EP 181 – Ewan Davis – Partner at Quadria Capital – Southeast Asia Is Just Compelling as a Region

by | Feb 23, 2022

The Asia Tech Podcast was joined by Ewan Davis, a Partner at Quadria Capital.  If you are in the Healthcare space in South and Southeast Asia, you should get to know the team at Quadria.  Quadria Capital has more than $2BN of assets under management and focuses on partnering with promising healthcare companies to help them grow into regional leaders.
Some of the topics that Ewan covered:
  • Studying Engineering at Oxford as part of a larger plan
  • Joining the investment banking ranks for 10 years
  • Leaving his job without much of a plan
  • Joining Quadria Capital and investing in healthcare companies across Southeast Asia
  • The importance of mentors and mentoring
  • Investing in growth while also managing through the growth of Quadria
  • Having empathy for Quadria’s portfolio companies
  • Healthcare Services, Pharmaceuticals and Life Sciences, Medical Devices and Technology, and Associated Healthcare Services
  • Being large investors in hospitals and having a front-row view on the impact of COVID
  • The acceleration of telemedicine
  • Solving the problem of healthcare accessibility across the region
  • Quadria’s investment into Con Cung in Vietnam
Some other titles we considered for this episode:
  1. I Wouldn’t Go Back
  2. At Best I’ve Considered One of Those Three
  3. The Grey-Haired Wizards
  4. HealthCare Is a Vast Sector
  5. The Easy Part Is Spending the Money

Read the best-effort transcript below (This technology is still not as good as they say it is…):

Michael Waitze 0:02
Michael Waitze Media. Telling Asia’s stories.

Michael Waitze 0:10
Okay, we’re on. Hi, this is Michael Waitze and welcome back to the Asia Tech Podcast. Today we are joined by Ewan Davis, a partner at Quadria Capital. Thank you so much for coming on the show today. How are you doing?

Ewan Davis 0:23
I’m doing very well. Thanks, Michael. And thanks for having me on the show.

Michael Waitze 0:27
It is my pleasure. Before we jump into the main part of our conversation, why don’t we give our listeners a little bit of your background for some context?

Ewan Davis 0:36
Sure, happy to. So as you pointed out, I’m recently a partner at Quadria Capital, where I’ve been investing in healthcare companies across Southeast Asia for about the last five years prior to that, for my sins. I was an investment banker for about 10 years, I’m British and self deprecating, and a bit apologetic about being being a banker. But that’s what I did. That’s what I did for 10 years prior to cordrea, Singapore, Hong Kong, and London where I started by my career. And before that, I studied engineering at Oxford, in the

Michael Waitze 1:14
UK, I give you a lot of credit, actually, for being able to extract yourself after only 10 years, it took me 20 Something years to take myself out of Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs and then go back to being like, you know, getting my soul back is what I like to say.

Ewan Davis 1:31
You know, I, I will not speak ill of certainly my colleagues and and the firm that I was with, I mean, it helped me help me get to where I am today. So you know, very grateful for that. But you know, I wouldn’t go back, that’s for sure. enjoying myself too much.

Michael Waitze 1:47
I guess I’m doing the same thing as you I’ve just tried to be a little bit self deprecating and trying to just be slightly humorous. I mean, I loved what I did for 20 something years, but it’s a different animal than what I’m doing now in a very different way of interacting, right? Like I’m sitting here on a polo shirt. So are you. It’s more relaxed in a way, but it’s got a different kind of pressure. And I want to talk about that a little bit as well. What was the plan for you? You’re a banker for 10 years, I was a trader, right? So it’s slightly different? And then you say, Okay, I’m going to leave. But did you always want to go into this type of sort of private equity investing? Or did you have other things that you thought about doing particularly as a guy who studied engineering?

