Did you know, you could borrow money from your broker to execute a trade in the stock markets?
Moreover, did you know you could execute a trade worth Rs.1,00,000 even if you had a mere Rs.5,000 in your trading account?
The regulating bodies have taken note of this open market bargaining between the brokers and traders. And SEBI has come up with a peak margin rule to put an end to this leverage system.
What impact will it have on the traders as well as the brokers?
Will it separate the men from the boys in the trading ecosystem?
Let’s find out!
Also read: Truth Behind Gujarat’s Model of Development
Brokers or “Moneylenders”?
We know that a broker is someone who acts like a medium of any deal of buying or selling goods.
Just as we have a broker who connects the tenants to the flat owners; some brokers connect a stock market trader to the stock market exchange; so that the trader can buy and sell assets available on the stock exchange.
But these brokers have gone a step ahead to give leverage or margin money to their traders. This has gone well with the traders as well; and the traders have availed of this additional facility big time over the years.
If there was a broker who gave 10x leverage on margin money, there came another broker who offered 15x leverage to attract the traders and capture the market share.
No wonder why wouldn’t any outsider get fascinated to enter this broking business and start giving 20x leverage to make a captivating entry!
Brokers like SAS Online and Wisdom capital, just to name a few, offered 20x to 30x leverage to intraday traders.
So, let’s say if a trader wanted to sell Reliance Futures contract with a minimum margin requirement of Rs.1 lakh; he could do it with just Rs. 5,000 and the rest were paid by his broker who offered him 20x leverage (as Rs 5000 x 20 = 1 lakh).
This makes us think whether the brokers misunderstood their job portfolio and started offering more than what their primary job was?
Needless to say, the brokers did this extra leveraging to increase their profit margin.
How brokers used the loophole in regulations
It is not that the regulators did not have a regulation to keep the leverage system in control.
They did have a regulation that required the brokers to settle all the leveraged trades as per the minimum margin requirement by the end of the trading day. But this did not mean they could not give leveraged trades above the minimum margin requirement to the traders anytime during the day.
Hence, the brokers started offering extra margin money as leverage to the traders during the day; and squaring them off by the end of the day. This made sure they abided by SEBI’s rules and also made a good business during the entire day.
It is just like watching TV all day and sitting at the study table just before your parents came back home.
Concept of Minimum Margin- The already leveraged system
Before we understand SEBI’s peak margin rule, let’s understand what the minimum margin requirement is.
SEBI inherently allows a margin or leverage to every trader who is trading in stocks on an intraday basis. So, it is like; you need some minimum amount, if not all, in your account to execute a trade. This is what SEBI calls the minimum margin requirement.
For example, if you want to sell Reliance futures worth Rs.5 lakhs, you need to have a minimum margin requirement of 20% (let’s say) of 5 lakhs i.e. Rs. 1 lakh. So, if you have Rs. 1 lakh in your trading account; you can execute this trade worth Rs. 5 lakhs.
Isn’t it fascinating? And the fact that the regulator- SEBI itself allows for this leverage inherently makes it even more fascinating.
The problem arises when the brokers give even more leverage from their side during the day.
So, a broker offering 20x leverage over and above the minimum margin requirement of Rs. 1 lakh, will allow the trader to execute the trade with just Rs. 5000 in his account; as discussed earlier too.
This minimum margin requirement differs for every stock and every segment (like cash, F&O, etc). This is decided by the regulators using a wide range of data of that particular stock. Generally, it is around 20% for every stock and every segment.
SEBI’s Peak Margin Rule – the breaker for the brokers
The peak margin rule has been introduced to curb the broker’s practise of offering additional margin over and above the minimum margin requirement, which is inherently set by SEBI.
As discussed earlier, the brokers had to satisfy the minimum margin requirement at the end of the day to avoid penalty from the regulators.
Unlike earlier, the margin money blocked by the brokers will be checked by the regulators at any four random occasions during the day. The exchange will take snapshots of all margins during these random four occasions, and the highest margin of the four snapshots taken will become the peak margin.
