Actually, you cannot directly go to the NSDL or CDSL and open your individual DP account. You will have to do it through a depository participant (DP). These two Depositories (NSDL and CDSL) are the central holding agencies. At present two Depositories viz. National Securities Depository Limited (NSDL) and Central Depository Services (India) Limited (CDSL) are registered with SEBI. Their addresses are as under:
National Securities Depository Limited (NSDL), Trade World, A wing, 4th & 5th Floors, Kamala Mills Compound, Lower Parel, Mumbai-400013
Central Depository Services (India) Limited (CSDL), Phiroze Jeejeebhoy Towers, 16th Floor, Dalal Street, Mumbai 400001
But to open a demat account (check the chart above) you need to approach a depository participant (DP). So, who exactly is a depository participant? A DP is an agent of the depository through which it interfaces with the investor and provides depository services. Brokers can be Public financial institutions, scheduled commercial banks, foreign banks operating, in India with the approval of the Reserve Bank of India, state financial, corporations, custodians, stock-brokers, clearing corporations/clearinghouses, NBFCs and registrar to an issue or share transfer agent complying with the requirements prescribed by SEBI can be registered as DP. Normally investors prefer to open a DP account with their existing broker and that is also advisable as the process of buying and selling of shares as well as debiting and crediting to your demat account becomes simpler and smoother.