Ewan Davis 2:30
So it’s a great question, and I hope my, my managing partners aren’t listening to what I’m about to say. You know, I’ve got to be honest, after after, you know, I kind of after 10 years of banking was I just wanted a new challenge, something to stimulate myself. And I felt that at the time, if I stayed with it, you know, maybe like yourself, it would have been, you know, another 1015 years. Yeah. And I was sort of early 30s, about to get married, thinking about a family and for the fight, if I don’t make a change. Now, I may find it just just too hard mentally to kind of break away. So I kind of pulled the the the ejector cord, without really knowing what I wanted to do. I thought I wanted to go into startups in whatever role that they might have me in business development, maybe corporate finance and a big corporate. And I was sort of spraying applications across the place. And then someone replied to one of my crazy emails and rang me up and said, you’ve applied for this job. I said, Yes, I’ve applied for this job. And they said, well, it’s completely inappropriate for you. But actually, have you ever considered private equity, the mid market space and a sector specialist fund that focuses on healthcare? And I said, at best, I’ve considered one of those three factors, but not all three. I you know, and you know, quad Quadra is exactly that. We’re, we’re ambitious, growing, healthcare focused private equity fund. And that was not what I was screening for. But you know, I met I met I met the founders. They are super ambitious, very successful. And we’re on a real mission. And I kind of drank the Kool Aid and thought, Okay, well, this, this could be the thing that I go and try, you know, in the last five years, it’s been fantastic. super challenging. And yeah, it here I am now talking about it.

Michael Waitze 4:25
At some level, right? You kind of what’s right Wait, it says you kind of validate this idea that the team is the most important part of any organization, particularly in smaller, I’m not saying small, but in smaller organizations where maybe I hadn’t considered like you said, the B and C part of it, even though I considered the a part of it. But because the team was so great and so ambitious, and so mission driven, I had to at least consider it. I want to back up for a second though, because this is also interesting to me. I don’t think it’s possible and again, tell me where I’m wrong here to end up studying engineering at Oxford without some kind of sort of disciplined plan before that it’s not something that you just fall into. But having said that was the first time in your life where you said, You know what, I don’t know what I’m going to do next, that sort of interim period between when you left your banking job, like you said, you pulled up stakes and said, I don’t know what I’m going to do next. Was that really the first time you’ve done that, that you can remember? Or do I have that wrong?

Ewan Davis 5:22
Well, that was that was the first time. That was definitely the first time because getting to getting to Oxford and studying engineering had been that had been a plan for, you know, a kind of decade. That’s why I worked so hard at school and studied to get the grades and, you know, but but frankly, once I finished, and when I got into banking, that’s kind of when you know, there was no more plan at this that stage, you know, just kind of going with the flow. So and, frankly, it’s still that way, today.

Michael Waitze 5:49
Yeah, but you know what I mean, right? Like, it’s this weird thing that we go through as sort of kids, young adults, and then adults where there’s this sort of definitive plan, and you achieve that thing through all this hard work. And then you reach this point, you’re like, Okay, I did the plan. But now, I don’t know what the plan is. And I think it’s interesting, right? Because in a way, it’s a life pivot. But I think it informs the way we look at investments as well, because these teams, right, that come to you, and we’ll talk about that in a second as well. They want to build something, but sometimes they’re not 100% sure what they want to build. And you have to understand that as an investor to like, we had some kind of plan, but now we’re not really sure. How do we guide them through that process as well? Do you think about that, too? Yeah, I

Ewan Davis 6:29
do. And I think both, in the case of myself as a person with all the anxieties, and hopes and ambitions I may have about a career. You know, it’s similar to the companies and the founders that we work with, I think one of the most powerful tools or resources or, you know, for people that you can have your mentors. Yeah. You know, experts, folks who’ve been there, done that got the t shirt, the gray hair wizards, however you want to call them, you know, and I’ve got such figures in my life and in a personal capacity that are kind of guiding one raccoon. That’s exactly what we try and do with the companies that we work with. Because they face challenges that they haven’t met, they kind of have these existential moments. And you know, having someone a mentor, we call them operating partners, which sounds like a very formal term, but you know, a trusted advisor, you can come and help them through that, and help them think about those situations in a way in the right way to find a strategy for what’s next, or how to deal with that problem is incredibly powerful. So I’m a big believer in mentors.

Michael Waitze 7:39
There’s a sense, I think, for people that are external to the investment process, that making the investment and making the decision to make any particular investment is the hardest part of doing it, right. Let’s say you have, I’m just going to pick a number like $100 million fund, and then allocating two to five or $7 million to any particular entity, is just the hard decision. And once you do that, then the easy part starts where you just kind of watch them grow and stand on the sidelines, right and cheer. But I think, frankly, that the hard part is after the investment, because now it’s almost like you just got married, but you’re getting married to like 10 Other people inside of a company. And then 10 other companies. So you’re like marrying 100 people? And if you don’t care about them, right? If you’re not empathetic to their experiences, can you really help them? Do you know what I mean?

