Excerpts of My Keynote Address to Healthcare and Education Start Ups

Key Note Address
My Keynote Address to Start Ups


Madam Secretary, members on the dais, dignitaries, my mentor friends and budding start up entrepreneurs. I invoke the blessing of his holiness to bestow the positive energies and blessing to one and all.

Delivering Key Note Address 

Delivering keynote Address is always a matter of honour and pride on which one stands amongst ones own to share the experience. I remember delivering my first keynote at Arab Health 2003. I was part of the team that set up Cleveland Clinic in Abu Dhabi, Saudi Aramco-John Hopkins in Saudi Arabia, Cornell Medical College in Qatar and Joslin Clinic. It was definitely an honour to stand with the Royal and industry executives but no pride as I was not standing amongst my own. Today, when I am standing in front of you to deliver this keynote address, I feel honored and full of pride. And why not? Since I settled down in Bangalore, in 1998 till I migrated back to Bombay in 2017, this city has provided me with inspiration to do so many initiatives. So I am full of pride to be rightly one amongst you, although I no longer reside in Bangalore, my spirit and heart is still a Bangalorean. However, there is something in the air, water and weather of Bangalore that has motivated me to do so many initiatives. I feel that I am going to share some of my experience and motivations to you to do more than me while you are in Bangalore and deliver to the nation and the world.

  • In 1998, I worked on PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s Task Force on Food and Agri Reforms that set the direction and pace of reforms in Agri and Food Processing Industry right from my office on Airport Road
  • In 2008, I became world’s first CISO in the Drug Discovery Outsoucing, leveraging my learnings from Wipro as Head of Healthcare
  • From Bangalore, I was invited to Singapore Government to assist them in their Biotech and healthcare delivery model around Sing Health and Biopolis
  • In 2009, I hosted the Hon CM Yadurappa to showcase the smart ambulance and health presence while I was CEO of Cisco.
  • I was one of the member of the Planning Commission’s PPP Committee on Healthcare where we drafted the first PPP regulatory draft under Dr. Ramadoss. Later, I was invited by the Principle Secretary Health for working on the World Bank Karnataka PPP healthcare delivery model
  • In 2010, India’s first day care surgery chain was conceptualized and rollout by me as one of the early investors with the first 2-day care surgery centers at Koramangala and Sadashiv Nagar. This is now part of Apollo Hospitals now.
  • My investment in XY Clinic which was an innovation genomic, diagnostics and nutrigenomics. The first India flagship was launched here in Bangalore. The same year, we started Bangalore Angels with my school time buddies who had started Mumbai Angels. As of date over 75 start ups from Bangalore have been funded by Bangalore Angels. We also represented and fought with the Center on the removals of the demonic Angel Tax
  • This city’s Rotary Club in Bangalore which I was part of worked to make SMS mandatory working with the Planning Commission for eradication of Pulse Polio when there was a strong fake news like the Covid Vaccine amongst the villagers in Hosur District. With the SMS campaign, we saw 99.8% turnout in Bangalore while in Hosur it was less than 80%
  • As member of the FICCI National Committee nominated by Dr Jairam and my industry associate Rajen Padukone I delivered the country’s first Genomics Roadmap for mainstreaming India.
  • In 2013, at the behest of Kiran Majumdar Shaw, I took up the lead on Investment Committee of ABLE to deliver the Biotech Ignition Grant (BIG) policy, kicking of the public discussion with the current Principle Secretary right here at BIEC. This was further worked on to deliver the Start Up India Fund under the BJP in their first budget.
  • This city also kicked off Nasscom’s Product Conclave of which I was part of the committee for the first three editions.
  • In 2014, my firm completed taking Manipal Hospital to KL, Malaysia and consummate India’s first cross border M&A in hospital sector in India.
  • It was here from my World Trade Center Office, I conceptualized and launched 2 funds. India’s first healthcare REIT and India’s first offshore quant/algo hedge fund.   

Position of Karnataka

Algo we developed from my hedge fund has been successfully predicting healthcare and life sciences investments in India with 95% accuracy since we launched in 2016, except last year. This year we reset out algo as our predictions for 2020 all went haywire. This year, for the first time we have created our heatmap on hottest states to invest in India for healthcare and life sciences. I must say, my pride is further validated for Bangalore and Karnataka as it has emerged on the top emerging states for investment for the sector. Bangalore, is the innovation hub not only for tech but for healthcare and life sciences in India. That attracts investments. I must say that this vibrant ecosystem creates a healthy pipeline for investments for our funds. This year, Karnataka will also delivery two more Unicorns to this nation’s list of unicorns.

