Former UST Global CEO to launch mega venture fund for startups

PTI Thiruvananthapuram | Updated on July 03, 2019

Sajan Pillai

The venture fund would be launched on September 8

Former Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of California headquartered UST Global, Sajan Pillai, will kick-start a mega venture fund for startups in September with an intial corpus of $50 million to $75 million.

Pillai would also be investing in global projects for assisted living for seniors and homecare.

Kerala-born and US-based Pillai, whose long stint with UST Global positioned the American multinational company as a leading provider of IT services and solutions, said the venture fund would be launched on September 8 to promote start-ups, with a slant on Kerala.

“Its focus will be product companies, primarily B2B. We focus on four sectors primarilyhealthcare, fintech, telecom & technology, and retail,” he said, unveiling his plans at a press meet here.

“An advisory board has been set up to help startups in these sectors. We have already spoken to the largest banks in the world,” Pillai added.

Kerala has the potential to emerge as a global startup powerhouse, he said.

“The idea is to assemble senior level executives of Kerala and they will be directly on the board of the startups. We are going to create a relationship with the government to give an impetus to the drive,” he added.

Pillai, who is also Chairman of SP Lifecare, announced that the company would launch a string of projects to deliver world-class elderly care by combining care, technology and real estate.

These would include developing Senior Assisted Living facilities, creating a pool of well-trained caregivers to provide home services, doorstep delivery of health and personal care and setting up a Super Store for delivery of essential items to senior citizens.

SP Lifecare, which recently acquired Kerala-based Asha Care Homes, has already purchased lands at Thannimoodu near the state capital and Aluva in Ernakulam for developing Senior Assisted Living campuses.

Plans are on to acquire land in Bengaluru by this month, he said.

Dr M Ayyappan, CEO of SP Lifecare, said the investment in the two ongoing projects in Kerala is estimated at Rs 275 crore.

“We are targeting the valuation of the company at Rs 700 crore in three years,” he added.

The company plans to expand its Senior Assisted Living project on a global scale in two years’ while major projects are to be launched in the US and Europe.

“A dedicated trust would also be floated, with SP Lifecare tying up with like-minded individuals and organisations, to take care of the economically weaker senior citizens, who cannot afford the cost of assisted living,” said Dr Ayyappan, former CMD of public sector HLL Lifecare Ltd (HLL).

Pillai had been featured in this year’s list of Employees’ Choice Award for top 100 global CEOs, instituted by US-based Glassdoor, one of worlds largest job and recruiting sites.

Published on July 03, 2019

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