Ewan Davis 8:27
I’d absolutely agree. And I you know, I I sort of bridled a little bit, when you were sort of saying that the hard part is spending the money, and then you just sit on the sidelines? You don’t? And then what do you know, we don’t and what you went on to say, being in the industry, and that at the at the coalface I absolutely agree with that, you know, frankly, the easy part of spending the money, you know, it’s easy to get to me. Yeah, totally. That’s hard. But it’s just it’s, it’s, you know, yeah, my goodness, it’s, it’s like marriage or any relationship unless you nurture it, and you’re there for the hard times the good times, you know, then it doesn’t, it doesn’t work well. So it’s absolutely critical. As us as investors, that’s where we spend, the vast majority of our time is, how do we support the companies with with what they’re trying to achieve?

Michael Waitze 9:14
How long has Quadra capital itself been in existence and been doing the thing that you’re working with them

Ewan Davis 9:21
on? So we’ve been going for more than a decade? Okay, we’re currently currently managing our four funds. So not sort of the new kid on the block, but certainly not as established as some of the household names either.

Michael Waitze 9:34
Yeah. And is it Southeast Asia base? Is it as your base? Is it global? How does that work?

Ewan Davis 9:38
So our focus is what we call South Asia, which is effectively India and Southeast Asia, which you know, pretty much is what it says on the tin. So we’ve got an office out of out of Singapore, where I’m based in my smarter, better looking colleague is based in our other office in Delhi.

Michael Waitze 9:56
Love it. Here’s the thing though. Right, you want to be empathetic to the people that are founding that are founding and building their own companies. But the reality is that as a 10 year company yourself, like, there’s no guarantee that you’re going to be around in 10 years, either. Right, like 10 years, maybe to some people seems like a long period of time, but it’s not 50 years. And to me, it’s interesting, because if you’re investing in South Asia, so India and the rest of Southeast Asia, the region’s growing really fast, you guys must be growing really fast. And then the companies in which you’re investing are growing really fast, you have this kind of three headed thing that you’re managing, what is it like internally? Because your opportunities are growing rapidly? Your economies around here growing rapidly? How do you manage your own growth? And in that context, as well, right, because like we said, From the outside, it looks like one thing, but on the inside where you’re building is completely different? No,

Ewan Davis 10:48
that’s a it’s a it’s a great point and a great question. And it feels like, I have two jobs pretty much most of the time. On the one hand, you know, we’re working hard with the portfolio, we’re working hard building new relationships with really exciting companies around the region. But then the second job, which is as important is, you know, as we grow, and we’re very ambitious, and you know, if you look at our fund sizes, they’ve been sort of doubling every four years. I mean, that’s phenomenal growth, yeah. But you need the infrastructure, the team, the people in place to be able to be able to do that. And that, that takes a lot of time and care, as you add a lot of people into a pretty tight knit team. I mean, it’s very exciting. But you know, it kind of keeps me up at night, you know, the companies are on their growth mission, we ourselves are trying to figure out how can we grow faster, better be better investors institutionalize at the same time, but no, it’s interesting, I think it creates a little bit of empathy, additional empathy between the entrepreneurs, and and also the investors because we’re, we’re also sort of facing some of those similar growing pains that they might be. So it’s, it’s an interesting dynamic,

Michael Waitze 11:59
is there kind of this two way street in a way where you’re thinking, okay, company, a, they’re having this issue, or maybe they’re going through this growth phase, and they need to manage through it? Because that’s hard, right? Again, we get back to this, what the external world thinks and what the reality is, like, if you’re growing two times, you know, 100% a month or 35% a month, the external world thinks that’s awesome. But internally, you’re just thinking, can our systems handle this? Do we have enough people to handle this? We just sold something, but we can’t deliver that thing. Do you know what I mean? So do you see ways where you like you’re advising or mentoring other companies, and then you turn around and go, maybe we should do the same thing? So you’re learning while you’re mentoring and bringing that stuff in house?

Ewan Davis 12:40
Yeah, absolutely, absolutely. It’s very much a two way street. There’s a bunch of stuff that we’re able to help our companies with, particularly because we have such a strong focus and experience in healthcare. So we can be very helpful to the companies we’re working with, but equally, you know, as we see how they manage, you know, growing their workforce, you know, mentoring, developing, how they’re building out new functions, you know, within their organizations. There’s lots of interesting things they’re doing, like, where we have this aha, maybe we could learn from them. So we do you know, that that’s, that’s, that’s the beauty of the relationship.

