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July 29, 2008

Nasscom Product Conclave on Aug.11-12

The NASSCOM Product Conclave & Expo 2008, the only annual conference for the Indian software product industry, is to be held on August 11 & 12 at Bangalore.

Key Highlights:
  • NASSCOM Product Business Study Launch
  • Emerging Global & Domestic Opportunities
  • Key emerging opportunities for the Indian Product Industry
  • Showcase of emerging product companies
  • Intel Initiative for Indian Product Companies
  • High potential sectors: Customer Insights on Industry Verticals; their Expectations of products
  • Talent proposition for Product Business in India
  • Product Business - Shift from Product Development to Product Management
  • Understanding Markets, Customers and “Go-to-market” strategies and methodology
  • Industry analysts on Issues around capital, growth, organizational structuring; Angel, VC and PE investment priorities and value propositions
Key speakers include Kiran Karnik, Former President of Nasscom; Alok Mittal of Canaan Partners; Bala Iyer, Reliance Retail; Bharat Goenka, Tally; Dr. Heinz Theilmann, Emphasys GmbH; Ganesh Natarajan, Nasscom; Rahul Matthan, Trilegal, Sanjay Anandaram, Jumpstartup and Sharad Sharma, Yahoo.

Participants will gain deep-dive insight into the opportunities for the product industry, learn best practices on product management, licencing and contracts, network with the VCs and angel investors and, above all, build partnerships for growth. Industry CEOs, CIOs of user industries, product startups, technology seers, venture capitalists, seed and angel investors, and marketing experts will congregate at Bangalore for a two-day action packed agenda of technology updates, sharing of new initiatives, business models, and showcase of successful Indian products.

For registration, contact Bharati Kapoor on 080-41151705 or mail bangalore@nasscom.in

GVFL invests Rs. 11 Crores in tool maker for diamond industry



From Press Release:

GVFL Limited, India’s pioneer Venture Capital Company announces an investment of Rs. 110 million in Sahajanand Laser Technology Limited, India’s one of the largest manufacturers of Laser Systems for Diamond Industry. GVFL will make the investment from its Rs. 650 million SME Technology Venture Fund. Sahajanand Laser Technology based in Gandhinagar will be utilizing the funds in the expansion of their range of high – end laser machines.

Sahajanand Laser is the 65th investment being made by GVFL in innovative technology companies across India.

About GVFL Ltd.

GVFL Limited, started by Gujarat Industrial and Investment Corporation (GIIC) at the initiative of the World Bank in July 1990, has recently launched SME Technology Venture Fund of corpus Rs. 2500 million. The SME Fund, a pan-India fund, is used for investing in various projects of both Small & Medium Technology Companies in IT, Biotechnology, Nanotechnology and other sectors. GVFL Limited has made its first investment from the SME Fund in Sahajanand Laser Technology Limited. The investment of Rs. 110 million in Sahajanand Laser Technology Limited is a second round of funding. The first round of investment of Rs. 40 million was made in the Company from Gujarat I.T. Fund by GVFL.

Over the past 18 years, GVFL has raised six Venture Capital Funds (VCFs) – GVCF 1990, GVCF 1995, GVCF 1997, Gujarat IT Fund, Gujarat Biotechnology Venture Fund and SME Technology Venture Fund with a combined capital of over Rs. 2041 million. The Funds were invested in 64 technology start -up companies. Last year, GVFL has liquidated its first fund GVCF-1990 with profits. Some of GVFL’s significant success stories include Deccanet, eInfochips, Scicom, Parsec Technologies, Neilsoft, 20 Microns and several others.

About Sahajanand Laser Technology Limited

Sahajanand Laser Technology Limited, an ISO 9001:2000 certified company, is a pioneer in the World Of Lasers in India. Sahajanand Laser is the first Indian Company to introduce a Fiber Laser Cutting Machine with Linear Drives in World. The Company has several national & international patents. Mr. Arvind Patel, Promoter & Managing Director of Sahajanand Laser Technology Limited is a renowned technologist known for his inventions in the field of Laser Machines. He has also received many national awards for his innovative laser technology.

