After graduating from Pepperdine University with a master’s degree in business administration, Suhel Kothari became managerially involved with the family jewelry business. While amassing over fifteen years of experience, Suhel developed an in-depth understanding of all aspects of how to evaluate businesses from various angles such as sales, merchandising, marketing, finance, and human resources. Today, as the founder and chief executive officer of Czar Capital, LLC, he applies these business fundamentals when making all investment decisions with the goal of achieving higher returns than other competing companies.
Founded over a decade ago, Czar Capital, LLC had been a proprietary investment vehicle until recently. The Czar name was originally used by Suhel’s father, the late Rajendra Kothari, for an investment entity, but it was subsequently dissolved. Other family members in India adopted the Czar name as well, and Czar Capital Pvt. Ltd. was created by them. However, the family has an understanding about the sharing of the name and the intellectual property (IP).
Czar Capital operates out of two locations: New York, United States and Mumbai, India. While they share a similar investment philosophy and guide each other, the Indian entity is owned by other family members. Suhel serves as CEO of the U.S. entity, and the company has now started bringing other co-investors into special purpose vehicles (SPVs) created for specific investments. While Czar Capital is smaller than their peers, Suhel makes sure to get all of the stakeholders 100% aligned, which is made evident in their company philosophy : “Integrity. Focus. Expertise. Alignment.”
According to Suhel, Czar Capital’s specialty is identifying understandable businesses that can be scaled at a rapid pace through technology. He explains, “Our niche is recognizing straight forward businesses in terms of cash flow because these companies can scale at a much faster pace than the competition, thereby creating a moat around the business itself.” Suhel adds that his team at Czar Capital is extremely opportunistic, “unlike people who tend to be asset gatherers”, and are highly driven by returns.
In fact, their focus on risk-adjusted returns results in decisions that sets Czar Capital apart from their competition. For example, they knowingly decline more business deals than traditional investment companies. “This can be attributed to competency, alignment of the operations team, or the business itself, but if something does not fall within our checklist, our answer will be no,” says Suhel. The general view at Czar Capital is that the people operating the business are the real value. Therefore, they usually back an existing business operating at an impressively high level with the appropriate funding to get to scale
However, Suhel does consider some special cases, such as a high-level executive who has been with a company for a few years, if he or she understands operations and wants to fulfill his or her entrepreneurial spirit. He explains, “Czar Capital would back someone like that and bring them on board. A good example is one of our investments that become a co-investment deal in the cannabis space. We didn’t have a lot of expertise in that area, so we brought someone on board who would co-manage that specific deal with us.” Czar Capital & the co-manager, evaluated the operators of various businesses in the space, and then aligned themselves with the final target company. According to Suhel, such an investment would never have taken place in the past, but today Czar Capital is invested in this growing industry with a great team; Czar bringing its fundamental business sense, the co-manager bringing in industry expertise and an operator that is operationally focused on the business – the trifecta that makes sure he gets the best returns.
Founder and CEO
Czar Capital, LLC