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When Sensex falls, leave Toyota at home

Investors are not the only ones to be hit by the free-falling Sensex. Brokers at the Bombay Stock Exchange have been at the receiving end of the downslide as well, reports C Sujit Chandra Kumar.

business Updated: Jul 13, 2008 00:50 IST
C Sujit Chandra Kumar

Investors are not the only ones to be hit by the free-falling Sensex. Brokers at the Bombay Stock Exchange have been at the receiving end of the downslide as well. Though they go through the motions and check out every penny stock that moves up or down, there is no excitement.

Sapan Patil, whose JNP Shares and Stock Brokers Private Limited was started by his grandfather 60 years ago, said many brokers have cut down on staff and are delaying capital expenses.

“I am trying to get employees for lesser salaries and am thinking about not renewing certain software contracts,” said Patil. “At a personal level, too, we are thinking of cutting costs. I have sold two of my four cars that run on petrol and opted for diesel ones.”

Biswanath Muralidhar Jhunjhunwala, one of the senior-most brokers the city, now takes the train from his Malad home to his office instead of commuting in his Toyota Innova. The austerity measures extend to his office as well: tea and snacks are served twice a day instead of three times, as was done earlier.

Business is so dull that several brokers have been forced out of business. “Brokers now have few orders to execute as clients are staying away,” said Madhukar Sheth, a broker who now concentrates on consultancy to listed companies and his personal investments.

“People are worried and nervous. Sub-brokerships and dealerships are being cancelled,” added Rahul Nangalia (26) who joined his father’s brokerage firm about four years ago.

Naresh Bhalerao, a sub-broker, said business was down by 70 per cent while Nangalia put the slump in revenue at 40 per cent.