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Showing posts from June, 2008

The business of wealth management

As part of its cover story on India's super rich, Businessworld has an article on how the business of wealth management in India is getting increasingly sophisticated. It is still rather boutique in nature, but is getting bigger by the day: the business of banking for the wealthy. New age and top-line multinational banks are wooing India’s nouveau-rich with private banking services, a suite that covers onshore and offshore investment advisory, trust services, and real estate and portfolio management. It’s about helping these essentially simple people on what to do with their money; about the when, where and how of going about it. ...More commitment may also entail putting your money where your mouth is, often in what is called co-investment deals. Citi Private Bank, for instance, invests its own capital alongside the client’s investment. “Such co-investments could be in the form of a private equity deal, a hedge fund, a structured investment opportunity in real estate or something

Why did Subhiksha go in for a reverse merger?

In an interview to Business Standard, R Subramanian, Founder & CEO of value retail chain Subhiksha, on the company's recent move to go public via a reverse merger . What happened to your IPO plans? There are multiple ways of raising funds. But since markets are changing, it is very difficult to structure capital raising plans in the current situation. However, we have good capital base and we will do whatever is needed for the company's growth. Since we have acquired a company now, we should go for a follow-on offer (FPO), which can happen anytime after the merger process is complete. How will inflation and high rates impact the retail sector? I see retailing of luxuries such as premium clothing and electronic gadgets growing at 10 to 15 per cent this year compared with 30 per cent earlier. I do not see much impact in food and grocery retailing. Arun Natarajan is the Founder & CEO of Venture Intelligence, the leading provider of information and networking services to t

ISO 9001:2000 Certified, Global Recruitment Consultancy seeks Strategic Investment / M&A

ADVERTISEMENT We are a decade-old Bangalore based Recruitment Consultancy servicing Tier-1 IT MNCs for their global vacancies. We have developed an e2e in-house application software enabling total process automation (paperless office) built on an agile strategy that absorbs the market trends. It also facilitates instantaneous seamless integration of operations by globally dispersed teams and remote monitoring of the functioning of workforce across levels, as desired. Global expansion and upgrading our software as a product, are on our agenda. Interested Investors/M&A partners may contact

Sovereign Wealth Funds: The Emerging ‘Supermen’ of Private Equity LPs

By Rajesh Begur, Partner, A.R.A. Law “A sovereign wealth fund (SWF) is a state-owned fund composed of financial assets such as stocks, bonds, property or other financial instruments.” While some SWFs have major economic and fiscal importance, others might not have significant role in fiscal management. But the major purpose of SWFs is to maximize long term returns. Origin: Most of the savings of SWFs originate in accumulated foreign currency reserves. This was done as follows: the reserves used to be earlier held only in gold till the U.S. came up with the Bretton Woods System, where dollars were pegged against gold, which thus lead to dollars (or now, other currencies like Yen or Euro) being used as foreign currency reserves. Creation: SWFs are typically created when governments have budgetary surpluses and have little or no international debt. It is not always desirable to keep the excess liquidity as money or to immediately use it up in consumption, especially when a nation depen

Venture Intelligence Obtains High Court Injunction Against Copyright Violation by Boston Analytics

PRESS RELEASE Chennai, India : Based on a complaint by Venture Intelligence, the leading research service focused on private equity and venture capital activity in India, the High Court of Madras has granted an injunction against Boston Analytics, a US- and India-based business research firm, for infringing the copyrighted data and information of the Venture Intelligence Private Equity Deal Database . According to the Venture Intelligence complaint, Boston Analytics had attempted to sell - for commercial gain – a report on Private Equity investments in India using copyrighted data and information from the Venture Intelligence database. The High Court injunction has required Boston Analytics to immediately stop marketing and sales of any product or service containing data / information from the Venture Intelligence database. “Subscription / access to Venture Intelligence databases, newsletters and reports is meant for internal and non-commercial use. Our terms and conditions are very

Status check on large retailers

Business Today has a cover story providing a status check on the plans of large retailers including Reliance Retail, Bharti-Walmart, Birla Retail, Future Group, etc. Consider the rollout— which (Raghu Pillai, President & CEO, Retail Operations & Strategy, Reliance Retail) would rather term a “cloudburst,”—so far: Hypermarkets, Reliance Town Centres, supermarkets, convenience stores, specialty stores (digital, health and wellness, apparel, etc.), rural business hubs; in categories like food & grocery, consumer durables & electronics, auto care and lifestyle. The big bang of course has been in foods & grocery, where RRL has 572 Reliance Fresh stores across 59 cities. And there’s the biggest store in India, the hypermart that’s branded Reliance Mart (there are three of them so far), in Ahmedabad, spread over 165,000 sq. ft. ...By July the hypermarts will be spread over 1 million sq. ft. Currently, RRL is spread over 3.5 million sq. ft (1.5 million sq. ft being hogged

