Best Buddies 2017

Motilal Oswal and Raamdeo Agrawal

Why the MOFSL founders are the Jai and Veeru of Dalal Street

Soumik Kar

It all began with a bike ride. When Raamdeo Agrawal offered a lift to Motilal Oswal on his way to Andheri in Mumbai, the duo had no idea that they would one day become the most prominent names on Dalal Street. At that time, Agrawal was just helping a fellow junior staying at his hostel, but eventually their journey was going to be much longer than a bike ride. Oswal thinks that the movie Sholay depicts their friendship very well. Just like how Jai and Veeru’s friendship remained resilient through life’s highs and lows in the movie, Agrawal and Oswal, too, have stuck by each other through various tumultuous phases of the market with sheer conviction and, of course, a little bit of luck. Starting out as sub-brokers in 1987, today Motilal Oswal Financial Services (MOFSL), which clocks a revenue of more than Rs.1,000 crore, has a diverse range of businesses under its fold including the AMC business, private equity, wealth management, home finance, retail broking, institutional equities and investment banking. It is hard to miss the contrast in their personalities. If they were to reprise the central characters in a remake of Sholay, then Agrawal, with his fun-loving demeanour, would be a natural fit for Veeru’s role while the sedate and soft-spoken Oswal could seamlessly fit into Jai’s character.