Published: 02nd June 2021
Here's how StockGro is helping millennials learn stock trading through fantasy gaming and competitions
Learning about stocks and shares can also be all fun and games, here's proof. Shreesha Ghosh speaks to StockGro's founder to know more about the platform that's teaching youngsters how to trade
Algebra, trigonometry, calculus — there are only certain professions where knowing these come in handy. But paying taxes and investing smartly for the future are financial skills that every working professional needs to know. But when it comes to understanding investments and financial diversification, our education system is lagging far behind. We young professionals still find it hard to file our taxes on our own, understand the equity market and the world of trading and investing because not enough emphasis is being given to teaching students about these potentially important life subjects in school or college. Here is a start-up that aims to solve this issue using a teaching method that bests suits this generation — gamification. Launched in January 2020 by Ajay Lakhotia, StockGro is a platform that enables social investment and trading among millennials. StockGro's gamified model of real-time stock trading allows youngsters to witness the market first-hand as well as experiment with buying and selling stocks without any risk, helping them overcome the fear of losing money that is often tied to the stock market.
Ajay Lakhotia, Founder, StockGro
Explaining why he felt the need for a platform like StockGro, Ajay shares that the idea came from the fact that millennials are scared to invest. "What we observed is that most people, especially millennials, have the intention to invest but all their money is sitting in fixed deposits or their savings accounts. The reason they don't invest in alternative places, such as in stocks, is primarily because they are afraid of losing money and, secondly, they don't understand financial jargon. We have more than 450 million millennials in India of which government data says that 170 million of them have $10,000 worth of investable income that is just sitting with them. Our whole aim is to make the next generation investment-ready and help them learn this. In our entire education system, there are no courses that really teach one how to invest their money. Our families have taught us how to save money the conventional way and that's what we all are doing. To overcome these barriers, we launched StockGro."
With over 2,50,000 monthly active users, StockGro has over 55 business schools on board to help their students learn trading and investment. This is how the platform works, explains Ajay, "When users sign up on our platform, they get `10 lakh as virtual money in their account. They start building their portfolio with that and invest in stocks. Everything else is real-time — whatever prices they are looking at, the process of making an investment and so on. It doubles as a social networking platform as people also discuss with each other when they come on board. Mostly, we have onboarded people from B-Schools like IIM Calcutta and Bangalore, who then run their own league or competitions on our platform. We also conduct open competitions for all of our users. These competitions are conducted daily or as weekly contests, people can participate in groups or individually.
A screenshot of the StockGro app
These leagues and competitions come with cash prizes starting from `10,000 to 1 lakh. On average, on a daily basis, `6 lakh is given away as cash prizes to people winning the best portfolio of the day, of the week and so on. A portfolio is basically a basket of stocks a user has picked up, whoever has been able to generate maximum returns is the winner of the competition." When users join a league, they pay a minimum fee of`10-100, that's how the platform collects money that is then redistributed among the winners.
Eight business schools are currently in discussion with StockGro to make the platform a part of their curriculum to aid their students to hone their skills in the stock market. Ajay, who is an MBA from the Indian School of Business and an entrepreneur right out of college, adds, "We are in talks with these B-Schools to make stock trading a certificate course as a part of their core curriculum. Going forward, we also wish to partner with financial institutions, which will help our users gradually shift to real market trading from the virtual trading that we now do on our platform."