India still has a long way to go when it comes to drawing participation of the general public in the financial markets. For a country having a total population of 130 crore people out of which 35% is estimated to be the working class, currently only 88 lakh people hold a demat account. It is fair to assume that since a demat account is a mandatory requirement for investing and trading in stock markets, that is the total number of people participating in the stock markets.
Types of Stock Brokers in India
There are primarily 2 types of stock brokers in India:
1. Full-service Brokers
These are the companies that have been in the business of stock broking for a very long time, probably before the mainstream adoption of internet driven stock trading and mandatory dematerialization of shares. These companies are usually the subsidiaries of existing financial institutions like banks, insurance companies, etc. In addition to providing core stock broking services, they also provide a wide array of secondary services like wealth advisory, portfolio management, research services, etc.
These companies have established a wide geographical footprint across India in the form of physical branches, sub-brokers and agents. The business model of these full-service brokers depend upon charging a percentage based commission fees on the transactions undertaken by their clients.
Examples: Sharekhan, ICICI Direct, HDFC Securities, etc.
2. Discount Brokers
These are the companies that are relatively new and have come into being on the backbone of the growing internet penetration in India. These companies rely solely on their technological platforms and do not have any physical network presence in terms of branches or offices.
They fully operate digitally and hence are able to charge lower fees as compared to their counterparts (and hence the name discount brokers). Their business model relies on charging a flat fee ranging from ₹10-20 per transaction irrespective of the total value of the transaction.
Examples: Zerodha, Upstox, Fyers, 5paisa, etc.
Stock Broking Industry – Market Snapshot
- Total Stock Brokers: 287
- Total Active Clients: 87,82,207
- Stock Brokers having more than 1 lakh clients: 18
- Top 7 brokers hold more than 51% of the total market share.
- Market Leader (no. of clients):Zerodha (9.09 lakh)
- Market Leader (% share): Zerodha (11.06%)