Since this extra leverage has been continuing for many years now, SEBI decided to implement the peak margin rule in 4 tranches for a smooth transition.
SEBI decided to charge a penalty to the brokers who failed to block margin money as a percentage of the minimum margin requirement. Beginning from December 2020, the penalty rule was as follows:
- Dec 2020 to Feb 2021: Penalty, if margin blocked, is less than 25% of the minimum margin requirement (which is approximately 20% of the trade value for every stock)
- March 2021 to May 2021: Penalty if margin blocked less than 50% of the minimum margin required.
- June 2021 to Aug 2021: Penalty if margin blocked less than 75% of the minimum margin required.
- From Sept 2021: Penalty if margin blocked less than 100% of the minimum margin required.
So, after September 2021, every broker will have to ensure that his trader has the minimum margin amount in his trading account before he executes the trade. Failing to do this, the broker will have to pay a penalty to SEBI.
If you are reading this in April 2021, you can still execute an intraday trade with just 50% of the minimum margin requirement. Your broker will help you with the remaining 50%.
Also read: Technology Induced Poverty
Will it separate the men from the boys?
The brokers can no more lure the customers with customized additional leverage plans. They have to think of some other ways to sustain this cut-throat competition.
The brokers will have to concentrate on their technology and trading terminal interfaces.
There are so many instances from the past where the broker’s user interfaces have crashed due to technical errors. This keeps the trader’s hearts in their mouth during that shutdown period, as they can no longer terminate the existing trades irrespective of the market movements.
The brokers will have to spend more on technology; which will decide their categorization as elite or ordinary.
Manage resources with less revenue
Intraday trading accounts for around 30-40% of the revenue for every broker. With restrictions on margin trading, the brokers will lose around 20-30% of this revenue.
A leading broker like Zerodha will have a lesser impact, as it is already giving leverage on the lower side. But for other brokers offering higher leverage; the revenues can go down even further by 40-50%.
Hence, the broking industry will face this huge problem of a fall in revenues. It still has time before September 2021 to figure out their upcoming strategies; failing which they can be thrown out of the industry very easily.
Servicing the increasing customers
The number of trading accounts opened has seen a record high from April 2020 to January 2021. The once in a decade bullish run in the stock markets from April 2020 has attracted many to this field of stock market trading and investing. To everyone’s surprise, 17 lakh Demat accounts were opened in January 2021 itself.
The broking industry needs to cater to these new accounts, which are increasing by the day. The predicted fall in revenue after September 2021 will make it difficult for the brokers to provide quality service to every customer.
This rule of peak margin will throw new challenges to the intraday traders as well. The one who can adapt quickly to this new crunch of margin money will last long.
The stock markets have been flooding with liquidity since April 2020 due to the prolonged bull run. But as the peak margin rule comes into effect fully after September 2021, the intraday trading volumes will go down drastically. This will reduce the amount of cash in the market.
Due to less cash in the market, a brief bearish momentum can be seen. This will pose a challenge for all the traders.
The brokers also will lose customers if the stock market starts to show a negative or a bearish run; which is seen historically during every such bearish run.
Less liquidity will reduce the volatility in the market to some extent, as there won’t be buying or selling in huge volumes as before. This will go well with a few categories of traders and investors.
Lesser ‘Once upon a time traders’
Stock market trading is not a place where a new entrant can survive without discipline and constant learning. It is an art that can be mastered only with experience, which comes only with time.
It is said- “If you are here to learn, you will earn; but if you are here only to earn, you will only learn”.
Most of the new entrants fantasize quick earnings from the stock markets, with the leverage system giving additional wings to these fantasies.
After a fluke of some winning trades, the trader asks for even more leverage from the broker to maximize the profits. This acts like a trap and it keeps on building up which eventually erodes all the capital of the trader. This is the story of more than half of the ‘once upon a time traders’.
With the peak margin rule being implemented, we will produce lesser such traders.
Discipline in disguise
The capital in the trading account acts like fuel for the trader. The moment the capital erodes, the trader is thrown out of the stock markets.
The peak margin rule will ensure that the intraday trading doesn’t cost the entire capital to the trader at a single go. So, there can be many small losses; but not one big loss.
