Take the bullet train from Shenzhen to Guangzhou and you begin to understand how President Xi Jinping is turning China’s Pearl River Delta into the new Silicon Valley.
This gleaming white snake hurtles at 245km (152 miles) an hour across a vast landscape that’s 200 per cent productive – from densely packed office blocks to oxygenated fish farms and giant component factories.
Yet current productivity is a fraction of what President Xi has in mind. “Cutting-edge frontier technologies, modern engineering technologies and disruptive technologies” are all part of Xi’s five-year plan announced in a 3½ hour address to the National Congress earlier this month.
This region’s advanced infrastructure is already bowing under the strain of its growing middle class. Rock up to buy a train ticket at any station here and you’ll be set for disappointment. Seats sell out weeks in advance. Carriages with bunk beds for four people are converted into benches to squeeze in six.
It’s a similar story in the world’s second biggest population center, and not just on the railways. On the same day as President Xi became one of only three Chinese leaders to have his doctrine written into the constitution, under “Socialism with Chinese Characteristics,” Prime Minister Narendra Modi revealed his grand plan for sustaining this decade’s fastest growing major economy – a mantle stolen from China.
Modi’s raft of new economic policies include a $32 billion stimulus package to boost lending to the private sector. As in China, technology takes center stage. Modi has urged Indians recently to “start up and stand up,” to digitize their daily transactions and to focus on innovation.
Investors are flooding in. The US private equity giant KKR announced earlier this month that it has increased investment in Asian equities outside of Japan by 2 percentage points to 9 per cent in readiness for its expectation that Asia will account for a full 62 per cent of total global growth this decade.
Enter the Dragon
The value of private equity investments in India jumped by 182 per cent in the last quarter, according to data from Grant Thornton, while exits reached the highest level since 2009. According to the founder of Global Tech Advocates, a coalition of thousands of individuals connected with the tech sector, China is poised to overtake Silicon Valley as the world’s leading tech superpower in the next five years.
But caution is needed. With the entering dragon, many fingers are burnt through inadequate preparation, networks and knowledge. India’s unique social structure is among a range of complexities every investor needs to understand – yet too many don’t.
So, for a special #ExpertChat live discussion, we’re grouping three of the most experienced players in navigating private equity across China, India and the US. And you’re invited.
We’re spanning many time zones, so set your alarm for Monday 6th November at:
9am in New York
2pm in London
7:30pm in Mumbai
10pm in Hong Kong
You’ll be talking with:
Vinit Bhatia of Bain & Co. – working with private equity funds and portfolio companies across Asia-Pacific
Vinit launched Bain’s South Korea office before relocating to Hong Kong, where he heads the firm’s Private Equity Practice for Asia-Pacific and co-heads the Performance Improvement Practice. He has led numerous due diligence assignments in China, Asia and North America across multiple industries; worked with portfolio companies on strategy and performance; and supported strategy and operations for funds.
Vineet Chadha of Tata Capital Innovations Fund – exporting innovation from India to the US
Vineet has successfully raised and manages investments for the Tata Capital Innovations Fund, a third-party sector agnostic venture capital fund designed to bring innovations to life. Vineet – a CFA Charter holder, member of multiple investment committees and nominee Director on Boards of portfolio companies – has seen his investments develop and scale innovative products in India and globally.
Xavier Xie of Cross Continental Venture Partners – exporting innovation from the US to China
The managing partner of Cross Continental Venture Partners (CCVP), Xavier previously founded and led the full cycle investment activity of TVM China fund, an extension of a 35 year-old life-science fund with over 90 successful exits including 60 IPOs in the health sector, from innovative drugs and medical devices to advanced meditech. Prior to TVM, Xavier managed cross-border investment, technology transfer and incubation for the technology giant, Philips. He has a Ph.D. in Nano Science and Technology from Hong Kong University of Science and Technology.