With the big banks and traditional brokers reducing brokerage, and companies like Paytm, ET money planning to jump in, what is Zerodha thinking/doing?

Was reading this article which sums up the news per trade brokerage plans by Axis Direct and Angel Broking. Also heard that Paytm, ET Money etc will be jumping in, I am guessing at these discounted rates itself.

Given these changes @nithin what are you guys thinking and planning at Zerodha?

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Others reducing brokerages has been a long time coming. We have been thinking this will happen for the last 3 years. Now with the bank+brokerage Axis Securities dropping the pricing, I am guessing this is beginning of the end of how traditional brokerages in India have been charging fees. I am guessing the rest will soon do something as well. This could spark off a price-war that would end up being good for the customers.

Btw, even though the pricing is reduced, the transparency isn’t. There are so many ifs and buts. It must be extremely tough to let go of existing revenue and risk cannibalisation. Since all clients won’t automatically move to the new plans, I am guessing the hope is that existing clients don’t move due to complications. When PayTM and the new age startups, whenever they launch, will most likely have the pricing right - simple, transparent, with no conditions, and for all clients.

Here is the thing though, I don’t think it has ever been only about pricing. If it was, there are 50 other brokerages who charge as much or lesser than we do, who should have caught up to us. I think it has got to do with the products we offer, our educational initiatives, and generally just the way we operate as a business. If you use any of our products or initiatives and compare them with what is available with the rest, the difference would be evident. All this isn’t easy to replicate. I think this race is going to be about who has the better product and does more for their clients, which is again in favour of consumers.

All of this is going to push us to do a lot more as a business. We already have a really long to-do list, and my gut says that this sudden competitive environment would mean a lot of those items getting ticked off faster.

Overall this is good for the industry, we all need to do whatever to increase the very shallow market participation on the Indian capital markets. I don’t think pricing alone can do it, but people competing on the product can. Here is where I think new age companies with good tech teams starting afresh with no legacy to worry about will do better. For those starting up the challenge would be that this isn’t just a tech play, online broking is probably one of the toughest businesses because of regulations and compliance, much tougher to update products due to downtime risk, extremely high beta, not a great underlying infra (leased lines etc), leverage products which is majority trading (F&O,margin funding, etc) which bring in huge risk to the business, etc. This is a business of unlimited risk at all times.

So yeah, will be interesting times… :slight_smile:


Nice, confident and transparent answer from @nithin .Wish you stay ahead and z customers get benefited all the time with all the effort you and your team is putting in.

@nithin Zerodha has primarily grown due to Partners - they have taken zerodha from 3 lakh to 8 lakh . Agree Zerodha has done all right in the technology stack and given value products. However , now Partner strategy has been adopted by nearly all brokers and many are growing .
Coming back to point , All people will have multiple option in near future with zero brokerage, direct mutual funds …but person who will make it big will be who empowers them with “What to trade” rather than give a platform. SO i guess zerodha should focus now more on “How to help traders decide what to trade” rather than just giving tools to trade them.

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I think full features with reduced brokerage will be a reason to move. Eg. An important feature like GTC Order is provided by many full service brokers but none of the discount brokers. If we get such features and reduced fee it would give a reason to switch though …

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@nithin if u see trading related YouTube channels, their owners runs some training programs and then ask followers to open account using other discount broker who gives referral commission. They don’t suggest Zerodha as it doesn’t gives any commission.
I am not asking you to start commission based referral program again as you already mentioned that it’s against sebi rules. But this thing you should keep in mind.

You get the point but as far i know Zerodha have strong community of Partners, so definitely they are leading the market.

Zerodha have far many better product then other discount broker in industry but Now I do feel that Zerodha policy towards AP are not Uptomark as-
1- Referral lead contact details not accessible by AP (old CRM not updating, new partner dashboard sucks)
2- Payout only for registered Partner
3- Brokerage SLAB for default should be 30%

I think most probably point 1 & 2 needed to disputed asap otherwise it’ll be very competitive for zerodha in upcoming year. I was also analysing Google trend for search Zerodha & Upstox, Then i found that after Zerodha technical glitches there was rise in graph of Upstox compared to Zerodha.

I know Zerodha have too many MBA holder & know to run a bussiness. Even point 1 & 2 look look like to be bussiness policy but one day all AP will know this dirty bussiness technics.

