Zerodha co-founder Nikhil Kamath shared his thoughts on being a school dropout in an interview. Talking about societal stigma associated with low-barrier jobs regardless of success in monetary terms, he said, “My parents had given up on me. It felt like they had lost hope.”

Nikhil Kamath talked about his first job, insecurity about being a school dropout and the city of Bengaluru.

“Coming from a South Indian family with highly educated relatives, the pressure was on to follow a certain path of achievement. I believe my parents handled the situation better than expected, they showed gumption and faith in me,” he told The Print.

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He accepted that he felt “insecure” as “the psychology behind it is very interesting. So my first job at a call centre in Bengaluru when I was 17 used to pay me 8,000-9,000. I was feeling really good about myself because I had a wage, I had access to more money than my friends had access to at that point in time, and I’ve been precociously greedy for financial independence. You feel good from 17 to 22, while your friends are at college.”

He continued, “You start feeling unnerved when your friends graduate college and get their first job because there is societal stigma around a job which does not have an entry barrier. It could be any job. Call centre jobs did not require a degree they did not require expertise or proficiency of a certain kind, so societal stigma is there. You can be in a call center earning 1 lakh per month but a doctor earning 25,000 per month gets more societal acceptance. So by 22-23 when my classmates graduated and they started becoming doctors and engineers then you start feeling a little conscious.”

But he said that at some point in life “you’re comparing yourself to your peer group no matter how the peer group was created. This didn’t hurt me psychologically in the manner that it might have hurt many others because the circumstances were conducive”, he acknowledged.

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