The company offers total solutions for diamond processing and wide range of laser systems for diversified industrial applications such as: Laser Cutting, Marking, Welding, Micro Machining, Solar Cell Scribing/Cutting etc. SLTL is one of the few manufacturers in the world providing customized CNC Laser solutions.
In an environment of rapidly evolving technology, the company has carved out a special position for its products with in-house strong multi – disciplinary R & D team consisting of Research scholars, Software engineers, Electronic – Mechanical – Instrumentation engineers, Laser specialists etc. The company strives for excellence through innovations and research.

It provides solutions to Scientific & Research Institutes, Government Organizations in India and abroad. It has its offices in Ahmedabad, Gandhinagar, Surat, Mumbai, Delhi, Pune and Chennai. It also has international presence through its offices in China, Germany, U.K. and U.S.A. It is exporting to Thailand, Russia, USA, Sri Lanka, Israel, Namibia, Dubai, Angola, Botswana, Saudi Arabia and others.

July 27, 2008

The race for Africa's natural resources

Knoweldge@Wharton has an article on how African countries like South Africa, Botswana and Congo are coping with the race for natural resources.

Mining is (South Africa's) biggest employer: a half-million people are employed directly by mines and another 400,000 indirectly through associated services like shipping. South African mines produce nearly 90% of the world's platinum, 80% of manganese, 73% of chrome and -- despite its recent slip in position -- 43% of the world's gold. Mining overall contributed 7% to South Africa's GDP in 2006. When adjusted for associated services and additional industry output, such as electricity production, the total rises to 18.4%.

...there is no doubt that global competition is changing the rules -- and the stakes -- in Africa's mining industry. Huckle noted the increasing presence of Chinese mining companies in Africa and their tendency to conduct business differently than companies from democratic countries. "When the Chinese make an investment, they bring in a large amount of their own resources to exploit that asset effectively." He added that, unlike Western companies, the goal is not a return on investment, but to fill a strategic gap. "They are willing to pay more ... to fuel that growth engine."

Considerably more, in fact: Teeling noted that China has offered the (Congo) $17 billion for the first right of refusal on particular mining sources. "How can companies compete with that?"

Arun Natarajan is the Founder & CEO of Venture Intelligence, the leading provider of information and networking services to the private equity and venture capital ecosystem in India. View free samples of Venture Intelligence newsletters and reports.

July 24, 2008

Deal Alert: Steel construction co. Geodesic Techniques raises $11-M

Extracts from Press Release:

Geodesic Techniques, a leading player in steel-based construction, today announced that the company has received an investment of about $11 million (Rs. 45 crores) from Mayfield Fund and Silicon Vally Bank (SVB) in return for a minority stake. Mayfield led the round. The funds will be utilized for setting up a steel fabrication unit in Bidar and for other working capital requirements. Veda Corporate Advisors intermediated the deal.



Geodesic is a leading design & build player specialized in steel based construction and signature structures. The company is involved in prestigious projects such as the Mumbai and Delhi International Airports. The company has to its credit marquee corporate customers and end-users such as Infosys, TCS, L&T, GVK & GMR. It is currently in the midst of an aggressive expansion plan and the fund infusion is expected to help meet its growth objectives.

Srinidhi Anantharaman, Managing Director, Geodesic Techniques, said, “I am very happy that two globally renowned funds like Mayfield & SVB have reposed their faith in our business model & growth prospects. The investment will help us backward integrate, thereby making us the only end to end player in our business segment. This funding round will also help us commercialize innovative design solutions which are under development. With this investment, we are well positioned to grow and retain our leadership position in this rapidly expanding field.”

The deal marks Mayfield's sixth investment in India following investments in Tejas Networks, Satya Paul, Bharat Matrimony, Servomax and Paymate.

Commenting on the investment, Vikram Godse, Managing Director, Mayfield Advisors, who will be joining the Board of Geodesic, said, “We are very excited about this investment in Geodesic. The company has a unique proposition with its strength in design coupled with its capabilities in structural steel construction. With a strong track record, a robust order book and a significantly experienced management team, we believe that the company has the right ingredients in place to leverage the huge potential in steel-intensive construction for urban infrastructure.”

Geodesic is a pioneer in design and construction of prefabricated domes and space frames in India. Over the years the company has carved out a niche in specialized steel and glass structures and a reputation for providing innovative solutions to diverse requirements. The company is also a leading player in steel buildings, multi-level car parks and transportation structures, bringing in its customary innovation and finesse.

