- A formidable business leader in his own right,
- The acclaimed digital transformation leader and venture capitalist,
- Make no mistake; throwing money at companies for quick capital gain is hardly Pillai’s vision
- McLaren’s rethinking what it means to achieve success in rapid fashion
- Access to banking has long been a barrier to entry for everyday entrepreneurs
Berkshire Hathaway is the business world’s version of the Greatest of All Time (GOAT), perched atop every prestigious list such as Fortune Magazine’s “World’s Most Admired Companies”. The massive holding company, with a market capitalization of more than $600 billion, is one of the largest publicly traded companies worldwide. Helmed by famed leader, Warren Buffet, the firm experienced 20% compounded annualized gains from 1965 to 2020.
Imagine if Berkshire Hathaway’s strategic investment model could be modified and tailored for the burgeoning world of Digital Transformation? And, what if the 50-year timeline to success could be condensed to just a few years?
The acclaimed digital transformation leader and venture capitalist, Sajan Pillai, aims to do just that.
A formidable business leader in his own right, UST’s former CEO, Pillai is no stranger to rapid business growth – he grew UST Global from a 20-person shop to the tech powerhouse it is today, with 25,000 employees, a sky-high $1 billion-plus valuation, and compound annual growth rate of more than 30% in invested capital for its investors.
For his next act, Pillai plans to take his honed business acumen to take on the $400 billion Digital Transformation market by turning a long-game model on its head.
Pillai has long admired Berkshire Hathaway’s knack for investing in monopolies with no foreseeable competition, but it is a long-game strategy, requiring a lifetime to build and reap the rewards. In a world moving ever faster, Pillai is taking a proactive route: create the markets and build the companies that reign supreme.
Enter McLaren Strategic Ventures, a top investment firm and scale-up accelerator, that combines capital investment with key management, infrastructure and services, to enable entrepreneurs to rapidly scale up in the digital world.
With $300 million to invest, including an initial $100 million through venture arm Season Two Ventures, and, as reported in November in the Wall Street Journal, a $200 million IPO for a Special Purpose Acquisition Corporation (SPAC), Pillai plans to accelerate the time to market for innovative start-ups on the cutting edge of digital.
Make no mistake; throwing money at companies for quick capital gain is hardly Pillai’s vision. Knowing full well that 90% of startups fail, McLaren Strategic Ventures is going all in, providing entrepreneurs with every advantage for businesses, including a full range of highly trusted, personalized domain consulting and advisory services, innovative technologies, distributed through admired ecosystems, globally.
“McLaren’s rethinking what it means to achieve success in rapid fashion, by partnering with startups, scaleups, and investors to accelerate growth,” says Pillai. “By accelerate, we mean lightning-fast paths to capital, profitability, liquidity and ultimately success. Some firms do aspects of this well. No firm to date has brought all these resources to bear on this singular goal.”
His focus: digital technologies that will tackle society’s most critical problems while creating jobs for millions. Here is a snapshot of McLaren’s portfolio of companies and the problems they address.
Remove Inequalities in Banking Access to banking has long been a barrier to entry for everyday entrepreneurs. Leveling the playing field, Uvik, a start-up in digital payments in India, provides access and affordability to entrepreneurs from every corner of the globe. Uvik’s contactless mobile payment interface allows millions of unbanked customers to accept payments using NFC technology. Uvik’s systems have reimagined the future of payments for bills, restaurants, transportation, entertainment stores and retail locations around the globe.
Improve Cancer Outcomes Leveraging Big Data
4baseCare, an onco-tech company, is transforming precision oncology. The startup’s cutting-edge precision oncology solutions use advanced genomics and next-gen digital health technology to personalize patient care in oncology. Using a unique set of comprehensive genomic panels, oncologists can choose the optimal targeted therapy for their patients.
Simplify the Broken Supply Chain
Companies like Warehouse Now have developed digital platforms leveraging AI to help warehousing and supply chain businesses streamline their capital expenditure intensive, highly underutilized real estate warehouse assets to operational expenditure-based, just-in-time, highly efficient supply chain management assets. By providing mission-critical needs to 21 industries including pharmaceutical, food, manufacturing, retailing and logistics, Warehouse Now is servicing millions of consumers, across thousands of locations. In just ten months, Warehouse Now has grown 400% year on year.
Pillai’s vision of building the digital Berkshire Hathaway is only just beginning. Enabled by affordable technologies, such as cloud computing, global access to digital solutions and talent has never been higher. The cost and time to build and grow a startup has never been more attractive. McLaren has assembled a seasoned team of industry veterans with a track record of success spanning IT and technology services, software and banking financial services.
As 2022 begins, the speed with which digital technologies is being adopted is astonishing. Today, six in 10 people around the world now use the internet, 332 million people came online for the first time in 2021, and 4.66 billion actively use the internet worldwide – 59.5% of the global population. More than 5.22 billion people use a mobile phone today, equating to 66.6% of the world’s population.
“Digital transformation made major strides in 2021, partly out of necessity, but now that the world has experienced what can be accomplished,” said Pillai, “the journey has only just begun.”