Meet Vivek Ramaswamy, 'CEO of Anti-Woke Inc.' who is running for US president

Feb 22, 2023 07:16 PM IST

Billionaire investor Bill Ackman had predicted Ramaswamy would run and will win, arguing the country is 'ready for his message'.

Indian-American conservative entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy has announced his 2024 presidential bid with a promise to 'put merit back' and end his country's 'dependence' on China. He joins Republican Nikki Haley who launched her campaign earlier this month, in looking to replace Joe Biden.

Indian-American businessman and author Vivek Ramaswamy.
Indian-American businessman and author Vivek Ramaswamy.

Ramaswamy, 37, has become a popular face in conservative spheres with his corporate anti-woke movement and many see him as a political thought leader.

He is the best-selling author of 'Woke, Inc.: Inside Corporate America's Social Justice Scam', for which the New Yorker dubbed him 'CEO of Anti-Woke, Inc.'

In a recent speech that has gone viral on the internet, Ramaswamy was seen talking about a "cultural cancer that threatens to kill the dream that Martin Luther King had 60 years ago."

"And that is a new secular religion in this country whose belief system centres on the idea that your identity is based on your race, your gender and your sexual orientation."

"That if you are black, you are inherently disadvantaged, that if you are white you are inherently privileged. No matter your economic background or upbringing. Your race and your gender govern who you are and what you can achieve in your life."

Billionaire investor Bill Ackman predicted that Ramaswamy will run for the President of the United States and will win, arguing that the country is “ready for his message.”

“He is young, smart, talented and will attract the center to the right to win. He speaks hard truths which many believe but fear to say,” he added.

While Ramaswamy is yet to make an announcement, media reports suggest that he has embarked on test runs and fact-finding missions in the US State of Iowa where he has been addressing multiple events. Political messaging in Iowa historically precedes the launch of a presidential campaign.

According to Politico, Ramaswamy is testing whether his warnings about the dangers of 'wokeism' and socially-responsible investing have political currency with Republican politicians, business leaders and farmers.

"Ramaswamy doesn’t necessarily want to run on his businessman track record. Instead he is planning to launch an ideas-based campaign focused on revitalising the American spirit and bringing back a culture of merit into society," it said.

Ramaswamy's parents – father a General Electric engineer and his mother a geriatric psychiatrist – migrated from Kerala. He is married to Apoorva Tewari Ramaswamy, an Assistant Professor at the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center. Born in Cincinnati, Ramaswamy attended Harvard and Yale universities and has a net worth over $500 million, enough to seed his campaign through the key early states.

He made his name first by becoming a successful biotech entrepreneur and developing medicines, including five drugs that became FDA-approved.

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