Indian School of Business event on Private Equity

The Indian School of Business is organizing an event on Private Equity event at its Hyderabad campus on September 6. The theme of the
event is "Private Equity: Pioneering Practices, Partnering Businesses".

The event would involve a keynote speaker and two panel discussions on

- Quo Vadis Private Equity? Sunrise sectors, deal valuations and exit strategies

- Private Equity: Adding value to India Inc's business practices

For more information, contact Irshad Daftari on irshad_daftari@pgp2009.isb.edu or +91-97058-06219

July 22, 2008

Top execs from Wipro BPO, Motilal Oswal join speaker roster at IT Services & BPO Connect '08

Ashutosh Vaidya, CEO, Wipro BPO and Raj Chatterjea, Director-M&A, Motilal Oswal have joined the exciting speaker line up at IT Services & BPO Connect '08 (IB Connect).

IB Connect is a conference that brings together investors, entrepreneurs and top executives in the IT Services & BPO sectors to network, discuss and share best practices. The 2008 edition, to be held on August 28 at Mumbai, aims to review current trends and explore new opportunities.

Other speakers at the conference include:

- Aparup Sengupta, CEO, Aegis BPO
- Nitin Shah, CMD, Allied Digital
- Salil Parekh, Executive Chairman, Capgemini India
- Akshaya Bhargava, CEO, Fulcrum Group*
- Partha De Sarkar, CEO, HTMT Global
- Srinath Batni, Director, Infosys
- Shailesh Shah, Chief Strategy Officer, Satyam
- V.K. Raman, Head-BPO Services, TCS
- Dev Raman, Principal, Tricolor India
- Rajesh Jain, Director, KPMG
- Niteen Tulpule, Director, KPMG


Like other Venture Intelligence conferences, IB Connect '08 too will feature speakers and participants from leading Private Equity firms.

Click Here for more information about IB Connect'08.

July 19, 2008

End of Mall Mania?

Deepak Shenoy has an interesting post on the "Bad news and then more bad news" for mall developers and their tenants:
Remember how the funda worked:
* "Premium" apartments come up
* Malls come up nearby saying ok, these guys need to shop
* Apartment rentals and prices go up saying oh there are so many malls nearby. "Developed" area.
* Mall rentals go up saying look at the real estate prices here.
* Some big retailer sets up shop and promptly loses money but terms it a long term investment.
* Everyone else says heck, if he can lose money, so can we, so they also do the same thing.

Now someone's knocked some sense into everyone's head. (It's called "reality") So as real estate prices have come off the highs, and retailers vanish, soon mall and house rentals will follow. Ghost malls are likely to be common as developers, now flush with cash after the boom, decide they will "ride it out". They'll pay interest - increasing rates, btw - until they can bear it no more.
Arun Natarajan is the Founder & CEO of Venture Intelligence, the leading provider of information and networking services to the private equity and venture capital ecosystem in India. View free samples of Venture Intelligence newsletters and reports.

July 16, 2008

Deal Alert: Eastgate Capital Group invests Rs 100 crore in Avendus

From Press Release

Avendus Capital Pvt Ltd, India‘s leading financial services company, today announced, that it has raised Rs 100 crore in equity from private equity firm Eastgate Capital Group. The primary objective of this investment is to strengthen the institutional broking franchise of Avendus Capital and fuel Avendus’ international expansion with a special focus on USA and Europe. Currently, Avendus Capital has its offices in Mumbai, Bangalore and New York.

Eastgate Capital Group (ECG) is the private equity subsidiary of NCB Capital, the investment banking arm of the National Commercial Bank of Saudi Arabia (NCB). ECG has $800mn of commitments under management across three funds. The current investment in Avendus Capital is from the Eastgate Global Emerging Markets Fund.

Speaking on this occasion, Mr. Nasr-Eddine Benaissa, Co-Managing Partner, Eastgate Capital, said, “We believe India is one of the most attractive markets in the world and is well positioned to be a driving force in the global economy. Indian financial services, and in particular investment banking and capital markets related businesses, will naturally benefit from this momentum. In this context, we are pleased to be partnering with a high performing firm such as Avendus, which has a strong track record, a highly talented team and a distinctive culture".

