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Entrepreneurs who made big exits and turned active investors

The second, the name and details of which he declined to reveal, is in the consumer durables space. A similar pattern ofinvestments is visible in Unilazer Ventures, a holding company set by a decade ago by Screwvala and converted into a family office last year after the UTV sale. It has invested in an IT-ITES company called OnContract. com and INI Farms, an export-oriented horticulture company that specialises inpomegranates, selling under the brand name Kimaye. 

How Involved Are They Giving capital to portfolio companies is just the first engagement. They act as mentors, and work closely with their portfolio companies on operational, strategic and governance issues. "Our value add is to help scale new ventures and build a brand," says Screwvala. 
Pankaj Khandelwal, chairman and managing director of INI Farms, says Screwvala spends around two to three hours with him every month. 

Screwvala's team is helping INI with legal structuring and branding. "Ronnie and his team keep pushing me to think about the organisation's long-term strategy for the next three years," says Khandelwal. "I tend to get bogged by daily operations." "We have active participation at the board level, business level and operational level," says Screwvala, founder and advisor, investment strategy, Unilazer. 

"It becomes a more participative approach compared to a more passive approach through a fund." Malhotra, who spends a couple of hours every week on calls with his portfolio companies, is taking a similar approach with Nevis Networks, a company that provides Internet and network security solutions. He has been helping Nevis make senior-management hires by sharing his network of contacts. He is also helping the company sort out its distribution structure and increase reach. "The company has the technology, but is still commercialising its business," says Malhotra. 

Malhotra relates to their circumstances and challenges. "They are going through the same situation I have been through long ago," he says. "Being an entrepreneur, my approach as an investor is different from a financial investor. I am more involved in the company's operational issues." 
Amit Patni sits on the board of his investee companies and spends one day every month mentoring. 

"We are also syncing our investees with other investors in our 
networks to take their companies to the next level," says Arihant Patni. "I don't want to be an entrepreneur," says TV Mohandas Pai, a former director on the Infosys board. Pai left the company in 2012 and has since been using his cache of Infosys shares to play a mentor-investor through a $50 million fund called Aarin Capital, which he set up with Dr Ranjan Pai of the Manipal Group(the two are not related). 

Although Pai wasn't an entrepreneur and has a smaller corpus than the others in this story, his philosophy is similar. "At this stage of my life, it's better to be an investor and mentor businesses."

Rakesh Malhotra 


Sold 74% in Luminous Power Technology to 
Schneider Electric for Rs 1,400 cr 


Venture capital fund Ncubate Capital Where: Investing in technology (Nevis Networks) and consumer-driven businesses How: In fund's two investments till date, he is involved in operational issues and has made senior management hires for the companies 

Ronnie Screwvala 


Sold UTV to 
Walt Disney for Rs 2,000 crore 


What: Family office Where: Start-ups, early-stage investments with focus on agri-business (INI Farms), e-commerce (OnContract.com) and rural healthcare How: Active mentor 

AmitPatni & ArihantPatni 


Gajendra, their father, got Rs 900 cr from the $1.2 billion sale of Patni Computer 


Nirvana Ventures, a venture capital fund managed by Rajan Mehra Where: Focus on Internet and digital spaces (Transerv and Games2win) How: Active investors, with Amit on the board of all portfolio companies