Radhakishan Damani (RD) is an Indian businessman, investor and equity trader. He is famous for founding the DMart supermarket chain, which earned him the title of ‘Retail King of India’.
Radhakishan Damani was born in 1954 (67 years old; from 2021) in Bikaner, Rajasthan. He studied in Mumbai and later enrolled at the University of Mumbai. He dropped out in the first year of his university, where he was pursuing a Bachelor of Commerce.
Hair color: bald
Eye color: Black
Family and caste
Radhakishan Damani was born into a poverty-stricken Marwari family.
Fathers and brothers
His father, Shivkishanji Damani, was a Dalal Street stockbroker. RD’s brother Gopikishan Damani is a stock trader and investor.
Relationships, wife and children
Mr. Damani is married to Shrikantadevi Radhakishan Damani. The couple have three daughters, Manjri Damani Chandak, Jyoti Kabra, and Madhu Chandak.
He lives on Altamount Road, Mumbai with his family.
As a stockbroker
After leaving college, Mr. Damani started his ball bearing business. At the age of 32, he left this business due to his father’s untimely passing, and joined his brother on Dalal Street as a stockbroker. When RD joined the stock market, it was ruled by the Manu Manek (aka Cobra) bear cartel. Mr. Damani learned to short Manu’s stock, and later applied the same strategies to counter the bullish tactics of his nemesis Harshad Mehta. Radhakishan is rumored to be part of a bassist group called ‘triple-R’ in the late 1990s. The group’s three Rs were Radhakishan Damani, Raju (a chartist), and Rakesh Jhunjhunwala (the future Big Bull). Triple-R and Harshad Mehta were considered archrivals. They reportedly first fought over the Apollo Tires stock. Mr. Damani and Mr. Rakesh felt that the Apollo Tires share price was highly overvalued. So they began shorting the shares, oblivious to the fact that Harshad was illegally manipulating the share price. RD and his group suffered heavy losses. Later, Harshad Mehta was found guilty of orchestrating the 1992 financial scam. In an interview, I posted the exposure of the scam, Damani said:
Hagar Harshad saat din aur apni position hold kar leta, toh mujhe kathora leke road par utarna padta ”.
The 1992 scam caused many investors and brokers to lose their money. RD helped many small-scale investors by buying their depreciated shares. He also helped clients of Deena Mehta (another famous stockbroker) after the Ketan Parekh scam of 2001. In an interview, while talking about Mr. Damani’s helping gesture, Deena said:
When some of our clients got caught up in the shares of Videocon and BPL, RD helped us by taking their positions… These scripts had become impossible to sell because there were no buyers in the market. RD is a very positive actor in times of crisis. He is a canny investor; he makes more money when he’s bearish. ”
Damani’s multiple bagger stocks include VST Industries, HDFC Bank, Sundaram Finance, ITC, Gillette, Crisil, ICRA, 3M India, Blue Dart Express, Prozone Intu Properties, Uniply Industries, India Cements and a 1% stake in Andhra Paper. He invested in VST Industries Ltd. in 2000 when its shares were trading at around Rs. 80 per share. The share price skyrocketed to Rs. 3,600 in 2020. Similarly, the price of Sundaram Finance shares rose from Rs. 270 per share at Rs. 1800 in 2021. Such investments helped Mr. Damani generate immense wealth.
In 1995, the initial public offering of HDFC Bank went public and RD bought Rs. Rs. 400 crore in shares at Rs. 40 per share; the price of the stock is trading at Rs. 2600 as of 2020. In an interview, when asked why he chose HDFC Bank over a PSU bank like SBI, Damani is rumored to have said:
Dharavi Dharavi hota hai, aur Pedder Road Pedder Road… aage jaake HDFC ka bhaav dekh lena ”.
As an entrepreneur
RD took a break from the stock market in the late 1990s to focus on his retail business venture. In 2002, he founded a chain of hypermarkets, DMart (registered as Avenue Supermarts Ltd.) with a single store in Powai. DMart has more than 200 stores spread across almost all of India as of 2020.
Damani went public with its retail chain in March 2017 with an offer price of Rs 299 per share, which skyrocketed to Rs 2,900 in 2021. DMart’s market capitalization increased from Rs 38,000 crore in March 2017 to Rs 1.6 lakh crore in June. 2020, making it more valuable than Britannia Industries, Asian Paints, Bank of Baroda, and even Nestlé.
Radhakishan Damani’s net worth is valued at around $ 20.5 billion as of 2020. His physical assets are listed below.
- 156-room Radisson Blu Resort in Alibag, Maharashtra.
- a beachfront getaway home near Mumbai.
Facts / Trivia
- Rakesh Jhunjhunwala (the Great Bull) regards Radhakishan Damani as his mentor. In an interview, speaking of his mentor, Rakesh said:
I learned to trade from him … He has wisdom, extreme patience and humility … The patience he has to listen to the other person’s point of view is incredible … He taught me life and shaped my nature. If he and my father had not been there to guide me, I would not have achieved such success. ”
- He has admitted that established investor Chandrakant Sampat is his inspiration. He learned a lot from Mr. Sampat’s value investing in the 1980s and 1990s.
- The DR is rumored to have predicted the 2001 tech bubble (overuse of the internet by commercial companies led to a market crash) and the 2008 global recession.
- Actor Paresh Ganatra played a role based on Radhakishan Damani in the hit web series Scam 1992: The Harshad Mehta Story by SonyLIV.
- RD is the fourth richest Indian as of 2020 (Mukesh Ambani topped the list).
- Mr. Damani is known as Mr. White & White by his family and close friends due to his love of white shirts and white pants.
- Radhakishan Damani stays away from interactions with the media and is rarely seen at events related to the stock market.
- He loves to walk around Girgaum Chowpatty.