Global private equity giant Carlyle has invested up to USD 3 billion in India so far and it is looking to invest further from its USD 1.04 billion global fund. Speaking to CNBC-TV18’s Kritika Saxena, its India and Asia Managing Director Shankar Narayanan says that foreign investment is set to pick up in India like never before. He further adds that Carlyle will invest more in 2015 than it did in the last two years.
Below is the verbatim transcript of Shankar Narayanan’s interview with Kritika Saxena on CNBC-TV18.
Q: What is your investment strategy like?
A: We eventually invest based on how good or bad investment is — individual companies. Is the price right; is the sector interesting; will the company continue growing at a reasonable pace- we certainly see a lot more companies that we would like to invest.
Q: You are working out of a USD 1.1 billion fund currently, how much of an exposure do you see India having out of that fund?
A: We don’t have fixed quotas, so the primary markets for this fund are — China and India are the dominant ones with a little investment going into Korea. So, South Korea, China and India are the key markets.
Q: Also where does India stack up in Carlyle’s global plans even if you look at the developed economies or the emerging economies, where does India stack up in the hierarchy?
A: I personally think India and China are very important markets for Carlyle. Carlyle is committed to these markets for the long-term and I think in my whole lifetime Carlyle would be committed to these markets because these markets are markets with the future. India has a demographic advantage, we have a young populous.
Q: Carlyle has been sector-agnostic in India but what are your preferred sectors?
A: We are not dogmatic, we are not ideological investors. We are investors who are looking to make a return for our limited partners.
Q: The conversation that you have with entrepreneurs, with perspective portfolio companies — will 2015 be a better year than 2014 in terms of investments and can you put a number to how many deals you are likely to close in the next couple of months?
A: I have no doubt in my mind that 2015 would be better than 2014 or 2013. I have absolutely no doubt in my mind. As sure as the sun rises, it will be better.
Carlyle is medium-term to long-term investor and we always consistently invest because at the end of the day, we are looking for good companies but I am very much enthused by what this new government has been doing because I think they have a sense of what makes an economy tick.