While managing his Cayman-based asset management & consulting firm and developing AI models for New York’s most renowned family offices & funds, Shanka Siddhartha Jayasinha was looking for ways to help during this Covid-19 crisis. After writing a series of children’s books based on a young gorilla to illustrate the best behaviour to adopt, the Wall Street millionaire is now supplying India and other governments with over 50 million PPEs through his latest venture, Health-X.
The 23-year-old polymath noticed the virus in early January and shifted his fund’s focus into a few biotech companies after one of his models caught a rising trend in the medical sector. After investing in the public markets, he decided to privately acquire a few factories in South-East Asia:
“Further than the potential financial benefits, acquiring directly a manufacturer was to avoid price-gouging and help the people in need. It was disgusting to hear so many stories of hospitals getting burnt and seeing people desperately buying packs of masks for 60 to 80 euros when I knew that they were produced for less than half, so I decided to act.” he stated.
Health-X is now supplying protective face masks, gowns, surgical gloves and other equipment to over 10 countries. With India’s number of cases accelerating, reaching over 100k a few days ago, the demand for personal protective equipment is exploding. As governments are cracking down on the global pandemic, we asked Jayasinha’s opinion on the aftermath of this pandemic:
“These are unprecedented times. Noone truly knows the effects and mutative capabilities of the virus. Governments have all reacted differently in terms of policy and/or timing. Results speak for themselves, countries that were focused on prevention were ready for it such as Hong Kong and Taiwan, but others, were stress-tested and have taken significant damage beyond human casualties. From a global macro perspective, the full extent of the damage is yet to be seen. The Federal Reserve and other central banks are printing money like never before. Debt is growing. Lockdowns are causing fragile businesses to go bankrupt, unemployment is rising, which can cause social friction amongst others. In our daily life, I believe that face masks and other preventive measures might be implemented and become part of our lifestyle, and this might change certain habits we have such as the way we travel or go shopping for example. However, I am optimistic that we will all adapt and overcome whatever comes next.”