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How Sir Sri Rakesh Jhunjhunwala became a billionaire by selling nothing

Monday, 21 April 2014 - 7:21am IST | Agency: dna

More than 79,000 people follow him on Twitter diligently to receive a daily dose of humour and entertainment.

Over 30,000 others don't miss his sarcastic blog, "The Secret Journal of Rakesh Jhunjhunwala", with many thinking he is the real Rakesh Jhunjhunwala — the legendary investor based in Mumbai.

In short, India's witty celebrity Sir Sri Jhunjhunwala, aka Aditya Magal, 28, carved a popular online humour brand by his twin passions of writing and stock markets albeit under the pseudonym of RJ.

Magal, whose sarcasm spared no one from Ishant Sharma to Rakhi Sawant to Rahul Gandhi to Kapil Sibal, has taken his satire to the next level. He has written his first book: "How to become a billionaire by selling nothing."

Magal who lives in Bangalore told dna on the phone that the book would be released in Mumbai on May 9 "but not by Jhunjhunwala Sir". "He would have been the best person for the occasion but unfortunately he would be out of town on that day."

Asked for a comment, the real Jhunjhunwala told dna: "I have not gone through the book, so I cannot say anything..."

A graduate in economics, Magal is a full-time writer, part-time business analyst and life-long fan of RJ. Magal spent his initial years in Chembur; but his family moved to Bangalore in 1994. "India has seen some infamous investors like Harshad Mehta and Ketan Parekh. But RJ made a billion by honesty and integrity," he said.

On being asked how he started writing parodies using his favourite icon's name, Magal laughed: "It was purely by chance. Actually, it was Mark Fidelman, an American who is now the CEO of a company, who started this blog. But after some time he found it difficult to follow Indian humour. He asked me if I could do it. I accepted the challenge." Magal was working as a business analyst at that time.

And Magal's been doing it wonderfully since 2008. "The ID [referring to Magal] has said things that only the real RJ could say, revealed knowledge of things only the real RJ could know. We're reserving our judgement until we get some hot stock tips from that Twitter feed," Forbes India said in February 2010.

His takes appears so real that a leading English daily carried his tweets some time back assuming it was from real the RJ. The paper later apologised.

For Magal, meeting RJ in 2012 was the best moment of his life. "It was like a dream come true. I was too nervous and tense for obvious reasons. But he didn't throw shoes at me... he was rather nice... he said he took my gesture purely as fun."

So did he get any tips from his icon or did he give him some?

Magal quipped: "He said all the best and I said please take care of your health... he loves to eat and hates any kind of exercise."

Additional details: 
Aditya Magal's book talks of an entrepreneur who wanted to sell a product — nothing. He approached a billionaire who dismissed him with Rs1 lakh asking him to seek psychiatric help. The entrepreneur invested the money to start manufacturing — nothing and assigned the billionaire a stake in the company as a sign of gratitude. While the stocks become valuable with every passing day, with filmstars, politicians parading the power of nothing, another company sued the entrepreneur for plagiarism.

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