Burman Family Office too in Internet ventures

Joining the party of India's blue chip business tycoons, the Burman Family Office, is increasing its pace of investment by investing Rs 250-300 crores across asset classes and stages in this financial year.
Burman Family Office too in Internet ventures

Eyeing to increase its pace of investments in the new fiscal, The Burman Family Office, private investment arm of the promoters of consumer conglomerate Dabur India, will be investing Rs 250-Rs 300 cr across asset classes and stages this financial year.

The family office will be investing in technology and consumer internet ventures along with food, hospitality and healthcare.

The move comes at a time when family offices are increasingly emerging as a safer, strategic alternative to conventional risk capital, not just for their long-term investment approach, but also for the brand recognition they bring to early-stage ventures looking to establish themselves. For per investment, the Gaurav Burman-led Burman Family Office will allocate the capital in the range of Rs 20 cr to Rs 100cr.

"We are interested in investing in consumer internet ventures. We would like to find business that are not pure startups, but have traction. We don't, therefore, end up taking on much venture risk," said Gaurav Barman. 

The investment arm has picked up stakes in Karnataka Bank and RBL, and has entered into a number of joint ventures, such as its partnership with insurance giant Aviva to set up one of the country's largest life insurance companies. 

"Given that this is generational business, in the mid-90s we decided to take a generous portion of our dividend income and invest in new businesses, and we decided to do that as a group rather than individually, because as a group we have more capital to invest, drive better deals, find better opportunities, leverage each other's networks," added Burman. 

According to him, all the investments are made by family members utilising their personal wealth, and not out of Dabur's balance sheet. The Burman Family continues to hold about a 70% stake in Dabur, which has a market capitalisation of about Rs 46,800 crore.

"We would like to do more in the online space. The mandate I have is to invest capital that can be harvested by the next generation," continued Burman. 

Apart from the Burmans, other prominent family offices actively investing in the country are Premji Invest, the personal investment arm of Wipro, Chairman Azim Premji,  Infosys co-founder NR Narayana Murthy's Catamaran Ventures,  and former Disney-UTV head Ronnie Screwvala's Unilazer Ventures. 

Recently, Ratan Tata, chairman emeritus of the $100-billion Tata Group, made a slew of investments in the country's eCommerce space, including in online marketplace Snapdeal, auto portal CarDekho and online jewellery retailer BlueStone. 

So far, this year, Indian family offices led by PremjiInvest, have already invested about $200 million across stages, according to Venture Intelligence. 

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