Thanks, This my first post.


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Partners have helped, but the contribution is approximately 20% of new business.

If a broker can tell you what to trade, and clients can make money of it, that would be like finding the holy grail. Unfortunately, I don’t think it is possible. Most people are horrible following advise, so even if a broker did provide good advice, it could still give bad results and get the blame. But yeah, will be interested to see if someone can solve for that at scale.


We will have something soon for you on this. :slight_smile:


We have a lot of our partners who are extremely popular on youtube. But that said, not everyone who is on youtube is our partner. So you will definitely people trying to sell other brokers too. Giving continuous referral commission to non-registered authorized persons is a violation. If other brokers are doing, they are violating and taking unnecessary risk of a regulatory action.

That said we will soon launch our new referral model which will have revamped one time incentive for referring people to the business. Currently this is how it works


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Our old CRM couldn’t handle the sudden increase in the load. We had to shift to a new CRM. Yes, the UI etc that partners get isn’t that great. We are working on it. Payout only to exchange registered partners is an exchange requirement. If another broker is giving, he is violating. Default slab is what is a business prerogative right?

Yes there were couple of issues this year, had explained the reasonfor that here. We are trying our best to ensure things like that don’t happen, but in a tech world, platforms do go down. Google was down for 4 hours recently, but yeah we are trying our best to ensure it is up all the time. But our clients continue to show faith, activity hasn’t dropped in anyway. We will make sure we return the favor to our clients by offering as many things as possible to help them with trading.

Google trends of us vs others below

Full service

Discount brokers

I agree - Cant wait to watch how these so called full service players reduce their charges.

I read in a recent interview of yours @nithin (with ET I think) that its the mutual fund investors which are more likely to be attracted to direct equity investments and where brokerages such as Zerodha will appeal the maximum to first time investors. Considering this, have you thought about revamping Coin from the current transaction led portal to a more informative one which allows users to discover funds, compare performance etc? For e.g. on the Coin Dashboard landing page, all I get is a search bar where I actually need to search for a MF (presumption being I already know the one I am looking for) - this would usually not be the case for most MF investors. From the Coin Landing page, I get an index of MF schemes - again, not very useful.

How about giving it the marketplace kind of a lookover where you have sections / tabs for different categories of MFs, thematics, leading to listing of best performers and ability to compare performance, fee, exit fee, index tracking etc etc.

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Yep, working on it.

You can do this on the Coin app by the way. All funds are neatly categorized and you can sort them using predefined filters.

Yes, am aware - that’s exactly what I had in mind for the portal as well. Easier to research on a bigger screen / browser than the limited confines of a smartphone. Also, needs to be a lot more elaborate - this one is limited to just 5 listings. Plus some filters etc. I don’t think there is any other service provider that has that - or do they? :thinking:

any deadline ?

Zero brokerage on all Equity Investments(stocks,mutual funds).

Sensibull is India’s first options trading platform, offering everything from simplified options trading for new investors.

smallcase is India’s first thematic investment platform.

Streak is the world’s first retail algo trading platform that requires NO coding skills.

Zerodha is India’s first discount broker lowest brokerage in intraday trading.

Zerodha Coin is India’s largest direct mutual fund platform invested above 3000 crores.

Zerodha is India’s biggest stock broker as per NSE active clients data.

Zerodha is among the most profitable retail broking firms in the country.

Atleast for now this is a no-brainer. Can’t find reason to try Axis and angel when using Zerodha

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Agree. We really need more features, reporting etc on Coin. For example, I want to see my MF portfolio sorted by categories…telling me how much I have in large cap, mid, small, best etc. Also show daily gains as well.

Also when you try to close an account with zerodha it dosesn’t actually close it just deactivates your ID so one the reasons, there a big client base.

3 main challenges faced by zerodha with full service brokers.

  1. GTC.
  2. Colleteral from FD & mutual funds.
  3. features to please option writers like more margins etc.
  4. stability of trading terminal.
  5. margin funding for week as per norms
  1. Coming soon
  2. MF will take us couple of months, FDs not possible.
  3. Margins are determined by exchange, same with all brokers now.
  4. Topmost priority for us.
  5. Margin funding in the next 4 to 8 weeks. Ideally should have been out by now, but hit some roadblocks.