Dubai: A 14-year-old Indian boy in Dubai has turned his savings of around Dh5,000 into about Dh165,000 to fund his robotics projects and support children in need.
Aadi Verma, a Year 10 student of Jumeirah English Speaking School in Arabian Ranches, was looking for ways to make his savings grow so he could finance his passion for robotics. He read up on the stock market and dabbled with small amounts at first. After some success, his confidence grew and he decided to “go all in” around 10 months ago. In March, there had been a stock market “crash”, Aadi said, which he saw as an opportunity to buy stocks “at lower than market prices”. Buy and selling stocks on American exchanges like NASDAQ and NYSE, besides a few in the Chinese market, Aadi today has a portfolio worth around Dh165,000. He also has holdings in cryptocurrencies.
Aadi wakes up around 4am to research the developments following market closing in the US, every two to four days. He said he normally starts trading around 6.30pm, when markets reopen in the US. At first, he used to deal mostly in “penny stocks”, shares whose value is normally below $5 (around Dh18) but have the potential to skyrocket – or nosedive. As his profits soared, Aadi changed strategy, going for “growth stocks” that are more stable, more expensive and gradually increase in price, typically. Aadi has invested in stocks of over 40 companies, including famous ones such as Amazon, Google, Apple, Tesla, Microsoft, Facebook and Boeing, as well as lesser-known ones such as Beyond Meat and those that have recently gone public.
Besides using some of the windfall as “capital” for his robotics projects, Aadi has also been financially supporting a few girl’s basic needs through a charity every month. “I really want to build something that has the impact to change lives for the better,” said Aadi, who is working on a project to build 3D images of landscapes, such as sand dunes, and display them in an “easily-readable format”.
‘Tech can free up people’
He is also building a humanoid that “I think could replace humans doing repetitive tasks”. Aadi said robots are not a threat to people’s livelihoods. “People always talk about ‘technology destroys jobs’, but technology changes jobs, it changes the landscape and increases the skill sets required. It allows society to progress while freeing up people from doing repetitive tasks, to do some of the tasks that can have a greater impact or those that are more creatively challenging,” he added.
Student turning teacher
Aadi has been approached by various institutes to teach robotics, which he will provide free of charge as a community outreach endeavour. “The goal is to get more students involved in robotics, so hopefully this encourages more students, because I know some parents don’t want to sign up their kids due to financial reasons. All this has been made possible due to the vast opportunities that the UAE provides for its citizens and residents.”
In his free time, Aadi also likes snowboarding, golfing, swimming, horse riding and playing basketball.