For about a decade, Biswanath Patnaik enjoyed a successful career as a banker, holding positions in a number of financial institutions, but in 2009, he set his sights on entrepreneurship. “I made the decision to strike out on my own and opened several companies in India and then bought two other companies; one of them was an RBI-licensed company and the other was a BSE-listed company. I continued running those until 2014,” he said. “I have a passion for finance overall and I have never wanted to do anything else,” he added.
Today, as CEO of BNP Investments LLC, an asset management and investment banking company he founded in 2018, based out of London and Dubai, Biswanath provides clients from around the globe with a range of highly effective financial and corporate solutions that include trade finance, working capital, financing for M&A, growth capital for business, and investment initiative. With an eye on efficient turnaround time and 100% accountability, he works tirelessly to ensure their success. At the same time, he’s passionate about philanthropy and works just as hard to provide those less fortunate with resources and opportunities.
We spoke with Biswanath to find out more about his work in the financial field and why he thinks it’s so important to give back.
First, tell us about your journey to start BNP.
After getting my degree in 1999, I worked as a banker until 2009, and then opened and successfully ran several businesses until 2014. The market was saturated in India by that time, so I moved to the U.K. and used that capital to get into the trade finance business in London. I worked as an independent consultant and then started my own successful venture capital firm in 2016. I then invested in UK- and Europe-based companies, which are currently valued at $300 million USD and are in the process of getting listed on the NASDAQ. While I started my current firm, BNP Investments, in 2018, I also have two other finance companies as well—one listed on the London Stock Exchange and another one is an FCA-listed company. Our current assets under management are more than 500 million euros. My company is listed on the AFRINEX international stock market (Mauritius), and we’re being considered for several prestigious governments’ disinvestment programs.
What makes BNP different from other asset management and investment firms?
One major difference is we have a strong line of credit, robust products such as monetizing sovereign and corporate bonds, and MTNs, and excellent mechanisms in place that allow us to successfully achieve our clients’ goals. Another important factor that sets our firm apart is our fast turnaround time, which makes clients happy because they don’t have to wait long to get funds. Also, most firms do regular funding by using the standby letter of credit or bank guarantee, but because we specialize in these aforementioned products, we can provide greater potential returns.
What do you enjoy most about your work; what drives you?
Basically, I’m a workaholic and I love doing what I do! My business has grown so much now with multiple investments in many segments such as healthcare, fintech, retail, green solar renewable energy, and I’m very focused on every one of my companies. My core subject is where I made my money and invested in these verticals where my funds are growing, but I’m also into gold refinery and bullion trading in Dubai. For me, it’s about making very dignified money and very successful ventures, allowing me to give back to others as much as I can.
Tell us more about your philanthropic involvement and some of the causes you’re currently supporting.
I’m heavily into charitable activities in India and UNESCO. As chairman of the International Committee of Social Action Foundation, I have undertaken the responsibility to educate 500 underprivileged young girls, so I donate funds every year to make sure they are educated and have the opportunity to graduate with a secure job as a nurse or as a teacher. I’ve been doing this since 2009. I also donate to RBKL, which provides needy, orphaned children with education, lodging, and boarding, and I give money every month to make sure these children are fed properly and cared for in a loving environment.
Biswanath Patnaik holds an MBA, LLB, and a BA in economics. He is a 2022 recipient of the Top 10 Unstoppable Business Leaders by The International Magazine (TIM) Pride of India Award under the technology innovation category.
CEO — BNP Investments LLC
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