Retail Investors Are More Informed Than Ever in India

Retail Investors Are More Informed Than Ever in India

Market fall during the onset of country-wide Lockdown due to Covid-19 Pandemic has enticed investors from all classes to invest in the equity markets. Data shows, retail investors have made informed decision this time around.


Retail investment in stocks

Relentless market ascend from the Mar-20 lows has thrilled the first time as well as small time investors to experience the worldliness of multiplying the wherewithal in equity markets. There is a news in every corner of Retail investors’ contribution to the months long market bull run. BSE’s Sensex index has climbed to over 62,000 levels which is achieved faster than expected. Nonetheless, the feat is achieved with stock prices of selected medium size companies rising three to four times higher than last year’s closing price.

We have assiduously analysed the participation of the individual equity investors in our study with UNIDOW Industrial 44 (UI 44) as a kernel in this overall analysis. Forty four companies in UI 44 Average is analysed and segregated in phases of period beginning before and during the Pandemic starting from Dec 2017. Tata Steel, Tech Mahindra, Tata Consumer Products, Apollo Hospitals among others are still a preferred choice of retail investors.

While Bharti Airtel, Hindustan Unilever, Gail India and Indraprastha Gas were the choice when the Pandemic struck and the nation went into Lockdown. These companies seen as a significant spine for supporting organisation to shift their staff from offices to Work-from-home (WFH). At the same time PVR, L&T, Indigo and banking institutions were become favorite after price correction. However, the companies named above have seen buying interest only during the initial period of country-wide lockdown. Post that, investment by individual investors remained subdued when the country started opening up its economy since Jun-20. Nevertheless, returns delivered by these companies have been spectacular and performed well fundamentally in their businesses.

The deadly Second Wave of Covid-19 crumbled the healthcare services throughout the country and it renewed the fear of disease when it started fading during the initial months of 2021. However, no matter the country has reported a lot of fatalities, an emergence of a new virus variant which significantly increased the risk of infection amongst the section of communities. The equity market run-up unlike last year was continued and so do the pouring of money by individual investors. Selected companies in the sectors like Consumer Discretionary, Information Technology and Material were appealing. Majors of their industry such as Crompton Greaves Consumer Electricals, Hero MotoCorp, Tata Motors, TCS, Ambuja Cements and Hindalco Industries outshined for the retail buyers.

Two companies of the UI 44 Average stands exceptional who did not participate in retail mania during the year long bull run until recently during Sensex’s march towards 60,000. Maruti Suzuki and Titan Industries have their own fundamental weaknesses which never pleased the herd. Maruti isn’t moving its assembly line to produce Electric Vehicle immediately and its models are ageing in terms of design and features while its competitors are edging ahead. Titan Industries sells Gold, and recent time has forced people to rather mortgage their yellow metal to borrow cash for settling heap of hospital bills during Covid waves. Our study by considering components of UI 44 Average as a sample clearly shows that Individual Retail Investors were more informed this time around while putting their savings in equity.

Enthusiasm in retail participation since the onset of Pandemic is seen and remained continued even till Sep-21 quarter in Indian Hotels, Dabur India, Tata Consumer, Apollo Hospitals, Cipla, Tech Mahindra, Tata Steel and Pidilite Industries. Equity Returns of these companies are spectacular and due to their management and corporate governance style, they are preferred investment choice.

Aside from the above, there is an anomaly to the trend. Companies in the UI 44 Average like Havells India, Mahindra & Mahindra, MRF, Voltas, ICICI Prudential Life Insurance, Sun Pharma, Ashok Leyland and NTPC were least preferred by retail investors. Shrugging off their returns characteristic over the last more than one year, we have observed negative to no change in holding such stocks by individual participants. However, that does not indicate their business fundamental is weakened due to the pandemic. Mahindra has improved its prospect by launching new vehicles and improving tractor business. Covid-19 has analogously increased consciousness of insurance products – specifically medical and life risk cover. As a result, ICICI Prudential has seen a significant new premium business. But this did not attract retail participants to hold such stocks in their portfolio.

