In 2009, Rajesh Vora, Vice President of Sharekhan, an equities focused organization in India, set out in search of a trading education business to help investors make better investments.
“Nothing of this kind existed in India. It was a completely untapped market,’ says Rajesh.
Sharekhan, tracing its lineage to SSKI, a veteran equities solutions company with over five decades of experience in Indian stock markets had approximately one million customers.
“Most of them were losing a lot of money in the financial markets, not knowing at all what they were doing, doing all sorts of crazy stuff,” says Rajesh. “There was a great need for some kind of professional trading education for Indian traders.
That’s when Rajesh found Online Trading Academy half way around the world.
“The power of Google,” he says.” Rajesh then sent an email to Ralph Loberger, VP of Business Development.
“I got a reply within the hour. ‘Yes. If you're interested, we're interested. Let's talk.’"
“In February of 2010, Online Trading Academy announced the proud partnership with Sharekhan to open a financial education center in Mumbai, India with Rajesh Vora as the General Manager. At the time, we were a one center, one product company. Today, we have centers in Mumbai, New Delhi, Ahmedabad, Hyderabad, Chennai, and Bangalore and have expanded from 7 to 150 employees, and from 0 to 15,000 students. It's been a wonderful journey,” says Rajesh.
“And we have just scratched the surface. There is tremendous potential to help people achieve their WHY in life through trading and investing in the financial markets.”
Rajesh has always been fascinated by the world of stock markets. Although he has an engineering background, it became quite clear to him post engineering degree that he wanted to get into trading. Rajesh went back to school and got an MBA degree in finance, finally entering the financial markets as a broker in 1994.
“For 15 years I was on the other side of the financial markets, part of a broken organization. I saw how people on the other side, how retail investors and retail traders struggled and were losing money. I wanted to do something to help them out.”
That's where the Online Trading Education comes in.
“The broker typically does not sit on the same side of the table with the customer,” says Rajesh, “but as an educator, you're actually sitting on the same side of the table with the trader and the investor.”
This gives Rajesh a lot of satisfaction, and one of the reasons he is in this business.
“I really want to help people,” says Rajesh.
“Someone once asked me, "What's your business? Is it an education business or is it a trading business?
“To me, we're in the people business. The financial market is not an easy place for an individual to exist. There are all kinds of institutions, brokers, and other players. To not only survive, but to thrive, you require the ‘best of’ education, the ‘best of’ support, the ‘best of tools’. You need to be a part of the ‘best of’ community of traders and investors. That's what Online Trading Academy brings to the table for individual investors and traders. It's the culture, the people, the passion, the love, the bonding and the alignment, all coming from the purpose of wanting to help people transform their lives.”
And they are doing just that. Rajesh shares a story about a call he received from one of their students. “I happened to know this guy because he was a broking customer of Sharekhan, prior to partnering with Online Trading Academy. He said, " Rajesh, I've called to say thank you."
"You're thanking me for what?" I said.
"I'm thanking you because you're the one who brought Online Trading Academy to India.’
"It's probably the best investment I ever made in my life. The support and the love that you get from Online Trading Academy as a franchisee is unbelievable. You're in the best of hands. No doubts about it.”
“Rajesh and the growing OTA India team have been fantastic representatives of our brand in India,” says Mark Patrick, OTA’s VP of Franchise Support. “They are tremendously innovative and everything they do promotes our culture of relentless commitment to student success by generating loving interactions with our student community and the OTA team worldwide. We are so proud of all Rajesh and his team have accomplished and look forward to great expansion throughout India.”
To read more about Rajesh and his passion for educating and empowering investors, check out the “In Depth” piece in The Sharekhan Times below: