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Robin Raina: Maverick Moneyman

Robin Raina: Maverick Moneyman

Hungry for growth, Raina’s game plan is to create a one-stop financial superstore—an MNC out of India—and he is pursuing that ambition with relentless ferocity, picking up companies along the way

Sourav Majumdar, Editor, Business Today Sourav Majumdar, Editor, Business Today

It is difficult to describe someone like Robin Raina. The multifaceted boss of US insurance solutions company Ebix Inc.—and its Indian subsidiary, the fast-growing fintech company EbixCash—is as colourful a personality as the sprawling office he sits in. But beneath all the glamour and the hype around him is a razor-sharp business brain and a steely determination to grow his company to create an ‘airport’ of financial transactions spread across payments, remittances, travel and foreign exchange. Hungry for growth, Raina’s game plan is to create a one-stop financial superstore—an MNC out of India—and he is pursuing that ambition with relentless ferocity, picking up companies along the way. As Anand Adhikari’s cover story on Raina and his Ebix group will tell you, he is on the road to achieving that, and his fledgling Indian company is already clocking a run rate of a billion dollars in revenues. There’s $100-million EBITDA in a Covid-19-hit year, he says. The dream is to make EbixCash a brand which can spread across the world. With the Ebix Inc. global insurance hub model as the driver, Raina is now giving shape to an Indian version which will mirror that by way of acquisitions, cross-selling and synergies in operations. “I want to take convergence to the next level. I want to build convergence first between financial processes, and then converge finance, insurance and healthcare,” says Raina.

The cover story apart, elsewhere in this issue Nidhi Singal takes a close look at the semiconductor shortage, which has brought several critical sectors to a grinding halt, and why the chip is so critical to so many sectors. While semiconductor chips are at the heart of all electronic devices, there is a major shortage of such chips currently. The rapid digitisation that was evident across sectors created a massive demand for semiconductor chips, leading to a shortage across the world. This was exacerbated by the several restrictions on movement during the pandemic, further affecting the complex manufacturing process required to make these chips. India is an important part of the design component of the semiconductor ecosystem, but the country has practically no chip-manufacturing capabilities. The Narendra Modi government is now aiming to change that and has just provided a major policy push to encourage chip-making capabilities in India. The Rs 76,000-crore government package is aimed at supporting highly capital-intensive and resource-intensive projects for semiconductor and display fabs, and also has a design-linked incentive scheme. The government also intends to train 85,000 engineers for the semiconductor ecosystem.

Meanwhile, as the equity market sees a rush of new investors, Ashish Rukhaiyar brings you the story of the growing importance of passive mutual funds—funds that essentially mirror an index and don’t have to be actively managed. Sensing this trend, fund houses have launched as many as 73 of them this year, up from just 31 last year. Clearly, it’s another new story building up in the markets.

Published on: Dec 25, 2021, 8:54 AM IST
Posted by: Arnav Das Sharma, Dec 24, 2021, 11:51 AM IST