Profile of comics venture ACK Media

Business Today has a profile of comics venture, ACK Media. By acquiring Amar Chitra Katha (ACK) and Tinkle, two wellknown (and much loved) comics from its publisher India Book House. A long-time fan of both titles, (Samir Patil) is now in the midst of redesigning the comics, to suit 21st century audiences and expand the scale and reach of these titles to kick-start its revival. “Sales were growing very slowly and there were very few value-adds to both ACK and Tinkle over the last few decades,” says Patil. ...“We estimate that our target market is around 300 million people below the age of 16 in India and as many as 4-5 million households overseas. The latter hasn’t really been tapped by the animation industry,” says Patil. Besides digitising content and putting it up on the internet, Patil is also looking to monetise some of these characters by having games and other online content based on them. ACK Media is bank-rolled by Patil and his partner, Shripad Morakhia, a serial entreprene

RBI guidelines on mobile payments

Mukul Singhal of Canaan Partners has started an interesting discussion on the implications of the Reserve Bank of India's new Draft Operating Guidelines for Mobile Payments in India . * This would bring services like eWallet / mWallet / Store value cards under RBI scanner and I see a regulatory risk in such businesses * The bank has recognized the long term goal of mobile payments to enable Peer to Peer (or Peer to Business) money transfer. However; RBI has also limited this scope to bank accounts. Implications: I think businesses like Paypal might not pass regulatory hurdle in India. All operators & service providers have to partner with banks to enable payments involving mobile. I also don’t see any hope for relaxing this in future. * RBI has also raised the entry barriers for new entrants. Banks have to take board approval for offering such services to their customers. It would mean longer sales cycle – good for existing players but bad for new ones. Arun Natarajan is the F

India's booming "Sin Economy"

Businessworld has a cover story on how "as Indians lap up more of vice products, profiteers and investors are readying to lick up the spoils of the new consumption patterns". The most popular vice, however, is gambling, which is also illegal. Still, unlawful betting in the IPL cricket season is averaging $100 million per match. On match days, youngsters, pot-bellied traders and Page-3 regulars can be spotted in coffee shops, restaurants and even the stadiums, glued to cellphones, haggling hard with bookies. Betting on horse races and lotteries is subject to state laws. Indians are buying over 30 million lotteries a day. The market is valued at Rs 50,000 crore. “The market can grow manifold, provided the government rationalises its lottery policy, legalises gambling and betting, and opens the market to foreign investors,” says Kamlesh Vijay, CEO of Sugal & Damani (S&D) Lotteries. The Rs 6,000-crore, travel-to-jewellery company has been selling lotteries for the past t

Whither funding for Independent Drug R&D Cos.?

Businessworld has an article examining the implication of the reported pull out by PE firms from their R&D joint venture with Dr. Reddy's Labs, Perlecan Pharma. “The absence of a dedicated separate management team for standalone research entities like Perlecan may also be partly to blame,” says Nangra. Perlecan remained a paper entity with neither a dedicated management, nor its own office. These are lessons that its followers may not want to repeat. ...The current crisis is not specific to Dr. Reddy’s but may be symptom of larger ills plaguing Indian pharma R&D. Industry insiders point to a whole range of issues affecting the industry such as limited resources — financial and human — and a certain lack of direction in R&D programmes and coordination between scientists and managers. “Right from the beginning of a new drug’s development, one should know which pharma companies would be likely to in-license it and make the drug attractive,” says Swaroop Kumar, former R&am

8 cos. short-listed for TiE-Canaan Entrepreneurial Challenge

8 companies have been shortlisted for the final round of TiE Canaan Entrepreneurial Challenge . Name Category Location Internet - Financial Services NCR Good Morning Research KPO - Financial Services NCR Druvaa Software Software Pune Ginni Systems Limited Software NCR iKen Solutions Pvt Ltd Software Mumbai Infogile Technologies Mobile Hyderabad Rx Healthcaremagic Pvt. Ltd Internet - HealthCare Bangalore Micro Finance India Private Limited Financial Inclusion - MicroFinance Chennai The contest received 140 business plans with the maximum number of plans from the "Enterprise Software" segment. Other sectors from which business plans were received included Education & Training, Financial Services, Mobile and SAAS.

Deal Alert: Landmark Holdings picks up 10% stake in Pune township & SEZ project

Edited excerpts from press release: Landmark Land Holdings Pvt. Ltd., the real estate investment arm of the Dalmia group, has finalized a deal with Pune-based Kumar Builders to invest in an Integrated Township & S.E.Z. project at Hinjewadi suburb of Pune. Landmark has acquired approximately 10% Equity in the project for an undisclosed sum, with an option for additional investment upto 49% in the SPV. The project size is 124 acres of land, with a saleable area of around 10 mn. sft. and an expected revenue in excess of US$1 billion. The project site is 2.5 kms away from the Mumbai-Pune Expressway, and adjacent to the Rajiv Gandhi Software Technology Park. Landmark is quite bullish on Pune as a destination, which is emerging as an alternative IT hub. With its proximity to Mumbai, and with Bangalore & Mumbai’s resources having been tapped to saturation levels, it is envisaged that the migration of several IT companies here is slated to be an ongoing process. Landmark’s development

