Active Clients of Stock Brokers in India

Stock Brokers in India – Active Clients

Did you know?

There are 279 registered stockbrokers under the National Stock Exchange (NSE) in India. And out of those, the top 20 stockbrokers take away 76% of the active clients!

Staggering, right!

In this article, while we will take a look at all the stockbrokers in India, we will highlight some of the major findings of different types of stockbrokers, client types and their specific preferences.

First up, let’s take a quick look at the top 10 stock brokers in India, in terms of active clients each of these stockbrokers has. The chart below displays the data for the month of October 2018 and we are going to update this information on a regular basis.

Also Read: Top 30 Stockbrokers with Highest Active Clients 

*Data is updated until March 2019

Here is the detailed list of all the NSE registered stockbrokers along with the count of their respective active client base for 2019.

If you want to learn further information about a specific stockbroker, you may click on the respective link and you will be displayed a detailed review of the selected broker.

Active clients March 2019

The year 2019 is the year of Lok-sabha elections. The market may go both ways depending on the sentiment. As far as active client base is concerned, there have been a few shifts of rankings among few stockbrokers. At the same time, some of the topmost full-service stockbrokers have seen a limited rise in their respective client base till now, which is really strange.

Here are the actual numbers until March 2019:


Active clients Sept – December 2018

It is one of the most interesting phases in the Indian stockbroking space where there are small competitions going on between bank-based stockbrokers and full-service stockbrokers. Furthermore, discount brokers such as 5Paisa & Upstox are running neck to neck as well.

Here are the latest details:


Active clients May-August 2018

In the month of May, July & August 2018, while some of the major stockbrokers such as Sharekhan, HDFC Securities, ICICI Direct clocked an increase of 4,000 to 6,000 to their active client base, Zerodha, on the other hand, increased its active client list by a whopping 34,000.

ICICI Direct certainly has a lot to worry in terms of their throne for a long time.


We predicted in January 2018 that by this percentage growth, Zerodha could be the number 2 broker in June 2018  and it turned out to be true. We further predicted that it will number 1 in the next 6 months or so.

And not surprisingly, it has crossed ICICI Direct to become the number 1 stockbroker in India by December 2018.

Active clients January 2018 – April 2018


Active Clients of StockBrokers – October 2018

Active Clients of StockBrokers – January 2018

As shown in the chart above, ICICI Direct leads the race by quite a margin as compared to other stockbrokers. At the same time, Zerodha is the only discount stockbroker among the top 10 stockbrokers.

In fact, within discount broking, Zerodha leads the race by a huge margin as the next discount broker (i.e. 5Paisa) in line is at position 33. Having said that, this promising stockbroker is showing one of the fastest increase in the number of active client base in the last 3 months or so.

This tells you a couple of things:

  • First, there is a definite opportunity for the concept of discount broking within the Indian stockbroking space.
  • Second, there is a big ground for the other discount brokers to cover in the time to come.

Apart from other things to notice, it can be observed that within the top 10 stockbrokers, 4 out of 10 stockbrokers are bank-based stockbrokers.

Active Clients of StockBrokers – February 2018

Zerodha was the biggest gainer for the month as it increased its active client base by around 52,000 while the likes of Sharekhan and ICICI Direct increased their respective clients base by 23,000 and 23,600.

Now, again the above-mentioned point gives a couple of ideas:

  • One, beginner level investors/traders trust a bank-based stockbroker much easier than they trust a mainstream stockbroker.
  • Users who open their account with these bank-based stockbrokers stay active in trading and do not realize they are paying very high brokerage charges. Thus, the knowledge about the industry among such traders is limited.

Now, looking at “just” the active clients will give you a one-dimensional picture of the complete analysis. Thus, it also needs to be seen that what kind of value these stock brokers provide to their respective clients. This can be judged by the count of complaints raised by clients of these stockbrokers. These complaints can be raised due to issues pertaining to:

  • Low-Quality Service
  • Slow Performance of trading platforms
  • Hidden charges
  • Other reasons

Keeping our focus on the same top 10 stockbrokers, here is a pictorial representation of the number of complaints raised against each of these stockbrokers till the initial part of 2018.

Although Zerodha and Angel Broking are stockbrokers that are known to provide value-for-money trading services to their clients, the number of complaints raised are no less either. Axis Direct, although one of the most expensive stockbrokers, has seen the least number of complaints raised against them.

On a percentage of complaints basis, Karvy Online and Motilal Oswal can certainly improve their performance in the time to come.

Before wrapping up this analysis on active clients of stockbrokers in India, there are a few observations that we would like to share with you:

  • Indian Stockbroking space is at one of the fastest evolving stages and overall the industry is seeing an addition of hundreds of thousands of traders and investors in this eco-system.
  • Traders are gradually moving towards discount brokers with the kind of innovation they bring to the table especially in the field of trading platforms.
  • Traders certainly are looking for the trust factor but are gradually also weighing in the value-for-money trading service part as well.

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