From the outside, it might appear that high-flying billionaire entrepreneurs have it all figured out, but they seem to face challenges as the rest of us.
Zerodha CEO Nithin Kamath has shared a heartwarming story of his father-in-law, who is an army veteran who lost his fingers to frost-bite during the Kargil war. In spite of Kamath and his wife’s success — he’s worth nearly $3 billion (Rs. 24,000 crore) — his father in law still continues to run the kirana shop.
“Being content is the only way to true freedom,” Kamath shared on social media. “A person who embodies this is my father-in-law, Shivaji Patil He was in the Indian Army & voluntarily retired as a Havaldar after losing his fingers to frostbite during the Kargil War,” he said.
“He is 70 years old but goes to the local market regularly on his decades-old scooter for the specially abled to buy groceries for the shop. His only help is my mother-in-law, who helps him run the shop and manages the house,” Kamath says.
And he’s maintained the same routine, even after Zerodha became India’s largest broker. “He refuses to stop working, even with the success Seema and I have had. When I ask him about margins for various products in the shop, there is still a twinkle in his eye. He speaks about a 25% margin on chikkis, buying a box at Rs 200 & selling them individually for Rs 250,” Kamath says.
“I have never seen him wanting something or complaining, not even about losing his fingers in the war,” Kamath recounts. But like most people of his generation, he still wanted his son in law to get a stable government job. “Although, he did try to convince me to get a government job when I asked him permission to marry his daughter in 2007 when I was still struggling,” Kamath laughs.
“I have been geeking out about increasing healthspan or how to live a good life until the end. I have no doubt that the answer is to be content and never stop being active mentally and physically. Money can’t buy this, and he is the best example,” Kamath says.
Nithin Kamath might be India’s youngest billionaire, but he’s had to face some upheavals in his personal life. His wife, Seema Patil, had recently been diagnosed with breast cancer, and she’d successfully managed to beat the disease after a long battle. Kamath has now revealed that his father-in-law is specially abled, having lost his fingers while serving the Indian army. Running a successful business is not easy, but Kamath’s story is made even more impressive with the personal challenges he’s had to face along the way.