Deal Alert: Mobile payments co. PayMate raises $9-M Second Round led by Mayfield Fund

Mumbai-based mobile payments company, PayMate India Pvt. Ltd., today announced the closure of its second round of investment of US$9 million led by Mayfield Fund with participation from existing investors, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Buyers and Sherpalo Ventures. Nikhil Khattau, Managing Director of Mayfield Advisors, will join the Board of PayMate. The two year old PayMate operates in the arena of electronic payment solutions to enable transactions on mobile phones and wireless devices for Indian & Global markets. PayMate has ventured into significant tie ups with thirteen Global and Indian Banks - including, amongst others, Corporation Bank, Cosmos Bank, Bank of Ceylon, HDFC, Standard Chartered Bank, Canara Bank, ABN Amro - to introduce unique m-banking solutions for their customers. PayMate has more recently launched a mobile gift voucher program, Gift Mate, which offers the flexibility and choices that are not available with traditional vouchers. Moreover, it has also allied

Sale of Shares of Leading Global Domain Registry Co, Afilias Limited.

ADVERTISEMENT Omkam Global Capital is a management consultancy and boutique brokering division based in New Delhi enabling collaborations, syndication of funds and PE / VC deals. Vrinda Portfolio P Limited, our client, wishes to sell 25000 shares of Afilias Limited, Ireland. Afilias is a global leader in advanced back-end domain name registry services and provides a wide range of advanced capabilities essential to the smooth and efficient operation of any Internet domain name registry. This is a privately held company but the stock is highly in demand. More detailed information about this Company can be found at Interested buyers may contact or call Abhishake Agarwal at 09873459960

Madhya Pradesh-based hospital and healthcare education trust seeks >$5-M

ADVERTISEMENT Based in Ujjain, MP, we are in the healthcare & education sector since 1992. We have two hospitals – one with 350 beds (Vidhyaben Deepchand Gardi General Hospital) and another with 570 beds (C. R. Gardi Hospital). We have the credit of starting the first Private Medical College in Madhya Pradesh. We also run a College of Nursing and College of Physiotherapy. Our total patient turnover is about 1,500 patients/day. Interested investors may contact Vijay Kumar Mahadik at Tel: +91-734-4013621; Fax: +91-734-2559147; Email:

Animation firm seeks $2-5 M

ADVERTISEMENT Chennai-based Animation Production Company, present in verticals such as Animation Production, Training, Post-Production with a very strong customer base in India, with Projects in hand for full length animated feature film from Hollywood, wishes to induct a private equity partner. The funds are to be used for opening up a new animation college, Co-Productions with a well established Hollywood company, expanding to new markets with it's cutting-edge techniques that it has developed in animation and strengthen the current market share. The company has a great track record and owns IP. Media & Entertainment sector has a huge growth potential with great ROI. Interested investors may contact

Oil Prices & Global Investors

Today's Economic Times had articles by two well known fund managers - Ruchir Sharma and U R Bhat - on the topic of oil prices. From Sharma's article: The parallels are indeed striking between the late stages of the tech mania and the current oil boom. Both mega trends were rooted in a powerful economic shift; while the tech boom was associated with several technological breakthroughs and new ‘killer applications’ for mass use, the oil-led commodity boom is attributed to the rapid industrialisation of emerging markets. At some point, however, investor imagination begins to overstate reality. With oil prices doubling since mid-2007, without any major corresponding change in the supply-demand dynamic, there are now widespread signs that the myth has again transcended the truth. While it’s hard to predict exactly when the deeply entrenched uptrend will reverse, it’s important to be fully aware that psychology rather than fundamentals is currently spurring oil prices. ...Myth 2: E

UK PE fund seeks to invest $250-M

ADVERTISEMENT A UK PE fund, based in London, doing global deals wishes to immediately invest up to US$250 million in a non-listed Indian Company. Any Industry / Sector with a minimum last / current year EBITDA of US$60-100mn and a revenue growth of at least 25-35% on YOY basis. Company / investment bankers, with firm mandates, having any such proposal may urgently forward a one page brief on the Company on a no name basis to

VC Market

The following companies are seeking capital for starting-up / expanding their operations: 08-05-28-1: Mumbai-based animation software company, producing original animated content for the Indian market, seeks to raise $1-M 08-05-28-2: Kolkata-based online business consulting services for entrepreneurs seeks to raise $100-K 08-05-28-3: Ujjain,MP-based Hospital & Healthcare Education Firm seeks to raise >$5-M 08-06-04-1: US-based entrepreneur, planning a Law College in Bangalore, seeks $300 K for start-up and working capital. 08-06-04-2: Mumbai-based Real Estate consulting firm, specializing in helping retail brands identify appropriate properties, seeks to raise $1-5 M for working capital and marketing. For more information about any of these companies, investors - who are subscribers to the Venture Intelligence service - can email the company code to . To learn about our subscription services for investors, please visit our web site . Are you an en