Learning, pursuing, failing, repeating, getting up, trying again, never giving up, succeeding, excelling and then still going forward. These are perhaps the best qualities that a trader could have.
However, these were displayed at quite an early age by EPAT alumni Gaurav Thakur. Oscillating between his education in Engineering, to helping his family with the Dairy Business, he has seen it all. Be it becoming an entrepreneur and having to let go, or beginning anew and achieving his aspirations of getting into Algorithmic Trading.
Gaurav’s is a story worth reading! We connected with him to learn about his journey, and this is how it goes.
Hi Gaurav, could you tell us about yourself?
Hi! I’m Gaurav Thakur and I’m from the Vardha district, Maharashtra. I’m a Quant Trader and I’ve recently registered my own Algo Trading Desk. Most of the time, I do retail trading along with now quant trading, and doing research, reading and analyzing data.
I love working out and I'm a meditation and Reiki practitioner. I also love reading and watching documentaries in my free time. The pandemic was a tough period to pass. I utilized most of the time, pursuing EPAT and studying.
How would you describe your journey into the world of algorithmic trading?
I was always interested in automobiles, so I took Mechanical Engineering out of interest. But, in two years, I realized that the place and the direction I wanted to go wasn’t possible with the curriculum and syllabus covered. And since I wasn't learning anything, I lost interest in that. I dropped out in the final year of mechanical engineering.
My family owns a dairy business that I handled for a while and then I designed my own business, structured it, began operations, as well as introduced 10 new products.
To increase awareness in farmers about using technology, I designed a pilot project - a highly efficient, fully automated, first of its kind, cross-functional, dairy farm of our district. The ex-agriculture minister of Maharashtra was my partner, he funded it for 4 Cr. INR, and ran well for a year, but had to be discontinued due to management issues.
Since finance and trading always fascinated me, I shifted from dairy to finance, and I selected trading as my full-time job. But since I didn't complete my graduation and the dairy, I had very little confidence and more background on finance, my family is under different kinds of businesses, but no one is in finance.
2019 March I entered into trading, I began from scratch, started studying writing and practising everything and spent weeks and hours on even the most basic courses.
I completed NCFM and NISM following which I got introduced to algo trading. I pursued EPAT. And then, successfully completed that. Now, I’ve entered the domain of Quant Trading.
There are many free resources available online. Why did you choose EPAT?
I kept reading from the multiple sources available online - free or paid - and I realized the power of algorithmic trading.
EPAT was the only course available in India, and I went through the curriculum. I rechecked with some of my friends, who are already CFA and into this field. They said that it is a very powerful course, algo trading is the future and the curriculum is very relevant and very application-oriented.
I compared EPAT to some of the courses, but none of them was so comprehensive. And the exposure, QuantInsti team has like, traders, industry practitioners, those have their own trading firms, or they are having their own proprietary form, so the knowledge was very, like, updated, and from the current scenario going on.
This is the best way to get to learn from. EPAT was most convincing. I even checked for CQF, but it seemed quite complicated even for a beginner. So, EPAT was the choice for me.
The concepts were very updated too. To survive in this competitive world, I’ll need better tools, better skills. And since I was into my learning curve, I didn't stop it. I kept on studying for like 2.5 years to only get into trading. After completing my basics, I directly moved into EPAT.
And EPAT was a game-changer, it is quite comprehensive and it opened up many doors and gave me the confidence to finally sustain. EPAT was the only comprehensive yet diverse course. With the basics done, I had to focus on new techniques like coding, statistics, ML, AI, etc.
You were completely new to the concept of Algo Trading. How did EPAT help you?
I’d like to address it in this manner:
- Before EPAT: I had a regular approach.
- After EPAT: I developed a scientific approach, became logic-oriented and precise.
- Before EPAT: I had a low confidence level and felt dwarfed in front of the institutions.
- After EPAT: I’m more confident and I can survive. I cannot compete to the extent of being a professional yet, but I have those skills and I can be a better trader and be in a better position than I am in now.
- Before EPAT: My approach was casual and I made a lot of mistakes.
- After EPAT: My approach was disciplined and strict, so my losses were controlled and survival was assured more.
