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The time to enter Indian markets is now

Posted by Arun Uday on August 5, 2011

 I write this post as the Indian markets have plunged 1.5% yesterday with indications that they will plunge by another 3% today, the US markets have seen their worst day since the financial crisis and there is just gloom and doom all around. But, my view is that now is as good a time as any to enter the Indian markets. I have already asked my personal finance advisor (my wife :-)) to identify a good public market fund and put some money to work. And the reason for my bullishness is as follows.
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Will Apple’s iCloud rain on the Wintel parade?

Posted by Arun Uday on June 7, 2011

Back to writing after a long time and will try to be more consistent from now on. Lots happening in the world, but thought of picking on the tech headline today, which is Apple’s announcements on its cloud services – iCloud. If there is any one trend that should have MS worried more than anything else, it must be this inexorable shift away from the PC and towards the cloud. Indeed, it is not just an obvious game changer for Windows, but also has far reaching implications for the entire tech ecosystem including microprocessor companies like Intel & AMD, storage companies like EMC & Seagate, device companies like Dell & HP, telecom companies, mobile manufacturers etc. Apple’s announcements on iCloud can be characterized as more incremenatal than game chaging since the only significant feature of its iCloud service is that it backs up all of a user’s files automatically which will allow seemless usage of these files across devices. While this is definitely not just useful but a requisite for cloud services to gain wider adoption, like I have said before the real requiem for the PC era will being to be inked when cloud services take over the enterprise. Its when large entreprises are ready to switch to both internal and external clouds in order to derive enormous cost benefits from pooling their computing and storage resources is when one can say that the cloud has truly borne rain and one that will strike hard on the Wintel parade. That certainly does not seem too far away given all the small but definitive steps that players like Apple, Google and Amazon are taking. Time to get the umbrellas out in Redmond I guess.

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Headland Capital Partners invests Rs. 40 crore in Microqual Techno Ltd.

Posted by Arun Uday on December 16, 2010

Microqual Techno Ltd. one of India’s leading telecom infrastructure providers has raised growth funding of Rs. 40 crore from a wholly owned subsidiary of The Headland Asian Ventures Fund 3 Limited (HAV3), a fund advised by Headland Capital Partners Limited (Headland) (Formerly HSBC Private Equity (Asia) Limited). This is the second round of funding received by Microqual which is a comprehensive infrastructure solutions provider for the Indian telecommunications sector. Its clients include all major telecom carriers.

The funds will be utilised for expansion in Bangladesh, Nepal, Africa & other emerging markets, strategic acquisitions, and implementing newer technologies. The company had secured the first funding in July 2007 from IndoUS Venture Partners, JAFCO Investment (Asia Pacific) Ltd. and BTS India Private Equity Fund.

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We are now Headland Capital

Posted by Arun Uday on December 7, 2010

The management team of HSBC Private Equity (Asia) Limited, the regional private-equity arm of HSBC Group Holdings PLC, has completed its buyout and has renamed Headland Capital Partners Ltd. Headland’s management team now owns 80.1% of the company, while HSBC retains a 19.9% stake. HSBC also remains one of the largest investors in the funds that Headland advises. Headland currently advises both private-equity and venture-capital funds. The private-equity funds focus on mid-market expansion capital and buyout transactions in Asia, while the venture-capital funds typically target early- to mid-stage investments in technology-focused and high-growth businesses in Asia.

HSBC Private Equity (Asia) invested its first private-equity fund in 1989 and is investing its fifth and sixth Asian private-equity funds and its second and third Asian venture funds. It raised its sixth private-equity fund The Headland Private Equity Fund 6 L.P, worth $1.34 billion, in 2008, and its third venture capital fund The Headland Asian Ventures Fund 3 Limited, with $230 million in committed capital, in 2009.

In India, HSBC Private Equity, now Headland, had made investments in Sharekhan (acquired by Citigroup), Merittac (acquired by Manipal Group), medical equipment maker Trivitron, software firms NewGen and FINO Ltd and this year in June made investment in Avitel Post Studioz Ltd.