Speaking on the investment, Mr. Ranu Vohra, Managing Director & CEO, Avendus Capital Pvt. Limited, said “We are excited about partnering with Eastgate Capital in our next phase of growth. As Avendus builds its capabilities in capital markets and institutional broking we believe that the team at Eastgate will help us in building our global network of relationships particularly in the Middle East, which is increasingly becoming the source of capital for fast growing Indian corporates. We have spent considerable time with the team at Eastgate and are impressed by their knowledge and expertise in financial services. Eastgate and its parent NCB Capital are highly respected institutions and we expect this relationship to be very rewarding for our team, clients and shareholders”.

Mr. Rajiv Nakani, Director, Eastgate Capital Group will join the board of Avendus Capital. Mr. Nakani has over a decade’s experience in investing and investment banking and brings with him in-depth domain knowledge across various sectors.

"IT-BPOs vs. pure plays"

Business Today has an article based on a round table discussion featuring Pramod Bhasin, President & CEO, Genpact; Ananda Mukerji, MD& CEO, Firstsource; Raman Roy, MD, Quatrro BPO Solutions; Akhil Gupta, Senior Managing Director & Chairman, Blackstone India; Michel E. de Zeeuw, Vice President, Europe & Africa, Infosys BPO; and Som Mittal, President, Nasscom
BT: Who is doing better—pure play BPOs or the so-called IT-BPOs?
Mukerji: It depends on who you ask… (laughs). I don’t think it’s a matter of pure play BPO companies versus third party IT services companies and whose model is better. I think BPO business is a different business and requires different dynamics, different success factors, and I think it’s good that there are companies that have come into this industry are those that have done some fantastic work in IT. If you look the world around you and see how many BPO companies are there, they are all growing, they are all doing well, there is enough demand out there.

Mittal: I don’t think integration of services has yet happened. It may happen in the next round.

Gupta: I would love to invest in a BPO company that is going to the next level. Just thinking aloud, there is the improvement in processes that will drive BPO companies to acquire IT resources. I haven’t seen that as yet, but to me that sounds like a logical progression.

Bhasin: There is no similarity between Java programming and Sarbanes Oxley, that is why the CIO and CFO roles have not been combined and are not likely to be combined. So, I think that should answer your question. The fact is client relationships can be used to cross sell—if there are capabilities in both. I am saying this in front of Infosys BPO, earlier we did not see them on the map, now they have made acquisitions and we see them on the map not because of IT but because of their true capabilities in BPO. There will be areas where they (IT and BPO) overlap, wherein application of technology along with the application of process allows you to drive efficiency to a greater level than you can do on a standalone basis. But broadly it’s about two separate dynamics being brought together to sell well into your customer and increase your penetration.

Arun Natarajan is the Founder & CEO of Venture Intelligence, the leading provider of information and networking services to the private equity and venture capital ecosystem in India. View free samples of Venture Intelligence newsletters and reports.

Are the Best Years of Outsourcing Behind Us? Find out at IB Connect '08

Spooked by the appreciating rupee, stock markets punished IT Services and Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) companies in 2007 - even while stocks in other sectors were booming. Private Equity and Venture Capital investments in outsourcing companies have also declined 50% in the first half of 2008 compared to H1 '07.

All of which prompts the question: are the best years of Indian outsourcing companies behind us? At IT Services & BPO Connect '08 (IB Connect), leading industry executives and top investors will discuss this and other crucial questions facing Indian outsourcing.

Speakers at the conference include:

- Aparup Sengupta, CEO, Aegis BPO
- Nitin Shah, CMD, Allied Digital
- Salil Parekh, Executive Chairman, Capgemini India
- Akshaya Bhargava, CEO, Fulcrum Group*
- Partha De Sarkar, CEO, HTMT Global
- Srinath Batni, Director, Infosys
- Shailesh Shah, Chief Strategy Officer, Satyam
- V.K. Raman, Head-BPO Services, TCS
- Dev Raman, Principal, Tricolor India
- Abhay Havaldar, MD, General Atlantic*
- Rajesh Jain, Director, KPMG
- Niteen Tulpule, Director, KPMG


Participants at the conference would include Private Equity / Venture Capital firms and other investors; Entrepreneurs & Senior Executives from IT Services & BPO companies and Service Providers including Investment Banks and Corporate Law Firms.

