Foundation Holdings may not be a large company by global standards, but it is playing a vital role in the successful growth of India and Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries.
Established in 2016 by CEO Abhishek Sharma, the young company invests in health care, education and consumer sectors driving transformational opportunities for the nations.
“The firm’s vision is building sustainable, industry-defining companies, and we focus on health care and education in India and in the GCC,” Sharma tells The CEO Magazine. “We created a firm that investors can put their trust in.”
Displaying an innovative approach to investments, Foundation Holdings strives to transform local businesses to compete on an international stage, making them global champions.
Through investing in the important sectors, Sharma is a key player in modernising India and the GCC.
“There has recently been more cautious growth in our region, and in our investors, and family offices,” he explains. “Both have a similar approach – they would like risk-adjusted returns where capital is preserved, yet there is an opportunity to make good returns.”
Enhancing service quality, growth trajectory and brand equity are some of the ways the Indian-based business projects other companies onto the global stage.
“We say, ‘Any monkey can do a deal’, and how we differentiate ourselves is with the ‘post deal’,” Sharma says. “We create value by improving revenue and cost base, ultimately leading to better investment returns and enhancing shareholder value.”
And it is awards – including the Global Business Outlook Award 2018 for the Best Health Care Investment Management Firm – that have boosted Foundation Holdings’ trustworthy international status.
Establishing an award-winning business hasn’t happened overnight. However, with more than a decade of experience under his belt, Sharma has helped the investment firm to come incredibly far in a short amount of time.
The father-of-two, who also sits on a number of boards, has worked across all sectors at companies including Bank of America, Merrill Lynch, Lehman Brothers and Sun Capital Partners – a US$10 billion middle-market private equity firm – throughout his financial career.
Alongside his company’s award, Sharma himself was ranked as the Emerging Indian CEO in the UAE at the 2017 UAE-Indian Economic Forum Awards and as the Emerging Indian CEO for Private Equity and Investments in 2018. Forbes Middle East also ranked the executive in its Top 100 Indian Business Owners in the Arab World in 2018.
Achievements aside, one of the most important lessons he has learned and carried across to his own enterprise is the significance of teamwork.
“None of the companies where I serve on the board are ‘Abhishek Sharma companies’ – they are Foundation Holdings companies,” the CEO says. “We work as a team. A founder has not just Abhishek Sharma on the board, but all of Foundation Holdings.”