Oak Investment Partners has set up a $200 Million venture fund to focus on the retail boom in India. Veteran retail investor Jerry Gallagher visited India and was astounded by the revenue per square feet in the Malls and Stores. He came back and convinced his partners to commit capital.
Many of my VC friends have asked me about opportunities in the Indian Market. Unfortunately, these are tech investors, and they glaze over, when I tell them that the Indian market opportunity is elsewhere … in consumer brands, in ready-to-wear apparel and accessories, in restaurants and cafes, in movies, in prepared food …
“But software?” they ask. Well, India is not an enterprise software market, except with a few exceptions. There is some SME opportunity in software, but by and large, India’s technology absorption will come from consumer markets. Here are two technology-leveraged concept arbitrages that would work:
Netflix: There is hardly any good access to foreign films, but Indians love movies. Challenge will be the mail network which is not great.
Pixar: India has great stories to tell, and many that are very animation-friendly. A great animation studio with cutting edge technology, sophisticated story-telling and creative capabilities would do well. Challenge will be to take this outside of Bollywood sensitivities, and cut out the 7 songs per film that Bollywood typically injects.
As for Gallagher, his investment thesis is on the money!