Don't miss it!

Click Here for the conference agenda

For participation details, Email Us

July 13, 2008

Real Estate PE firms turning builders

Economic Times has an article on how Real Estate funds are building expertise to execute projects inhouse.
For the funds, the idea is to have better control over their development partners while others are clear that they also want to make the kind of margins that construction offers (25-35%). Apart from the cost advantage, this would also mean a lower dependence on construction companies in a scenario where execution capability bottlenecks are threatening to derail projects.

Trikona Capital, which has over $1-billion investments committed in India, is setting up a development group, which will be headed by the ex-chairman of HUDCO, Dr PS Rana. “There is very little scalability in India. My best development partner has at best developed 5 million sq ft of space,” says Trikona MD Aashish Kalra. Execution is the most important thing, he says.

...“There needs to be a degree of control over your projects. We also believe that there is a development margin to be made here and that will now come to us,” says Sunil Agarwal, chief development & acquisition officer at SARE. SARE has $200 million committed across several projects in India.

Arun Natarajan is the Founder & CEO of Venture Intelligence, the leading provider of information and networking services to the private equity and venture capital ecosystem in India. View free samples of Venture Intelligence newsletters and reports.

July 11, 2008

Profile of National Entrepreneurship Network

Business Today has article on the pioneering efforts of NEN, which has been promoted by NRI entrepreneur Romesh Wadhwani, to promote entrepreneurship in India.
NEN began with six colleges (winners of a competition in 2002 called Lock Stock and Trade) in Mumbai and spent the next few years building its own team, bank of students’ cells and entrepreneur-advisors as it sought to effect a change in the mindsets of students. “Five years ago, when we launched NEN, there was a clear need to accelerate entrepreneurship in India, especially at the college and university levels,” says Romesh Wadhwani, serial entrepreneur, whose eponymous foundation runs this network. The original goal for NEN was to launch thousands of first-generation entrepreneurs over 10 years, creating 100,000 high quality jobs and accelerating economic development in India. “Five years on, we have come a long way and made a big difference. Today, there are nearly 400 colleges and universities with entrepreneurship programmes and over 50,000 college students are now actively engaged with us. Then, there is a network of resources that can be accessed and used by any NEN member at no cost,” he adds.

In February this year, some 250,000 students across 360 educational institutes took part in NEN EWeek (entrepreneurship week). And over the course of the event, they took part in group discussions and met investors and successful entrepreneurs. They also spent three days on a “Rs 50” game, where they had to devise out-of-the-box businesses (with an investment of Rs 50) in three days and prove their viability. These businesses ranged from dog washing to salsa classes, printed T-shirts and costume jewellery.

At Bangalore’s Mount Carmel College, students baked a cake for Rs 50 and sold one slice of that cake for Rs 20 and used the surplus to bake more products and make a handsome profit—all this to eventually learn being well-rounded entrepreneurs.

Besides nurturing first-time entrepreneurs, the next step for NEN is to play a broader role in building an entrepreneurship ecosystem in the country. “We need to encourage college students to consider a future in start-ups—not just in founding companies, but working in these start-ups and understanding the nuances of working with them,” says Biocon founder and CMD Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw, a strong votary of NEN’s activities and an advisor to the network.

Arun Natarajan is the Founder & CEO of Venture Intelligence, the leading provider of information and networking services to the private equity and venture capital ecosystem in India. View free samples of Venture Intelligence newsletters and reports.

Buyouts: Increasingly in fashion

Business Today has an article on how PE firms in India are becoming warmer towards doing buyout deals.
There are those that are happy to take a minority stake in a private company, some even invest in publicly-listed companies, while some others buy out companies, never mind if they are listed or unlisted. But typically, most promoters rarely part with a majority stake in their companies. Therefore, venture investors have no choice but to settle for minority ownership. Yet, there are three PE firms in the country— Actis, Baring, and India Value Fund (IVF)—that like to invest for control.

