Shalabh Agarwal is the founder of Snowball Capital Investment Advisors LLP. After spending a decade in the equities industry, Shalabh quit his steady and lucrative job in one of the best mutual fund houses in India to follow his passion of value investing. With a strong desire to unravel the stock market mystery, he read varied literature on investing – it was all quite confusing till he came in contact with Warren Buffett through his annual letters and books written on him. Since then Shalabh has been an avid follower of the Value Investing philosophy.
Shalabh has a professional experience of more than ten years including seven years as a ‘buy-side’ analyst in the Indian mutual fund industry. He graduated as a Mechanical Engineer from IIT Delhi and went on to acquire an MBA from IIM Bangalore.
Safal Niveshak (SN): Could you tell us a little about your background, and how you got interested in value investing?
Shalabh Agarwal (SA): I graduated from IIT Delhi in Mechanical Engineering in the year 2000. Generally, the fourth year is less intensive and so most of my time was spent on my B.Tech Project (final year major project), billiards and on surfing. Internet was still new to the campus and I remember Moneycontrol launching virtual stock market games. This was a period when markets were going berserk – shares hitting circuits on almost daily basis.
With absolutely no knowledge of stocks, this euphoria was intriguing enough for me to start participating in virtual stock market games. As luck would have it, I won some weekly / monthly portfolio contests and started receiving Rs 200 / Rs 500 bank cheques as prize money. Now this was something big as the dosa (a South Indian delicacy) at IIT Delhi’s subsidized restaurant used to cost ~Rs 5 then – suddenly, the cash starved me had enough to treat his friends!
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