The Zerodha partner program resembles a pyramid scheme, is it legit?

I am interested in the Zerodha partner program, just wanted to make sure everything is alright

Let me give my experience of being a sub-broker/partner with Reliance securities for over 4 years before starting Zerodha.

  1. We would put up stalls in various offices, capture interested leads, but to open an account these leads would directly call Reliance office. Once the lead went to the main branch, I as a partner wouldn’t get any benefit of it.

  2. If I provided good service to the clients I have introduced, the clients would talk good about Reliance securities to their friends. These friends would then call the main branch, again I as a partner don’t benefit from it.

For any business to keep running, the referral bit has to kick in. Otherwise, it is not possible to sustain in the long run. Imagine if I had to open a restaurant and rely only on direct customers that I acquire and all referrals from my direct clients go eat at some other restaurant.

These were the pain points we were trying to address when we were putting up a partner module at Zerodha. So what we did was

  1. If a lead is entered by the partner, even if the client directly comes to us and opens an account, it is still mapped to the partner who had entered the lead first. Leads stay valid for 60 days and no new person can enter the same lead.

  2. We put up a unique partner sharing model. We said we will not only map the direct clients to you but also all the indirect/referred clients who come to Zerodha. By indirect, I mean clients who were referred by existing clients that the partner had introduced. But we also said that since the clients have to be paid for referring, we will reduce this from the partner’s payout.

So for example, if a partner is in the 50% sharing slab. He makes 50% from all the direct clients and 40% from indirect clients. 10% out of the 50% is shared back with the client who referred. So in essence, the partner works almost exactly like Zerodha, instead of Rs 20 at Rs 10 (50%). Like how Zerodha shares Rs 2 in Rs 20 to a referral, partner shares it from his Rs 10/trade or whatever slab he is in.

There is no MLM happening here, a client’s brokerage is either paid to a partner or a partner and a client. Never more than this. Partner gets the leverage to work almost exactly like Zerodha.


Mr nitin i have just joined as a partner at zeordha, and i got surprised that they are joining me as a employee of zerodha with ten type of deduction on 20% brokerage share of so called partner/employee according to this format what i receive today no body can earn anything on their hard work accept you I mean zerodha this partner plan is actually a bonded labor for you only…

@neer_kumar we have atleast 10 partners who earn more than 10lks a month. Many more in the 1lk to 10lk range. The sharing % goes up as and when more clients are introduced. Also the employee thing is only if you don’t want to register on the exchange as a partner (which has a cost). Also the 20% is if you are just providing us leads and all selling is done by us.

Hey Nithin can you tell us how many clients does your no 1 partner has. I am asking this just to know what it takes to make 10lks a month as a share broker. I already have 120 clients across the top discount brokers. How many more I would need to reach that level.

Our top partner has over 15,000 clients.

To earn 10lks, it depends on the type of your clients. You can generate over 10lks by having 1000 very active trading clients generating around 2000/month in brokerage revenue.

Thanks for your reply @nithin
This is the reason why Zerodha is so successful. Its because the CEO has the skin in the game. Very few CEOs do such a thing, like replying on a public forum. Today only I went to the 3rd biggest discount brokers office in Thane. But what I found is that senior level employees are not having the skin in the game. This 3rd biggest discount broker was earlier 2nd biggest discount broker. So such small small things have a very huge impact in the long term. You guys are already reaping the benefits.

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I heard zerodha has stopped commission based referral program. Is this a different referral channel? @nithin

Yeah, this is our partner business model. Entrepreneurs tie up with us to introduce business.

What’s the criteria to be part of this? How to enroll?

Does client get to know if any partner is mapped to his account. For example someone or any friend puts my name in lead without my knowing and by insidence I open account with Zerodha .

You get OTP while signing up. So I guess its not possible. Leads are in the system only for 60 days.

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@Vinay Can you.

Hi Vikas,

Please provide your information on partner prospect form (click here) our marketing manager will contact you and they will provide you with all the required information.

I had a few questions about this. From what I am able to understand, there are two programs. One is the Partner Program and the other is the Referral program.

  • Like the Partner program, are there any thresholds (in terms of the number of clients referred) for the Referral program which would lead to an increase in sharing percentage, or does the sharing percentage remain constant at 10% in the referral program?

  • Like mentioned in the above post, is there a requirement for registering on the exchange even if using the referral program? Is there some kind of threshold (in terms of the number of clients referred) after which it becomes mandatory to register with the exchange irrespective of using the partner program or the referral program?

Yeah, the partner program is for those who are doing this full time. You can email [email protected], he will share more details.

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