Michael Waitze 13:19
Can you talk to me about the sector focus in a little bit more detail, right, what does that mean to be sort of healthcare focused? And what does that whole sector look like to you now that you’ve spent, let’s say, the last five years? Looking at it?

Ewan Davis 13:32
Yeah. So yeah, I mean, healthcare is a vast sector. Absolutely. And it means means so much everyone describes it in different ways. For us, we think of healthcare as sort of broadly for four big buckets. So you’ve got healthcare services, which is hospitals and clinics, and all those sorts of sorts of businesses. We’ve then got pharma and Life Sciences, which is, you know, everything that’s in the pharmaceutical value chain from the contract, manufacturing of the the molecules that the API is the active pharmaceutical ingredients that go into all the smart drugs that that we use into sales and marketing, into distribution, and even into into retail, so pharmacy, so anything that kind of touches on that farmer value chain, that’s one big one big sector of focus, it’s the second bucket. third bucket would be medical devices and technology. In this part of the world where we operate, that tends to be quite commoditized sorts of businesses to be rubber glove manufacturers, personal protection, equipment, that sort of stuff, less of a focus. And then we have the fourth bucket called associated healthcare services, which is sort of how you might try to sound smart, while saying others. And that that of itself is a huge, huge, huge saving which includes things like the phonology, diagnostics and telemedicine and healthcare financing businesses that could be health insurers, benefit management providers, and then into sort of consumer health and wellness. And that’s sort of an area where healthcare is really touching on the huge consumer sector, there’s a lot of overlap and inter linkage between those two as you would appreciate,

Michael Waitze 15:25
I do an entire podcast on insurance and InsurTech. And I’m wondering if there’s an insurance angle here, particularly cuz you’re dealing with healthcare, and some of the biggest, you know, health care providers in the world, obviously, are associated with insurance companies that do that, too. Do you see a place for insurance and InsurTech to fit into the investment theses, or even just as partnerships for the companies in which you’re investing?

Ewan Davis 15:46
Clearly, there’s, there’s a big opportunity, just given the size of the population in the markets where we work and the desperate need for healthcare. private insurances is very, is very nascent, you know, about 80% of health care is paid is paid out of pocket. Yeah. And then probably excluding Thailand and Singapore, and talking about Southeast Asia. excluding those two key markets, universal health care coverage exists in places like the Philippines and Indonesia, but it’s still very low coverage, it’s all still still nascent and emerging, that will be sort of 10 years before that’s really better down. And private insurance, I think, will slowly start to proliferate. But it’s probably covering about 10% of the population. But there’s, there’s an opportunity because I get a sense that that’s pretty small, pretty small beans for the big MNCs. And they’ve got bigger markets to worry about, but the global insurance, so I think their opportunity for regional players, or, you know, InsurTech startups to kind of really penetrate those small and medium sized enterprises come up with kind of micro insurance packages for the masses. And there’s a few such businesses that exist that are trying to do that. Yeah, but it’s still early days, but unquestionably there’s there’s an opportunity there is something we keep an eye on.

Michael Waitze 17:06
There’s no way to talk about what’s happening in the healthcare industry without talking about COVID. And I don’t want to talk about it so directly, right. But when you mentioned this word telemedicine, I think telemedicine sort of felt like it was going to be a panacea, right, the doctor doesn’t have to go to the home, you can do it all over video and stuff like that, and with video proliferating more than it has ever before, it seemed like that was going to be the way to go. And what I think I’ve seen, actually, and I’m curious how your as a firm, or just you personally, your view has changed on, like the impact of what COVID has had on healthcare delivery, on sort of individual proprietors, meaning people riding a motorcycle, people getting into cars, going to individual homes and providing care at home. from an investment perspective, have you seen that stuff happening as well,

