Abhishek Ramanan, VC Principal at Delek, is one of our Top 50 Rising Stars in corporate venturing for 2024.

Abhishek Ramanan has had a unique trajectory into the world of corporate venturing. With a degree in chemical engineering, he spent seven years in the oil and gas industry, gaining hands-on experience at Valero Energy and Exxon Mobil. Ramanan’s deep and technical understanding of scaling technologies and operating them in complex environments were a valuable asset as he transitioned into corporate venturing in 2021.

Driven by a passion for the commercial and venture side of the energy sector, Ramanan joined Delek Innovation, the corporate venturing arm of the US downstream energy company Delek US to build out its energy transition investment portfolio. His role focuses on investment diligence and execution, as well as creative means to leverage the venture portfolio to explore different sectors and develop projects for decarbonising the company, aligning with Delek’s strategy.

“Success in corporate venturing requires active learning, curiosity and network building both externally and in the organisation”

Ramanan’s background brings him a valuable perspective, having interacted with front line workers in operational settings to boardrooms of CEOs and C-suite executives. It has equipped him with a viewpoint and level of understanding that is critical when it comes to the viability and trajectory of new technologies.

He believes risk and stakeholder management is the biggest challenge in his role. A risk-averse industry such as oil and gas requires transparent communication and a strategic approach to align the expectations of venturing in the established norms. “There is a guidebook for how to run successful oil and gas companies, which is very reliably process driven, with very low room for error. Venturing is very different than that” he says.

Success in corporate venturing requires active learning, curiosity and network building both externally and, perhaps more importantly for CVC, in the organisation, Ramanan says. Leveraging existing experience to build relationships internally and navigate organisational structures effectively has been key to his impact at Delek.

See the full list of GCV Rising Stars for 2024 here.