My Message to the Start Ups in the New Normal

2020 was a disastrous year for world in terms of employment and investments. I must warn that emerging out of the situation of 2020, please do not profit out of the misery of others and make money out of this situation for your venture and investors. This would be the biggest disservice you would do to yourself and mankind. I will be discussing on the emerging business models and tech in healthcare and life sciences and what would be the lessons learnt and the key opportunities for start ups in the new normal in my other session. All I want to say now is that don’t be guided by the events of 2020 that your venture’s value proposition is narrowly defined. The time of the first-generation cohorts of start ups which were imitating the models of the west is now over. We have witnessed in 2020 that their advancements and innovation in tech could not prevent the catastrophe of 2020. Its now time to innovate for Bharat for the Bharat Stack. Karnataka is one of the best sandbox for rolling out your ideas to the world. Let me assure you that there is no shortage of capital for the right ventures.

My Message to the Government of the Day in Karnataka

Madam, I would like to also leave a message for you today from this podium. While drafting the BIG policy, we analysed all start up in healthcare and life sciences across the world including India. One of the key issues that healthcare and life sciences start ups require is a longer gestational cycle to mature their tech and innovation as there is risk of lives. We discussed at length at the DBT BIG policy back in 2013, how do we mitigate this. I believe that Bharat Biotech is a shining example of how DBT and the state administration collaborated to its success. In the past, Karnataka was diametrically opposite to the political party ruling Delhi. This time round we have alignment both at the Center and State. I would like to emphasise in no uncertain terms that the success of Bharat Biotech in our neighbouring state was not incubation but acceleration and grants for the scientific innovation. Please do consider this when you are drafting policies to support start ups and ventures in healthcare and life sciences. I must also request you to consider developing the infrastructure in Karnataka like the erstwhile Andhra Pradesh has developed in Hyderabad for the Biotech industry.

Healthcare and education are social services and goods. During Covid, I was part of the committee that drafted the Social Stock Exchange. Karnataka has been misfortunate to have divergent governments in State and the Center and hence many of the initiatives could not be encouraged in the state. However, we now have the opportunity to align with the Center. Karnataka has the opportunity to be the first incubator and sandbox for social ventures. I would urge you to reach out to the Principle Secretary Finance and discuss the issues and requirements with the Minister of State for Finance at the Center.

My Message to Mentors to Be Ready for New Technological Disruptions

My message to the mentors is very straight and simple. We are at the cusp of new slew of disruptions in technology. Our neighboring state has already tested 5G and would be rolling out in the state and the country very soon. Please do get ahead of these developments to be able to guide your start ups on what to expect in the future. Also instead of going with the feeling of Never Done Before, it would be better to leverage the technology and platforms already developed and operational to partner. Do not fall into the heady lure of make versus buy just because you have a personal point to prove yourselves. Look at this LG Velvet phone which I am using for testing some of the healthcare solutions and delivering my keynote. This handset is as powerful as my tablet giving a full desktop experience while being so portable and enabling mobility with being 5G ready.   

My Message to the Accelerator Operators is to Share and Grow the Ecosystem

I heard some of the positive developments in our journey here in the start up ecosystem. I would urge you to share your templates, learnings, best practices to others who are setting up new accelerators. Good Karma always comes back. Like open source, please be a contributors to the ecosystem and the ecosystem will grow further and stronger.

Finally, the Alchemy of Success

I would like to conclude now that the platform is very strong that is available to you. On one hand you have the encouragement and full endorsement of the ITBP Ministry of Karnataka. One the other hand, you have a solid mentor base. I have had the privilege to work and collaborate with some of the mentors who are associated with you here in your journey. Please leverage their experience to the maximum. Also challenge them with the problems you are solving in your venture so that they are also bringing out their best to you. Finally, you also need to share your experiences with your peers so that you all come out of this experience stronger and positive. From my end, there are a whole lot of resources available on my website www.kapilkhandelwal.com which is available free of cost with no GST to leverage.  

I thank you all for a patient hearing and wish you all the very best in your entrepreneurial journey.

ITBP Prinicpal Secretary
KK with ITBP Prinicpal Secretary and MD KBIT

By Kapil Khandelwal KK

Popularly known as Father of ‘Quant Offshore Hedge Fund Investing’ in India amongst the Hedge Fund Managers in India and abroad, Kapil has earned recognition to be amongst the few handful Indians approved by the United Kingdom’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) approved board members’ list to serve the boards of funds, banks and financial institutions. He is a successful angel investor, venture capitalist and expert in health sciences, education, agri, clean tech and information communications and technology (ICT). KK runs a popular podcast QuoteUnQuote With KK

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