In 20 years, the best businesses will be those that don't exist today: Everstone's Sameer Sain

Everstone co-founder & CEO Sameer Sain in a fireside chat with DealStreetAsia founder Joji Thomas Philip at PE-VC Summit 2019

There’s no better time to start a new business than a tough environment, especially if you have a little bit of capital and withholding capacity, says Sameer Sain, co-founder of one of India’s largest private equity firms Everstone Capital.

“I am a big fan of starting new businesses because nobody in India is investing in creating any new businesses and hasn’t done so in a long time other than Jio. There’s no capex that has been done better than Jio capex. I am exaggerating, but you get the point,” Sain said in a candid fireside chat session at the Asia PE-VC Summit 2019 held recently in Singapore.

“In our region, which is India and Southeast Asia, 20 years hence, the best businesses will be the ones that do not exist today. Had I said this 20 years ago, you would have laughed, but do the math,” he added.

Everstone, which was instrumental in bringing Burger King in India, is confident of making it India’s number two quick-service restaurant (QSR) company, and overtake McDonald’s. It is also looking at exit options, which could possibly include listing Burger King on the Indian bourses.

“What we have realised is that if you have the operating capability, use it because, in our region, right innovation is all about execution. We say in Everstone that vision is good, but vision without execution is a hallucination.”  The private equity firm, which also acquired a majority stake in Domino’s Pizza in Indonesia a few years ago, also talks about turning the business profitable.

In a wide-ranging chat, Sain talks about macroeconomic indicators in India, internal restructuring issues at Everstone, exit scorecard, and his bullishness on the credit and renewable energy space, among others.

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