the few who was in quarrel with Harshad Mehta – the Big Bull of the stock market. Damani was also accused of price hammering of Indian stocks after the scam with Harshad Mehta but was later given a clean chit by the committee. This period forced him to go to the edge of bankruptcy. He later invested in long-term stocks, and soon managed to become a stock market legend.
Radhakishan Damani during the early 2000s took his first step into the retail business. D-Mart was the first retail venture that RD started after quitting the stock market business. Damani family started this to address the increasing needs of the modern Indian family. In 2002, he started this with opening up a small retail store near the Hiranandani Apartments, Powai, which is a famous suburb of Mumbai. Now, it has grown to be the 3rd largest supermarket chain in India. The success of D-Mart is attributed to three main pillars of his company, which are the customers, sellers and employees. It is known as the one-stop-shopping destination for people to meet all the household needs of a family under one roof. A wide range of products are being offered, which include home utility products, toiletries, beauty products, kitchenware, food, home appliances, stationery, footwear and many more.
The supermarket chain has a widespread in India and is providing the best possible value to its customers. The major difference between other Hypermarkets and D-Mart is that it focuses more on maintaining less variety based at a slightly economical location and letting the benefits pass on to their customers in the form of discounts on every product they buy.