Rakesh Kapoor, Operating Partner, Materials Outovation® Practice, Edgewater Capital Partners
Whilst innovation in the advanced ceramics industry continues to develop, the market dynamic has remained the same for many years. Rakesh Kapoor works for private equity firm, Edgewater Capital Partners, in their Materials Outovation® practice, is helping to shape the future of the market by focusing on the growth of smaller ceramic companies. Rakesh will be sharing his expert knowledge during the Conference at Ceramics Expo, and we caught up with him in the lead up to this to find out a bit more.
Could you tell me about your role at Edgewater Capital Partners?
I serve as the operating partner for the Materials Outovation® practice - which focuses on companies whose core is an innovative advanced material or process. Key responsibilities include; Establishing strategy - specifically the technical and business search areas for new investments; Prospecting - leading searches and directly interfacing with prospective companies that may benefit from partnering with Edgewater; Diligence - supporting diligence effort for banked deals as well as for deals from prospecting; Serving on the boards of the portfolio companies which involves helping the CEO and the board set the strategy for the portfolio company; Helping CEO and senior leadership team as needed - while staying out of daily business - and letting them do their jobs.
What does the ceramics market currently look like and how do you foresee it developing over the coming years?
The US ceramic market is a classic dumbbell shaped - several large companies - multinational and multi-billion in sales - and a larger number of very small companies - $5M to $25M in sales. I expect a mild resurgence in the ceramics USA market driven primarily by some reshoring, novel applications driven by new technologies for alternate energy sources ,climate change drivers and the continuously increasing emphasis on healthcare including medical devices, bio-materials, and devices to monitor and aid in healthcare.
What role do you anticipate private equity will have in this development?
Private equity "dry powder" continues to grow steadily in both US and worldwide. Firms that focus on the industrial area will naturally look at ceramic companies for investment. A few private equity (PE) firms - which laser very sector focused on advanced materials will concentrate heavily in this space.
What are you most looking forward to at Ceramics Expo 2022?
Learning new trends in the ceramics industry - on the show floor and in presentations, updating my professional network (have been attending since 1986 - when I was a graduate student), and catching up with old friends!
Finally, if you were stranded on a desert island, what one item would you bring?
A clear plastic sheet to make a solar still for pure drinking water!
Rakesh will be speaking on a panel about the growth of smaller ceramic companies, alongside an expert panel including speakers from Kyocera, NOVA Saint-Gobain and more. If you would like to attend the event and find out more, please register for free here.