Home / Books / Zero to Billions – The Zerodha Story By Abhish B. | Book Review

Zero to Billions – The Zerodha Story By Abhish B. | Book Review

If you seriously want to go ahead in the life and achieve a remarkable feat, it is an achievable task. In addition to be at the right place at the right time, you need to walk on the right path and make right moves too. And for that you need a right mentor(s).

While it is not always possible to get connected to right mentors, you can self-learn a lot of things by visiting and analysing the journeys of successful people.

Some of the great source for getting valuable lessons in realistic context from the successful people are watching some documentaries focused on such journeys, attend/watch various talks (like Ted Talks, Tedx Talks, Josh Talks,…), watching commencement speeches and reading biographical tales of such remarkable people.

Recently we opted for free-trial period for “Kindle Umlimited Subscription”. During this period we came across “Indian Unicorns” – a short EBook series by Abhish B.

First book we read in this series is about the journey of Byju’s – an EdTech company from India. Here is a quick link to our unbiased book review for the same:

Today we are going to talk about the book exploring the journey of Zerodha – a FinTech company from India. The book is titled as Zero to Billions – The Zerodha Story with the tagline An inspiring story on how a startup disrupted the Indian Stock Market (Indian Unicorns).

Book Title : Zero to Billions - The Zerodha Story
An inspiring story on how a startup disrupted the Indian Stock Market Indian Unicorns
Author :
# of Pages : 46; (Kindle EBook)
# of Chapters : 524 KB;10
Purchase Link(s) :

Let us take a look at the cover page of this book:

Book Cover:

You do believe in the saying – Don’t judge a book by its cover, right?

We do.

At the same time we also acknowledge the fact that attractive book cover are often found responsible for many book picking/purchasing/reading decisions. Actually, the cover page makes the first impression of the book. And, we tend to attract towards beauty, by nature. Catching attention of a reader towards itself and influence him/her to pick it, can be the first step of this process. The potential buyer can then read blurb or take a quick glimpse to the book content before making the final decision, though.

Zero to Billions - The Zerodha Story By Abhish B. | Book Cover

Zero to Billions – The Zerodha Story By Abhish B. | Book Cover

As you can see, the cover page prominently shows the photograph of Nithin Kamat, the founder of the company. All the startups are usually brainchild of one or more enthusiastic, visionary and skilful fellows. And, they are the face of the company. Thus, they can rightfully be the face of the book as well. The colorful background showing stock-market stuff adds more information about the company and makes the cover page not only more attractive but also more informative as well.

The right use of colors and fonts make it a lucrative cover page, as per my opinion

The Book And What I Think Of It:

Usually we talk about a book in two distinguished segments, dedicated to the book story and our views for the same respectively.

It is tough to talk about a book (and it is even tougher for a short book) and avoiding spoilers. I am trying to avoid as many spoilers as possible, but please read with a consent. I will quote some lines from the book to give you a fair idea about the quality of writing (and even the type/kind) of writing you can expect form the book – in as much spoiler free manner as possible.

Spread over in 10 chapters, this short eBook takes a glance to the story of the company starting from the beginning of the entrepreneurial journey of Nithin Kamat. Actually, I am not much familiar with the company and its founder(s), but, I heard the name of Nikhil Kamat in many YouTube Podcasts. The book says later that he is one of the key fellow in the company foundation and management along with his brother Nithin and other core team members.

Since I came to know about Zerodha I was curious about the name, and its meaning. The initial impression was it is a combination of “Zero” and any specific word for business (like “Dhandha”) or commission (as the stock brokers and facilitators get it for all the transaciton they do) or other term . But I am happy to read that:

Hence the name Zerodha comes from the words’ Zero’ and ‘Rodha,’ the latter is a Sanskrit word for barrier or obstruction.

It conveys the motto of the company quite clearly and also justifies the title for the first chapter – Chapter 1: Zero Barriers – Disrupting the Indian Capital Markets.

The author rightly includes some statistical information about the company to show how big impact it has made and how much it is involved in providing the service to the investors in their stock market transactions. Here are couple of such lines:

Zerodha is now the largest brokerage firm in India, as it has the largest number of active clients and the trading turnover on the exchanges.

It adds 50,000 to 75,000 accounts every month.

The book proves to be inspirational for sure. You come know that the author is from a well-to-do humble family. The book introduces us very briefly to Nithin’s father, Mr. U.R. Kamath, and his mother Mrs. Revathi. It is indeed a pleasure to see a mention of the proud parents, as they laid the foundation of values, hunger for success and the vision to make something better for the society, into the kids while growing up.