Ewan Davis 17:50
to give a couple of anecdotes that, that speak to that? And just to provide some context? Yep, we’re invested in more than 10 hospital groups all around India and Southeast Asia. So probably a network of more than 100 hospitals all told. So obviously, during COVID, we kind of had a front row seat as to, you know, what was what was going on. And again, I won’t dive too much into COVID, because, you know, everyone’s exhausted of hearing about it. But I set that context, because, you know, we got a lot of feedback from from doctors. And we have always been big believers in telemedicine. My Managing Partner set up one of the first remote ICU businesses in India many years ago, out of a frustration of patients dying because they couldn’t get into a big city where there was an ICU facility in time. So we’ve been big believers in telemedicine, not as a tool of convenience, but as a tool of providing access to those who otherwise don’t have. Yeah, but trying to convince the doctors to use tele medicine, this is what was talking about the days before COVID You know, the adoption rate was very low, you know, they didn’t see the merits of it, you know, and if you don’t have the doctors on side, then you know, good luck to you. So it just never really took off. You know, fast forward to COVID it was, you know, an essential tool. And the adoption rate within the hospitals amongst the doctors has been, has been prolific and the doctors own views has, it’s a stark contrast. You know, as opposed to originally, you know, not interested now. It’s Wow, this is so efficient. I can see so many patients in a short space of time. It’s very efficient, and it’s helpful for them. It’s helpful for me, and so it’s here to stay. So it’s interesting how COVID has really accelerated adoption of of some of those technologies.

Michael Waitze 19:45
And you see differences in the region as well. Like is it different India than it is in Vietnam? Is it different in Indonesia than it is in Malaysia? From your perspective? Do you look for different things or does it all seem kind of similar to you?

Ewan Davis 19:56
The problems that south and south East Asia face in terms of healthcare are fairly similar in terms of lack of specialist doctors, plenty of GPS, but lack of specialist doctors, cardiologists, or cancer specialists, lack of good infrastructure, lack of technology, and then lack of access, because a lot of the populations that have so remotely across some of these large, large country, those are very common challenges, whether you’re in Indonesia, whether you’re in India, whether you’re in Vietnam, and so therefore, a solution like telemedicine works well in India tends to work well in places like Indonesia and Vietnam. And you know, that’s certainly been the experience or our experience with an hour that works. Yeah,

Michael Waitze 20:43
I mean, Indonesia, obviously, is very interesting. So India has this even though India is this one contiguous piece of land, the second, third fourth tier cities, and then what is the one of the suburbs of those cities can sometimes get really, really remote, and Indonesia of 18,000, I don’t even think that’s an exaggeration. It may be 10, high, maybe it’s 17,990. But they’re almost 18,000 Islands. And they can just logistically, providing any kind of service to those people that are on the remote, the most remote places is just hard. Yeah. And that’s going to drive some of the investment decisions. Now that you’ve been at this for five years, where do you think it goes? Like, what’s your view on what this investment landscape is going to look like? And it’s interesting as well, right? So I think if you’re looking at the United States, or looking at develop Europe, you could make a decision about what traditional healthcare is and where it’s gonna go. And it’s probably just going to change incrementally, I think, right? Because there are there all these sort of embedded systems that are already there and changing those things. You know, again, it’s like changing a battleship course, it’s hard. But here, it’s kind of more greenfields. Right. And we have an ability, and I love this actually, about being out here, is we have this ability to make things so much better, so much faster. But I’m curious what it looks like from your perspective.

Ewan Davis 21:57
Yeah, that’s a fascinating topic. And you won’t be surprised to hear that we talk about it, often.

Michael Waitze 22:02
I’d love to be a fly on the wall for that. So tell me what you’re talking about. Because this is the really interesting stuff, right?

Ewan Davis 22:08
You know, let’s take it kind of into pieces. So in India, it’s very different to what we’re seeing in Southeast Asia or in India, it’s sort of unique, it’s, you know, some people called the pharmacy of the world, you know, there is so much pharma investment, and pharma capability in India, that is that is a market from an investment perspective, where we will continue to invest in large contract manufacturing pharma groups, specialist API businesses, there’s just so much opportunity there. In Southeast Asia, where there has been less innovation in the pharma sector. You know, that’s more to the generic capability, which is very important. And you’ll see a lot more localization of manufacturing capability and capacity, arising out of all supply chain disruptions that we saw during COVID. But it’s not the same growth proposition as in India, right. And traditionally, the largest opportunity for healthcare investment in Southeast Asia has been in hospitals, because those have been the largest, most established healthcare businesses in the region. And you’ve seen big investments in the Philippines, in Malaysia, and in Vietnam, and when I say big investments, you know, sort of $200 million minority investments. And then there was one very big transaction, which was sort of a billion and a half dollars. So that’s very big for Southeast Asia. So you know, it’s been a US that’s, you know, you wouldn’t go to bed for that. But you know, in Southeast Asia, which is a small, it’s a lot, it’s a lot, you know, as we look going forwards, you know, there’s only really sort of handful of such opportunities. And actually, when you look at the volume of deals, and you kind of break it down by deal sizes, actually, the majority of the deals that are happening in the healthcare space in Southeast Asia, are sort of $50 million. And below and below, and they tend to be a lot earlier stage companies. There’s a lot of health tech investment that has been happening. So traditionally, over the last five years, we’ve invested into Hamina in Indonesia, which is one of the largest hospital groups for 40 Plus hospitals, 7 million patients a year. We have a hospital in Vietnam hospital group, one of the leading clinical groups, they’re called their fee. We were working with KPJ in Malaysia, with a labs business and we were working with a consumer health and pharmaceutical business in Indonesia called called Soho now, you know, very sort of traditional sectors, but as we discuss and debate about how we’re going to spend, you know, our investors capital going forward, you know, if we kind of stick with that old mentality when the market is clearly shifting away Then we’ll become irrelevant as investors. So I think we’ll still be opportunities to invest in healthcare and pharma, unquestionably. But as an investor and we think about how we evolve, I think we will, you know, we will be looking at some of those earliest stage businesses, which, you know, they’re growing so rapidly, these start to scale up and become pretty big businesses in their own right and right for investments. So