My own updated email is: arunuday@headlandcp.com

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Indian telecom industry – bracing up for phase 2

Posted by Arun Uday on June 8, 2010

For long, the Indian telecom industry has been an object of study globally for the path breaking and innovative operational & business models that they introduced to the world. While the success of the Indian telecom companies in building an industry with enviable profitablity despite operating in the world’s cheapest ARPU market has evoked wonder, we may just see the next chapter of this story unravelling in the next few years. The charts below capture exactly what has been happening to the telecom industry in India.

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HSBC Private Equity invests in Avitel Post Studioz

Posted by Arun Uday on June 3, 2010

Avitel Post Studioz Ltd, a Mumbai-based company providing post-production and related services to the media & entertainment industry, has raised Rs 50 crore from The HSBC Asian Ventures Fund 3 Ltd, a $700-million closed-end fund for private equity investment in Asia. The fund is advised by the HSBC Private Equity Asia Ltd (HPEA) Group.

With this, James Savage, a director at HPEA, will join the board of Avitel, said a company statement. Standard Chartered–STCI Capital Markets Ltd acted as the sole financial adviser in the transaction.

Avitel has raised the fund to expand its business as it plans to utilise the capital to establish an export oriented unit for animation and post production services, as well as scale up its existing facilities catering to the domestic film and advertising markets. The company also plans to recruit around 300 professionals in the next two years.

Avitel launched its operation 35 years ago, and currently has a strong presence in the domestic post production market, focusing both on feature film and advertising industry. The domestic post production and visual special effects industry in India is estimated at Rs 1,000 crore, and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 18% over the next 3-5 years, added the statement. Avitel is also planning an initial public offering (IPO) over the medium term. Read the rest of this entry »

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The Dubai situation – A personal account

Posted by Arun Uday on January 19, 2010

Was in Dubai for a few days on work and had the chance to witness the view from the top of the highest building on earth – the Burj Khalifa. And, there couldn’t be a more apt metaphor for the situation in Dubai than the Burj itself. While there has been much drama about both the tower itself and the opening ceremony with the last minute renaming and all, which purportedly has more than meets the eye, standing at the top I couldn’t help wondering what the economic rationale for Dubai to host this otherwise magnificent tower could be.

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Mobile internet – the new paradigm

Posted by Arun Uday on January 5, 2010

Morgan Stanley’s annual technology report has been released for the year that just passed i.e. 2009, downloadable here. This edition focuses on the mobile internet. I have been a regular reader of these reports for the past few years, and have to admit that the 2009 edition has been the best so far. The theme this year has been the mobile internet. The report throws up some very interesting statistics on the phenomenal growth of the mobile internet such as the following:
* The penetration of technology in every computing cycle has been 10x the previous one in the following pattern – Mainframes:1MM+ units, Mincomputers:10MM+ units, PC:100MM+ units, Desktop internet:1B+ units. Therefore, the anticipated adoption of mobile internet is expected to be 10B+ units.
* The cumulative wealth creation of the top 5 companies that dominate each era has been higher than the previous one
* Mobile internet adoption on iPhone has been 8x that of desktop internet adoption on AOL in 9 quarters since their respective launches
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HSBC PE invests in FINO

Posted by Arun Uday on December 14, 2009

Financial Information Networks and Operation (FINO) has raised Rs 70 crore in a new round of private equity funding from HSBC Private Equity. Existing investors Intel Capital and International Finance Corporation (IFC) have also participated in this round. FINO provides transactional systems to the unbanked sector and also provides enrollment for customer acquisition. It provides these services to clients like banks, microfinance institutions and insurance companies.

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Boom bust cycles – fueled by media?

Posted by Arun Uday on December 1, 2009

The news flow this week and the manner in which media, especially Indian media has reacted to it has in many ways corroborated what’s been on mind for some time now, which is – the media’s role in precipitating boom bust cycles. From the “World is coming apart, again, because of the Dubai debt crisis” to “We are back in business thanks to smashing GDP growth in India”, the difference in projected moods could not have been starker. One could argue that it is expected of the media to report actual happenings and if that’s the way things are unfolding, so be it. However, it is not the Dubai crisis or the impressive India GDP nos in particular, but the general manner of news reporting in India itself that I’d like to touch upon.

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