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Showing posts from April, 2011

The 'what's Doordarshan?' Generation

Business Standard has an interview with Dheeraj Sinha, regional planning director, Bates 141 and author of Consumer India: Inside the Indian Mind and Wallet . In his book, Sinha puts Indian consumers into three segments: partition generation, transition generation and no-strings generation , and gives an account of what marketers and advertisers need to keep in mind to draw the attention of each of these consumer segments. Extract from the interview: The Indian opportunity today has three distinct segments with their own worldviews and consumption desires. The first segment is that of people who were born in the times of partition/independence of India. This is the partition generation, who are in the age band of 45-65 years. While the partition generation is held back by tradition, they are not holding back when it comes to consumption. The partition generation consumes categories rather than brands. But many of today’s lifestyle categories are new for them. Thus, what they want is s

New Fund Alert: Matrix Partners India closes $300-M 2nd fund

From the Press Release: Matrix Partners India today announced it has closed a $300 million second fund. With the closing of this fund the firm has $600 million under management across two funds. The firm will continue to make early and growth stage investments up to $30 million in companies focused on the Indian domestic market in the internet/mobile, education, financial services, healthcare and infrastructure services sectors. The firm currently has a portfolio of 16 companies including Muthoot Finance which recently closed its IPO offering as well as TreeHouse Education which has filed for an IPO. In both Muthoot Finance and TreeHouse Education, the firm is the first institutional investor and largest institutional shareholder. “We are excited about the continued support from our limited partners for our proven strategy of early and growth stage investing across our focus sectors. We intend to continue to keep investing behind outstanding entrepreneurs with the passion for bui

Profile of aroma chemicals maker Privi Organics

From the Times of India profile of the company which recently raised capital from StanChart Private Equity: Two years into the business and Privi had not yet created a sufficient client base, pushing it to the verge of shutting down. In 1994, its losses eroded its equity and the company's prime creditor, State Industrial & Investment Corporation Of Maharashtra (SICOM), served a notice to take over. "We briefly thought of quitting and trying something else," Rao says. "But then we decided to fight it out rather than accept failure." Those days, the big players in aroma chemicals were Bush Boake Allen, Reckitt & Colman of India, Hindustan Lever, Hindustan Polyamides and Fibres, and Tata Oil Mills Company (Tomco). The partners did their best to turn around the business. They brought down operational costs, switched to synthetic raw materials and negotiated for cost-effective order sizes. The firm also changed its strategy. "Rather than just catering t

VC Interview: Kanwal Rekhi of Inventus Capital

Venture Intelligence recently spoke to Kanwal Rekhi of early stage investing focused Indo-US cross-border VC firm Inventus Capital . The firm, which started investing in late 2008, has been among the most active VC investors in India recently. In early January, Inventus also exited one of its portfolio companies - IT services firm Sierra Atlantic via sale to Hitachi Consulting. The firm’s current portfolio includes online bus ticketing firm RedBus, digital marketing services firms Sokrati and Vizury Interactive, wireless app platform provider Genwi, and online personal fina

LP Interview: Johanna Klein of ADB

Venture Intelligence recently spoke to Johanna L. Klein, Investment Officer, Capital Markets and Financial Sectors Division of the Asian Development Bank (ADB), who is active in the multilateral development financial institution’s investments into private equity funds across Asian emerging markets. Venture Intelligence: What is ADB’s outlook on new Private Equity fund investments in India? Johanna Klein: Our starting point is that, as a development bank, we should always have some clear value addition in the role we play in private equity. Starting several years ago, there began to be a lot of money from commercial sources going into generic Indian PE funds, so we cut down our investing in sector-agnostic funds and started focusing on niche type funds. Subsequent to that, most of what we have invested in India has been in clean energy and cleantech type of funds. Going forward, apart from cleantech, we will look at the healthcare sector, the education sector, and other “bottom of the

Investing Lessons from Indiana Jones

In his latest blog post , "Super LP" Chris Douvos extracts lessons for investors from Indiana Jones quest for the Holy Grail (in the movie, The Last Crusade). This challenge is a warning that bad things can befall overconfident people. A mentor of mine once told me that a great analyst has no ego; one must be wary of confirmation bias and remember that big ideas often come from unexpected places. With each passing day, he concluded, you’ll realize that you know less and less, for there is no business as constantly humbling as investments. ...Indeed, sometimes investors just need to take a breath and step into the abyss, knowing that their preparation was sound. After all, risk isn't a dirty word; investing is about optimizing discomfort, and we spend our lives seeking appropriate compensation for the risks that we do take (at least those that can’t be mitigated). If you never take the leap, the Grail will forever be out of your reach. ...It's true that the courage

Deal announcement: Allsec acquires Retreat Capital Management

Technology Holdings' client, Allsec Technologies, has completed the acquisition of Retreat Capital Management, a full service mortgage BPO company headquartered in Irvine. Technology Holdings was the exclusive advisor on the transaction. Retreat Capital is an end-to-end provider of loss mitigation and portfolio management services for mortgage lenders, servicers, asset managers and investors. Established by industry professionals with over 25 years in the mortgage and real estate industries, Retreat Capital was created to serve as a single-source solution for reducing costs and mitigating loss at every stage of the mortgage process, from predictive modeling to processing through REO management. Allsec Technologies is a leading Business Process Outsourcing service provider headquartered in Chennai, whose investors include The Carlyle Group. Allsec's stock exchange announcement is here For additional information, please contact: Vivek Subramanyam Managing Director vivek@technolog

Does the Headstong deal herald more IT-BPO consolidation?