The book clearly indicates one of the most important lessons we must remember:

This doesn’t happen overnight. You have to keep at it & hope to get lucky (it took us 20 yrs). Chances of getting lucky are higher when more people want you to get lucky. Good Karma can help improve the odds of success. So do good, if nothing else, to improve your odds of getting lucky.

It is good to know about the company’s vision and how they provide services to their customers for a very negligible amount of commission. You can read more about it in the book.

The book also breaks the myth that “traditional school study is everything”. Of course, it is important. But, if you are not good at one or a few subjects it doesn’t mean that you will not succeed in life. The author refers to the following:

Nithin recalled himself as an average student and was more interested in making quick money through stock trading.

One can also find another important lesson, that you may fail. And, that is ok, as far as you learn from it. Success is never a linear graph (of course, there may be some exceptions). It is a journey with all kinds of experiences and that includes failure too.

Then came the market crash of 2001- 2002. Nithin made huge losses during that crash.

How did he survived during such challenging times? Well, he was doing this as a side hustle and his job helped him in survival.

His monthly salary was 12000 rupees. The call center job helped…

So, by listening to or reading about or even watching a documentary about a successful entrepreneur (like Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Elon Must or others) just remember the ground reality also. When starting your entrepreneurial journey, be sure to see the big picture and plan accordingly. Don’t hurry in leaving your job for the business that you can manage as a side hustle, especially in earlier days. Nithin learnt…

He realized that the overnight successes and get- rich- quick etc., happens only in movies and in real life; one has to grind hard to win.

And, even more importantly:

He got the essential principle of his life: he will take a bet only if he is ok with losing it all. He will never take a bet if he is worried about losing it.

The book also explores his journey of being a sub-broker from a trader. His experience of getting the first cheque by an investor (to invest on his behalf, as a trader) is also mentioned. You can also find about the “attitude” one should have during this journey.

Nithin learned all his lessons the hard way, and every setback was a learning opportunity for him.

Of course, you don’t need to learn it the hard way, if the guide/mentor is available for you. But, learning from a setback is important. As, even under a mentorship, one is prone to fail. And if you make the right move, you get success, even during challenging times. The book mentions:

2008 was a break- through year for Nithin as he made lots of money from the falling market!

I found the book well-balance in terms of talking about the company. It clearly talks about what went in favor of the company, like:

The best part of this was Zerodha has completely grown thanks to word- of- mouth advertising by their clients. Not even a single rupee was spent on advertising, whether it be online or offline.

And about challenges, they faced:

But challenges appeared again. It was not easy to get skilled programmers and engineers to work in a brokerage startup. Nithin has firsthand experience of being told to ‘get a real job’ throughout his life. Stock
– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
On the 29th of August 2019, there happened a 30+ minute downtime in the order management system of Zerodha, caused by a single abnormal order.

If you want to be a trader or are looking for opportunities in stock market, you will find the following lines inspirational/informative.

The majority of people think the only way to make money in the stock market is to buy a stock, wait for the price to go up and sell it and make some money. But the reality is that it is just 1% of the total turnover in the stock exchanges.
– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
The day trading is essentially like playing a t20 every day. There is a shelf life to it, and you cannot keep doing it forever.
– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
Despite over 6.5 crore people filing income taxes, only 50 lakh invested in the market.

From an entrepreneur’s perspective, the following lines are important:

In terms of efforts, one should give the complete commitment to their ventures. But in terms of money and resources, one shall never bet more than what one can afford to lose.
– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
In today’s day and age, it’s no more about the big beating the small– it’s about the fast beating the slow

Some quick lessons one can learn from this book:

…hope isn’t really a trading strategy.
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Have alternate income to improve your odds of winning.
– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
Love what you do.
– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
Be an Expert in your field.
– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
Luck pays the hard work.
– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
Be a keen observer.

Importantly, the journey is not over and one needs to be prepared to face new challenges that are on the way. The book also mentions:

One of the immediate challenges Zerodha has to face shortly would be the competition with Paytm.

Keeping this vision and mindset will help you walking your own journey with confidence.


It is a really nice, inspirational, short, how-to guide for that any entrepreneur or wannabe entrepreneur would love to explore. You may want to go for it during book promotion offers to get it at the most competitive rate. If you are already a “Kindle Unlimited subscriber”, you should definitely go for it.

ThinkerViews Rating:

I would give it around 7.5 to 8 stars out of 10.

Quick Purchase Links:

Over To You:

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