Insights and information
- Before EPAT: Most of the information for a retail trader is hidden, and you don’t have access.
- Subscriptions and fetching the data bore an enormous cost so you can’t afford that.
- Due to lack of experience, you cannot develop your great philosophies from very little information. So, this is where the competition, can overtake you.
- After EPAT: I could get more insights in less time! Honestly, because data speaks a lot, but I never knew how I can decode it.
- Technical analysis, I used to use a lot - I have done the advanced technical analysis- and it used to help me a lot.
- But when this data analysis I learnt, so, it became like double verification, that, yes, where I am approaching it, the logic is supporting it. This can be quantified. And it gave me more confidence.
- So, the quality of my research, and the speed of my search increased a lot. Before that. It was just like the charts and charts and charts.
- So, here I've got two ways of super-fining and designing my trades, so it helped me a lot.
- Before EPAT: As a regular trader, I was very vulnerable to the shops, day-to-day shops market.
- When the Market jumped 1% or 1.5%, I didn't know the reason why it was happening. What new was happening in the world of trading? So I was not used to this even if I was used to the theoretical concept.
- My feelings, my emotions were not ready to take the big candles. This would make me nervous. I’d stop. After trading, there was a lot of introspection that my concepts were not clear. What could I do to trade better?
- After EPAT: EPAT introduced me to backtesting.
- This helped me to throw my concept and logic at multiple scenarios where I have seen multiple big and small candles.
- I could now see the data and so I was prepared and pre-prepared. This made me better at Risk Management. With my risk management improving, my losses recovered in 1 to 1.5 years, and my drawdown was not more than 20%.
- That is when I finally thought “Yes! Now, I can survive and now I can sustain.” The first thing was not losing the money and that I was successfully able to achieve.
This is where EPAT started counting while studying.
For trade, the stock selection process, like I used to do charting Astro, analysis, swing and stop, but there is a specific nature of each stop. This helped me to decode it more, I was able to talk to the stocks.
Because it is time-series data, I’d identify the main set of stocks and accordingly set my trading portfolio.
One feature of EPAT that you really like the most!
The EPAT faculty is very good, and my support manager Siddhesh Kulkarni is awesome! If not for him, I would’ve given up mid-way, because the course was getting tough.
The EPAT support team is very good. The faculty is excellent!
Rajib Borah, Vivek Krishnamoorthy (his book on Python), Ishan Shah, Nitesh Khandelwal - every faculty is very, very good. They made complex concepts very simpler for us to understand from AI from machine learning. I couldn't believe that it's my first year, and I could grasp the concept that, so, with so much clarity.
Previously I've done courses online. This was much better from the designing, explanation and after completion support, even till today in the form of Alumni support are like helping us and continually 4 to 45 placement opportunities have been mailed to me by the placement team.
What you're saying and committing and delivering so, everything was superb! And your content is also good, and continuously updated.
The credit for EPAT goes to the faculty, the core structure, the base support team, the assignments, the continuous evaluation process and so much more!
I’d rate EPAT 5/5 because it doesn’t lack anything!
What’s your message to those who wish to become Quants?
If you wish to sustain, then adapt.
If you wish to adapt, then you should go with EPAT.
This field is completely about adaptation and change. I figured this out in 2.5 years of my learning that the only thing permanent in the market is change and volatility. And if you want to continuously update yourself, you need a high skill set, better skill set, better tools, and it is compulsory to adapt to survive, especially in this sector.
Adapt and learn through such kinds of courses, like EPAT - it is highly recommended! You can also refer to Quantra courses. And it is possible now - for anyone any beginner willing to put in hours to enter this domain and sustain, with such courses and tools.
All the best!
Thank you so much for sharing your words, Gaurav. It is really inspiring to know of your success story. It gives us joy in understanding your persistence and pursuit of your objective. I hope you continue doing this amazing work. Keep learning, keep growing more and more.
If you too desire to equip yourself with lifelong skills which will always help you in upgrading your trading strategies. With topics such as Statistics & Econometrics, Financial Computing & Technology, Machine Learning, this algo trading course ensures that you are proficient in every skill required to excel in the field of trading. Enroll in EPAT now!
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