INVESTING IN INDIA | A conversation with Charles R Kaye

NEW YORK CITY (TIP): The Consulate General of India, New York, held its 11th Media India Lecture on Friday December 19, 2014, with the guest speaker Charles R Kaye, Co-CEO of Warburg Pincus.

Consul General Dnyaneshwar Mulay opened the discussion by encouraging entrepreneurs and investors to explore the possibility of business in India, given favorable political environment. In attendance were several distinguished Indian and American businessmen, in addition to those interested in expanding their companies to the subcontinent.

Kaye has been working with Warburg Pincus since 1986, and has been jointly responsible for the management of the firm since 2000. Kaye overseas investment policy strategy and decisions, leadership of executive management group, and the coordination of limited partner communications. Kaye was instrumental in the Hong Kong launch and development of Warburg Pincus’ Asia operations. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, co-chairman of the Partnership Fund for NYC, and on the International Advisory Board of the Center for the Advanced Study of India. He is the Chairman Emeriti of Asia Society and the US-India Business Council. He is also on the Board of Directors of the NY Genome Centre.

In a fireside chat with Paritosh Bansal, who oversees Thompson Reuters’ financial services coverage in the Americas, Kaye outlined the growth of his company in India since the 1990s and the change in the investment cycles of different businesses in India. Kaye asserted that one of the reasons that his company was so successful in India was because they did not attempt to impose external business models and working methods for Indian industries. He was glad that his company was one of the first to enter India when markets were just opening up, giving him and his company the competitive edge to learn the commercial landscape.

“The Indian entrepreneur dreams bigger now,” said Kaye about the major difference between doing business in India twenty years ago, and doing business now. “It is much easier to do business now in India, because India is the place where the impossible becomes possible,” said Kaye, referring to the change in the political climate since the last elections, and the willingness of the new administration to facilitate foreign investors. Most importantly, he said, watching the growth of Indian entrepreneurs and businessmen as they took financial risks that eventually paid off, was extremely rewarding. “In all emerging markets,” he concluded, “you make a bet on the people — it’s the people of the country that drive the success of the business”.

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