Michael Waitze 25:24
is there a decentralization aspect of this as well, right, if you think of a hospital as a centralized delivery system for medicine, but if you think of telemedicine, and not just, you know, doing video calls with clients, but actually sending doctors or nurses out to remote areas, is there a decentralization aspect of this that can be made more efficient or optimized using modern logistics as well?

Ewan Davis 25:47
There are models that exist in India. So Quadri also has a an affiliated VC fund in India that invests into disruptive health tech companies. And I should introduce you to to my partner who runs that because they’re in some really, really interesting, disruptive business models. Yeah. I’ll set you up with with Dr. Pinnock. Thank you. One of the businesses that cordrea and health quite invested into together was called healthcare at home, which does what it says

Michael Waitze 26:19
on the tin? Yes,

Ewan Davis 26:20
yeah, exactly. Exactly. And the whole idea was, you know, rather than having patients sitting in an ICU, in a hospital, taking up bed capacity is very expensive to run an ICU bed in the hospital, if the patient is is well enough, you can step them down and take them out of the hospital setting, put them in home where they can, you know, be still be given acute care, with satellite nurses with the benefit of remote patient monitoring at a base station. So absolutely this decentralized model, and two benefits that come out of doing that one, it cost the patient about 40 to 60% or less to get that care. And again, they’re paying out of pocket. So that’s that’s a big consideration. And then secondly, and they’ve they ran a number of studies, the health outcomes are better. Because I always think this is a bit counterintuitive, but in the cleanliness of one’s own home, there’s less exposure to other pathogens, and diseases and infection and so on and so forth. And urine you know, comfortable, familiar surroundings and surrounded by your family members, which is normally a good thing.

Michael Waitze 27:29
I’m gonna make an equivalency and I’m curious what you think because this is a theory I’ve held for a while. In the old days, read your the town where your parents grew up, and where my parents grew up, had a small street on it, where there was a butcher, a baker, and you know, all these kinds of little shops, right? A shoemaker and haberdasher, right. And then you had department stores, and this happened over time. But as the department stores, you know, this is a centralized version of retail. But as department stores got too noisy, meaning product discovery was too hard. They started decentralizing again. And then moving those stores back into boutiques into a shoe store, a high end this, a suit store, shirt, store, a Belt and Buckle store and stuff like that. And I feel like the same. And part of the reason why you could do this, it’s same things happening in ecommerce. You have these massive marketplaces right out here, like Sharpie and Lazada. But I can see in my interactions with entrepreneurs that now you’re having things like Palmela, they’re going great, you can go to Lazada, if you want. But if you really want to get clothing and be able to discover the right clothing and have the right experience, you should shop on pummelo instead. And I think what you’re suggesting is the same thing is going to happen in healthcare, you have to be in the hospitals, because that’s where everything’s happening now. But as models and Technology and Logistics develop, then this sort of satellite provision of healthcare is going to cause the same type of read decentralization the same way in the old days. You know, my mother never went to a clinic, just the doctor came to the house, they made house calls. But that house calls now on steroids, right? Because of technology design, a fair characterization, you think?

