Zerodha vs Groww vs Upstox. Who will win

Zerodha vs Groww vs Upstox. Who will win?

Navigate the Zerodha vs Groww vs Upstox narrative to gain a comprehensive understanding of the business models of India’s top trading platforms – Zerodha, Groww, and Upstox.

The technological revolution has significantly transformed the financial sector, particularly trading. Three platforms — Zerodha, Groww, and Upstox — have significantly influenced India’s digital trading landscape. They democratize the stock market and offer sophisticated, user-friendly interfaces to millions of users. This blog post elucidates the business models of these three giants through the lens of Alexander Osterwalder’s Business Model Canvas.


Founded in 2010 by brothers Nithin and Nikhil Kamath, Zerodha kick-started with the vision to overcome the steep trading costs in India. Inspired by the zero brokerage concept in developed nations, the brothers brought about a new era in the Indian stock trading industry. Zerodha, meaning “zero barriers” in Sanskrit, began as a bootstrapped startup and is currently India’s largest retail stockbroker.


Established in 2016 by four former Flipkart employees — Lalit Keshre, Harsh Jain, Neeraj Singh, and Ishan Bansal, Groww intended to simplify investing for India’s millennial population. The founders identified a huge gap in the market for a user-friendly, straightforward investment platform, and Groww was born. It provides an array of investment opportunities including stocks, mutual funds, and more.


Upstox was co-founded by Ravi Kumar, Shrini Viswanath, and Raghu Kumar in 2012 with the mission to make trading affordable and accessible to all. Upstox, earlier known as RKSV Securities, revolutionized the trading arena with its low-cost model and technologically advanced platform, catering to the modern trader’s needs.

Business Model Canvas Analysis

The Business Model Canvas by Alexander Osterwalder provides a strategic, visual, and structured template to describe, design, and challenge a business model. It encompasses nine crucial elements — Key Partnerships, Key Activities, Key Resources, Value Proposition, Customer Relationships, Channels, Customer Segments, Cost Structure, and Revenue Streams.

Business Models of Zerodha, Groww, and Upstox

Key Partnerships

For all three platforms, partnerships primarily include stock exchanges (NSE, BSE), depositories (CDSL, NSDL), and banks for seamless fund transfer. Additionally, they collaborate with third-party vendors for technology solutions and other ancillary services.

Key Activities

The primary activities across the platforms are product development, platform maintenance, customer support, regulatory compliance, and market education.

Key Resources

Human capital, technological infrastructure, and regulatory licenses form the backbone of these firms. The intellectual capital developed through years of market understanding and insights also contributes significantly.

Value Proposition

Zerodha distinguishes itself by providing a flat fee structure for all trades and advanced trading features like Varsity and Coin.

On the other hand, Groww focuses on simplicity and user-friendliness, making it an attractive choice for beginner investors.

Upstox’s value proposition is its low-cost model coupled with high-speed platforms.

Customer Relationships

All three platforms maintain their customer relationships via digital means, including email support, chatbots, and telephonic support. They also conduct webinars and educational series to educate and engage with their customers.


Online channels, including their respective websites and mobile applications, are the primary touchpoints for these companies. Additionally, they rely on digital marketing channels for customer acquisition and retention.

Customer Segments

While Zerodha and Upstox cater to both beginners and seasoned traders, Groww primarily focuses on first-time investors.

Cost Structure

The cost structure for these companies includes technology infrastructure maintenance, employee salaries, marketing costs, and regulatory fees.

Revenue Streams

The primary revenue for these platforms comes from the brokerage fees and premium features. Zerodha’s “Coin” platform and Upstox Pro are examples of premium services.

The dynamic world of stock trading has been greatly transformed by Zerodha, Groww, and Upstox. With diverse business models, these platforms cater to different customer segments, demonstrating varied value propositions. Despite functioning in a similar industry, their uniqueness is evident in the manner they build customer relationships, manage their cost structures, and strategize revenue streams.

While Zerodha redefined the traditional brokerage system by introducing a flat fee structure and facilitating advanced trading, Groww made investing simple and accessible for the millennials. Upstox, by ensuring affordable trading with its technologically advanced platform, reinvigorated the trading landscape.

Looking at these three giants through the lens of Alexander Osterwalder’s Business Model Canvas allows a clearer understanding of their operations and strategies. As they continue to evolve, it will be fascinating to observe how these platforms modify their business models to compete and stand out in this ever-evolving industry.

In essence, the Zerodha vs Groww vs Upstox comparison highlights the diversity and uniqueness within the same industry. It underscores how various businesses, operating in a similar sphere, can still bring differentiating elements to the table, which ultimately leads to their competitive advantage and market success.

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