...With competition growing, the economy slowing down and the quantum of PE money committed to India—the three firms alone have raised some $1.35 billion—the going will get harder. “This is a business only for specialised players,” feels Varun Sood, Managing Partner of Capvent India Advisors, a fund of funds, “and only those firms that have kept the discipline while investing will provide meaningful returns when the market is witnessing a slowdown of sorts.” Adds Anand Sunderji, Managing Partner, Thomas Weisel Partners: “The concept of PEs taking ownership/majority stake is still not so proven in India as most of the businesses are family-owned, and I do not think their mindset has changed too much when it comes to letting go of control.”

To be sure, none of this is news to Actis, Baring or IVF. The very fact that they have struck out a different investment path wherever possible reveals that they are keenly aware of the ground realities. And the fact that their own investors are happily piling on more money into their firms (Baring’s Fund III of $550 million was oversubscribed more than three times) means that their portfolio companies aren’t the only ones excited about working with them.
Arun Natarajan is the Founder & CEO of Venture Intelligence, the leading provider of information and networking services to the private equity and venture capital ecosystem in India. View free samples of Venture Intelligence newsletters and reports.

July 10, 2008

Profile of pharma-focused dealmaker Mehta Partners

Businessworld has a profile of New York-headquartered Mehta Partners, which served as the "strategic business advisor" to Daiichi on its acquisition of Ranbaxy.
Tarun Shah) represents Mehta Partners, a Wall Street boutique strategic and institutional advisory firm, in India. It is this outfit, known to few people outside the pharma and biotech industry, whose New York and Vadodara teams masterminded the idea of combining Ranbaxy, a generics powerhouse making cut-price copycats, with Daiichi Sankyo, a Japanese innovator company making patented, premium-priced medicines. Mehta Partners were advisors to Daiichi Sankyo.

It is a transaction that is pathbreaking. “This deal has busted three myths,” says Shah. “That innovators will never buy generics, that Indian promoters will never sell (their business), and that the Japanese are slow.”

It all began with an idea. Sometime in October 2007, Viren Mehta, 57, the India-born founder of Mehta Partners flew down from his office in New York to Daiichi’s Tokyo headquarters, accompanied by Shah, to make a simple proposition to the Japanese company’s brass. Would Daiichi Sankyo consider a strategic alliance with Ranbaxy Laboratories?

Arun Natarajan is the Founder & CEO of Venture Intelligence, the leading provider of information and networking services to the private equity and venture capital ecosystem in India. View free samples of Venture Intelligence newsletters and reports.

July 09, 2008

Deal Alert: Pharma firm Themis Labs raises Rs. 90-Cr from NYLIM India

From Press Release:

Themis Laboratories Private Limited (Themis Laboratories), India’s leading pharmaceutical company specializing in developing and manufacturing of pharmaceutical formulations using novel drug delivery systems (“NDDS”), today announced that the company has received an equity investment of INR 900 million from NYLIM Jacob Ballas India Fund III, LLC (“NYLIM Jacob Ballas India Fund”), a Mauritius based Private Equity investor.

Commenting on the deal, Mr. Janak Shah, Chairman, Themis Laboratories, said, “Themis Laboratories has emerged as one of India’s leading novel drug delivery companies with a robust pipeline backed by a strong research and development (“R&D”) setup. This investment by NYLIM Jacob Ballas India Fund would help strengthen the company’s foray into the regulated markets. We believe this partnership will help us realize our vision to be a significant player in the global NDDS space.”

He further added that the investment would be utilized to finance the setting up of a new R&D facility and to establish a marketing network in overseas export markets.

Bharat Bakhshi, Partner, Jacob Ballas Capital India Pvt Ltd (“JBC”), investment advisor to NYLIM Jacob Ballas India Fund, said “Themis Laboratories has developed long term relationships with leading pharmaceutical companies in India for developing and manufacturing NDDS formulations owing to its strong technical expertise and its commitment to high quality standards and regulatory compliance. Given the numerous benefits offered by NDDS formulations we are confident that Themis Laboratories will show continued success and we look forward to being a partner in this success.” Mr Bakhshi has joined the Board of Directors of Themis Laboratories.

JBC, based in New Delhi, is the investment advisor to three India focused private equity funds, New York Life International India Fund (Mauritius), LLC, New York Life Investment Management India Fund II LLC and NYLIM Jacob Ballas India Fund III, LLC.