Ewan Davis 29:02
Yeah, and if I try, I’m trying to work with your retail analogy. If you think of the hospitals as the big department stores, those will always have a role in the care continuum for really, really acute care. Sure, we were talking about decentralization and we talked about health care at home, think of that as kind of the E commerce if you will, sort of the the online at home, you know, convenient care, and then the boutiques, which kind of sit in between the two would be what we call or referred to as ambulatory care centers. So there’s like many hospitals, where you can go in and get a surgery done within a day so you’re not staying overnight. You check in in the morning, have the procedure, and then you’re you’re out in the afternoon or early evening because of medical efficiencies and logistics, and tech, you can see so you’ve got the store, the boutique and then the online so it’s actually It’s a great analogy, Michael.

Michael Waitze 30:03
Thank you. Before I let you go, I like to give people concrete examples of things. Right? So they’re not theoretically thinking about what does Quadra do and what are the types of things in which they could invest? If you could give just some kind of recent example of something that you think is significant, maybe a significant investment you’ve made, or some kind of country choice you’ve made like that, that I think that would be useful and informative for the listeners.

Ewan Davis 30:26
Okay, so Southeast Asia, just compelling as a region, just given the very well publicized, published, well, commentated macro story, young population, fast growing, rising levels of GDP, you know, and it will be resilient to COVID. So we’ll know that story is not changing because of because of COVID. Fortunately, for all the communities in those countries, so we’re very bullish on Southeast Asia, yet healthcare has never been more top of mind. And then currently, where we’re seeing opportunity, you know, is in some of the earliest stage type businesses, I spoke a little bit about our glorified others bucket, the associated healthcare services, and in particular, you know, where health and consumerism is merging or kind of, you know, indistinguishable. And so we’ve just made an investment that kind of talks, all those factors in Vietnam. Okay, I’m heading there next week, to go and meet the company, we’ve just invested there in person, because we did the whole deal by zoom as has sort of become Yeah, you know, we we sent we sent a Vietnamese colleague of ours to Vietnam to be based there most of last year, to help us with it. But for the rest of us who couldn’t get in because as you can tell you were you can see me, I’m not Vietnamese, your listeners probably guessed that too, from the sound of my voice. So we had to do we have to do it remotely, and you know, build the relationships and everything, what have you, but long story short, we made the investment into a specialty mom and baby retailer, called conquer, okay? Which which sort of translates to precious, and England, which, in English, which, which I think is pretty cool. And, you know, that’s playing right at the heart of the intersection between health and wellness and consumerism, because from a healthcare perspective, what could be more important than the the health and well being of a mom and a mom to be in mom and her child. So, you know, that is definitely not, you know, hospital, it’s not, you know, anything to do with your farm or life sciences, but very much healthcare, but also very much consumer. And that really kind of plays to that the trend I was talking about a few minutes ago.

Michael Waitze 32:47
But it’s also this the perfect example of what’s happening, like the sort of innovation or the what’s the right word, this forward movement in the healthcare space in the sense that, in the past, these mothers expecting mothers and newborns would go to hospitals or clinics for this service. But there’s a combination of things that they need that aren’t just hospital related. And frankly, you’re right, it’s much cheaper for them not to go to the hospital and better for the hospital to, so they can serve people that actually need hospital care. But for the moms and the so for the prenatal and postnatal children and mothers, it’s better potentially not to go to the hospital, but to have other services, combined with, let’s say, buying diapers and stuff like that, right. So there is a retail aspect of this, but also a health and wellness aspect to it as well, that can be combined in a product that couldn’t have been possible five or 10 years ago. Does that make sense?

Ewan Davis 33:39
It makes sense. And actually one of the one of the real tailwinds behind this segment, and this business is just increased education and awareness amongst moms. So expectant moms are spending more and more time and you can track this because you can see what they’re looking at online, right? You know about pregnancy, about motherhood. So you know, they’re not going to the opposite. They’re still going to the obstetrician, sure for the checkups, but they’re getting smarter. And so they know what sorts of services and products that they need, and they’re very open and interested to the products and services that you might be able to offer them. So it’s really about organizing that community and providing them the advice and offering them the services and products, you know, as part of a whole holistic, you know, offering to the mums and babies.