Although, Sun Pharma and Ashok Leyland on the other hand have seen a mutated growth during the period analysed and this manifests that the individual investors examined companies while placing their savings in the equity markets.

Annexure: Top Companies with Changes in Individual Equity Ownership in the UI 44 Average

Company Name




(Post 1st Wave)

(Post 2nd Wave)

PVR LtdCommunication Services-3.2213.06308.5511.64
Bharti Airtel LtdCommunication Services6.812.2916323.44
Tata Consumer Products LtdConsumer Staple7.46-5.93134.6650.75
Bajaj Finserv LtdFinancials13.717.35113.3-12.13
Indraprastha Gas LtdUtilities41.52-13.6398.0512.53
Hindustan Unilever LtdConsumer Staple13.8819.7683.848.27
Axis Bank LtdFinancials-44.1721.1682.92-19.18
Container Corp of India LtdIndustrials20.3924.7582.79-7.95
Gail (India) LtdEnergy6.6159.2678.1115.81
Oil and Natural Gas Corp LtdEnergy3.
Housing Development Finance Corp LtdFinancials28.1326.4871.460.45
InterGlobe Aviation LtdIndustrials21.27-15.1568.34-7.79
Pidilite Industries LtdMaterials17.4937.7365.768.45
State Bank of IndiaFinancials-0.0524.6563.18-13.19
HCL Technologies LtdInformation Technology7.5815.7255.07136.03
Indian Hotels Company LtdConsumer Discretionary-3.091.3647.3836.08
Tata Motors LtdConsumer Discretionary75.011.6445.1272.47
Cipla LtdHealth Care8.562.0543.7928.8
Dabur India LtdConsumer Staple28.9618.8340.1638.78
Britannia Industries LtdConsumer Staple62.4628.0340.0427.91
Larsen & Toubro LtdIndustrials9.578.6636.03-10.56
HDFC Asset Management Company LtdFinancials0-4.9231.08-10.2
Hindalco Industries LtdMaterials3.1-1.5930.895.56
NTPC LtdUtilities-6.026.6126.927.45
Titan Company LtdConsumer Discretionary54.7848.9526.2211.67
Apollo Hospital Enterprise LtdHealth Care3.316.3825.6570.99
Exide Industries LtdConsumer Discretionary5.8339.2825.31158.97
Tata Steel LtdMaterials6.130.6418.6828.1
Tata Consultancy Services LtdInformation Technology32.646.2916.132.89
DLF LtdReal Estate-3.4-7.9815.665.15
Sun Pharmaceuticals Industries LtdHealth Care8.79-7.2515.06-1.29
Havells India LtdConsumer Discretionary19.4526.0514.7235.91
Voltas LtdConsumer Discretionary24.2-5.8614.3513.97
Siemens LtdIndustrials3.8-5.5212.59-5.55
Maruti Suzuki India LtdConsumer Discretionary79.52-9.8712.4613.54
Hero MotoCorp LtdConsumer Discretionary30.321.9812.24108.46
Ashok Leyland LtdIndustrials51.5820.9411.831.07
Tech Mahindra LtdInformation technology-5.861.9911.8217.09
ICICI Prudential Life Insurance Company LtdFinancials-9.72-3.837.27-4.1
MRF LtdConsumer Discretionary19.1811.786.87-18.18
Ambuja Cement LtdMaterials6.491.486.757.64
Power Grid Corporation of India LtdUtilities-11.63-2.326.0222.01
Mahindra and Mahindra LtdConsumer Discretionary36.8533.734.9837.2
Crompton Greaves Consumer Electricals LtdConsumer Discretionary4.26-2.740.335.16


Unidical is a publication service of UNIDOW & Company.

Shareholding Data Source: BSE Website


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