Facebook co-founder Eduardo Ceferin said the start-up market in India is worth a bet, although it is still “a few years” behind China.
During a panel discussion in Forbes Global CEO Conference in Singapore this weekSaverin said his investment firm, B Capital, is spending “a lot of dollars” in India And he thinks about the long-term success of the new companies out there.
“I think India is a huge market with just huge potential,” Saverin said, in response to a question about why India’s startup environment is not yielding better returns.
“And I think as the market continues to mature, and as you enter into a better macroeconomic environment, that’s a market to bet on, along with Southeast Asia.”
Much of the growth in India will come from enterprise technology companies, Saverin said, adding that B Capital has invested money in electronic health records and contract management firms. Enterprise technology companies are those that create software that serves businesses.
Forbes CEO Summit 2022 in Singapore
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Severin said what underpins India’s entrepreneurial success is its large population, and the country, along with Southeast Asia, will soon have more people than China. He added that 25 million babies are born every year in India.
Gautam Adani, an Indian billionaire and the second richest person in the world according to Forbes magazine, said in his keynote address at the same conference that “India is now on the verge of creating several thousand entrepreneurs.”
Adani claimed that out of 760 districts in India, there are more than 670 startups registered at least one.
“Inexpensive smartphone and data, mixed with aspirations, constitute the most powerful combination to transform the nation. And the journey of digitally empowered India is just beginning,” he said.
But Saverin warned that the pace of development of startups in India lags behind China in areas such as ease of asset exit and market liquidity.
According to the report of the Indian Ministry of Finance from AugustIn the first quarter of the year, the country’s foreign direct investment still lags behind China. China received more than $100 billion in FDI, while India’s inflows amounted to nearly $17 billion.
He added that when capital is constrained by a slowing economy, as it is now, entrepreneurs need to seize the opportunity to “build very important products.” The term “mission critical” refers to the services and goods that are essential to running a business.
“And I think environments like this create resilient businesses and it’s really a time to invest and not fall back on. So entrepreneurs look at this as an opportunity to acquire, to bring businesses in while others look inward, to be aggressive, acquire and merge,” Saverin said.
“And in fact, some of the biggest companies out there, I think Microsoft started during the recession.”
Jenny Lee of venture capital firm GGV Capital also spoke at the Forbes conference, which has backed some of China’s most well-known companies — including Didi Chuxing, XPeng and Kingsoft WPS — and said it was time to look ahead as the geopolitical competition between the states has positioned The United States, China and the disruptions caused by the epidemic in global systems “tremendous grinding” on the overall assessment of companies.
“We’re happy, because I think as a private investor, we’re investing in the next generation of leaders, in the next three years, five years, ten years. And so it’s really back to a more rational market, back to support,” he told me during the same session with Saverin: The real entrepreneurs who want to make a change.
Lee said there are plenty of opportunities in bad times, pointing to electric vehicles/autonomous vehicle (EV/AV) and the metaverse industries as new areas to invest in.
For his part, Saverin said the “climate technology” would be “huge” and his company would double the biotech.