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January 12, 2010

Speaker Lineup for APEX '10 Summit

We are delighted to announce a stellar list of speakers for APEX '10, the annual conclave of the Indian Private Equity / Venture Capital industry, scheduled for February 4 at Mumbai. This edition of APEX will have a special focus on Education, Healthcare & Life Sciences, Telecom and Financial Services (especially financial inclusion).

Speakers at the Summit include:

Varun Sood, Capvent
Ashish Dhawan, ChrysCapital*
Raja Kumar, UTI Ventures*
Vani Kola, NEA-IndoUS Ventures
Manik Arora, IDG Ventures India
Anand Sudarshan, Manipal Education
K. Ganaesh, TutorVista
Rajesh Bhatia, Tree House Education
Sunil Kanoria, Quippo Telecom
Mahesh Choudhary, Microqual Techno
Dr. Bala Manian, ReaMetrix
Swapan Bhattacharya, TCG Lifesciences
Chetan Tamhankar, SIRO Clinpharm
S. Nandakumar, Perfint Healthcare
Padmaja Reddy, Spandana India
V.P Nandakumar, Manappuram General Finance
Madhusudan Menon, Micro Housing Finance

For Participation details, email or call +91-44-45534303

January 07, 2010

Forbes India profile of Ess Dee

Forbes India has a colorful profile of Ess Dee Aluminium founder Sudip Dutta with a special focus on how he is turning around India Foils, which Ess Dee had acquired from the Vedanta Group in November 2008.

The entrepreneur got that one thing right that had made his first acquisition successful – he knew his prey inside out. Since 1999, as he nurtured his company, Dutta had kept an eye on what was happening at rival India Foils. By 2004, Dutta had set up his first foil rolling mill in Daman and had crossed Rs. 100 crore in revenues. He had created a niche for himself among pharmaceuticals companies like Pfizer, GlaxoSmithline and Novartis. His rise was acknowledged by the competition. Indal, then a unit of Hindalco Industries, stopped supplying him with the basic raw material as the A.V. Birla company itself was in the packaging business. Dutta quickly started sourcing the material from an overseas company.

...With more than 20 other former India Foils senior managers with him, Dutta exactly knew the problems. And he had also found the solution by the time India Foils came under the BIFR (Board for Industrial and Financial Reconstruction) fold in 2005. To make things easier, Dutta made sure that Ess Dee didn’t get the burden of the Rs. 230 crore debt that was on India Foils’ books. Instead, Vedanta Resources agreed to “assume” the debt. “On hindsight, the asking price of Rs. 130 crore came cheap for Ess Dee Aluminium,” says Vijay Dave, analyst at Mumbai-based Sunidi Securities & Finance. Not only that, Ess Dee’s integrated business model suited India Foils, he adds.

...The self-made millionaire is unconcerned about the financial burden, comforted by Ess Dee’s market capitalisation of about Rs. 950 crore. India Foils has a market capitalisation of nearly Rs. 250 crore. And it is not surprising that Dutta is flooded with offers from financial institutions who want to participate in the Rs. 500 crore fund raising exercise. It is a far change from those early days when he had to face “bad language and attitude” from bankers when he had gone for his first loan, of Rs. 40,000, in the early 1990s. “The bee will only come where the honey is. Then I didn’t have honey, now I have,” says Dutta.

Arun Natarajan is the Founder & CEO of Venture Intelligence, the leading provider of data and analysis on private equity, venture capital and M&A deals in India. View free samples of Venture Intelligence newsletters and reports. Email the author at

January 05, 2010

Multiplex Economics

Business Today has an article outlining the improving economics of multiplex theatre chains.
Apart from new movie releases, most of the multiplex companies have reported sharp improvements in their bottom line during the second quarter by cutting costs. The biggest overheads for operators are rentals, electricity, staff salaries and marketing. Following the slowdown in consumer spending and a weak movie pipeline last year, many cineplexes renegotiated their rentals.

..Typically, the box office fetches 65 per cent of an exhibitor’s revenues, food and beverages (F&B) 20 per cent, and advertisements 15 per cent. Of the ticket sales, after deducting entertainment tax, the distributor takes away 48 per cent in the first week and less later.

A multiplex makes its money from high-margin areas like advertising and the F&B business. “Currently, the average per head spending on F&B is at around Rs 30 (Rs 20 in non-metros and Rs 40 in metros). With right marketing initiatives, we expect this to go up to Rs 38 in the next six months,” says Sampat.

Arun Natarajan is the Founder & CEO of Venture Intelligence, the leading provider of data and analysis on private equity, venture capital and M&A deals in India. View free samples of Venture Intelligence newsletters and reports. Email the author at

January 04, 2010

Deal Alert: Zephyr Peacock invests in telecom firm Metro Wireless Engg.

PE firm Zephyr Peacock India has invested in Metro Wireless Engineering India (Metrotel), an Ahmedabad-based provider of network performance management and optimization services to leading mobile operators and network equipment providers. Apart from India, Metrotel also operates in S.E. Asia and the Middle East.

Kartik Parija of Zephyr Peacock has joined the board of the company.