Today’s Sunday morning did not turn out to be a pleasant one. The news of losing Rakesh Jhunjhunwala also known as “Big Bull”, “Warren Buffet of India” to the world and “Bhaiya ji” to his close stock market circle, shocked me and it must have done to millions for whom he was an inspiration.
Born on July 5, 1960, Rakesh ji grew up in Mumbai, where his father worked as Officer in Income Tax department. He started his investing career in 1985 with Rs. 5000 and his investment value is worth $5.8 bn (Around Rs. 46000 crores) as of August 2022. 25% of his annual income is donated for charitable work.
He held position of a trustee of Agastya International Foundation. Most of his investments were done through RARE Enterprises. RARE derives its name from first two letters of his name and that of his wife, Rekha. He made his last public appearance last week during launch of Akasa Airlines, in which he owned 40% stake.
Rakesh ji always lived life King Size. An eternal believer in India’s growth story, his confidence on India was contagious. Such was his aura and stature that a retail investor would buy a stock blindly in which Rakesh Jhunjhunwala had invested. Rakesh ji always cautioned retail Investors that “You can’t profit from Borrowed Knowledge.”
My first interaction with beloved “Bhaiya ji” happened in the year 2006. Meeting him personally was kind of dream come true moment. For next few years I used to meet him at his Office in Nariman Point and on Fridays at Geoffrey’s (A pub at Hotel Marine Plaza at Marine Drive) which was his hangout place then post close of markets.
Rakesh ji’s deep understanding of Financial Markets and economy will remain incomparable. Way back in 2008 when markets crashed and Sensex fell below 9000 levels, I still remember his words that it is a painful period, but India’s long term growth story remains still intact.
As we usher into 75th year of India’s Independence, we as a nation is poised to become one of the best markets for Investments. The Irony is, the biggest believer of India’s growth story will not be among us to witness the glory.
Rakesh ji You will always be there in our mind and heart.
(Views expressed are personal)