Vivek Ramaswamy, the anti-woke businessman taking on Trump and Haley

The billionaire candidate and son of Indian immigrants, is an advocate of meritocratic policies and an opponent of progressive initiatives. He has written two books and founded several companies.

Conservative businessman Vivek Ramaswamy announced his candidacy in the Republican Party primaries with the hope of being the chosen one to run for president in 2024. The billionaire is the third high-profile contender running in the upcoming 2024 election and joins the GOP race against former President Donald Trump and former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley.

Ramaswamy is the son of Indian immigrants. He is a strong advocate of meritocratic policies and an opponent of progressive initiatives such as critical race theory and ESG criteria (environmental, social and governance factors). New Yorker magazine named him "CEO of Anti-Woke, Inc." a few months ago.

Presidential candidacy

Ramaswamy announced his candidacy in an interview on Fox's Tucker Carlson Tonight. He defended his idea that "America's strength is not our diversity, but the ideals that unite us across our differences." He said merit, freedom of expression, truth, responsibility are his main ideals:

In addition, he mentioned the main issues he plans to tackle if he is elected president. They include ending affirmative action; abandoning climate religion; completely decoupling from China; and limiting federal bureaucrats’ terms of office to eight years.

He also previously proposed repealing a law that makes it possible for presidents to spend all the money budgeted by Congress. He intends to kick off his campaign with a visit to New Hampshire, one of the critical states for Republicans in the primaries.

Early years and education

The biotech entrepreneur was born and raised in Cincinnati, Ohio. His parents are originally from Kerala, India. He graduated from St. Xavier High School in 2003 and was valedictorian of his class. He was a nationally ranked junior tennis player and "an accomplished pianist."

In 2007, he graduated summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa from Harvard with a bachelor's degree in biology. His graduate thesis on ethical issues raised by creating human/animal chimeras was awarded the Bowdoin Prize in Natural Sciences, and was reviewed in The New York Times and The Boston Globe. In 2013, he completed a doctorate at Yale Law School.

Businesses, non-profit work and awards

In 2007, Ramaswamy co-founded Campus Venture Network, a technology company that provided software and networking resources to university entrepreneurs. Simultaneously, he worked at the investment management firm QVT Financial until 2014. He was a partner and co-director of the Biotechnology Department there.

In 2014, he founded Roivant Sciences, a pharmaceutical company that applied the technology in drug development. He was CEO there until 2021. In 2020, he co-founded Chapter Medicare, the only consumer-centric Medicare navigation platform. He is also the founder of Axovant Sciences, another clinical-stage pharmaceutical focused on dementia treatments. He also founded the biotech company Urovant, which focuses on treating urological disorders.

Ramaswamy is currently co-founder and executive chairman of Strive Asset Management, an Ohio-based asset management firm. The company was created as an alternative to the big asset managers (BlackRock, State Street and Vanguard) which Ramaswamy constantly criticizes for mixing business with politics and for engaging in environmental, social and governance activities (ESG criteria).

Ramaswamy served on the board of directors of The Philanthropy Roundtable and was a trustee of The Foundation for Research on Equal Opportunity (FreOpp). He was also featured on the cover of Forbes magazine in 2015 for his work in pharmaceutical development.


In 2021, Ramaswamy resigned as CEO of Roivant Sciences in order to publish his first book Woke, Inc: Inside Corporate America's Social Justice Scam. The billionaire describes it as a critique of the "stakeholder capitalism,” and argues that corporate efforts to promote social causes "rob us of our money, our voice and our identity.” The book debuted at #2 on The New York Times bestseller list.

In 2022 he published Nation of Victims, his second book. In it, he discussed how the disappearance of excellence and exceptionalism, which he says are central elements of American identity, left a deep moral and cultural void in the nation. By using historical examples, he believes that "the culture of victimhood" is to blame for the "decline of the United States.”