Many small losses are better than one big loss, as each loss teaches a lesson to the trader. So, it gives more time to the trader in the stock markets; which is directly proportional to more learning as well.
With more learning and experience, comes discipline. Hence, the peak margin rules can bring discipline in disguise for the traders.
Traders who will focus more on learning the subject will sustain after the peak margin rule is in full action. Staying updated and disciplined in money management, risk to reward analysis, position sizing, and trading psychology will definitely separate the men from the boys.
Change for the good
This peak margin rule will not change the life of a trader who anyhow never trades with the margin facility or only trades in cash instruments like delivery trading.
Stock market trading; especially the shorter duration trading like intraday, Futures and Options trading has for long been associated with ‘gambling’. The leveraged system of trading substantiated the fact even further.
The peak margin rule will for once remove this stigma on short-horizon trading and make it more fundamental and qualitative.
So, as far as the traders are concerned about peak margin from SEBI, it will wipe out the ignorant and keep the academic.
The broking industry will see a wholesome shift. The lesser-known brokers will prefer to adopt rather than leave the industry, which will bring them into the same domain of strength as the leading brokers.
Hence, as far as the brokers are concerned, it will not only separate the men from the boys; but it will also pose a threat for the men as few boys will challenge them too.
Well! On the whole, it is time to stabilize. Some maturity on its way in this field of stock market trading. If you still have some queries about the SEBI’s peak margin rules 2021 then you can share your queries in the comment section.
Private Company vs Public Company
The difference is more than literal
Do you know why you cannot buy shares of a private company?
So, can you only buy shares of a public company like ONGC, IRCTC, Indian Oil, etc.?
Then why are the shares of private companies like Infosys and Wipro listed on the stock exchange? Are these private companies to begin with?
Do you know a private company cannot have more than 200 members?
OMG! Somebody please answer all these questions.
Yes, the difference is more than literal.
Let us have a cut and dried distinction between a private and a public company.
Definition of Company
Let us take the bull by its horns and get the definitions out from the textbooks.
Companies Act 2013
A company is a legal entity that is formed by different individuals to generate profits through their commercial activities.
Majorly, a company can be classified into two strands- public company and private company.
Before knowing the difference between a public company and a private company, it is of utmost importance to check on the definitions of a public company and a private company as per the Companies Act 2013.
According to the Companies Act, 2013, a “public company” is a company which—
(a) is not a private company
(b) has a minimum paid-up share capital of five lakh rupees
According to Section 2(68) of the Companies Act, 2013, private companies are those companies whose articles of association restrict the transferability of shares and prevent the public at large from subscribing to them.
According to the Companies Act 2013, a public company has to mandate all legal proceedings which are not mentioned in the definition under Section 2(68) of the Companies Act, 2013, which pertain to a private company.
Difference Between a Public And Private Company
Let’s look at all the major pointers which differentiate a public Company and a private company.
Minimum Number of Members
In a public company, a minimum of 7 members is required to form a company; whereas a private company requires at least 2 members to form a company.
Maximum Number of Members
In a private company, a maximum of 200 members can be present to form a company; whereas in a public company there is no such restriction on the maximum number of members to form a public company.
Invitation To Public
A public company can freely invite the public for subscription, which implies it can issue a prospectus. On the other hand, a public company is prohibited from inviting the public for its share capital, which means a private company cannot issue a prospectus.
Number Of Directors
In a private company, a minimum of 2 directors is required; whereas in a public company, a minimum of 3 directors is required.
Transferability Of Shares
There is no restriction on transferability of shares in a public company; whereas in a private company there are complete restrictions on transferability of shares, through its article of association.
A public company must disclose the annual financial report; whereas for a private company, there is no such obligation to disclose their annual report to the public.
Index Of Members
In a public company, it is mandatory to maintain an index of all members in the company, whereas in a private company, it is not needed to maintain the index of its members.
The minimum paid-up capital for a private company is Rs. 1 lakhs; whereas the minimum paid-up capital for a public company is greater than that of a private company. It is Rs. 5 lakhs for a public company.
