Business strategy

The ‘Big Bull’ Whose Portfolio Went From Rs 5,000 to Over Rs 11,000 Crore

Rakesh Jhunjhunwala, the iconic investor of the Indian markets, died at the age of 62 on August 14. The man, also known as the ‘big bull’ of Dalal Street, breathed his last on Sunday morning. Having begun with a portfolio of Rs 5,000 in 1985, Jhunjhunwala went on to become India’s biggest stock market investor, growing his portfolio to a massive Rs 11,000 crore. Such was his aura in the market corridors that many would say that if Jhunjhunwala is talking about a stock, it’s worth putting your money on, the recent example being that of Titan.

While his first big profit came from Tata Tea in 1986, his biggest investment till date has been tipped to be that in Titan, which was worth over Rs 7,000 crore. Besides these, over the years, his investments included Fortis Healthcare, Aurobindo Pharma, Ion Exchange, Lupin, Geojit Financial Services, VIP Industries, Rallis India, Jubilant Life Sciences and more. Even as his portfolio saw a drop in the recession of 2008, he recovered the losses by 2012. Jhunjhunwala, with his ventures as an entrepreneur and his portfolio, was among the richest people in the country.

Jhunjhunwala’s latest stint as an investor and promoter was Akasa Air, that was launched just last week. He called it “not a low-cost airline “but a “frugal airline”. Shortly after the launch, even as Jhunjhunwala said he was ready for failure, he was confident of aviation stocks rising in the near future. Even as many remained cautious over the Indian markets amid a current global slowdown, Jhunjhunwala remained positive that Sensex and Nifty would continue to grow despite the challenges. “I think the (domestic) stock markets will grow regardless of global developments,” he said in a recent interview with CNBC-TV18. He also added that the pace at which Dalal Street will grow will be a tad bit slower.

Jhunjhunwala had also said that PSU banks were his bet. “PSU Bank, PSU Bank, and PSU Banks are all that I’m very bullish on,” he had said. Explaining his rationale behind the same, Jhunjhunwala had said that he thinks credit will rise, and the consequence of that will be an increase in the pricing power of banks. “PSU banks have great power of gathering deposits,” he added.

Jhunjhunwala will be missed by the country and more so, by the investor market, for his vision and confidence as an investor and his optimistic outlook for the Indian market. He will be remembered as the ‘Big Bull’ of Dalal Street and Índia’s Warren Buffet’.

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