An Indian Civilizational Perspective

India is a red hot investment

This is from one of the organizers of the First ever India Venture Capital Conference, to be held in San Francisco on Tuesday, November 1. Featured speakers are:

Vinod Khosla, partner, Kleiner, Perkins, Caufield and Byers; Promod Haque, managing partner, Norwest Venture Partners; Vinod Dham, managing director, NewPath Ventures; Yogen Dalal, managing director, Mayfield; Sumir Chadha, senior managing director, Westbridge Capital Partners; Deepak Kamra, general partner, Canaan Partners; Sumant Mandal, managing director, Clearstone Venture Partners; Manik Arora, senior associate, Battery Ventures; and Diljeet Titus, senior member, Titus & Company.

Non-Indian American speakers and panelists include Lip-Bu Tan, chairman, Walden International; Barry Taylor, managing director, Warburg Pincus; Allan C Thygesen, managing director, The Carlyle Group; Scott Wentz, managing director, IndUS Consulting; and Andy Tucker and Carmelo Gordian, partners at Andrews Kurth.

Besides keynote presentations by Khosla, Haque (who will speak on Evolving into the US-Israel Model: How India can mirror Israel in creating global product companies) and Anand Deshpande, CEO Persistent Systems, the panels will discuss a range of topics such as ‘The Dynamic Landscape: Leveraging India for Capital Efficient Global Innovation; ‘Modes to Entry: Strategic Ways to Invest in India’; ‘Due Diligence Strategies: Evaluating Investment Candidates in India’ and ‘How to Exit: Understanding Liquidity and Mergers and Acquisitions’.

“To the extent that I’ve been critical, it’s been constructive criticism — I’ve tried to be frank to let people know, and I still maintain to this day that investors can’t understand why India moves so slow,” Reidy told rediff India Abroad. He pointed out that the 2005 report by the International Finance Corporation, the private sector arm of the World Bank, “ranks India at the very bottom of developing countries for its slowness. So it’s not just me, its other people that see it.”

Reidy said the advent of the Congress-led government, the reins of which are held by Dr Manmohan Singh, the father of India’s economic reforms, made him optimistic “because this government has many of the same players that were there in the so-called ‘gold-rush’ years of 1992 to 1996, with liberalization beginning, and that was predominantly in the infrastructure sector.

“There was no such thing as this big boom in technology,” he recalled, “and so technology services came about during the BJP-led government — not that they were promoting it, but they couldn’t figure out how to regulate it.”

He noted that India now has a nearly eight per cent growth in GDP based on technology alone; plus “you have the potential of new infrastructure growing equally to the technology base and my feeling is, it is because of the administration that’s back in power.” He predicted that India has the potential to achieve 8 percent growth annually despite the energy crisis.

Riedy, who besides being a partner at Andrews Kurth — a 120-year-old firm that has specialised in building international energy infrastructure, creating the global asset securitisation market, helping resolve trade disputes, and more recently, putting together technology transactions, has also for the past 12 years been an executive board member and general counsel of the USIBC.

Over the years, he has chaired several USIBC committees such as the ones on Energy and Communications, and in his capacity as the attorney for the organisation, also sits on all of the USIBC’s 12 committees, including the newly constituted Real Estate and Construction Committee.

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