IN a world of ambitious Ambanis, aggressive Raos and impatient Adanis, Dilip Shanghvi stands out as a man who likes to take his time building a business — a patient industrialist willing to wait for the right deal, striking, as they say, when the iron is hot.
At a time when the country’s top industrial houses have leveraged themselves to the hilt, Shanghvi comes across as the conservative entrepreneur, unwilling to live beyond his means. Little wonder then that his shareholders are among the most rewarded — Sun Pharmaceuticals Industries mar ket capitalisation has risen fourfold in a span of just six years to R1.2 lakh crore now. With Monday’s acquisition of Ranbaxy Laboratories, Shanghvi once again displays his intelligence and caution — he’s picked up a good asset, a business that both complements and supplements his own but without paying top dollar. The deal is sweetly timed — Ranbaxy’s regulatory run-ins with the US have probably peaked, the firm’s margins are somewhere close to bottoming out and Daiichi Sankyo is ready to throw in the towel. Shanghvi is not new to acquisitions — he’s done a dozen of them — and would have learnt the most from the long-drawn-out Taro buyout that was caught up in a crossfire of Israeli laws; even emerging markets guru Mark Mobius, who initially didn’t support Sun’s bid for Taro saying the price of $7.75 per share was too low, later appreciated the Indian firm’s contribution in putting Taro back on track.