Being the second-most populous country in South Asia, India’s developing market economy is characterized by cheap labor and highly skilled computer scientists. Since the start of the 21st century, annual average GDP growth has been 6% to 7%, and from 2014 to 2018, India was the world’s fastest growing major economy, even surpassing China. Many global acting companies are increasingly recruiting high potentials from India which drives up India’s importance for international acting private investment offices of the world’s highest net worth individuals, so called single family offices. This reflects the increasing foreign direct investment figures ($64 billion in ‘18-‘19) with service, computer and telecom sectors leading the investment inflows. In our recently released database of the largest single family offices in Asia, many family offices with headquarters in India made it onto our list. With the following article we want to introduce you three of them.
- 122 entries, thereof 92 with E-Mail address, 115 with executive names
- Investment focus: Real Estate, Venture Capital, Private Equity, Financial Products, Renewables
- 23 columns included: Name, Family Name, Estimated Family Wealth, Detailed Investment Focus and exemplary investments, address, phone, e-mail, website…
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#1: Burman Family Holdings, New Delhi
Burman Family Holdings incorporates the single family office of the entire Indian Burman Family which has an cumulated net worth of over $9 billion. The family’s fortune can be traced back to the mid 1880s, when Dr. S.K. Burman, an Ayurvedic practitioner in Kolkata, formulated Ayurvedic medicines for diseases like cholera, constipation and malaria. He went on to set up Dabur India Ltd in 1884 to mass-produce his Ayurvedic formulations. His son, C.L. Burman, set up Dabur’s first R&D unit. The current chairman, Dr. Anand Burman, and vice-chairman Amit Burman, are part of the fifth generation of the Burman family. The Burmans were among the first business families in India to separate ownership from management when they handed over the management of the company to professionals in 1998. Today the company is active in healthcare and in all different kinds of consumer products, such as personal care, skin care, health drinks and so on. The single family office, Burman Family Holdings, is active in venture capital and private equity where it targets health care, financial services, hospitality, education and media sectors. Exemplary investments include, for example, Melorra, an operator of an online jewelry store that is used to offer contemporary jewelry. Its jewelry is made for contemporary wardrobe and uses a hundred percent 3D printing to provide an accurate and elegant finish to products that enable customers to access trendy jewelry at an affordable price.
#2: Catamaran Ventures, Bangalore
Catamaran takes on the financial responsibilities of Nagavara Ramarao Narayana Murthy and serves as his personal single family office. Murthy is an Indian billionaire businessman who co-founded Infosys, a multinational corporation that provides business consulting, information technology and outsourcing services. He graduated from National Institute of Engineering (University of Mysore) with a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering and a master’s degree from the Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur. Before starting Infosys, Murthy worked at Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad as the chief systems programmer, and Patni Computer Systems in Pune (Maharashtra). He started Infosys in 1981 and was the CEO from 1981 to 2002. Today the company has 82 sales and marketing offices and 123 development centers across the world, with major presence in India, United States, China, Australia, Japan, Middle East and Europe. The investment office Catamaran Ventures private equity, as well as venture capital investments with no general industry focus. Notable holdings include, for example, Acko General Insurance, an online insurance policy provider with its entire operations offered through the digital platform. It creates products and delivers opportunities in areas such as personalized insurance products based on user consumption behaviors. Acko offers bite-sized insurance products for drivers and others working in transportation and logistics related sectors. It has also expanded its catalog and began offering similar policies in healthcare.
#3: Sharrp Ventures, Mumbai
Sharp Ventures serves as the private investment company of Harsh Mariwala, an Indian entrepreneur. He successfully founded a Fortune India 500 company: Marico. Harsh Mariwala began his career in 1971 with Bombay Oil Industries which was controlled by his family. Some years later, in 1990, he founded Marico, a fast moving consumer goods manufacturer and distributor that now has operations in 25 countries across Asia and Africa. The company has built a portfolio of brands in the hair care, skin care, edible oils, health foods, male grooming, and fabric care space. Additionally, Harsh Mariwala founded Kaya Limited, a firm that runs a chain of skin care clinics across India and the Middle East. Forbes estimates his net worth at around $2,3 billion. Sharrp Ventures focuses, as the name suggest, on venture capital investments and describes itself as industry agnostic. But looking closely at the portfolio, you can see a slight bias towards the consumer industry. Portfolio companies include Securens Systems which provides monitoring of intrusion alarm systems for banks, ATMs, vehicles, retail establishments, etc. The company offers central alarm monitoring services, IP based alarm systems services, secure communications, integrated CCTVs services, and two-way audio services to reduce crime and property damage in India.
Picture source: Julian Yu
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