Sleep doesn’t come easy if you are an analyst on Dalal Street. When hundreds of important clients with serious money are looking to you for direction in a market that often seems to have a mind of its own, the pressure to make the right calls—and typically, ahead of the curve—is intense. Yet, there are a handful of men—and a woman, this year—who manage to keep an accurate pulse on the industries and stocks they follow. We feature 11 analysts who are the favourites of fund managers for a very good reason: they are the best around.
1. Bhavtosh Vajpayee, CLSA: He’s a star analyst who almost didn’t become an analyst to begin with. Vajpayee’s best call last year was the downgrade of IT services sector, a move that, he says, “was a quarter too early but eventually turned out well”.
2. Jagdishwar Toppo, Enam Securities: Meet Jadishwar Toppo who tore through 1500km of southern India in just four days to figure out how cement capacities were shaping up. To his surprise, most of the new capacity was behind schedule. That led him to conclude that till the end of March 2010, demand for cement will continue to outstrip supply…
3. Jatinder Agarwal, ABN AMRO: A Chattered cum Cost Accountant by profession is the youngest equity analyst in this year’s list. Jatinder agarwal started his career at Man Financial (formerly Refco) and spent more than six years with it. Following a stint looking after international markets for a while, Agarwal graduated to covering the banking sector.
4. Nilesh Jasani, Credit Suisse Securities (India): Challenges apart, the IIT Bombay and IIM Calcutta graduate is happy to be back in India. “This market doesn’t run on a single or a few parameters. There is so much to learn from people and policy makers around,” says Jasani, who returned to India after working for 11 years in various markets in Asia Pacific.
5. Rahul Singh, Citigroup Investor Research: He has been through the tech crash of 2000, so the current market meltdown isn’t the worst he has seen. Yet, for Rahul Singh, who has made it to this list for the third time, it is a humbling experience…
6. Rajesh Panjwani, CLSA: Panjwani, an alumnus of IIM Ahmedabad, joined CLSA straight from campus in 2000, and tracks the power and engineering sectors. He says he was glad he did not get swayed by the excessive bullishness on the power sector…
7. Rakesh Arora, Macquarie Capital Securities: An equity analyst for over three years, Rakesh Arora, Associate Director for Research (Basic Materials) at Macquarie Capital Securities, has put out some incredible calls including “Buys” on Tata Steel, JSW Steel, Gujarat NRE Coke, and India Cements…
8. Sanjeev Prasad, Kotak Securities: He is the Amitabh Bachchan Or the Shah Rukh Khan of the analysts’ community. Sanjeev Prasad has made it to this list for the fifth year in a row. When BT asks him how he feels about this, he says: “You can now put me in the Hall of Fame list.”
9. Satyam Agarwal, Motilal Oswal: He can recommend a “Buy” on any stock and it will go up. But it’s only when the going gets tough—as it has in the case of engineering and infrastructure sectors—that analyst recommendations come under investor scrutiny, and the best analysts stand out. That is the reason why Satyam Agarwal, the analyst at Motilal Oswal Securities, features on our Best Equity Analysts list.
10. Surendra Goyal, Citigroup Investor Research: Surendra Goyal has seen the game of stock research from both sides—as a buy-side analyst at SBI Mutual Fund, and a sell-side analyst at SSKI Securities and, now, Citigroup. Among others, this, says Goyal, is the reason why he’s successful at stock picking.
11. Tabassum Inamdar, Kotak Securities: The only female equity analyst to have made it to BT’s coveted listing in the five years it has been around. Her reaction to the distinction when BT tells her about it? A gentle smile. But then, keeping her head in good times and bad is absolutely critical to what Inamdar does, which is to keep an eagle eye on banking and insurance industries.
12. How we did it
13. Last year’s Best Analysts