In case of a public company, it is defined that total managerial remuneration cannot exceed 11% of net profits and in the case of inadequate profit, the maximum amount to be paid is Rs. 87,500. Whereas in a private company there is no such restriction on the maximum cap for directors’ remuneration.
Quorum For Meetings
In the case of a public company, it is mandatory to have a personal presence of five members in a meeting to constitute quorum, whereas in a private company, it requires a minimum of two members to maintain a quorum for meetings.
Below is an array with a list of pointers that differentiates a public company and a private company.
|S.NO||BASIS||PUBLIC COMPANY||PRIVATE COMPANY|
|1||MINIMUM MEMBERS||AT LEAST 7 MEMBERS||AT LEAST 2MEMBERS|
|2||MAXIMUM MEMBERS||NO MAXIMUM LIMIT||CAN’T EXCEED 200 MEMBERS|
|3||INVITATION TO PUBLIC FOR SHARE CAPITAL||POSSIBLE WITH THE HELP OF PROSPECTUS||CAN’T INVITE PUBLIC FOR ITS SHARE|
|4||NUMBER OF DIRECTORS||MINIMUM OF 3 DIRECTORS||MINIMUM OF 2 DIRECTORS|
|5||TRANSFERABILITY OF SHARES||FREELY TRANSFERABLE||RESTRICTIONS ON TRANSFERABILITY|
|6||ANNUAL REPORT||COMPULSORY TO SUBMIT ANNUAL REPORT TO ROC||NOT A MANDATE TO SUBMIT ANNUAL REPORT TO ROC|
|7||INDEX OF MEMBERS||MAINTAINING INDEX OF MEMBERS IS MANDATE||NO NEED TO MAINTAIN INDEX OF MEMBERS|
|9||DIRECTORS/MANAGERIAL REMUNERATION||CANNOT EXCEED 11% OF NET PROFIT||NO LIMIT / NO RESTRICTIONS|
|10||QUORUM FOR MEETINGS||5||2|
“The best investment is in the tools of one’s own trade.”- Benjamin Franklin
It is always better to be well versed with the tools of one’s own trade and the management of the inflows and outflows.
An avid tradesman associates their trade to generate profits and simplify the trade complexities by forming a company. These differences stated above lay down the basics of companies and form a guided path for a better approach to start with a company.
Here Is Why Entrepreneurs Should Go Out and Start Networking
Don’t hide behind. Face your circles. It’s high time you start networking.
We have often watched Hindi films where protagonists aspire to be a rich men as a kid. And hence they start thinking of different business ideas to be successful.
Well, this happens in reality as well. Who doesn’t dream of starting their own business one day, right?
However, business is not as easy as eating a piece of cake. And no, you don’t need to have a Ph.D. or an MBA degree to start a business.
You just need to have clarity of thoughts; about the business idea, sales and marketing, and most importantly, NETWORKING.
Today, everyone needs everything. The circle of needs and demands has become wider. Everything in entrepreneurship is becoming more interconnected. Just like the Past, Present, and Future in the web series “Dark”.
Networking is the one and only way to get to know what’s around you. From having conversations with your parents to your fruit vendors or even your house helps, you never know what brings you to the peak of your business.
We will share our two cents to convince you enough to go out and start networking if you are a budding entrepreneur. Pardon us if these two cents become 4 or more, but you will definitely not regret reading this till the end.
Entrepreneurship And Networking
The first thing that any budding entrepreneur does, while starting their own business, is to spread the word about it.
The first set of people that they talk to are their family, friends, and even banks (for financial purposes). Although these efforts may or may not materialize into something fruitful, you learn a thing or two about the ABCs of networking.
Networking is one way to get clarity of thoughts about your business. It’s like building a blueprint of your business in mind. You not only know the industry better but also get to know the loopholes and healthy shortcuts that will save time and increase efficiency.
In the ABCs of business, “A” stands for “recognizing the needs and expectations of people around you.”
Networking is the first step to recognize the gap between demand and supply. It’s similar to providing electricity to those areas with no light, and the idea and motivation behind it.
