TEAM

Our Team

Vikram Varma

Vikram Varma

Managing Partner

Brings over a decade of experience in private equity investing and portfolio management to PurpleRock. Prior to founding PurpleRock, Varma was a member of the investment team at First Reserve, the largest energy focused private equity firm with over $30 billion in assets under management. He has evaluated and executed investments in the wellness, education, industrial, business services, infrastructure, midstream, downstream and upstream sectors. In addition to investment due diligence and structuring activities, Varma led a variety of industry research and deal sourcing initiatives at First Reserve. Prior to First Reserve, Varma worked at Goldman, Sachs & Co. as an Investment Banking Analyst in the Natural Resources Group. Varma has also previously worked for BlackRock, Morgan Stanley and Egret Capital Partners. Originally from India, Varma grew up in New York City and holds a BBA from the Macaulay Honors College at Baruch College, City University of New York, where he also served as a Trustee of the Baruch College Fund.

AJ Patel

AJ Patel

Managing Partner

Brings a decade of operating experience and e-commerce expertise to PurpleRock. Patel has founded five branded companies: Founder and Chairman of InstaNatural (nature-inspired beauty and cosmetic brand), Zenwise Health (human nutritional supplements brand), Zesty Paws (pet health & wellness brand), Smooth Viking (men’s beard & hair care brand) and Trinova (home, automotive and boat care products, sold to GoldEagle at the end of 2016). Patel was named 2016 Florida Finalist for Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year®. Patel has an invaluable toolkit for brands looking to grow and expand their e-commerce operations. Originally from India, Patel grew up in Orlando and holds a BBA from the University of Florida.

Girard Smith

Girard Smith

Partner

Girard is a results-driven marketing, sales, and business development executive with a broad and long history of creating high-performing teams and delivering market leading growth. Throughout his career Girard has been recognized as a paradigm shifter, credited with identifying entrepreneurial solutions to address key issues and opportunities, enabling businesses to gain a leading edge in the marketplace.

Girard spent 27 years at Bayer Healthcare where his most recent position was VP Marketing for Nutritionals & Digestive Health.  In this role, Girard led all aspects of Bayer’s $1.0 billion Nutritionals & Digestive Health portfolio.  Among his many accomplishments, Girard drove One A Day to the #1 position in the adult multivitamin market, successfully developed and introduced many category leading new product innovations, spearheaded the reinvention of two stagnant digestive brands, and propelled significant market share growth for MiraLAX.

Preceding positions included VP Marketing OTC Brands, during which time Girard played a leading role in the North American commercial activities for the Merck acquisition, while also driving organic growth for Bayer’s OTC business ahead of market; VP Sales for the National Drug Team; VP Marketing for Nutritionals, redesigning the nutritionals organization to leverage unique marketplace opportunities and identifying a number of game-changing initiatives in multivitamins, supplements, and new business models which shaped the market in Bayer’s favor for years to come. Girard also served as VP Market Research for the US.

In addition to serving as an Operating Partner at PurpleRock, Girard is an Executive Vice President Client Lead for Market Performance Group (MPG).

Our Brands

Health and Wellness
Health and Wellness
BioSchwartz is an industry leading health and wellness ecommerce company. ...
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BioSchwartz has captured the market with the first and third best selling vitamins and dietary supplements on Amazon.
Beauty and Personal Care
Beauty and Personal Care
Instanatural is a global
e-commerce skincare, cosmetics and personal care ...
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company redefining the standard of care through nature-inspired solutions.
Household Products
Household Products
Trinova is Chicago-based brand of home, automotive and boat care products, ...
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sold to GoldEagle at the end of 2016.
Health and Wellness
Health and Wellness
Zenwise is a branded e-commerce business focused on the expanding ...
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nutritional supplement market.
Pet Health and Wellness
Pet Health and Wellness
Zesty Paws is a branded
e-commerce business focused on the nascent ...
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pet supplement market.
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Together we can do anything.