Zerodha founder Nithin Kamath reflects on business growth through digitisationtext_fields
Nithin Kamath, the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Zerodha, recently shared insights into the transformative power of digitisation in business and how it revolutionised customer acquisition for his company.
He highlighted the monumental shift from a cumbersome, paper-based process to a seamless digital experience.
Taking to X (formerly Twitter), Kamath revealed that it took six years for Zerodha to gain its initial 60,000 customers, a period marked by the laborious task of customers having to complete and courier more than 40 pages of forms, followed by lengthy waiting times. However, the digital era brought about a remarkable change, propelling the company's customer base to one crore within the subsequent six years.
In his post, Kamath wrote, "It took us 6 years to get to our first 60k customers, each of whom had to sign and courier 40+ pages of forms and wait for days. We got to 1 crore customers in the next 6, entirely eliminating paper in the process. This was enabled by eKYC, digital signatures (eSign), & digital documents (Digilocker)."
Kamath went on to emphasise the advantages of digitisation, citing increased productivity, cost savings, and a reduction in wastage as key benefits for companies. He noted that millions of pages no longer needed to be printed or transported, and valuable customer time was saved. During the initial six years, a significant portion of their efforts was dedicated to managing the exchange of physical forms and documents.
Reflecting on the company's journey, Kamath disclosed, "We had 900 on the team in late 2017 with 5lk customers. Today, we have 1.3 crore customers with 1100 on the team. And this while our customer support quality has improved significantly. We have done many other things right, but doing away with the physical process has helped exponentially."
Furthermore, Kamath pointed out that the robust digital infrastructure significantly reduced customer onboarding risks on the Zerodha platform. He contrasted the traditional method involving physical forms, documents, and multiple intermediaries with the streamlined process of customers directly utilising their digital identities and signatures, along with mandatory online in-person verification (IPV).
Kamath's reflections on the benefits of digitisation resonated with many, including author Ankur Warikoo, who highlighted the dramatic shift from physical demat account forms to rapid online account opening. The transformation was described as almost magical and marked by remarkable growth.
Others praised the synergy between digital infrastructure and Zerodha, acknowledging the positive impact of technology simplifying processes and benefiting both businesses and customers. The conservation of trees through reduced paper usage was also recognised as a positive outcome of the digitisation journey.