The Indo-China Story of Investment & VCs Play in 2017

By 2020, India will produce the largest number of entrepreneurs who will produce multi billion dollar companies in the startups.

The Indo-China Story of Investment & VCs Play in 2017
The Indo-China Story of Investment & VCs Play in 2017

In BW Disrupt Dialogue Series at Le Meridian Hotel, Gurgaon, Indian Entrepreneurs talked on the topic “How can India and China collaborate in VC world?” They highlighted how Indian startup ecosystem is different from China and what we can learn from them. Some of them also shared their advice for Chinese VCs as well.

The event was organised by Dheeraj Jain (Managing Partner, Redcliffe Capital), Harshita Jain (VP, Redcliffe Capital) and BW Disrupt. Pan Song, Founding Partner, QiGoal Group has tied up with Redcliffe Capital to make investments in India. The two partners of PE/VC funds have announced an India-China VC Association at the event.

The panel was moderated by Anurag Batra, Chairman & Editor-in-chief, BW Businessworld. He started conversation by asking about ‘How has Indian entrepreneurship evolved since the past 3-4 years?’.

Sandeep Aggarwal, ‎Founder, Shopclues & Droom, shared his journey to explain the challenges he faced as an entrepreneur while he left cushiony job at the Wall Street. Commenting on the same, Aggarwal said, “Since entrepreneurship is not a defined career, there are many risks involved. I would say India was in 2011 just like China was in 2003. I have attended many conferences and shared my journey with them. What I saw that in 3-4 years back, people were thinking about joining a company who having a fancy office so that they can update on their social profiles for making impression. They were not thinking about their own business and were not trying to work on their own ideas. But now the trends have been changed. People are passionate about their own businesses now. They are coming up with new ideas every day and running their own ventures and building something innovative. We are back to being a 7-8% economy but we need to be at 35% GDP of the world by 2020.” 

Second in line was Sakshi Vij, ‎Founder & CEO at Myles, who shared her ideas about entrepreneurship in India. She said, “With such a great PM who loves to travel himself, I think a lot interest will be gauged into the tourism sector. I would suggest to Indian entrepreneurs that they build their own models and if you lock any kind of money, the focus should be on building a product that can sustain a long time. India in the long run is looking at a new transportation age. We have a product that has the potential to disrupt the car renting market as every years Indians spend $11 billion dollars on purchasing cars but imagine if we do not need that kind of a spend and still can utilise the underutilised vehicles existing in our economy, wouldn’t that be great saving? I am only interested to know this business cycle as I plan to disrupt the market further and expand our consumer base & reach.”

On this Kanika Tekriwal, CEO and Founder, JetSetGo, also shared her perspective by saying, “Indians are thought to be honest, frugal and hardworking. My team in Europe takes a lot of breaks but the Indian team can actually work 18-20 hours at a stretch. You cannot take out the Indian values out of Indians. I was told by my mentor that India & aviation don’t go hand in hand, there was a lot of resistance from the investors about who’s gonna fly? But I had to convince them, that I know a market that exists for private flying, it is just that nobody has been able to built it! 80% of our customers had never travelled privately, but now entrepreneurs & businessmen have got into this habit of flying JetSetGo. I think the Indian consumers are willing to consume what Indian entrepreneurs have to offer, forget American products. India has a big consumer base, the largest group of working millennials. I believe that India will be the next Silicon Valley in the world and every one out of four entrepreneurs will be a woman."

As it is a time when the developed Asian nations are willing to invest in India, due to its attractively looking large consumer base, the event was a good platform to discuss the issues related to the collaborative efforts India is taking with the Chinese investors. The evening was graced by a number of Indian entrepreneurs & like-minded Chinese investors. 

Sunil K Goyal, founder and CEO of early-stage venture fund YourNest, commented on ‘What chinese investors look out in a startup?’ He said, “Chinese investors are very focussed and they are looking for health, wealth & happiness. The sectors on which they are looking mostly are ecommerce, pharma, healthtech & fintech. Chinese investors understand the value of a business then they comes at a right time with a right value. They always want a sustainable business who can solve real pain points of people and will be available for a long period of time. If there is one thing I look forward to it a time when an Indian company acquires or buys stake in a Chinese company!” smiles and concludes.

While sharing his advice for Chinese VCs, Rajat Tandon, President, IVCA, said, “In last 3 years, US has invested around $15B in the country while China has invested closed to $3.7B. In US, 30% investment went down and in India also, Series A & B investments goes slow. But Indian market is huge and it’s continuously growing so out side investors are looking out a better opportunity here and investing their own money. Indian Tech startups are doing pretty well and innovating something new everyday so this space attracting a lot of money and having a better scope in future as well. Also big data, infrastructure and IoT are the hot sectors. In future, India will be largest market for series A & B investments.”

Tej Kapoor, ‎Partner, Fosun Kinzon Capital also commented upon the interest of Chinese investors in Indian market. He said, “The room is getting bigger & bigger with chinese investors, their interest is moving fast beyond e-commerce. For example- Alibaba, the biggest Chinese investor understands the Indian market & business cycle very well. Similarly, Fosun also is looking at good opportunities in Fintech, Pharma and Health startups. But investor need to be cautious as they can start a trend easily. Alibaba is very cautious, they are not putting money into everything. By 2020, India will produce the largest number of entrepreneurs who will produce multi billion dollar companies in the startups.”

At last, Tejinder Singh, CEO, 360 Nautica talked about the startup industry and GCC market. He said, “11 years back I started my journey and set up successful businesses. I saw many ups and down in my journey and learnt a lot from them. I went to China as well to learn & understand their ecosystem. GCC is standing low market as of now but it's evolving steadily. It’s the right time for Chinese VCs to come in India, they can see a lot of opportunities here. One trend that will happen in India that the VCs will invest in SME segment, Saas, Software & technology.”

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