Burman Family Office Believes in Investing for the Next Generation

Burman Family Holdings, family office of the FMCG giant Dabur India, has been investing across sectors from the last 20 years to build wealth beyond Dabur. “The family office was set up as were keen to invest as a family and build and nurture businesses outside of Dabur,” Gaurav Burman, investor in Burman Family Holdings told Entrepreneur India. Read the full article here.
The family office has invested in over 20 businesses in India and outside the country. These investments have been joint ventures with some of the largest businesses globally, including the likes of Aviva India with British multinational insurance company Aviva, Japanese healthcare venture M3, fast food company Yum that operates brands like KFC, Taco Bell, Pizza Hut worldwide and credit reporting multinational company Experian. Apart from joint ventures, the family office has also backed some of India’s best entrepreneurs to help them build successful businesses, such as DMI Finance, Centurion Bank and RBL Bank, among others.

Long-term Investments

Burman takes a long-term view on his investments and does not prefer to exit a business if it is growing and is profitable. “Our mandate is to invest for the next generation. For this reason, we look to build businesses over the next 10-30 years. In our portfolio, we have joint ventures and investments we have been invested in for more than 10 years,” said Burman. That said, Burman Family Holdings does not have a fixed time frame and can exit in the early stages if a good opportunity presents itself.

Investment Technique

Predominantly, the Burman family office is focused on three verticals—Financial Services, Healthcare and Branded Consumer— and pro-actively looks for opportunities in these sectors. “We are pro-active in our deal search and not reactive,” Burman said. “We identify gaps in the market and then decide if we want to approach the opportunity by trying to find a global player in the industry and set up a joint venture with them for India, or back a management team who is already present in market, or set up and back a start-up.” He added that due to the patient nature of their investments, the companies enjoy the luxury of building their business slowly and thoughtfully. “Knowing that they have an investor that is not in a rush to exit, companies can continue to fund the growth of the business over the long term.”

Learning as an Investor

Along with several stellar investments, the Burman Family Holdings also carries some duds in their portfolio that did not perform in the manner in which they had envisaged. According to Burman, their lack of understanding of the management team has been the key factor for these failures. “A good business with a bad management team will never succeed, whereas an average business with a good management can excel. Our investment failures have been where the management team has decided to take a path that is inconsistent with the business values we hold dear and as a result, the business has suffered,” he said. For this reason, the family office avoids passive investments where they cannot exert some form of control on the decision-making in the business.
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