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From Engineering to Equities

Prashant Khemka turns his eye to the Indian market

Prashant Khemka
Founder, White Oak Capital Management

Vanderbilt MBA 1998

These days, you might see Prashant Khemka on outlets ranging from CNBC in the United States to Proactive Investors Stocktube in London. He has become a go-to expert for market analysis, particularly emerging markets such as India.

That’s not a future one might have predicted for Khemka in his college days, when he trained to be an engineer. Vanderbilt put him on a different path.

At Owen, Khemka received the Matt Wigginton Leadership Award for outstanding performance by a student in Finance. Within six years of graduating, he was co-chairing Goldman Sachs’ investment committee. Two years later he was in his hometown, Mumbai, managing GS India Equity. His success with that fund, which won accolades that included a AAA rating from Citywire, created an opportunity to turn around Goldman’s Global Emerging Markets (GEM) Equity. In four years with Khemka as CIO and Portfolio Manager, the fund quintupled from less than $500 million to more than $2.6 billion, ranking in the top one percent of its peer group and earning a five-star rating.

In 2017, Khemka parlayed that success into the founding of his own Mumbai-based firm, White Oak Capital Management. In 2018, he also launched a new fund, Ashoka India Equity Investment Trust.

Not surprisingly, based on his record everywhere from Owen to Asia, Khemka’s new fund was trading at a premium after one year on the London stock exchange. His approach, as he explained to a British TV interviewer, is to focus “more on the mid-cap to small-cap listed public equity space in the Indian market, which is a quite inefficient space where a lot of value can be added through proper due diligence and research.”