Today, the world woke up to news about Vivek Ramaswamy trending everywhere. Who is this man? In this article, we will acquaint you with this Indian-American Presidential Candidate that everyone is talking about. Born in Cincinnati to Indian immigrant parents, Vivek Ganapathy Ramaswamy is an American entrepreneur and politician.

In February 2023, Ramaswamy declared his candidacy for the Republican Party nomination in the 2024 United States presidential election. He suspended his campaign today, following his poor performance in Iowa while facing former US President Donald Trump. He said, “Tonight, I have to face the truth. It was hard for me to accept, but we have looked at the facts. And the fact is, we did not get the result we hoped for tonight.

After ending his campaign, Ramaswamy announced his support for former President Donald Trump. He said, “I called Donald Trump earlier tonight to congratulate him on his win. And from now on, he will have my full backing for the presidency. Tomorrow, I will join Donald Trump at a rally in New Hampshire to share our vision for the country’s future. We will work to make sure Donald Trump is next president.

Harvard College graduate, Vivek has a bachelor’s degree in biology and later earned a law degree from Yale Law School. Ramaswamy worked as an investment partner at a hedge fund before founding a pharmaceutical company called Roivant Sciences in 2024. He also co-founded Strive Asset Management, an investment firm. In August 2023, Forbes estimated his net worth to be more than $950 million owing to his biotech and financial businesses.

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The author of the book Woke, Inc.: Inside Corporate America’s Social Justice Scam, Vivek claims the United States is in the middle of a national identity crisis precipitated by what he calls “new secular religions like COVID-ism, climate-ism, and gender ideology”. He is also a critic of environmental, social, and corporate governance initiatives (ESG). 

Vivek’s Family

Vivek Ramaswamy was born to Indian Hindu immigrant parents who are Tamil-speaking Brahmins from Kerala. His father V. Ganapathy Ramaswamy is a graduate of the National Institute of Technology, Calicut and worked as an engineer and patent attorney for General Electric. On the other hand, Vivek’s mother Geetha Ramaswamy, completed her education at the Mysore Medical College & Research Institute and worked as a geriatric psychiatrist.

This explains his mix of science and law background and education. Ramaswamy also has a younger brother, Shankar with whom he has worked in building his pharmaceutical company. Vivek met the love of his life Apoorva Tewari Ramaswamy at Yale when he was studying law and she was studying medicine. She is a laryngologist and surgeon. They married in 2015 and have two sons.

His Education

Vivek attended Cincinnati’s St. Xavier High School where he graduated as valedictorian. Ramaswamy then earned a Bachelor of Arts, summa cum laude, in biology from Harvard University. He was also a member of the coveted Phi Beta Kappa – the oldest academic honor society in the US. At Harvard, he gained a reputation as a brash and confident libertarian. He was a member and then the President of the Harvard Political Union. He considered himself a contrarian who loved to debate.

While in college, he performed Eminem covers and libertarian-themed rap music under the stage name and alter ego “Da Vek“. Vivek interned at the hedge fund Amaranth Advisors and the investment bank Goldman Sachs. He wrote his senior thesis on the ethical questions raised by creating human-animal chimeras and earned a Bowdoin Prize.

In 2011, Ramaswamy was awarded a post-graduate fellowship by the Paul & Daisy Soros Fellowships for New Americans, which he used to attend Yale Law School. There, he befriended future U.S. Senator J. D. Vance. By the time he attended Yale, he had already amassed impressive wealth from his activities in the finance, pharmaceutical, and biotech industries. In 2023, Vivek said that he had a net worth of around $15 million before graduating from law school. He earned a Juris Doctor in 2013.

Roivant Sciences

In 2014, Ramaswamy founded the biotechnology firm Roivant Sciences. The “Roi” in the company’s name refers to “Return on Investment.” The company received close to $100 million in start-up capital. Roivant’s strategy was to purchase patents from larger pharmaceutical companies for drugs that had not yet been successfully developed, and then bring them to the market. 

The company created numerous subsidiaries, including Dermavant (focused on dermatology), Urovant (focused on urological disease), and China-based Sinovant and Cytovant (focused on the Asian market). Once a Wall Street darling, the company’s value plunged in 2017 following unsuccessful clinical trials of a drug under his Axovant subsidiary. Vivek and his company faced a lot of criticism for overpromising and the losses the investors suffered. Axovant was ultimately dissolved in 2023 and Roivant Sciences has never been profitable.

Strive Asset Management

In early 2022, Vivek Ramaswamy co-founded Strive Asset Management, an asset management firm, with his friend Anson Frericks. The firm raised about $20 million from outside investors. Strive has branded itself as “anti-woke” and its funds as “anti-ESG“.  

Ramaswamy said that Strive would push energy companies to drill for more oil, frack for more natural gas, and “do whatever allows them to be most successful over the long run without regard to political, social, cultural or environmental agendas.” Ramaswamy was Strive’s executive chairman before resigning in February 2023 to focus on his presidential campaign.

His Political Career

Vivek considered running in the 2022 U.S. Senate election in Ohio. On February 21, 2023, Ramaswamy declared his candidacy for the Republican nomination for president of the United States in 2024. His fortune had made up the vast majority of his campaign’s fundraising. It still lagged far behind Trump’s and Ron DeSantis’s, but ahead of most of the other Republican primary candidates.

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During his campaign for the Republican presidential nomination, Ramaswamy sought to appeal to evangelical Christian right and Christian nationalist voters, an important part of the Republican base, some of whom are reluctant to support a non-Christian presidential candidate who is Hindu. While campaigning, Ramaswamy called himself an “unapologetic American nationalist“; he often attacked DeSantis. Although they were running against each other, Vivek has vocally supported Trump.

The Criticism

Although Ramaswamy’s presidential campaign centers on opposing corporate diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) and environmental, social, and corporate governance (ESG) initiatives, his nonprofit social-impact arm, Roivant Social Ventures (RSV), worked in support of these very initiatives. While campaigning, Ramaswamy has downplayed his role in creating and overseeing RSV.

While campaigning for the presidency, Ramaswamy called himself a “scientist” and said, “I developed a number of medicines.” It was pointed out that his undergraduate degree is in biology, but he was never a scientist; his role in the biotechnology industry was that of a financier and entrepreneur.

He has opposed abortion, called the LGBTQ movement a “cult”, used anti-trans rhetoric, favoured raising the standard voting age to 25, and wanted to end birthright citizenship. Further, Ramaswamy pledged to “use our military to annihilate the Mexican drug cartels”. He favoured the federal legalization of marijuana and expressed support for an inheritance tax.

In Republican primary debates and campaign appearances, Ramaswamy often repeated and promoted an array of right-wing conspiracy theories and falsehoods. He said that “the climate change agenda is a hoax” in a Republican primary debate. These are some of the many reasons the US citizens are not able to place their trust in him as their future President.