About Themis Laboratories

Mumbai-based Themis Laboratories Private Limited is India’s leading pharmaceutical company specializing in developing and manufacturing of pharmaceutical formulations using NDDS. Themis Laboratories has expertise in developing sustained release formulations, controlled release formulations, combination products, taste masking formulations and oral fast dissolving dosage forms. Themis Laboratories supplies NDDS formulations and intermediates to leading domestic pharmaceutical companies and Indian arms of global pharmaceutical companies. It has recently set up a new manufacturing facility in Ambernath, which is designed to meet international regulatory standards. The company has a dedicated R&D centre in Thane which is approved by the Department of Science & Technology, Government of India. For more information please visit www.themislabs.com. Themis Laboratories was promoted by Mr. Janak Shah and Mrs. Maya Shah in 1985.

About NYLIM Jacob Ballas India Fund

NYLIM Jacob Ballas India Fund III, LLC is a Mauritius based fund with an investment objective of achieving long-term capital appreciation through equity or equity-related investments into companies based in or with significant operations in India. Previous investments by the Fund include Aster Teleservices Limited, Mahindra Holidays & Resorts India Limited and Saravana Global Energy Limited. Affiliate funds of NYLIM Jacob Ballas India Fund have previously invested in a diverse range of sectors including telecom, ports, power, engineering construction, shipbuilding, real estate, textiles, auto components, IT consulting and printing.

About Jacob Ballas Capital India Pvt Ltd

Jacob Ballas Capital India Pvt. Ltd (“JBC”), based in New Delhi, is the investment advisor to three India focused private equity funds, New York Life International India Fund (Mauritius), LLC, New York Life Investment Management India Fund II LLC and NYLIM Jacob Ballas India Fund III, LLC. JBC’s ten member investment team has over 140 years of collective operating and investing experience, with over 40 years focused on private equity investments in India.

JBC was founded by Mr Rajan Jetley, Chairman, who is a well known professional and entrepreneur. Mr Jetley, Chairman of JBC, has previously served as CEO of Air India and India Tourism Development Corporation, and as Director of International Airports Authority of India. JBC’s shareholders, apart from Mr Jetley, include NYLCAP Holdings (Mauritius) which is wholly owned by New York Life Investment Management Holdings LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of New York Life Insurance Company, Excelfin, promoted by Mr B S Ong and Mr David Ban, reputed Asian entrepreneurs with extensive interests in property, retail and lifestyle businesses and Indtech Constructions Pvt Ltd, promoted by Mr Atul Punj, Chairman of Punj Lloyd Ltd, one of India’s leading engineering construction conglomerates. For more information please visit www.jbindia.co.in.

July 06, 2008

2i Capital announces first close of its "Indian Enterprise Fund"

From Press Release


The 2i Capital Group announces the First Closing of its “Indian Enterprise Fund” at USD 60 million. The Fund is targeting to raise USD 200 million.

Vivek Sekhar, CEO of 2i Capital (India) Pvt. Ltd. said “2i Capital has been able to build strong deal flow based on its depth of relationships and long investment experience of its team”. He added that investee companies in India recognise that 2i Capital’s team members have added operational and strategic value to their companies over many years apart from being the first provider of equity capital in many cases. This goodwill along with the long-term investment insight of the team has contributed to 2i Capital’s success in creating deal flow as well as high investment returns.

2i Capital’s strategy is to invest in mid-size companies with strong management teams which are operating in high growth consumer or industrial markets. Vivek Sekhar said: “We identify companies that are in strong and growing sectors, which have stabilised their operations, have a good market share, growing margins, have competitive and defensible business models, and are now capable of a next phase of rapid growth.”

Sudhir Kamath, Managing Director, 2i Capital India Pvt Ltd said “at 2i Capital we are focussed on investing in best-in-class management teams running operationally strong companies, structuring investments much before the news is in the price, and creating timely exits.”

Since 2003, 2i Capital has invested USD 200 million in 17 companies across sectors with 35% of its investment in manufacturing & engineering, 27% in energy and infrastructure, 14% in telecom and technology, 13% in consumer & capital goods, and the rest in leisure & travel, logistics and supply.

About 2i Capital
2i Capital is a mid-stage, growth-oriented private equity fund with USD 200 million invested in companies in India. 2i Capital backs strong management teams and which are operating in high growth consumer or industrial markets.

