Investors need to back entrepreneur’s vision: panellists at VCCircle summit

The entrepreneurial spirit and patience are what promoters ask for from investors, according to panellists at the opening session of VCCircle Healthcare Investment Summit 2015 held on September 15.

More than 250 healthcare entrepreneurs and investors attended six sessions led by 33 panellists on the first day of the two-day summit.

The opening panel, moderated by Vishal Bali, Asia head - healthcare, TPG Capital India Pvt Ltd, started off with a discussion on how healthcare investors need to be patient with the slow model of the sector and come on board with a point of view to back the entrepreneur's vision. The panel witnessed active participation from Ameera Shah, managing director & CEO, Metropolis Healthcare, Dr BS Ajai Kumar, chairman and CEO, HealthCare Global Enterprises Ltd., Siddharth Dhondiyal, managing director, India Value Fund Advisors (IVFA) and Dr Ashwin Naik, founder and director, Vaatsalya Healthcare.

“I believe that PE should come in looking at the vision of the entrepreneur,” BS Ajai Kumar said. He went on to emphasise the importance of independence for an entrepreneur. “In my view, PE getting into operations of a healthcare firm is disastrous,” he said. Other panellists shared the idea of alignment of views between investors and healthcare entrepreneurs. “We look at partners who would sit with us by our side and brainstorm together,” Shah of Metropolis Healthcare said.

“Most investors come in with the rush of initial high projections,” said Naik of Vaatsalya Healthcare.

“We are backing and trust the team, hence do not want to interfere in daily affairs,” Dhondiyal of IVFA said. But investors were quick to add that entrepreneurs also need to align with the needs of investors who are bound by time. “Entrepreneur does not understand why returns are important for PE and that is where the disconnect happens,” Dhondiyal said.

Investors and healthcare sector experts emphasised that patience is the key to successfully build a long-lasting promoter-investor relationship. C Venkat Subramanyam, founder of investment banking firm Veda Corp stressed on the softer elements of healthcare deals and said that deal making is a five-day test match.

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