Ashish Dhawan is another big name in the Indian stock market. He is a well-known private equity investor who co-founded ChrysCapital before turning 30. It is presently one of India’s leading portfolio management company and manages approximately 2.5 billion USD across six funds. ChrysCapital aspires to become the country’s largest investment firm in the coming years.
Early days in the Investment Sector
Ashish has been investing in the stock market for the past 20 years. After graduating with a dual bachelor’s degree from Yale University, he started his career in investment sector in the year 1992. He took up an analyst job with Wasserstein Perella and Company, an investment bank on Wall Street. In the following year, Ashish joined McCown DeLeeuw and Company, a small private equity firm based out of California. After working there in the post of junior associate for two years, he enrolled himself for the prestigious MBA programme at Harvard Business School in 1995.
During the mid-nineties, Ashish Dhawan invested proprietary capital in the Risk Arbitrage Group at New York’s blue chip investment bank Goldman Sachs. He gained enough exposure in the investment sector before coming back to India in 1999.
Journey in the Indian Stock Market
Ashish Dhawan co-founded ChrysCapital along with his Harvard classmate Raj Kondur in the year 1999. Ashish personally holds investments worth approximately Rs. 800 crore in the stock markets. During his initial years in the Indian stock market, he made a significant amount of money investing in Mphasis, Yes Bank, Axis Bank, and Shriram Transport Finance. He also reaped benefits from his investment in some of the mid-caps like Kajaria Ceramics, Take Solutions, etc. Ashish Dhawan also failed several times and his decisions to invest in Allsec Technologies, Orient Green Power, Mastek etc. turned out to be disastrous.
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Ashish Dhawan’s portfolio grew few folds in the past few years. In 2002, he held a portfolio of Rs. 265 crores consisting of stocks from various sectors. He had enough faith in the financial services sector of the country, and almost 40 percent of his investments were in that sector. Most of the investments were planned for long terms. Presently, his portfolio is valued at about Rs. 800 crores with stock investment in mostly small companies like Madhucon Projects and Nahar Industrial Enterprises.
In 2008, Ashish Dhawan was quick to assess the future potential of HCL Technologies. ChrysCapital invested 180 million USD for 5 percent in the company.
“In 2007 to mid-2008, everyone loved domestic companies. We invested in HCL Technologies betting on the fact that one of its largest verticals was infrastructure management services. No one saw that. HCL was the best in that business,” says Ashish Dhawan.
His decision turned out to be a huge success. In the later half of 2013, ChrysCapital offloaded about 2 percent of its stake in HCL Technologies for $500 million.
Ashish Dhawan believes in investing for long terms. He feels India is going to do well over the next 20 years.
Ashish Dhawan in 2012 formed Central Square Foundation (CSF), a non-profit organization which aims to improve the quality of education. In 2014, he along with 40 others visionaries of the education sector launched Ashoka University, India’s first liberal arts university. He left his full-time position at ChrysCapital in 2012 to devote more time to teaching. He is presently one of the directors of ChrysCapital.