In the world of business and investments, few names stand as tall as Radhakishan Shivkishan Damani.
An Indian billionaire investor and business magnate, Damani's journey from humble beginnings to becoming the founder of Avenue Supermarts Limited, which operates the popular D-Mart retail chain, is nothing short of inspirational.
Radhakishan Damani's story is a testament to the adage that it's not where you start but where you finish that truly matters. Raised in a small, single-room apartment in Mumbai, Damani was born into a Maheshwari Marwari Hindu family. Despite the modest surroundings, he had big dreams.
He initially pursued a degree in commerce at the University of Mumbai but dropped out after just one year.
The turning point in his life came with the unfortunate demise of his father, who was engaged in business on Dalal Street. This event led Damani to reevaluate his path, ultimately leading him into the world of stock markets.
Leaving behind his ball-bearing business, Radhakishan Damani ventured into the stock market, first as a broker and then as an investor.
His keen insights and ability to take calculated risks paid off, especially during the 1990s when he achieved significant profits through short-selling stocks. Notably, Damani became the largest individual shareholder of HDFC Bank after its public listing in 1995.
However, it was in 1992, during the tumultuous times of the Harshad Mehta Scam, that he witnessed a major surge in his income, attributed to his strategic short-selling ventures.
In 1999, he briefly operated a franchise of Apna Bazaar, a cooperative department store, in Nerul. Still, he remained unconvinced by its business model, and this experience would shape his future endeavours.
In the year 2000, Radhakishan Damani decided to exit the stock market to embark on a new journey – building his own hypermarket chain, DMart. He set up the first DMart store in Powai in 2002, forever changing the landscape of retail in India.
What started as a single store soon grew into a retail empire. By 2010, DMart boasted 25 stores, and from there, the company's expansion was nothing short of phenomenal.
In 2017, Avenue Supermarts Limited, the parent company of DMart, went public, marking a significant milestone in Damani's career.
Radhakishan Damani's success isn't limited to the retail sector. He is also known for his astute investments in various companies, diversifying his portfolio across industries.
From stakes in tobacco firm VST Industries to cement producer India Cements, Damani's investment strategy has been nothing short of brilliant.
One notable investment was his acquisition of a 1% stake in Andhra Paper. Additionally, he secured a 15% stake in India Cements in May 2020, subsequently increasing his investment in the company to 19.89%.
As of 2021, Damani publicly held stocks in his investment portfolio with a total value of approximately 102,077 crore (US$13 billion). His financial acumen and knack for spotting opportunities have contributed significantly to his wealth.
Gopikishan Damani, Radhakishan Damani's younger brother, is an integral part of their success story. Together, they control Avenue Supermart, the retailing giant behind D-Mart, which has become a household name in India.
In 2021, the Damani brothers made headlines for reportedly purchasing a luxurious house in south Mumbai for over $100 million, underlining their status as some of India's most influential figures.
In early 2023, they made another splash in the real estate market, shelling out $155 million for 28 apartments in a high-end tower in mid-town Mumbai, developed by fellow billionaire Vikas Oberoi.
Radhakishan Damani is married and has three children.
Manjri Chandak, the daughter of Radhakishan Damani, is another integral figure in DMart's success story. Her association with the retail giant has contributed significantly to its growth and operations.
Her expertise in retail management and her ability to innovate and adapt to changing consumer demands have been instrumental in DMart's continuous expansion and evolution.
Jyoti Kabra is an accomplished businesswoman known for her significant contributions to the retail sector.
As a key figure in the KDDL Group, which has interests in watch manufacturing, retail, and distribution, Kabra has been instrumental in the group's success.
Her leadership and vision have helped the group's retail ventures thrive in a competitive market.
Madhu Chandak, like Jyoti Kabra, is a prominent figure in the world of retail.
Her expertise in retail management and her commitment to providing customers with high-quality products have been instrumental in the success of various retail ventures she is associated with.
Chandak's dedication to the industry continues to inspire emerging entrepreneurs and retail enthusiasts.
Radhakishan Damani's journey from a single-room apartment in Mumbai to being one of the world's richest individuals is a remarkable testament to hard work, determination, and shrewd business acumen.
His success story not only inspires aspiring entrepreneurs and investors but also underscores the potential for growth and innovation in India's ever-evolving business landscape.
With his continued investments and contributions to the retail and investment sectors, Radhakishan Damani's legacy is bound to endure for generations to come.