Meet R Damani: An overnight Billionaire with a midas touch

We all know and read about the leading businessmen of India. There are the Tatas, the Birlas and the Ambanis. A silent investor, Radhakishan Damani,  recently made it to the Forbes 2017 Billionaire list which the bamboozeled big-wits and anslysts watched in awe!

Marketers had a big day as shares of Avenue Supermart, the parent company of D-Mart opened to a massive 102 percent higher than the issue price. It was the best listing-day performance in 13 years for Avenue Supermarts. At the end, it left D-Mart founder Radhakishan Damani ahead of big business names such as Anil Ambani, Ajay Piramal and Adi Godrej.
Who is R Damani?

A simple stock broker turned entrepreneur, R Damani, is believed to be the man with Midas touch. 61-year-old Damani and his family holds 82 percent stake in the retail chain Avenue Supermarkets, the operators of D-Mart stores. Residing at Altamount Road in South Mumbai, Damani is now worth $5.4 billion that amounts to roughly ₹35,775 crore.

Coming from family into ball bearing business, he entered stock market as a broker and trader in 80s. Known to be a shrewd investor who digs deeper into the company, Damani has always maintained a low-profile. He is popularly known as ‘Mr White and White’ for his love of dressing up in only that colour. He is also known to be a mentor to billionaire investor Rakesh Jhunjhunwala. Damani makes no public appearances and doesn’t talk to the press.

The stellar rise and rise of R Damani

Another great quality is said to be gauging people. For instance, he convinced Hindustan Unilever executive Neville Noronha to switch and today Noronha sits at the helm of DMart. It should be noted that Noronha doesn’t come from an elite business school.

“D-Mart is now worth substantially more than the combined Rs 24,000 crore market capitalisation of its BSE-listed peers-Future Retail, Trent, V-Mart Retail, Shopper’s Stop and Provogue,” according to The Times of India. After a stellar listing of ₹604 that is more than double the IPO price of ₹299, it further rose to 114 percent to about ₹641.

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