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How a mysterious professor made billions from stocks

Last updated on: April 17, 2014 19:34 IST

How a mysterious professor made billions from stocks

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Sachin P Mampatta in Mumbai

A well-known name among Dalal Street veterans, Shivanand Shankar Mankekar is said to have been active in the market since the 80s, rising to fame in 2003.

Professor Shivanand Shankar Mankekar, in his mid-50s, is a slightly bald man who lives near Matunga station here. 

The description could be true of many in this metropolis. However, Mankekar is no ordinary academician: His stake in United Spirits is worth about Rs 500 crore, at the share price of Rs 3,030 announced by Diageo.

(Image used for representation only)

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Image: A man tries out rose wine.
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He also has significant stakes in Talwalkars Better Value Fitness Ltd and MT Educare, among others. 

A well-known name among Dalal Street veterans, he is said to have been active in the market since the 80s, rising to fame in 2003, when he became an early investor in Pantaloons, in which he is said to have been a 100-bagger- he made returns 100 times the investment.

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Photographs: Uttam Ghosh/Rediff.com

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No one knows the worth of Mankekar's overall holdings. Disclosures suggest United Spirits account for most of his portfolio, or a little more than 85 per cent of the value of his holdings in the public domain.

But disclosures are only required if holdings in a company exceed one per cent. 

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Photographs: Uttam Ghosh/Rediff.com

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Mankekar isn't known to be tied down to any particular investment style.

While he invests on the basis of parameters such as a strong track record at beaten-down valuations, he is also open to investing in early-stage companies yet to hit the market. 

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His investment in Wockhardt is said to have typified the former. Mankekar had invested in the company when its stock had dropped to sub-Rs 400 levels on various concerns.

Subsequently, he rode it all the way to levels exceeding Rs 2,000. He had invested in Talwalkars before the company was listed. His association with the company goes back to 2006, about four years before it was listed.

Both the investments were multi-baggers.

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Pantaloons is an example of a pick he had backed, despite the fact that it didn't fit typical value parameters.

When he had invested in it, Pantaloons was operating on negative cash flow, the return on equity was low and the company was focused on growth through borrowings. 

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Mankekar's shrewd judgement isn't limited to investments. With his son, he teaches at a number of management institutes.

After preparing arduously to get into an internship programme at one such institute, a young woman once broke into tears when the father-son duo said she could leave after she had answered just one question, related to the pharmaceuticals sector.

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It turned out not only was the answer correct, the woman had shown she had sufficient knowledge of the sector; Mankekar didn't see the need to ask any more questions. 

When Business Standard tried to contact him, his son declined comment, saying the family sought to stay out of the limelight.


Image: An investor gestures with folded hands towards the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) building while watching a large screen displaying India's benchmark share index in Mumbai.
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