British International Investment
14 August 2020

CDC’s Head of Asia speaks to VCCircle about India investments and post-COVID outlook

CDC Group Plc has investments in 66 countries but India is its single-largest market, accounting for about 28% of the British development finance institution’s global portfolio share.

Read the full interview VCCircle here

Earlier this month, VCCircle reported that CDC’s direct investment portfolio in India grew three times in 2019 as compared with the previous year even as limited partner (LP) commitments fell about 30% during the same period. In terms of direct investments as opposed to fund of funds bets, CDC focuses on sectors including food and agriculture, healthcare, education, infrastructure, financial services, manufacturing, construction and
real estate.

In a post-COVID-19 world, the British agency sees food and agriculture as an area ripe for investments, Asia managing director and head Srinivasan Nagarajan told VCCircle in an interview. Moreover, he also shares CDC’s radical plan to achieve net zero emissions across the portfolio by 2050.

Edited excerpts:

What is the impact of COVID-19 on the Indian economy?
India is a resilient country. Our economy has been built on strong domestic demand. Due to COVID-19, the impact on demand is severe, but this too shall pass, and demand should come back. However, the financial sector could see some stress in the short term.

How are you coping with the COVID impact on portfolio companies?
This has been a unique year and we have a three-pronged strategy to deal with the current situation.
Preserve value, strengthen portfolio companies across sectors, and rebuild the portfolio by continuing to look at new opportunities. Under the preserve bucket, we aim to support our existing portfolio companies with liquidity and capital support.
Under the strengthen bucket, we want to leverage our existing portfolio and partner relationships to target vulnerable customer segments. And under the rebuild bucket, we are actively looking at new opportunities.
We can confidently say that we remain committed towards the growth of our portfolio companies and will continue to support them in this journey.


Read the full interview VCCircle here

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