Global Themes

On Globalization & Venture Capital

FinTech for Good

My first blog post on Huffington Post, “Fintech for Good” – slightly edited version below…

Back in 2009, a global consortium of researchers published a report with a provocative title, “Half of the World is Unbanked”. Five years later, the numbers had already dropped by 20%. Yet close to 2 billion adults globally still do not have access to formal financial services. They remain financially disconnected, without opportunities to increase their incomes, unable to securely save for a rainy day or borrow to improve their lives.

Even basic financial products and services remain out of reach for these people. An illness, accident or a death in the family can spell disaster for their financial situation and cause powerful shocks to their daily lives. These hundreds of millions are effectively locked out of a world which you and I take for granted.  It does not have to be so.

Keep Reading…

February 8th, 2017 Posted by | Development Issues, Emerging Markets, Financial Inclusion, FinTech | no comments

Notes from Emerging Markets Seminar @ Imperial

Some notes from the “Emerging Markets” seminar on opportunities and challenges for entrepreneurs (part of the IED Best Practice encounters series) at which I shared a panel with Prof. Gerry Geirge and Prof. Chris Toumazou:

  • For the UK, India is now as important as China; Exports to China are £5.2bn vs £4.1bn for India
  • There appears to be a significant correlation between “relative inequality” and entrepreneurship i.e. higher relative inequality leads to higher entrepreneurship (- as in the case of US perhaps?)
  • Education in general (esp. tertiary education) is a big opportunity in India (I’m glad about my latest angel investment!)
  • Chris mentioned how the future of healthcare and medicine is personalised drugs and disposable technology
  • I made some deliberately provocative statements; the main one being “Why this century might be India’s century”; Mentioned India’s 3-D Advantage
  • Gerry shared some very interesting slides on R&D linkages between Indian institutions and their international counterparts; I hope these slides are up on the website soon
  • I also liked Gerry’s slide about FDI as % of GDP that showed a sustained increase in FDI into India (vs. a reduction in FDI in China). When you couple this fact with the growth in GDP in India, you realise the dramatic impact that this flood of money had between 2006 – 2009

I shared a couple of slides (see below) as a preface to my observations:

April 30th, 2009 Posted by | China, Conferences and Panels, Emerging Markets, Entrepreneurship, India, My Presentations | one comment

Amidst the global downturn, China continues to amaze…

From an email I received y’day:

According to Zero2IPO Research Center statistics, a total of 29 domestic and foreign VC firms established 40 funds during Q2‘08. This figure represents US$3.02B of capital available for investing in Mainland China marking a record high for a single quarter.

Additionally, 159 Chinese entrepreneurial firms receiving venture capital disclosed investment totaling US$1.20B. In comparison with the same period last year, the number of deals and the disclosed investment amount increased 31.4% and 73.5% respectively.

Keeping up with the “booming…China investment market”, Zero2IPO is organizing its second China VC & PE Event in London next month. Try and be there.

I will be speaking just after the tea break on investment opportunities for European investors in China.

September 10th, 2008 Posted by | China, Conferences and Panels, Emerging Markets, Venture Capital in Asia | 2 comments

Comparing Indian and Chinese M&A

Some excerpts from a great article comparing Indian and Chinese M&A, “Dancing “Dragon” and Running “Elephant” on the Stage of M&A  by Mark He at Zero2IPO Research.

*** Excerpts Begin (emphasis mine) *** 

Keep Reading…

August 7th, 2008 Posted by | China, Emerging Markets, Global Competition, Globalization, India | one comment

India, China and G11

Excerpts from a recent article by Liam Halligan (Chief Economist at Prosperity Capital Management) in The Sunday Telegraph, “China, Brazil and India belong in the G8

*** Excerpts Begin (emphasis mine) ***

It’s become fashionable to say the G8 is pointless. Last week’s summit of the “world’s advanced industrial democracies” was certainly an anti-climax.

After all the posturing, “working lunches” and “financial stability pacts”, the impotence of the leaders gathered on the Japanese island of Hokkaido was displayed for all to see.

Western shares kept tumbling. Crude hit another record high. As the smell of meltdown turned acrid last week, the markets seemed determined to stress the G8’s irrelevance.


Since the mid-1970s, the US, UK, Germany, Italy, Japan, France and Canada have held an annual summit. Russia has recently been added – grudgingly, because four G7 members depend on its oil and gas. Even with Russia, the G8 accounts for only 14 per cent of the world’s population, and less than 60 per cent of the global economy. And that share of worldwide output can only fall as the fast-growing emerging giants continue to outpace the West.

The likes of China, Brazil and India have churned out average annual growth of 5 to 10 per cent for many years now – an expansion rate that’s set to continue.
In dollar terms, these countries are now the fourth, 10th and 12th largest economies on earth – and climbing fast.

Keep Reading…

July 29th, 2008 Posted by | China, Development Issues, Economics, Emerging Markets, India | one comment

The rise and rise of Asia

Many of you must have picked up these two (separate) news-stories from a few weeks ago…

1.  Mukesh Ambani, Chairman and largest shareholder of Reliance Industries (India) reportedly became the world’s richest person – partly owing to the rally in the Indian stock market.

2. PetroChina became the world’s first trillion-dollar firm when it floated on the Shanghai stock exchange a few weeks ago.

I wonder if this just the beginning of The Great Reverse?

November 12th, 2007 Posted by | China, Emerging Markets, India | one comment

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