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HCL’s Nadar floats $500M fund to buy US health-tech firms
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Billionaire Shiv Nadar, founder and promoter of IT solutions provider HCL Technologies, has teamed up with former CEO of Tech Mahindra, Sanjay Kalra, to launch an investment firm for healthcare technology investments in the US, as per a statement on Monday.

The investment firm, Shiv Nadar & Sanjay Kalra Associates LLP (SNSK), has been created with a corpus of $500 million (Rs 3,320 crore) to buy out or carve out IT product and platform companies across providers, payers, pharmaceuticals and life sciences space.

SNSK’s investments will aim at creating a portfolio of mature businesses but will also invest in select early stage US and Indian companies in the field. The focus areas of the investment firm includes hospitals, ambulatory, long-term acute care, physician practice, information exchanges, accountable care organisations, self-funded and commercial insurers as well as insurance exchanges.

“The US healthcare industry is undergoing radical transformation with the Affordable Care Act. Evolving thought and business models have little semblance to present mechanisms. Over the next five years, SNSK aspires to be an engine of accelerating digital solutions that would make patient care more accountable, efficient, predictable and effective. I am delighted to join hands with Sanjay and Mahesh in this exciting journey,” Shiv Nadar, chairman, HCL and mentor, SNSK, said.

Mahesh Nagaraj is managing director at the firm. He was earlier a vice president at Tech Mahindra.

“SNSK is an operating team with capital. Our relationship capital, trust and Shiv as a mentor are the most valuable elements we bring to our portfolio companies. We will support management teams to unlock value in their companies through our entrepreneurial passion, engineering heritage and global operating experience,” says Sanjay Kalra, chairman at SNSK.

Kalra had quit as CEO of Tech Mahindra in 2010 soon after the Mahindra Group firm announced a deal to buy Satyam Computer Services. He did not join any firm since then. As per his LinkedIn profile he was 'entrepreneur at large' before partnering Nadar in February this year.

An IIT Delhi grad, he started his career with Schlumberger before moving to Tata Unisys in 1991. Three years later he joined HCL and served almost a decade in the group and in his last assignment with HCL was CEO of DSL Software, a JV between HCL and Deutsche Bank, before the Indian IT firm bought the stake held by the foreign partner. He spent the next six years with Tech Mahindra.

It is not clear if he has also invested in his personal capacity in the venture or will be leveraging his sweat equity. When he quit Tech Mahindra, he held a little over 1 per cent stake worth Rs 50 crore then.

Bulk of the money, however, is expected to come from Nadar, one of the richest industrialists in the country. The promoter holding in HCL Technologies is worth over $11.5 billion.

This is the first such Indian origin investment firm that is primarily looking to invest in the US. There are several VC firms which invest in cross-over ventures typically straddling US and India where the firm is incorporated and headquartered in the US but has its development team in India.

However, some like Wipro promoter Azim Premji among others have several investments in solely US-based ventures.

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