In the context of the recent acquisition of Capital Markets focused IT Services firm Headstrong by BPO giant Genpact, former Infy sales head Basab Pradhan, has an interesting post suggesting that the answer is yes. Genpact had to bulk up its IT Services business. IT Services offers both higher margin and higher growth. Both of which Genpact has not been able to deliver, at least to the satisfaction of investors whose expectations are benchmarked to the early days of the IT Services industry. ...A few months back I had written about Cognizant’s rumored interest in Genpact. Eventually, nothing came of it. But I thought that that would have been a very good combination. Sort of a dream team – the fastest growing services company and the best BPO company. ...This is a good time for bankers in the Offshore services industry. More transactions are to be expected. Watch this space. Arun Natarajan is the Founder & CEO of Venture Intelligence, the leading provider of data and analysis on

Press Release: CCCL CEO R Sarbeswar to deliver Entrepreneurship lecture at IIT-Madras

Interactive lecture to feature as part of research firm Venture Intelligence’s “Entrevista” series Venture Intelligence, India’s leading research service focused on Private Equity/Venture Capital and M&A deal activity, has partnered with IIT Madras’ C-TIDES, to produce multimedia recordings of interactions with successful Indian entrepreneurs from across sectors. Branded as ‘Entrevisa’, the interactions in this series will be available for free and downloadable in audio (mp3 “podcasts”) and streaming video formats from the Entrevista website at As part of the partnership, Venture Intelligence and IIT Madras propose to invite, on a regular basis, successful entrepreneurs from across the country to deliver interactive lectures at the IIT campus. Mr. R Sarabeswar, Chairman & CEO of leading construction services firm, Consolidated Construction Consortium Ltd., will deliver the first such lecture at the Department of Management Studies, IIT Madras on Frid

PE investments vault to $3.3-B in Q1’ 11

Amount invested more than doubles over previous quarter; Median Deal Size jumps to $14.5-M Private Equity firms invested about $3,296 million across 83 deals in India during the quarter ended March 2011, according to a study by Venture Intelligence ( ), a research service focused on Private Equity and M&A transaction activity in the country. The amount invested during the quarter was higher than that during the same period last year (which witnessed $2,133 million invested across 81 deals) and over twice that of the immediate previous quarter ($1,515 million across 83 deals). The median size of investments during Q1 ’11 was $14.5 million, compared to $11.5 million in the same period a year ago. (Note: These numbers do not include PE investments in Real Estate.) The largest PE investment during Q1 ’11 was the Rs.4,500 crore (about $1 billion) commitment by Bain Capital and Singapore’s GIC to Hero Investments, the Hero group holding firm which is to

Rajasthan Ventures Invests Rs.15-Cr in PR Packagings

Edited extracts from the press release: Jaipur-based venture capital firm Rajasthan Ventures (RVCF), through its Rs 150 crores SME Tech Fund, has invested Rs 15 crores in the second round of funding of PR Packagings Ltd.(PRP), a packaging company based in Faridabad. PRP produces high quality folding cartons including printed mono cartons, fluted boxes, pouches, brochures, leaflets etc. “PRP is serving to best known brands in Electronics, Pharmaceuticals, Cosmetics, Automobile Industries and Food chains. The company is well positioned in northern India and is planning to foray in Flexi Tube Packaging; Seamless and Laminated Tubes” RVCF CEO Girish Gupta said. Background The Indian packaging industry has constantly grown in the last few years by approximately 15% year on year. The growth in Indian Flexible Packaging Industry is likely to grow approximately at 18% - 20% over the next five years. The highest demand for packaging and the associated equipment come from the food processing in

Deal Alert: StanChart PE invests Rs.110-Cr in Basmati Rice firm Bush Foods

From the Press Release: Standard Chartered Private Equity (“SCPE”) has invested Rs 1,100 Million (approximately US $ 25 Million) in Bush Foods Overseas Private Limited (“BFL”), one of India’s leading Basmati rice companies. The funding will part finance the expansion of Bush Foods’s state of art fully automated manufacturing and processing facilities in Sonepat, Haryana and also support the company’s long term working capital requirements. BFL is focused on processing and sale of premium quality Basmati rice. With an emphasis on quality, it has achieved a strong and growing presence in both the export and domestic markets with well established premium brands like, Neesa, Indian Star and Himalayan Crown. The Company’s products are sold in 35 countries across North America, Europe, Middle East, Africa and Asia including through premier global retail chains such as Westmill Foods, Loblaws, Walmart, Costco, Supersol, Riso Galo s.p.a, Migros Super Markets and Indian retail chains like Relia

New Fund Alert: Bessemer Ventures to invest 25% of new $1.6 B fund in India

From the Press Release: Bessemer Venture Partners (BVP), a global investment firm, has announced the closing of Bessemer Venture Partners VIII. BVP VIII is a $1.6 billion venture capital fund that will sustain the firm’s focus on investing in and partnering with innovative, high-growth companies across multiple industries and geographies. Alongside existing BVP limited partners, Bessemer welcomed a select number of leading university endowments, corporations and family offices into BVP VIII as new LPs. “With BVP VIII, we continue our mission of finding and funding the highest growth startups, wherever they operate,” said BVP partner Ed Colloton. “And we have clearly benefited from an on-the-ground presence in a number of key markets to identify the most talented entrepreneurs. Bessemer is among the first venture capital firms to have built a truly global platform.” Bessemer, which actively invests in North America, India, Israel, Europe and Latin America, expects to invest roughly a