About Aaron Bhatnagar
Aaron Bhatnagar is an investor in listed and unlisted companies based in Auckland, New Zealand.
Through the Bhatnagar family owned investment vehicle, Alliance Equities Limited (and associated entities), Aaron invests significant funds in early-stage high-growth businesses ready to commercialise their offerings to the market. He likes cloud and SaaS based companies, and companies with recurring revenue, quality management, a scalable product that solves a problem, and a team that focuses on sales and customer service. The wider Bhatnagar family also run the Alliance Family Office to advance family philanthropic, social and business interests.
He also invests in New Zealand and global equities markets.
He served on the board of the Real Estate Agents Authority between 2013-2018, was a committee member of the NZ Shareholders Association Auckland Branch 2012-2017, and has been a chartered member of the Institute of Directors. Aaron has a Master of Arts degree with Honours from the University of Auckland.
Aaron was elected as an Auckland City Councillor during 2007-2010 for the Citizens & Ratepayers ticket, serving as the Chairman of the City Development committee responsible for economic development, town planning, and infrastructure, and the Deputy Chairman of the Finance Committee. He was also an accredited Hearings Commissioner for resource consent hearings. He did not stand for election to the new Auckland "Supercity" Council in 2010.
Aaron's investments in venture capital projects include companies like Pushpay, listed successfully on the NZX in August 2014, and the unlisted The New Zealand Abalone Company, Marsello, Ask Nicely and Designer Wardrobe. He tends to avoid startups and focuses on companies which are ready to scale.
Aaron and his family have also been in the fortunate position of engaging in some Auckland based philanthropic projects.
He welcomes contact from businesses seeking capital to commercialise and scale their proven ideas. Please note Aaron's criteria for investing next to the submission box.
Aaron is often asked about his favourite books and podcasts - you can read a list of them here.
About the Bhatnagar Family
In 1980, the Bhatnagar family immigrated to New Zealand from Canada. Roger (Rajeshwar) Bhatnagar, after working in electronics retail in Canada, started a small electronics retail business on Commerce Street in Auckland called Sound Plus. Over the coming decade, Sound Plus grew to over nine stores and became known for its aggressive discounting and innovative marketing.
In 1991, with the help of Fisher and Paykel Finance, Roger bought the Noel Leeming electronics retail chain from receivers. After turning the business around, Roger and his team floated Noel Leeming on the NZX in 1993 and the company experienced considerable growth. In 1995, the business merged with competitor Bond and Bond Ltd to create "Pacific Retail Group", which was New Zealand's largest electronics retail business. His interests in Pacific Retail Group were bought out in 1999, and he became a passive investor with mostly commercial property interests.
Roger also was the cornerstone investor in Burger King New Zealand in 1994 (exiting in 1996), and was also involved in a number of commercial and residential property projects around Auckland.
Following his success, Roger was able to engage in philanthropy, support NZ sports, enjoy a little bit of art and watch collecting, as well as a passion for automobiles. Pride of place in his collection for a number of years was a McLaren F1 road car, the first to arrive in New Zealand in 1994.
Roger deeply enjoyed his friendships with New Zealand and overseas sports players, especially in the part-professional days of NZ cricket in the 1980s, supporting a number of top NZ sportsmen with jobs, sponsorship and testimonial benefits. In 2017, Sir Roger's significant collection of cricket memorabilia was donated by his son Aaron to Auckland Cricket. You can read more about Sir Roger Bhatnagar's cricket memorabilia collection here.
Roger was knighted by the NZ Government for services to business and charities in 1998 Queens Birthday honours.
Following the onset of poor health, Sir Roger retired from business around 2008. Since 2011, Sir Roger's son, Aaron, and son-in-law Blair Wolfgram have actively managed the family's wealth through listed equities, commercial property and venture capital. They formed Alliance Equities Limited (and associated companies) to pursue venture capital opportunities, and formed the Alliance Family Office in 2018 to advance the family's social, philanthropic and business interests.
The images of Sir Roger are provided under s42 of the Copyright Act of 1994, allowing fair use for media. Please contact if higher resolution photos are required.