Bootstrapping while scaling a startup and doing so when competing with a hyper-funded unicorn is an art perfected by just a few. Even better when that startup turns into a unicorn and becomes ultra-rewarding for its co-founders as it just has at Zerodha.
Nithin and Nikhil Kamath, the brothers who have scaled the fintech unicorn from its inception in August 2010 to over Rs 1,000 crore revenue and Rs 442 crore profit in FY20, would be taking home a fat salary and a good chunk of their profits, regulatory filings show.
Zerodha’s board has passed a special resolution approving a remuneration of up to Rs 100 crore per annum each to Nikhil Kamath, Nithin Kamath and his spouse Seema Patil, who has also been elevated from director to a whole-time director in the company.
The three will get a basic salary of Rs 4.17 crore per month each along with perquisites and allowances of the same amount, adding to a neat Rs 300 cr as salary per year.
This would easily make them the highest-paid co-founders and directors across the startup ecosystem in India.
So far, some of the highest-paid startup founders were CarTrade’s Vinay Sanghi, Zomato’s Deepinder Goyal, Paytm’s Vijay Shekhar Sharma, Dream11’s Harsh Jain and InCred’s Bhupinder Singh, and their annual remuneration or salaries were anywhere between Rs 3 crore to Rs 6 crore in FY20.
Besides Patil, Madhav Kota Subramanya has also been appointed as a whole-time director of Zerodha for a period of 5 years effective May 10 and his remuneration will be Rs 2 crore per annum.
Further, Zerodha’s board has approved a resolution to invest surplus fund of the company and upto Rs 1,500 crore in other companies and businesses via loans, guarantees or purchase of securities of any other company.
Queries sent to Zerodha did not elicit an immediate response. We’ll update the post in case they do.
Kamath brothers and Patil also run Rainmatter Foundation which supports individuals and organisations working on problems related to climate change. The foundation had committed a $100 million fund which will be disbursed as grants and funding for projects.
According to Fintrackr, Zerodha had posted over 15% growth in its revenue to Rs 1,093.64 crore in FY20 from Rs 950 crore earned in FY19. It had booked a profit of Rs 442.3 crore during the period. The company also bought back stock options worth Rs 65 crore from around 700 of its employees in June last year.