The Chief Investment Officer of Cayman-based S&J, Shanka Jayasinha was carefully monitoring the markets during this Covid-19 crisis. After penning a series of kids’ books featuring a young gorilla to demonstrate the best behaviors to adopt, the polymath launched Health-X, providing 50 million PPEs to India and other governments. The 23-year-old noticed the virus in early January and shifted his fund’s focus in the health sector, becoming heavily concentrated in a few positions. This enabled him to outperform the markets during these tough times. Jayasinha explains himself:
“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 that people were 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 providing protective face masks, gowns, surgical gloves, and other equipment to over ten countries. With India’s number of cases accelerating and went 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.”