2i Capital investors are long term international institutions including Fund of Funds, Banks, Corporations, and Family Offices. The fund and its portfolio companies are advised by an experienced investment team which has 60 years of cumulative investment experience and has invested across sectors and investment cycles since 1990. The investment team consists of Vivek Sekhar, Sudhir Kamath, and Shailesh Singh.

July 05, 2008

Interview with Gaurav Mathur of India Equity Partners

Venture Intelligence recently spoke to Gaurav Mathur, Managing Director of India Equity Partners (IEP), which has announced half-a-dozen investments in the country over the last 18 months. The firm’s portfolio includes Amtek India (Auto Components), Bharti Infratel (Telecom Infra), Ikya Human Capital (HR Services), Jai Balaji Industries (Steel), Mannapuram Group (Financial Services) and Ocean Sparkle (Port Management).



Venture Intelligence: Tell us about IEP founding and its mandate / investment thesis.
Gaurav Mathur: In 2003 Anurag Bhargava, who is based out of New York, wanted to start a real estate fund focused on India. He teamed up with Steven Wisch to start a $147 million fund called the India Real Estate Opportunity (IREO) fund as one of the early real estate funds in India. (Today, IREO manages around $1.6 billon of capital mostly raised from US institutional investors.)

In 2005, after working with JP Morgan for five years, I started to raise a fund along with a couple of other folks. I met with Anurag and Steven and we decided to raise money together for what became the India Equity Partners fund. We had our final closure of $350 million in December 2006.

VI: You have recently brought on board three top consultants from Accenture. (Sid Khanna, who recently retired from Accenture as a global managing partner, KK Iyer and Sudarshan Sampathkumar.) What would be their roles?
GM: Sid has joined as our Chairman and Sudarshan and KK are partners who will focus on operations - by taking charge at companies we might buyout as well with performance improvements at our growth capital portfolio. Of course, larger companies with sales more than Rs. 150-200 crores, which have CFOs, Systems, Processes, our role would be limited. But, when we go and buy a large stake in a subRs.50 crore company, it typically does not have these systems and processes and we will be a lot more involved.

VI: The investment in Ikya was more like a Venture Capital investment. How does that fit in to your portfolio?
GM:
We are looking at Ikya as a platform company which will acquire more companies in the space. In general, we will not do VC like deals.

VI: Is the platform play something you will be targeting to do across your portfolio?
GM:
Well, it’s a style of investment that we like; especially in sectors which are growing fast but are highly fragmented. If you look at food, there are lots of small FMCG companies and the potential for platform would work. However, there would be some sectors which might meet the criteria – for example, Education - that might not be suitable for M&As.

VI: Are there any specific sectors that you will not invest in?
GM:
We don’t have anything specific stated but we would stay away from sectors like airlines can be very materially impacted by government regulation. Also, IEP will not invest in Real Estate which is handled by IREO. However, we might work jointly with IREO in doing some deals in sectors where real estate plays a very important role.

VI: What are the other infrastructure opportunities you are looking at beyond Bharti Infratel?
GM:
On the infrastructure side, we are looking actively at the derivatives - equipments and services need to the infrastructure sector.

VI: In terms of buyouts, what are you looking at?
GM:
We are looking at several companies with a size range of Rs.50-200 crores - typically in manufacturing. We would also look at the BPO space given our expertise and strong relationships in the US financial sector.

VI: What is your reading of the current view Limited Partners have on the Indian market?
GM:
I think India continues to be interesting from an LP point of view. The only change is that the prospects for first time funds is getting tougher and tougher since several of the funds which have started in the last 5 years have a portfolio track record and can raise money again quite easily. This is quite similar to other developed market – not just in PE but in the hedge fund world too. But overall there will be a lot more LPs that will be coming to India and existing LPs will continue to increase their allocation to India.

VI: Do you expect Indian LPs to be more active in Private Equity?
GM:
My personal opinion is that, in the next few years, it’s not going to be very significant. But, in the 5-10 years it will change with more family offices looking to invest in this asset class. As more entrepreneurs sell out – the recent example being that of Ranbaxy – they are likely to have already worked with a few PE guys and would want to put in part of their wealth into PE funds.