Where the Rich are Investing 2018

Ankit Chona

For the mangaging director of Havmor ice cream and restaurant, there is no better bet than his business

Soumik Kar

Life has changed remarkably for the ice-cream man of Ahmedabad, Ankit Chona. Selling Havmor to Lotte Confectionery for Rs.10.2 billion has left him with time to look beyond what he knows best. 

“Till the time we were in the business, almost 90% of our money went into it. With liquidity now coming in, our asset allocation strategy has obviously changed,” says the 35-year-old, who learnt the ropes of the business from his father Pradeep Chona. Havmor started way back in 1944 and Ankit represents the third generation.

A good part of his time now goes into expanding the restaurant business, which clocks a turnover of Rs.1 billion across its 40 outlets. “20% of our wealth now goes into the business,” he explains. The new phase of his life has him working with his wealth managers, IIFL and Kotak, with the brief to invest for the long-term. “I like the idea of systematic investments made over five to seven years,” says Ankit.

The family has not been lucky with real estate. Though Ankit is reluctant to share details, he says they got it wrong on both commercial and residential properties. With 20% tucked away for the restaurant business, the balance 76% is spread across equities and debt. A small 4% is reserved for alternative investments, which is where the family’s interest in art comes in. 

He has left the running of equities to his wealth managers. “They understand it better than I do,” explains Ankit, who expects a return of 12% both from debt and equities. But, by far, the best investment for Ankit is his own business. “We have never generated anything less than 25%, be it from the ice-cream or the restaurant business. That is something we understand well,” says Ankit.