So now that you are still reading, let’s go further and discuss the importance of networking in entrepreneurship:
Builds Trust And Respect
You may or may not earn money every day from your business. But once you earn trust and respect in the market, there is no way that people will forget you easily.
It’s a fact.
Earning money is easy.
But earning trust and respect takes more effort.
Networking with your business peers or veterans will get you noticed. Initially, you won’t find them paying heed to you, but once they do, they are never going to leave you.
People believe in aggressive marketing to increase sales and business. But try aggressive networking instead, and there will be no stopping for you in the future.
Remember, making friends in schools and colleges? It’s a similar situation in entrepreneurship, too.
Going social is one way you get confidence in networking with people in the future.
Did you ever come across someone who would go to a restaurant with you and start talking to the waiters and receptionists?
Well, you may feel awkward about it, but that’s their first step to get to know the surrounding market.
Start from a party that you attend, be it a family party or a party with friends. Join a group of your choice and listen to the conversations. Once you get the grip of it, start by putting forth your views and then turn it around to your business idea. This may look boring and slow, but slow and steady will definitely win the race.
Today, there are many millennial-made apps, like Bumble, LinkedIn, etc. that encourage people to build an entrepreneurial network in any industry of their choice. Start posting. Start swiping right to the connections that interest you.
For that matter, you can even join dating apps to build professional connections. Your first conversation about your business will be a good ice-breaker (You’ll thank us later for this pro tip).
Don’t Be Selective In Your Own Circles
A very common mistake that most “choosy” or “picky” people do, is being very selective in deciding who to network with.
Today, almost all industries are interconnected. A top-class hospital will always need catering or food services for their staff and patients. A hotel will always want to have options for good clothes vendors for room and restaurant linen.
So if you limit yourself to one or two industries, and sideline others, chances are that you may lose a lot of opportunities.
Expand yourself. Even if you are not sure about it at first. Take that first call that says “our budget is low”, when you know that you have a different area of expertise to explore.
Your Shyness And Fear Will Only Put You Behind The Race
Entrepreneurship requires you to go “out-of-your-circles” more than going “out-of-the-box”.
You are likely to face uncomfortable situations all the time. You have to become an extrovert if you are a highly introverted person. You can’t hide from people who you dislike. You can’t say goodbye to those people whom you are done working with.
Your fear, your shyness will start putting you behind the race of a successful entrepreneur.
You have to be outspoken. Pave your way and lead it too. Take others along the way and build a huge business “family”.
Remember Abhishek Bachchan in the film “Guru”?
No, you need not be exactly like him, but you are expected to know why to be like him. And take your own decisions from the existing lessons.
It’s A Long Road That Will Definitely Lead You To Your Vision
Networking is a continuous process. You don’t stop after a certain level of achievement.
Starting a business is not enough, you have to keep it running. And for that purpose, you may need to explore your potential networks.
It’s often expected from budding entrepreneurs to network only with business-minded people to start and run a business successfully. What they don’t realize is that business is made by people, for people, and with people.
So start networking – whether virtually, or face-to-face. Get that business idea in place, get started with your plans, and you will surely reach a place where you can write “successful entrepreneur” in your social media bio.
2021’s India Is Atmanirbhar: 10 Desi Unicorn Startups
With 10 startups joining the unicorn club in just 4 months of 2021, is India moving towards Atmanirbhartha?
The Many Firsts of a Fantastic First Quarter of 2021!
The Indian startup ecosystem got an impressive start in the first quarter of 2021. As per Venture Intelligence, Indian startups witnessed the highest investment in two years, and the capital flow was $4.2 billion!
This is not all.
Most of the startups saw a three-fold hike in valuation in their recent funding rounds. And among these, 10 got valued at more than $1 billion.
And hence, the Indian startup ecosystem received its new set of unicorns.
The unicorn story of 2021 is unique.
Because it is the one with many firsts.
The first health tech, social commerce, e-pharmacy, and infrastructure technology that made its way into the unicorn club.
According to the NASSCOM report, India will have 50 unicorns by the end of 2021.
