Kapish Haldia

Founder - Private Investment Firm

Kapish Haldia is an investor based in Venice, California.

Raised in the Los Angeles area by immigrant parents, Kapish has business in his blood. From a young age, he helped out around his parents’ jewelry manufacturing and distribution business, devoting much of his weekend and summer time to “real world” education: cultivating customer relationships, sourcing gemstones abroad, and managing the company’s cash flow as it grew.

Kapish parents taught him valuable lessons about running and growing a business. His father, Govind, stressed the importance of building strong relationships and communicating effectively up and down (and outside) the enterprise. His mother, Vinita, taught him the importance of a family-focused approach to business and to going above and beyond to create exceptional products.

Kapish Haldia earned his undergraduate degree from New York University’s Stern School of Business, where he led the Stern Investment Analysis Group as Portfolio Manager and served as president of the Inter-Club Council (with responsibilities including oversight of all Stern student organizations’ budgets). He credits this period in his life with reinforcing the lessons his parents taught and preparing him for a successful career in business.

At Stern, Kapish interned with the CFO of DoSomething.org, a rapidly growing nonprofit focused on effecting change in the real world. He also interned at Blackrock and with the investment banking division at Citigroup. After graduation, he worked in Citigroup’s Global Industrial Group, where he had contact with iconic Fortune 100 companies including Lockheed Martin, Crown Packaging, Ball Corp, and General Electric and worked with leading investment bankers including Kevin Cox, Scott Baird, and Ben DiFabio.

In 2016, Kapish joined the founding team at Highview Capital, a Los Angeles-based middle-market private equity fund. He worked on nearly 50 acquisitions over the following six years, with transaction values ranging from $50 million to $500 million. He eventually sat on the Board of Directors for half of the firm’s portfolio companies and played a key role in turning around several troubled companies.

Kapish left Highview in 2022 to focus on developing a next-generation investment platform exclusively focused on small to midsize family- and founder-owned companies operating in fragmented industries with high consolidation potential. He aims to empower operators to maximize value and growth potential while driving tangible results in the real world.

Kapish often works out of Neuehouse in Venice, where he draws inspiration from its vibrant founder community of founders and builders. He’s an committed practitioner of breathwork and meditation and a lifelong devotee of long walks on the beach, which is just a block from his home and his office.

Kapish is an avid reader of business literature and considers himself an honorary mentee of Charlie Munger, the legendary value investor, and Benjamin Franklin, who he considers to be the greatest American to have lived. He’s currently also developing a new music and food venue in Venice Beach as a passion project.

What is your typical day, and how do you make it productive?

I start my mornings at 5:30 am. I work out daily from 6 – 7 am with my strength trainer. Following the workout, I spend 15 minutes in the steam room followed by a brisk 10-minute cold shower. I then have a protein smoothie and walk about 3 miles to my office at Venice Beach. Starting the day with the first 2.5 hours dedicated to health and wellness supercharges my energy and creativity. I spend the day taking phone calls and working in the creative and lively environment at Neuehouse and enjoy a protein-heavy lunch of 6 eggs and a smoothie. I’ll take some calls walking on the Venice Boardwalk to get more sunlight. I finish my work day around 6 pm. At 6:30 pm on most days, I participate in an hour-long breathwork and meditation session at an awesome studio next door to my office. I wrap up my day with dinner at Erewhon in Venice and another 2-mile walk home along the beach.

How do you bring ideas to life?

I find inspiration in the people around me — including my business partners, executives of the companies my fund owns, and creative friends who are building or scaling in a variety of industries and companies. Beyond that, I meditate at least an hour a day, which is critical to centering my life and thoughts. Meditation really slows down my mind to focus on what is important.

What’s one trend that excites you?

As I turn 30 and many around me are approaching their early 30s, I notice that most of my friends have left or are in the process of leaving their jobs to bet on themselves. This may be through acquiring a small business in a blue-collar industry, building an agency, coming up with ways to optimize or disrupt industries they spent their first professional decade in. It’s an exciting wave of opportunity that was not as widely available 5 years ago.

What is one habit that helps you be productive?

Walking. I try to take a walk after any stressful call or meeting. This helps me to delay reacting until I have thought the situation through. I also enjoy taking walks intermittently throughout the day.

What advice would you give your younger self?

I would tell my younger self to choose your relationships with business partners and people, in general, more stringently. They will elevate or drag you at all turns.

Tell us something you believe almost nobody agrees with you.

As a society, we will be using more petroleum 50 – 100 years from now than we do today. I also believe that having a wealth manager or financial advisor is a waste of money and that people should just park their money in a low-cost Vanguard S&P 500 ETF.

What is the one thing you repeatedly do and recommend everyone else do?

Read. I love reading biographies of great Americans and the stories of the building of great American companies. It’s better than a Harvard MBA and much cheaper.

When you feel overwhelmed or unfocused, what do you do?

When I feel overwhelmed or unfocused, I find it always helps to take a walk on the beach in the sun.

What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business or advance in your career?

One trait that’s really helped me advance my career is being reliable. I always meet the commitments I make. You have the choice to decide what you promise others. It is a lot easier to promise things you can deliver than to set unrealistic expectations that will cause you to be unreliable. In my opinion, this will be the single biggest differentiator for you in business and life.

What is one failure in your career, how did you overcome it, and what lessons did you take away from it?

During one acquisition, we were so enamored by the personality of the CEO that we didn’t scrutinize the fundamentals of the business. We overlooked some pretty hairy details associated with long-term liabilities. These issues hit us for years afterward. It may actually be better not to meet the people before you decide to invest in a business. Of course, you should definitely meet them at some point. But it’s important to understand and navigate the frat culture of liking someone that’s prevalent in all aspects of life.

What is one business idea you’re willing to give away to our readers?

Buy a recurring-service-focused small business from a family and founder. Then work hard to quickly get the right technology and systems in place. I believe this can be transformational to your wealth and peace of mind relative to a W2 job.

What is one piece of software that helps you be productive? How do you use it?

Twitter. It’s almost unbelievable that we can listen to the real-time thoughts and opinions of guys like Elon Musk and Marc Andreessen. It’s important to filter tightly and not overuse Twitter. But it has been transformational to my knowledge consumption and it’s where I discover what books to read next or what topics to research.

What is the best $100 you recently spent?

Daily cold plunge and sauna. This elevates your mind and body and will make you live longer.

Do you have a favorite book or podcast from which you’ve received much value?

Danny Meyer’s “Setting the Table: The Transforming Power of Hospitality in Business” is a recent favorite for anyone building a company. It covers how to dedicate yourself to a great customer experience. And it focuses on improving every applicable detail at Union Square Cafe and at Tesla and everywhere in between.

What’s a movie or series you recently enjoyed and why?

I don’t watch movies.

Key learnings:

  • The way you do one thing is the way you do everything
  • The distracted cannot compete with the focused
  • Surround yourself with beauty, laughter, and childish enjoyment
  • Chains of habit are too light to be felt until they are too heavy to be broken
  • Expectation never aligns with reality