PE funds exercising cautious optimism to avoid repeating past mistakes in India: IFC's Keitel

Ralph Keitel, Principal Investment Officer & Regional Lead for PE funds in Asia-Pacific, IFC

Private equity (PE) is taking a renewed look at India as there is a lot of positive sentiment towards the country, and its fundamentals appear to bear it out but these funds are also exercising cautious, balanced optimism to avoid repeating past mistakes, Ralph Keitel, Regional Lead for PE funds in East Asia and Pacific at IFC, said in an interaction.

“There have been a couple of false starts for India – it looks positive this time and what you are seeing is that many LPs (Limited Partners or investors in these funds) are willing to underwrite that positive outlook. At the same time, GPs (General Partners/Private Equity firms) have gotten better. Most have learned their lessons and know that they have to add more value to build companies that someone wants to buy ultimately, and also that scale and price matters. The shakeout in the Indian PE space is not over, but the good GPs have built out their teams. Also, LPs have become more cautious – they know what to expect from India and that GP selection matters,” he said.

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