Michael Waitze 34:29
Yeah, I mean, interestingly enough, you need to get a license to drive a car, but you don’t need a license to have a baby. But, but more importantly, you have to be able to provide to your citizens male and female health care literacy, so that they understand the things that they should and should not do in the context of that pregnancy and also in the earliest stages of that baby’s life. And maybe the hospital is not the best place for that. But this other type of entity that is just getting developed Maybe Cancun is one of them, where just providing the healthcare literacy alone could be a gigantic business, but also, again, takes people out of the healthcare system that don’t need to be there. Does that make sense? You don’t I mean, so you’re removing necessity for them to go to the hospital. Because like you said earlier, in the cleanliness of your own home, you’re getting some of these services. So now you don’t have to go to the hospital, overload the hospital, but also bring other things into the hospital that may not need to be there. It’s like Win Win everywhere.

Ewan Davis 35:25
I couldn’t agree more. I couldn’t agree more. Anyway, you’re saying you’re saying it? Well, you’re saying it well, and, and but I think the opportunity is, I mean, there’s so much information in the three disparate in the services, that kind of here and there and the products are, you know, not in one place, that’s really the opportunity that Konkan is going after, this is not an offline retailer, It aspires to be, you know, the dominant mom and baby omni channel platform, and really bringing these communities together, bringing in the key opinion leaders bringing in the products that the services. So you can imagine, you know, you’ve got an addressable market of 10 million months and 10 million babies, infants between the ages naught and six, we were hungry for information and, you know, access to pediatricians, you know, access to, you know, education, you know, kids toys, fashion, it’s, you know, a huge, huge, an exciting opportunity, which, you know, is not commercial, you know, solely commercial and obviously, yes, it is a commercial enterprise, but it’s also addressing a very, very important part of any country’s health management strategy. How do you look after their moms and babies the most formative years of their lives and, you know, Conklin compliant, supporting roles that

Michael Waitze 36:54
we believe and that is a great way I think to end this conversation. I really want to thank you, Ewan Davis, a partner Quadria capital. That was fascinating. Thank you so much for doing this.

Ewan Davis 37:04
Thank you again for having me.


Follow Michael Waitze and the Asia Tech Podcast here:

Facebook – Michael Waitze

Facebook – Asia Tech Podcast

LinkedIn – Michael Waitze

Twitter – Michael Waitze

Latest Episodes:

EP 319 – Dushyant Verma – CEO at SmartViz – Redefining Precision With AI: A New Age for SME Manufacturing

EP 319 – Dushyant Verma – CEO at SmartViz – Redefining Precision With AI: A New Age for SME Manufacturing

“We are in a very interesting time where we will see the embrace of technology in a much more rapid rate…We want to be the first in the industry to be delivering a truly autonomous machine vision platform for manufacturing.” – Dushyant Verma

The Asia Tech Podcast engaged with ⁠Dushyant Verma⁠, a co-Founder and the CEO at ⁠SmartViz⁠ to explore the intersection of AI and Manufacturing.

read more
EP 318 – Sherry Jiang – co-Founder and CEO of Peek – You Just Accept the Variance and You Move On

EP 318 – Sherry Jiang – co-Founder and CEO of Peek – You Just Accept the Variance and You Move On

“It was a bit of a blind bet… if something feels right, I don’t really need a long time to make the decision… I was like, ‘You know what, what do I have to lose?’”

The Asia Tech Podcast welcomed ⁠Sherry Jiang⁠, a co-Founder and the CEO of ⁠Peek⁠. Sherry is no ordinary entrepreneur. She is super bright and filled with an energy that has to be experienced to be believed. Our conversation was so awesome, covered a ton of ground and I had to put an end to it, so that it would not turn into a three-hour episode.

read more
EP 317 – Ritwik Ghosh and Sauvik Datta – SeedFlex – Bridging the Gap: Redefining Credit for Asia’s Micro Entrepreneurs

EP 317 – Ritwik Ghosh and Sauvik Datta – SeedFlex – Bridging the Gap: Redefining Credit for Asia’s Micro Entrepreneurs

The Asia Tech Podcast was joined by the co-founders of ⁠SeedFlex⁠, ⁠Ritwik Ghosh⁠ and ⁠Sauvik Datta⁠.

Ritwik Ghosh’s extensive background in consumer and SME credit, first with Capital One Bank and then with Oliver Wyman, ingrained a deep understanding of credit systems in him, which he further enriched by spearheading Grab’s fintech lending division.

Sauvik Datta’s career spans over two decades in financial services, marked by significant roles at McKinsey, American Express, and Standard Chartered Bank, before his entrepreneurial venture with Validus Capital. His specialization in risk management, credit scoring, and the application of machine learning models for customer underwriting has positioned him at the forefront of financial innovation.

read more