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For investors, it's 'Go for India

For investors, it's 'Go for India'


MUMBAI: Industry experts at the Nbuttcom Leadership Forum 2005 affirmed that India continues to be an attractive destination for global investment. It is estimated that $150 billion will be invested in India over the next three years.

The innovativeness and talent of Indians, with the growing market would continue to attract foreign investment. However, the forum emphasised that challenges like the absence of a well-developed ecosystem for venture capitalists, and compebreastion from China exist.

Nick Somers, partner, SV Investment Partners, chairperson, said, "We are looking for both cost effectiveness and skills in India. We invest in India through a portfolio of companies."

A high level of entrepreneurial drive was stated as another positive in India's favour. Abhay Havaldar, partner, General Atlantic Partners, LLC, said, "For India, there are a substantial number of investors who have managed to get liquidity out of the positions that they have had. We have only one global fund, and will invest part of the same in India. In the last two years, we have made three investments in India."

He added that venture capitalists should not make more than one investment in a year, as they should deliberate and try to understand the aspirations of a business and its plans.

However, companies need to keep a few issues in mind, as stated by Ravi Venkatesan, chairman, Microsoft India. Indian companies as well as the government need to be conscious of the image of the country.

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Predictability is one aspect, which goes hand in hand with investor friendliness, and needs to be taken seriously by the government, said senior officials at the Nbuttcom Leadership forum. For example, there is a lack of predictability related to the taxation of BPO companies. Progressive policies regarding IPR could make India an even more attractive destination.

With regard to challenges to be overcome for global investment, Saurabh Srivastava, executive chairman, Xansa (India) said that the full ecosystem for venture capitalists and for startups is missing in India. He added that angel investing is almost non-existent in India, and that most investors drift towards private equity.

He said the Debt Management of funds in India is not as in the developed countries. In developed countries, government and state funds leave the Debt Management of funds to private VCs.

In India, on the other hand, the government has set up funds that are managed by the people in the government itself. Hence, at some point, the quality of investment would suffer as not many people are willing to risk investing in seed capital.

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Manish Kejriwal, MD, Temasek Holdings said, "Many VCs don't clbuttify and differentiate between private equity, FII and FDI." India has some compebreastion to face from China.

Robert H Lessin, vice-chairman, Jefferies, talking about the comparison between India and China, said, "Both the countries have a strong entrepreneurial spirit. The Chinese IT business has a strong software component. Further the IPR and data protection systems of China are as good as that of India."

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