Forbes India 15th Anniversary Special

Radha Kapoor Khanna: All in the family (office)

The eldest daughter of banker Rana Kapoor, has founded The Three Sisters: Institutional Office to incubate a diverse set of businesses

Naini Thaker
Published: Sep 21, 2018 11:06:46 AM IST
Updated: Sep 21, 2018 05:04:28 PM IST

Radha Kapoor Khanna: All in the family (office)
Radha Kapoor Khanna, founder, TTS:IO
Image: Mexy Xavier

Rather than following in their father’s footsteps, billionaire banker Rana Kapoor’s daughters decided to take the startups route to grow their money. Radha Kapoor Khanna, 34, the eldest, founded The Three Sisters: Institutional Office (TTS:IO), a family office, in 2013 to invest in and incubate businesses across a range of fields from education and sports to media-entertainment and retail.

“Today we are moving towards a creative economy and it is important to support new-age businesses through the right kind of incubation and investments. The idea behind setting up TTS:IO was to promote design and innovative thinking across different sectors. The idea was also to create value and focus on women-led entrepreneurship,” says Khanna, who along with sisters Raakhe Kapoor Tandon, 32, and Roshini Kapoor, 25, runs the firm.

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The concept of a family office as an investment model has been in existence since the 19th century but has gained popularity in the last decade with business owners such as Infosys Founder NR Narayana Murthy and Wipro’s Azim Premji among those who have set up family offices to grow and protect their wealth.

“The model of a family office ensures that each portfolio company draws synergies from other portfolio companies as well as benefits from the relationship network or ecosystem of the family,” says Khanna.

In five years, TTS:IO has been able to enter into long-term alliances with some reputable institutions including Parsons School of Design in New York, Babson College in Massachusetts, Warner Bros, UK-based Merlin Entertainments, French luxury goods company Longchamp and Pressto.

“The Indian School of Design and Innovation, was set up in Mumbai in 2013 where we partnered with Parsons. We also have a communication school in association with WPP PLC and an entrepreneurship school called Indian School of Management & Entrepreneurship in Mumbai as well,” says Khanna.

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Its investments in other ventures include Awfis, India’s largest co-working space provider. “The team [TTS:IO] was instrumental in establishing strong financial fundamentals that have enabled both our businesses to grow rapidly while keeping profitability and robustness in place,” says Amit Ramani, founder and CEO, Awfis. TTS:IO had earlier invested in Ramani’s NCube, a design-build business focusing on commercial interior spaces, and subsequently became seed investors in Awfis as well.

“Radha and the TTS:IO team are masters of brand building, their key inputs have been instrumental in establishing NCube as a top design-and-build brand and Awfis as the largest co-working network in the country,” adds Ramani. Awfis recently raised $20 million from Sequoia India.

TTS:IO claims to be an “active” private equity investor, wherein they are involved in setting up the business and giving it a strategic direction. “Our vision is differentiated from traditional investing models which are focussed on generating economic returns on the capital invested in a defined time frame,” says Khanna. “TTS:IO provides its ventures with long-term capital, strategic guidance and operating expertise to create successful enterprises.”