Indebted and weakened by a falling rupee, Indian companies have taken a more strategic approach to outbound investment. Nandini Lakshman reports from Mumbai
Afew years ago, corporate India embarked on a global acquisition spree, buying up pretty much whatever was available. The global financial crisis meant that bargains were in abundance and Indian companies snapped them up with glee. In many cases the acquisitions were driven primarily by rock-bottom valuations and there was scant regard for the strategic fit between target and the acquirer.
Today, as major world economies begin to show signs of recovery, Indian companies are not in such a hurry to buy overseas assets. Although it is still a good time to purchase undervalued companies, India Inc is acting with caution while jostling for position in the global marketplace. Strategy has overtaken affordability as the primary driver of overseas acquisitions.
“The focus on outbound investment clearly remains to drive the growth agenda for Indian companies,” says Raja Lahiri, a partner in transaction advisory services at Grant Thornton. “The associated drivers include new products, services and customers and not just the acquisition of distressed assets.”