Bobby Bhatia was a prodigal student. Born in India and brought up in Kuwait, at 16 he was a participant of Young Scholar's Program at Stanford and subsequently earned a Bachelor’s Degree from Duke University. He finished college at 19. This achievement at such a young age makes him the driven and ambitious person he is today.
In a conversation with YourStory, Bobby sheds light on his incredible journey.
Charting my career
I worked in options trading in the US for two years and moved to Hong Kong in 1995. In 1998, I had the opportunity to be one of the founding members of Asia's first leverage buyout fund Chase Capital Partners Asia (aka JP Morgan Partners) and had the privilege to travel and work on transactions across multiple countries in the region.
After six years, the experience I gained at JP Morgan Partners positioned me to take over a larger role as Managing Director & Head of Principal Investments for AIG.
I knew I wanted to make a mark in my career and ambition was in my DNA. I was extremely lucky to have very senior mentors who trusted in me very early in my career. Also, having lived in multiple states in India before moving with my parents to Kuwait and then to the US and being exposed to various cultures has deeply influenced and shaped me.
For years, I was in a position where I was advising companies and entrepreneurs. While I was good at it, there was always a voice within pushing me to prove that I could be a great operator as well. So at some point, I wanted to quit and start my own company.
Genesis of TrakInvest
While I was in finance, I used to read a lot. I had to go to multiple platforms to find all the information I needed. Finding this information at an affordable price was next to impossible. This was a huge pain-point for me. I thought to myself: Why can’t I build a tool to get all the information I need at one place? A lot of clients I was advising and students I was mentoring were facing the same issues. I would approach people on behalf of the students I was mentoring. The argument I would use was to show real pieces of work, real performance records and then request an internship on their behalf.
That is how the seeds of TrakInvest were sown in my mind. And then I thought: Along with this information platform, why don’t I create a virtual gaming platform where people can trade and get scores? The platform could potentially be a talent identification platform. Thus was born TrakInvest.
What is TrakInvest
Social investing is the new paradigm. TrakInvest combines the best of social media and lets you follow leading traders. Via TrakInvest, you can trade virtually and track influencers across sectors.
You cannot be anonymous on the platform that forces you to reveal your identity and perform at your best. Users can track companies and their peers on the platform. You can access 12,000 weekly research reports. The platform includes detailed coverage of key markets such as India, US, Singapore, Hong Kong, China and Australia. As more people start using it, our belief is we will change how trading is done in the emerging markets. The model will shift from arbitraging opacity to arbitraging intelligence."
Platform with New UI launched in November
The platform is now open for users to sign up. While the website is free, it’s based on invitations. YourStory readers can use the following link to gain access to the portal
I think the biggest takeaway anyone can get from using this website is a real-time stock market environment that allows you to share your trading activity on a real time basis with your chosen network, be they friends or clients. Our current focus is to give leverage to students who are just graduating or looking for jobs. By using this platform they can learn how to tackle the stock market and also get noticed by potential employees. By taking part in our internship contests students can get picked based on their portfolio performance, research and discussions on the site.
I believe a lot of people have the ability to be good traders. In fact, our current top traders just prove how talent can come from a diverse background. We have Roshni Kanchan, a housewife in India with a 12% return and Alex Dicu, a Polish student studying for an MBA in Singapore who just won an internship.
We are backed by Spark Labs Korea and some really well known individuals and families in the Middle East and India.
Our goal is to get a million active users in the next 24 months. But our real milestones will be reached when we will find the next great investors of our generation.
Stay tuned for more updates from TrakInvest.