But many industry experts and research firms believe that, if the current rate continues, India would easily surpass this number.
Here is the list of 10 Indian startups that gave 2021 a pleasant start.
- Digit Insurance
- Five Star Business Finance
The Beginning of Unicorn
If you know any entrepreneur personally, you may have an idea how difficult it is to raise the funds for a startup. It is definitely not a cakewalk.
The fundraising usually begins with family and friends. And as the company expands, it approaches angel investors, and then goes for the venture capitalists for the fund acquisition.
Even though it is a tough task for any startup to gain the investors’ confidence, some horses pass this race and achieve the unicorn tag.
For those who are new to the concept of unicorn, it is a startup that has a valuation of $1 billion or more in the venture capital industry. And Aileen Lee, the founder of Cowboy Ventures, coined the term ‘unicorn’ in 2013.
And since then, startups are continuously striving to attain this prestigious status.
India Didn’t Have a Great Start
When Aileen Lee coined the term ‘unicorn’ in 2013, the United States had 39 unicorns.
You may ask, what about India?
There was only one company called InMobi, the mobile-advertising services provider, that could make it to the unicorn club.
India was nowhere closer to the US in the matter of unicorns. The reasons were many:
- Limited funding
- Inadequate infrastructure
- A plethora of social and cultural challenges
- Lack of talent
- College students found entrepreneurship unappealing compared to the management jobs in large IT firms.
- The aspiring entrepreneurs often got rejected by the prospective brides and their families.
India Slowly Picked Up the Pace
Even though India’s unicorn story had a not-so-brilliant start, the current scenario looks promising.
As per Venture Intelligence data, there were only 10 unicorns until 2018, and since then, there has been the addition of 28 unicorns.
For an Indian startup, on average, it would take up to 8 years to turn into a unicorn.
India’s oldest startups, like Naukri.com, MakeMyTrip, and Justdial, which began its operation prior to 2005, took 15 years to achieve the unicorn title.
But this period has shrunk in recent times.
A recent report by Orios Venture Partners shows that the newer technology firms are hitting the billion-dollar mark in less time than their older counterparts.
The younger enterprises such as Swiggy, Rivigo, Razorpay, and Unacademy joined the unicorn club in 5 years on average. Whereas, Udaan, Ola, Electric, and Glance took just 2.4 years!
What could be the reason for this transition?
As per the Orios Venture Partners report, the reason behind the younger startups turning unicorn sooner could be:
- The prior entrepreneurship experience of the founders of these companies
- These founders know how to secure the funds more efficiently
- The growth mindset
There are two other reasons the investors from India, and all over the world, are backing the Indian startups with their funds:
- Indian startups leveraged the changing consumer behavior and quickly tweaked themselves to satisfy the needs of the customers
- These companies started functioning on the fact that “Focus on the market and the customers will ensure your growth”
Will ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’ Soon Be a Reality?
India’s honorable Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, raised a clarion call to the country to be self-reliant, aka Atmanirbhar in all senses.
He also outlined the five pillars of Atmanirbhar Bharat:
- Demography, and
You may ask, how startups can help in making India self-reliant?
The Indian startup ecosystem had a slow and steady evolution from one sector to the other, ranging from IT/ITES to e-commerce, deep technology to hyper delivery networks.
Today, startups also have the most favorable conditions to survive and flourish, starting from the funding, development of regulatory infrastructure, global mergers and acquisitions, the influx of global investors to internationalization.
Do you know what brought this revolution to the world’s third-largest startup ecosystem?
It is the government’s mission to get as many entrepreneurial stories as possible through its programs like Startup India, Stand up India, Digital India, and Vocal for Local.
And the unicorn forms one-tenth of new industries coming into existence every year.
The increase in the number of tech unicorns is driving the investors’ interest in India’s startup ecosystem.
According to a report by NASSCOM, the startups in the technology field alone have created 60,000 direct jobs in 2019.
These data show that, if more startups come into existence, and get support from the investors and from the government, India could see a greater spike in job opportunities.
Atmanirbhar citizens make Atmanirbhar Bharat, don’t you agree?