Asset allocation is a term that Pune-based Bhavook Tripathi has never fancied. “I have swung between 100% equity to less than 10% equity to negligible real estate. If the market is dynamic, how can one follow a static asset allocation model?” questions the 45-year-old private investor and founder of Brahm group, which operates in the high-end die casting and machining business. Though Tripathi has several investments, the one that shot him from oblivion to the forefront was his big bet on R Systems International. Today, his holding in the IT company alone is worth 159 crore. “If I believe in something I would prefer to create a huge position,” explains Tripathi. But, of late, he has been focusing on growing his own business rather than scouting for opportunities in the secondary market. “Today’s valuation is good for selling your business and not buying,” says Tripathi, who has acquired three special machining tool companies, one each in the US, Mexico and Spain, over the past one-and-a-half years. The three companies, which together clock revenues of $70 million, are primarily engaged in the machining business. Explaining his rationale, Tripathi says, “I no longer want to be a passive investor and keep hoping that the management [in investee companies] will efficiently deploy capital. Instead, I want to make those calls and, hence, I am creating a robust manufacturing and technology platform.” Tripathi also runs an auto component manufacturing unit which supplies sprocket assemblies and clutch items to two-wheeler major Bajaj Auto. “Given the margins are low, I decided to move up the value chain by leveraging on technology and roping in new customers,” points out Tripathi, who is eyeing a revenue of 2,000 crore in two-three years and then going public.
Beyond his core business, Tripathi is also developing 150 acres of land in north Goa that will house a startup village, a for-profit school of excellence in entrepreneurship, besides villas.
But for now, Tripathi wants to focus on his business and gradually work on the Goa project. Having thus far generated 20-25% return every year, Tripathi is hoping the good run will continue. “Brahm in Hinduism means omnipresence and a state of perfection. I am hoping I can reach that state with my investments,” sums up Tripathi.