Life is not a template and neither is mine. Like several who have worked as journalists, I am a generalist in my over two decade experience across print, global news wires and dotcom firms. But there has been one underlying theme in each phase; life gave me the chance to observe and tell a story -- from early days tracking a securities scam to terror attacks and some of India's most significant court trials. Besides writing, I have jumped fences to become an entrepreneur, as an investment advisor -- and also taught the finer aspects of business journalism to young minds. At Forbes India, I also keep an eye on some of its proprietary specials like the Rich list, GenNext and Celebrity lists. An alumnus of Xavier Institute of Communications and H.R College of Commerce and Economics in Mumbai, I have worked for organisations such as Agence France-Presse, Business Standard, The Financial Express and The Times of India prior to this.
Domestic private equity investor True North (formerly India Value Fund Advisors) is stepping on the pedal with some ambitious plans.
The firm, set up in 1999 with an aim to invest in and transform profitable businesses, hopes that its investments in the next five years will overtake the $2 billion they have invested across different companies in their 18-year journey.
“We are working on a plan on how much capital could be put to work. It will be more,” says Vishal Nevatia, managing partner, True North, in a conversation with Forbes India.
“Over the next 10 years, we will be investing about 80 to 90 percent into four sectors: Health care, financial services, consumer and technology products, and services.”
Technology is the newest sector the company is starting to explore, but investments are yet to be made.
True North’s investments include Manipal Hospitals, Cloudnine Hospitals, Aster DM Healthcare, Fincare, National Bulk Handling Corporation, Meru Cabs, ACT Fibernet, Hicare, Keya and deGustibus Hospitality (which operates restaurant brands Indigo and Indigo Deli, among others).
The re-branding exercise, Nevatia says, was necessary as the former avatar (India Value Fund Advisors) was thought of as just a local private equity fund. “We are more than that, combining the business-nurturing skill of a conglomerate with the sharpness of a private equity fund. Our journey begins afresh to finding a true north.”