Radhakishan Damani, the 67-year-old founder and promoter of retail chain D-Mart, was a legendary investor and share trader before he became a legendery entrepreneur. The stunning success of D-Mart is credited entirely to Damani. The public offer of D-Mart’s holding company Avenue Supermarts today made a spectacular debut on BSE, as its shares got listed at a 102.14 per cent premium. D-Mart is valued more than the combined market capitalisation of its two biggest rivals,Future Retail and Aditya Birla Fashion.
1. Keep an eye on the long term
For example, like Warren Buffett, Damani is a value investor with a shrewd sense of the long term. In business, too, he took the same approach. Unlike other entrepreneurs, he didn’t rely on any quick fixes; he simply founded D-Mart. For example, he doesn’t lease property for his stores. That way, it saves him from higher monthly expenses. One reason for the D-Mart’s profitability was.
2. Small is big
From the beginning, Damani was diligent and chose to remain on a small scale to maximize his company’s supply chain and to become profitable. Over the past 15 years, D-Mart has profited every year.
3. Value your people
The first step he took was acquiring a franchise of Apna Bazar. After that, he worked to develop personal relationships with suppliers and vendors. He cares about both equally and they always meet his needs. He never has trouble getting what he needs from them.
4. Buy low, sell cheap
Damani knew exactly what he was doing by providing customers with everyday essentials at greatly reduced prices. This goal became his obsession, and one of his methods was to pay his suppliers and vendors within days instead of weeks which was industry standard. They offered him their goods at a cheaper rate in lieu of receiving an early payment, and he used this cost benefit to give his customers an incentive to visit, which is good for business.
5. Go local
Although it’s the most successful grocery retailer in the country, Damani’s success is limited to the western states. One reason is his reliance on local produce instead of using more elaborate supply chains.
6. Go slow
Though D-Mart opened 17 years ago, it still has 119 stores in a few states, a small number compared to those owned by Ambani and Biyani. Instead of trying to expand rapidly, Damani instead chose to grow more slowly and profitably. Therefore, no store has been closed since the store’s founding and its revenues are higher per store than the chains of either Ambani or Biyani.
7. No frills
Damani knew the true aim of his business was to provide consumer goods at lower prices. And that’s just what he did, never neglecting the necessities while embracing efficiency. People can only find a select number of items in his stores and there is minimal decor. People only come for one thing the world sees the worth in what he offers and that he reflects that same worth in his appearance. He wears only a white shirt and a white trouser suit, which is why he is called Mr. White and White.
8. Ignore the herd
Damani learnt how to beat the herd while investing and keeps this philosophy in mind when he’s an entrepreneur. There have been lots of new developments in retail, like e-commerce trends. The man isn’t interested because he knows what he wants and knows how to get it.
9. Avoid credit
Being granted credit and accepting late payments can have detrimental effects on one’s inventory and budget. Damani shuns both and always pays his suppliers on time.
10. Let your work speak
Damani stays away from the spotlight, meaning he can put all his focus into his work. With this focus and the sluggishness of the construction industry, he’s made a name for himself. He rarely gives interviews to any TV channels or newspapers.