This is maybe the first time I am introducing someone here not on my own, but through a testimonial, and that too from a legend himself.
Here’s how Prof. Sanjay Bakshi describes the investor I am profiling today, Arpit Ranka –
Arpit is one of the finest human beings I have ever met. He is trustworthy, ethical, humble, spiritual, and diligent. Many years ago when he approached me through his wonderful brother Arpan (who was my student at MDI), I allowed him to sit in my class. He was the best student in my class. Later he worked with me for many years.
Arpit is a very successful value investor who loves his craft. Anyone who associates with him should consider himself or herself lucky. I am lucky to have him in my life.
Now for a more formal introduction. Arpit is a value investor based out of Mumbai. He is an avid reader and considers himself fortunate to have found his passion in value investing. He has worked with two of the leading value investors in India, Prof. Sanjay Bakshi and Late Mr. Parag Parikh before starting out on his own. Apart from investing, his interests include movies, music, Buddhism, and travelling.
For whatever little I’ve known Arpit for the past few years, I count him amongst the finest thinkers among the younger lot of value investors in India. That he breathes value investing would be an understatement.
For this interview, Arpit has been generous in letting his thoughts flow freely. And as you would realize by the end of the interview, there are great lessons that we can draw from his invaluable experience.
Let’s now dive straight into the interview.
Safal Niveshak (SN): Could you tell us a little about your background and how you got interested in investing?
Arpit Ranka (AR): It’s been a roller-coaster ride — growing up in a small town in Tamil Nadu called Tirukoilur, to dropping out of engineering within the first couple of weeks, to spending an year learning the pharmaceutical wholesale business at my maternal uncle’s shop in Jodhpur, to working for a month or two as an operator at a BOLT in Jodhpur, to get to work with two of the leading value investors in the country, to eventually becoming a full time investor and starting out on my own, twice over.
I will not bore you with the details except for highlighting two important developments along the way, which led me to value investing.
Firstly, in hindsight, dropping out of the engineering college is one of the best decisions I have taken as yet. While I had no clue what I would be doing with my life when I made that decision (I had not even heard of value investing then) but I became a voracious reader the very day I dropped out. I was scared to death that I might end up a failure and introducing myself to books seemed like my best bet to avoid that fate. After dropping out, I read like a maniac for a few years.
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