It’s been more than a year-and-a-half since Prasad Nimmagadda took the back seat at Matrix Laboratories after he sold his 12.1 per cent stake in the Hyderabad-based pharmaceutical company to Mylan Laboratories. One of his big deals while he was still in charge of Matrix in 2005 was the $264-million (Rs 1,157 crore then) acquisition of Belgiumbased Docpharma. Back then, it was touted as the largest global M&A play by an Indian pharma company, and one that would propel a little-known Matrix into the big league.
A little less than three years on, Matrix’s American owners, following the acquisition of Merck KGaA’s generics business last year, may be putting Docpharma on the block. Would things have been different had Prasad still been in the driver’s seat? Unlikely, says Prasad, who has been a hard-driving entrepreneur. It was he who picked up a sick Rs 45-crore company and turned it around in just four years.
|Name: Prasad Nimmagadda|
Designation: Vice Chairman
Institution: Matrix Laboratories
These days, Prasad is putting his Rs 500-crore pay-off from the stake sale to good use. He’s spending time on philanthropy, entrepreneurship and spurring new businesses. “I am half capitalist and half socialist,” he says with good reason. He has set aside Rs 200 crore for Nimmagadda Foundation. Of the remaining Rs 300-odd crore, he has given away a portion to his family and kept the rest as his own capital, which he invests in profit-making enterprises and uses the returns for philanthropic activities and for the work of the foundation.
Prasad, a cricket buff, today devotes 25 per cent of his time on philanthropy. Last year, his foundation donated Rs 1 crore to the L.V. Prasad Eye Institute for its children’s eye care initiative in and around Vizag under its mission to eradicate blindness among children by 2020. It is also working with CARE Hospital in Hyderabad for extending financial support to life-saving heart surgeries among children. After a superb first innings at Matrix, Prasad looks set to play an equally satisfying second innings.
— E. Kumar Sharma