Be brave. Take risks. Nothing can substitute experience. The words of Paul Coelho aptly summaries the journey of Shyam Sekhar. Tossing up between studying economics and engineering, he reluctantly took on the second. After completing engineering, his earlier calling returned.The hunger and curiosity of economics and business took over. The natural progression led to investing. Hanging around with fellow investors who shared the same passion, he spent the next few years thinking economics and stocks every waking hour. Equity research in India was an evolving discipline in the early nineties and setting up a research desk was the logical next. But, what made it unique was that he never sold his research. Research was proprietary and used by a small group of investors with shared beliefs and values. Knowledge and information were shared freely within this peer group.
Being an independent thinker with set values and beliefs, he took a conscious decision never to work in any company. Knowing that it made sense not to work in an environment where the values mismatched, he dreamt of building a clean consulting business in investment strategy on his own. But, the nineties were early days. That left him with investing as the only option. So building a proprietary portfolio was the way to go. Researching businesses, spotting opportunities and building portfolios was all he did for a decade.The dream of building an investment strategy business got anchored in 2003. He started Smartvalue Equisearch private limited as an investment strategy firm. Over the next eight years, he built a professional research and strategy firm with domain expertise in equity research, investment strategy, fund research and investment analytics. The firm is poised to break new ground with ithought, it’s wealth management division that rolled in 2008 just when the markets bottomed. The dream of building an investor centric business of scale and substance is now playing out.