Gautam Kshatriya, Co-founder, - Indian Stock Picking Community

Thursday July 09, 2009,

5 min Read

When the words “calculated risk” or a “sure bet” come up in a conversation, we are apt to think of the stock market. With the meteoric rise of the Indian Stock Exchange in recent years, investment consultants have come and gone. However is not about consultation, Gautam Kshatriya and Alex Frankl, its founder has a different approach entirely.

The Young Entrepreneur was more interested in helping investors make money and not the mere shine of lucre and that is where his success began.

He told us about how his company functions saying

“ is a community for Indian Investors and Traders where anybody can share stock recommendations (picks). Its differentiator is its superior Investor Rating System, which rates each member (on a 5 star scale) based on the performance of past picks (considering average returns, risk etc.) rather than user driven ratings, so that people know whose advice is really worth following. Soon, we will start giving cash rewards to top stock pickers on to induce people to provide consistent, quality advice. Next, we intend to integrate with an online brokerage to create a seamless advice-research-trading portal.”

To the average person this may not mean much, but when you have someone with a proven track record providing expert advice, chances are your investments will bear fruit sooner than later.

Many people have already begun to test the waters with Gautam’s concept. He says “Currently we have 4000 registered users. Our target market is retail investors and traders, approximately 15 million in total. 3.2 million of these already trade online. By April 2012 we forecast this number to grow to 8.6 million.”

Gautam explained why many of these investors choose saying “Our differentiator is our Investor Rating System, which allows retail investors to follow people with consistent track records of quality advice, verified by a neutral third party, and allows anybody to establish themselves as experts – regardless of their background. Currently the website is free and we make a small amount of money from advertising revenue. Soon we will start charging for access to stock picks by top stock pickers, and start sharing revenue with them. Next we aim to integrate with an online brokerage to create India’s first Web 2.0 brokerage.”

The fact that their rating system identifies those that have a gift for predicting market trends is propelling forward. Gautam hopes to bank on this for future growth. He already has a tentative plan for expansion. He says “There are 3 stages at which we will have to ‘scale up’ the business. First is raising awareness of and scale up traffic to the website. Once we launch subscription based picks, the next scaling up phase will require an increase in the number of subscribers. Finally when we launch brokerage, our focus will be on scaling up the number of our brokerage customers. Currently we’re engaged in phase 1 of scaling up – driving traffic to the website. While we’ve relied on social media to spread the word about, we’re exploring a number of strategies to drive these up aggressively before subscription based picks are launched, such as all India Equity Analyst Talent Hunt.”

Gautam was always interested in the concept of wealth, so much so that he decided he would make his money by helping others make money. He explained his entrepreneurial vision saying “Alex and I wanted to build something that we could call our own – a product or a service that would have a positive impact on other peoples’ lives. Working for yourselves also means that you have greater control over what you can achieve and how fast you can achieve it.”

His journey once begun had a few roadblocks too, he says “Building a team is by far the biggest problem that we’ve faced, and will likely continue to face this over the next couple of years. Hiring people is not a problem, but hiring good people, convincing them that it’s worth their while to leave their secure, high paying job to join a startup is quite another story!”

Yourstory asked the young entrepreneur if he had any regrets about past decisions, he answered saying “Where to start! I wish I had put in a little bit more planning just before software development started, and taken on in-house technology co-founders a little early. Having said that, sometimes you just have to jump in!”

Friends and family were interested in his concept and provided him with seed capital, and once he went online users of the website made sure he never lacked for capital. has accumulated a registered user base of 4000 in just 4 months – and Gautam says “this is just the beginning! Watch this space!”

He credits his quest for entrepreneurial success to “A passion for the product, a passion for entrepreneurship, the desire to create something worthwhile.”

His long term plans are to become India’s first Web 2.0 brokerage firm. He says “We also want to be recognized as ‘the place’ to get transparent investment and trading advice.”

Yourstory also received some advice from Gautam almost as valuable as his stock tips. He advises the promising entrepreneur saying “If you’ve got an Idea that you believe will work in the long term, don’t wait around for conditions to be perfect. Take whatever resources you have and get moving. Having said this, don’t make the mistake of jumping in without proper planning. It may take a couple of extra months, but it’ll save you a lot of time and energy in the future.”

Yourstory wishes, Gautam and Alex good luck with helping many make money and thanks him for telling us his story.

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