Mumbai, 07 July, 2023: The Bombay Chamber of Commerce & Industry, in collaboration with Depository Partner, CDSL, organised the first PE&VC Conclave on the theme “Creating a Vibrant Private Market.” The event, held under the aegis of the PE&VC Committee, aimed to address the challenges and opportunities in India’s private market landscape. The conclave shed light on the challenges facing the private market, including the need for a clear regulatory framework, tax parity for international private capital investing, and onshoring of offshore investments. It also emphasised the responsibility of industry players to exercise better corporate governance and collaborate with policymakers and regulators to create a more vibrant and attractive segment that powers India’s growth.


Welcoming the audience, Sandeep Khosla, Director General, Bombay Chamber, highlighted the Chamber’s commitment to facilitating effective communication between regulatory bodies, corporates, and society, as well as its dedication to fostering a conducive environment for trade and industry in Mumbai and India.


Anjali Bansal, Past President, Bombay Chamber and Founding Partner, Avaana Capital, set the theme for the event with her insightful remarks. She highlighted India’s vibrant startup ecosystem, rapid growth in the AIF regime, and the country’s aspiration to become a 20 trillion-dollar economy. Bansal acknowledged the instrumental role played by the government in promoting entrepreneurship through policies such as Startup India and Digital India, which have contributed to the remarkable growth of the startup ecosystem.


Addressing the audience, Nehal Vora, Managing Director & CEO of CDSL, spoke about the key building blocks for the growth of PE&VC investments and startups in the Indian market. He emphasised the importance of corporate governance and building trust to create valuation for both investors and companies. Vora highlighted the transformative reforms in the Indian capital markets, such as the shift to online trading, dematerialisation, and the establishment of robust market infrastructure institutions. He commended SEBI’s vision in creating a digital platform that fosters trust and enables widespread participation in the capital markets.

In his keynote address, Shri. Ananth Narayan Gopalkrishnan, Whole-time Member, SEBI shed light on the private equity space and SEBI’s outlook towards Alternative Investment Funds (AIFs). Shri. Gopalkrishnan highlighted the impressive growth of the private equity sector over the past few years. He mentioned that AIF investment commitments reached 8.3 Lakh crores as of March 2023, showing a compounded annual growth rate of 38%. Actual money invested in AIFs demonstrated a compounded annual growth rate of 40% over the last five years, totaling 3.4 Lakh crores.


Addressing the funding landscape, Shri. Gopalkrishnan noted that commitment in the AIF space has been rising by 2 lakh crores over the past two years, with 60% of the commitment coming from domestic participants and 40% from foreign investors. The number of AIFs has also increased to 1100, showcasing a 50% annual compounded growth rate and reflecting a thriving ecosystem. He emphasised that this early-stage capital contributes to wealth creation, investments, job creation, and GDP growth.


Shri. Gopalkrishnan underscored the three pillars of SEBI’s mandate: investor protection, market development, and market regulation. He emphasised that trust forms the foundation of the entire system, and SEBI’s role is to minimise errors and build trust within the capital formation process. He highlighted the substantial growth in equity investments made by regional funds, which rose from less than 4 lakh crores to over 24.5 Lakh crores. Shri. Gopalkrishnan also emphasised three key areas on SEBI’s radar: valuation, potential regulatory arbitrage, and misselling. He reassured companies that SEBI is open to receiving details of any wrongdoing in the market and encouraged them to build trust and credibility in the ecosystem. He acknowledged India’s immense potential for growth, highlighting its entrepreneurial spirit and strong work culture.


The conclave featured two insightful panels addressing crucial aspects of the private market. The first panel of the day, moderated by Nimesh Kampani, Founding Partner, 108 Capital saw Madhu Lunawat, – CIO, India Inflection Opportunities Fund, Satyam Kumar, CEO & Co-Founder, LoanTap Financial Technologies, Ashish Fafadia, Partner, Blume Venture Advisors, and Ritwick Ghoshal, Managing Partner & CEO, Bay Capital Investment Advisors give their insight into the topic Business Opportunities, Challenges & the Future: Driving Private Investments. The panel explored the current situation of the private market in India amidst the funding winter, examined the available exit options for companies, assessed the challenges and opportunities in raising debt or equity swiftly, discussed cost of equity vs cost of debt and envisioned ways to create a systematic platform for private markets. 

The second panel, on Creating a Conducive Tax and Regulatory Environment, moderated by Rahul Shah, Executive Vice President, Indian Venture Capital Association (IVCA) saw panelists Dr Archana Hingorani, Managing Partner, Siana Capital, Tejas Desai, Partner, Ernst & Young LLP (EY India), Vatsal Gaur, Partner, King Stubb & Kasiva, Advocates & Attorneys and Manish Kumar, Co-founder GREX & RealX share their expertise on the subject. The panel covered aspects including AIF regulations, the GIFT city and the need for enabling infrastructure,  onshoring of offshore fund structures, Angel Tax and the global competitiveness of the Indian PE&VC ecosystem. 


The Conclave concluded with a vote of thanks delivered by Ashith Kampani, Chair, PE&VC Committee, and Chairman, CosmicMandala15 Securities.

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