Emerging Entrepreneurs

A fulcrum for healthcare start-ups

N Ramakrishnan | Updated on January 22, 2018

bl07_Krishna Ramanathan

Fulcrum Venture India is a ₹100-crore private equity firm that invests in the pharmaceutical, wellness and healthcare space, putting in ₹5-20 crore in ventures looking for growth capital.

Krishna Ramanathan, 40, Founder Partner, Board and Investment Committee Member, Fulcrum Venture India, says Fulcrum manages two funds – the first a proprietary fund that was more in the nature of angel investing, through which it invested in the non-pharma space.

The second fund of ₹100 crore has been fully committed, but Krishna is not looking at raising another fund in the immediate future. He wants to monitor the existing investments, return the money to the investors before thinking of raising another fund. The next fund is at least 12-18 months away, he says. Fulcrum will continue to invest in only the pharma, wellness and healthcare space as it is a sector that it understands well.

Education: B.Com from Vivekananda College, Chennai, and MBA from Xavier Institute of Management, Bhubane- swar.

Prior experience: I turned an angel investor soon after my graduation. My father founded and ran a pharmaceutical company, American Remedies, which was sold to Dr Reddy’s Labs in December 1999. This coincided with the time I was completing my MBA. As a family, we strategised that we will become angel investors. We remained angel investors till 2012. During that period we made seven investments. From 2012, we have floated a private equity firm.

Sectors interested in: We had a three-year non-compete agreement with Dr Reddy’s Labs. So, from 2000-03, we were sector agnostic. We made three investments in non-pharma areas and one of those investments, Casa Grande, a real estate company, has done well for us. After the non-compete period, we made four more investments in the pharma, healthcare and wellness sectors.

Investments: Shield Healthcare, Richfeel Health and Beauty, Congruent Solutions, Nutri Synapzz Therepeutix, SwaaS Systems, CMYK Health Boutique.

Typical working day: We have an active portfolio of 11 companies, four from the angel investment time and seven from the fund. I spend a lot of time interacting with the CEOs and entrepreneurs of these companies. With the launch of the fund, I have also focussed on expanding the team in Fulcrum Venture India. My team and I spend time on new deals, fund raising and also with the operations in running the Fund. I typically start work every day by 9.30 am and the first half is the most productive, where I do the tasks that I have planned. During the second half, what is urgent takes over.

Hobbies: Reading. I would like to clock in at least two books a month. I am a major follower of Warren Buffet’s writings and books. I have read each one of them more than once. I love non-fiction, especially management, investing, biography and autobiography. The recent one I finished reading was the autobiography of Mike Tyson.

Gadgets: I am not too much of a gadgets person. Of course, my Kindle is a constant companion. I do have an iPhone and Surface Pro3 tablet.

Advice to entrepreneurs: Form a great team which has diverse skill sets to meet the challenges inherent in the business idea. Look for financial support from near and dear ones – spouse, parents, friends, own savings. The initial success on this will have organised money chasing you, rather than the other way around. Success eventually comes because the business generates a high return on the invested capital. In short, your time is better spent managing the business rather than managing investors.

Published on September 07, 2015

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