Rise and Rise of Vivek Ramaswamy
He is remarkable success story in Business. Will he repeat that in US politics?
Will the US also get an Indian-American chief like his UK counterpart Rishi Sunak (Prime Minister)?
This question is now in many people’s minds given the remarkable rise of the Republican candidate for the United States Presidential Polls slated to be held in 2024. Vivek Ramaswamy has found himself tied with Florida Governor Ron DeSantis in second place after formidable former President Donald Trump as the Republican candidate for the elections.
In fact, many argue that if Trump eventually manages to be the Republican candidate, then he will make Vivek his Vice presidential candidate. And if the duo win, then the US will have another Indian American Vice President like the incumbent Kamala Hariss. The only difference is that while Kamala’s father is a Black American and hence a Christian, Vivek is 100 percent of Indian origin; both his parents hail from Kerala. He is a proud Hindu and vegetarian.
Vivek Ramaswamy looks up to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi as a source of inspiration. He has said that the US should also benefit from a leader like PM Modi. Ramaswamy called PM Modi an ‘outstanding leader’. “I think he’s been an excellent prime minister for India. I think he has unapologetically embraced free-market capitalism,” Ramaswamy told the American Bazaar in an interview. “It’s the best system known to man to lift people up from poverty. We know that from our experience here in the United States.”
Vivek, incidentally, is not very old in US politics. For the first time he voted in the US elections in 2020, for Donal Doanld Trump. His remarkable rise in politics is only one year-old. In fact, at 38, he is the youngest Republican Presidential aspirant in US history.
Vivek, otherwise, is a highly successful entrepreneur, his net worth said to be one billion US dollars. He continues to make waves in the biotech business with his deals and drug development plans. He was behind the biggest biotechnology initial public offering of 2016, Myovant Sciences, which raised $218 million. He is developing medicines for a prostate cancer drug and a female infertility drug. He has pulled off the biggest IPO in U.S. biotech history by listing shares of Axovant, a company that is trying to develop a new Alzheimer’s drug. Vivek also runs Roivant Sciences, a biotech holding company with an innovative financial strategy to develop drugs, often by purchasing drugs that have been forgotten or abandoned by the pharmaceutical industry.
Ramaswamy was born on August 9, 1985, in Cincinnati, Ohio, United States, to Hindu Tamil Brahmin immigrant parents. He was raised in Ohio. His family is from Kerala. His father, V. Ganapathy Ramaswamy, a graduate of the National Institute of Technology Calicut, worked as an engineer and patent attorney for General Electric, while his mother, Geetha Ramaswamy, a graduate of the Mysore Medical College & Research Institute, worked as a geriatric psychiatrist. Though Tamils, the family had an ancestral home in Kerala. That is why Vivek can understand Malayalam, though he is very fluent in Tamil. His wife, Apoorva Ramaswamy (née Tewari), is a physician; he met her while studying law at Yale, where she was studying medicine. Together they have two sons named Karthik (born 2020) and Arjun (born 2022).
Growing up in the Cincinnati area, Vivek established himself as an overachiever: an accomplished pianist, a nationally ranked tennis player, and the valedictorian of his Jesuit high school. He graduated from Harvard College and Yale Law School, worked at a hedge fund, then started a pharmaceutical company, Roivant Sciences, where he made hundreds of millions of dollars.
Vivek, as a Republican, shares conservative outlook. He is an anti-woke ( those who weaponize personal grievances masquerading as a genuine social concern) , anti-war and anti-immigrant candidate. His books, including “Woke”, saw him gain the Conservative Circle’s favouritism, including Fox News. His books advocating the company policy on climate, environmental, social, and governance issues gained him the much needed popularity within the Republican ranks.
Vivek says that he knows how to end the ongoing war in Ukraine. He has advocated that if Ukraine is not allowed to join NATO, and Moscow gets the Donbas region, that would be the proper means to end the Russia-Ukraine war. He has also said the war could end if Russian President Vladimir Putin exits his military alliance with China.
Be that as it may, Vivek Ramaswamy is the latest manifestation of the strength and power of the Indian Americans in the United States.