Tuesday, 5 December 2017
Registration and refreshments
|| Welcome remarks
Opening address: Keynote
Private equity outlook: Global trends, local risks and rewards
2016 was a year of challenges for private equity from a macro perspective-Brexit, the US presidential election-all of which has created a new norm of global volatility. India was not an exception for this volatility, with demonetisation shaking up the capital markets and the economy in general. Although these short-term shocks have had an impact on private market investments, India had two strong years on both investments and exits. There is every reason to believe that the industry can build on growth, and become a sustainable and attractive destination for investors. Industry leaders share insights into current market challenges and near-term prospects for the asset class.
- How are macro trends impacting private equity worldwide and in India?
- What differentiates those GPs who can meet the challenge?
- Where are the next investment opportunities?
- How is the exit market in India evolving?
||Networking coffee break
Leading the way: M&A and cross-border activity
India in 2016 saw a record level of M&A activity, building on an already strong year in 2015, when for the first time, the country led global levels of Foreign Direct Investment. A government policy platform that may have had equivocal effects in other areas, such as demonisation, were extremely supportive of M&A, leading to sector consolidation that produced some truly striking deals. Indian M&A delivered an exceptionally strong year in 2016, realising over $60 billion in value from some 1,200 deals, versus just under $41.4 billion in 2015 from 932 deals.
- What is the current level of M&A activity, and from where are most transactions originating?
- What are the dynamics in the marketplace, and what is driving cross-border deals?
- How can private equity play a role as a partner to strategic investors?
- What is the outlook for 2018 - will this high level of activity continue?
Spurring economic growth through reforms
India's policy environment in 2016 and early 2017 has delivered some positive moves and new opportunities for VC and PE investors-but some of the latter appear to have come on the flipside of changes that could portent more policy ahead. In any case, regulatory and policy making to attract more investments seems to be high on the Government agenda. A diverse panel of experts will discuss the policy and regulatory changes and impact on the industry.
- What is the impact of the various policy changes for the sector?
- Will the introduction of GST contribute to a better investment landscape?
- How does the regulatory regime compare to other markets and what else can the Government do to enable investments?
- How can private market investors predict and adapt to new regulations?
Fireside chat: The evolving GP-LP relationship
VC outlook: consolidation & the path to profitability
India is a large and fast growing economy and is better positioned than most other emerging markets for scalability of start-ups. However, considering the track record of funds, and the lack of exits and realisations, Indian VCs haven't exploited the opportunity. Nonetheless, the industry has matured and the early hype surrounding some of the portfolio companies who are yet to turn a profit, is turning into consolidation play and developing profitable and sustainable businesses. Our esteemed panel will discuss the following topics:
- What are some of the consumer trends driving the growth story of India?
- How is the VC landscape developing?
- How is the consolidation playing out?
- What are some of the biggest debates and doubts about the optimism surrounding India?
|| Networking coffee break
The evolution of operating strategies in PE
Institutional investors are increasingly demanding better transparency from GPs when it comes to operating strategies they employ in the investee companies. GPs try to distinguish themselves with various approaches to operating models but how many of them truly improve performance and add value to the investment? In this practical session an expert panel will discuss strategies for PE funds to overcome challenges with investee companies, build value, and improve performance.
- Due diligence: How do you do it? And what do the numbers show about operational expertise delivering returns?
- How do firms drive operational excellence? In-house, network, consultants, or a combination?
- What do LPs look for and expect from GPs in terms of operational value add?
- What tips and tricks are there to sidestep the pitfalls of buying a business and instigating change?
- Which tools do due diligence experts use to safeguard against governance risk and establish an accurate picture of finances and people?
The view from Asia: The rise of credit and distressed-investing strategies
Funds are increasingly focused on the debt market as they react to banks tightening up on lending and further diversifying their product offerings as they evolve to become both providers of credit and value creators for distressed companies. Next to private equity, private debt is expected to deliver the highest returns over the next three to five years. With a strong appetite from LPs, PE players are moving to establish offerings and teams to exploit this opportunity.
- What macro factors are contributing to the rise of debt-oriented strategies and direct lending specifically?
- Where does private debt fit in an LP's allocation strategy, and are these allocations increasing?
- Are distressed-debt and credit opportunities now a significant part of the PE business?
- How attractive for GPs are non-performing loans (NPLs), high yield bonds, defaulted bonds, and NPL securitizations?
Women in private markets
In private equity, venture capital and start-up ecosystem, as well as the broader corporate world, women are underrepresented and the gender gap is significant. This might be due to the nature of work, industry culture, or more likely a combination of both and other factors. However, the industry is gradually evolving and in Indian private equity is among the best represented for women leaders globally. The esteemed panel will discuss the current environment, challenges and opportunities to close the gender gap in the industry.
- How does diversity help to deliver better performance?
- Are we seeing an evolution of women founders? Do these make good acquisition targets?
- How should firms nurture career progression to a senior level and how can you attract and retain top talent?
- What should the industry be doing to attract more women at the start of their career paths?
- What factors have contributed to India having women in prominent leadership roles?
||Close of conference Day 1 and cocktail reception
Wednesday, 6 December 2017
Private markets exits: A step in the right direction
Across Asia, exits for VC-backed companies have been challenging due to public markets that lack depth and the absence of strategic players looking to engage in M&A. However, Indian private equity is finally on the right track, thanks to a steady stream of exits over the last two years. VC exits by internet giants, like the ones in China has not happened yet, despite the high valuations Indian start-ups seems to have. An IPO for one of the VC backed companies for example, will provide a further boost for the ecosystem.
- How does the capital markets environment compare with global peers?
- How can investors find an optimal exit route, given the limited IPOs?
- Have secondary exits evolved?
- What is the LP view on exits?
- Can India follow China's lead in terms of IPOs and trade sales?
||Networking coffee break
Spotlight on corporate venture capital
Corporations in Asia increasingly see the merits of captive VC units, but they must be clear in their financial and strategic objectives in order to give teams the right combination of autonomy and guidance. Recent establishments of venture arms by various corporations in China and India and across the continent are catching up with global peers who have established venture arms. While the approaches vary from clear direction for strategic investments to wholly independent mandates, the intention is to capitalise on consumer growth in India.
- What are the current trends in corporate venturing and how do they fit in the ecosystem?
- How are regional and global internet giants moving into India changing the VC landscape?
- What do entrepreneurs need to know when choosing between corporate and traditional venture capital partnerships?
- What partnerships have corporates formed with VC firms and how do these work in practice?
The road to success: LP view on committing capital in India
Steady investments, genuinely strong exit performance, and a purely cyclical pullback in investment against a background of all-time M&A highs ought to deliver confidence to LPs. However, there still remains a level of scepticism about Indian private equity as LPs seek the right comfort level to return or continue investing. LPs from around the world discuss this compelling market and their views on the right level of capital allocation at this time.
- How does India compare to other emerging markets?
- Have allocation levels changed?
- What is the appetite for direct and co-investments?
- What has been the impact of tax and regulatory reforms?
- What strategies and funds are LPs considering?
||Networking Lunch & Close of conference