Business strategy

Happiest Minds Co-founder Ashok Soota Eyes for His Third IPO at 79; Details Here

A work experience spanning over four decades in the technology sector of the country, India’s Ashok Soota has headed three leading IT companies and taken two of them public. He is now planning to get his newest venture, Happiest Health, off the ground and also wants to take it to the Dalal Street for a debut in the next five years with an Initial Public Offering (IPO).

The now 79-year-old will turn a year older in November when his newest startup Happiest Health will be one of the most unique startups in the sense that it would see an octogenarian founder in Ashok Soota. As per Bloomberg, Happiest Health is based on Soota’s vision of a “holistic” approach towards health and wellbeing. The startup also takes inspiration from Berkshire Hathaway Inc.’s Warren Buffett and Charlie Munger, who are following through in their nineties. Happiest Health is now only a week old, with Soota launching the startup just days ago.

“They embody the canon that work is exercise for the mind,” Soota told Bloomberg during an interview in his Bangalore residence, which is not far away from the office of Wipro Ltd, where he played a key role. India’s IT outsourcing businesses was first set up decades ago in Bangalore, and slowly became a $227 billion industry with Soota having a major role in building it.

In 1984, Soota received an offer at Wipro to steer it, and subsequently became one of the reasons for the company’s success in outsourcing business. All this while, he stayed under the wings of its founder, billionaire Azim Premji. After 15 years of serving at Wipro, Soota quit the company in 1999 to co-found rival IT services company Mindtree Ltd. The company launched its IPO in 2007.

But Ashok Soota was not done yet. In 2011, he did a repeat to establish digital services-focused outsourcer Happiest Minds Technologies Ltd. Nine years later in 2020, Soota, as an executive chairman of the company, took it to the Dalal Street with an IPO amid the pandemic, and joined the billionaires’ club when the market value of the company crossed $2.5 billion a year later.

However, Soota’s ventures have faced some bumps with Happiest Minds and Mindtree losing their values this year amid a current market volatility. Still, the industry pioneer is does not seem to shaken about it, with him launching Happiest Minds, a knowledge enterprise focusing on health and wellness.

The company will provide “highly differentiated, credible and trustworthy health and wellness knowledge across formats to readers from around the globe,” as per its website. Headed by Ashok Soota, the company has 90 employees, including “editors, journalists, writers, graphic designers, photographers from respected media houses in India, and also healthcare professionals”, the website says.

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