General Atlantic to deploy up to $1 bn in new investments in India

By Preeti Singh

Growth equity investor General Atlantic expects to deploy up to $1 billion in new investment in India annually over the next few years, betting on companies built around Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s push to expand financial inclusion and increase the use of technology.

“We are tracking the significant policy changes announced by the government that will accelerate the creation of digital infrastructure for services and products,” said Shantanu Rastogi, Managing Director and Head of India. “Affordable supply, affordable infrastructure for financial inclusion, and sensible data are big topics for us,” he said.

The planned investment compares with the $500 million to $1.2 billion that General Atlantic has invested annually in recent years in Southeast Asia and India, Rastogi said. The New York-based company has invested $4.6 billion in India over more than two decades. The private equity firm manages about $71 billion in assets globally.

PhonePe Pvt. It is a digital payments application owned by Walmart Inc. Which it says has more than 450 million registered users, among the companies it supports in India.

A decade ago, Rastogi said, General Atlantic moved from supporting companies providing export-oriented services to focusing on investments targeting India’s growing domestic consumption, largely in consumer-focused enterprise software, healthcare and financial services companies.

In healthcare, General Atlantic has supported ASG Eye Hospitals and KIMS Hospitals in the country, according to Rastogi.

Varun Talukdar, director of the company, said the government has launched production-related incentives for medical devices and pharmaceutical companies in India, to lower the cost of treatment and make the country more self-reliant. This has led to investment in low-cost medical equipment and consumables being built in India, Talukdar said.

“India is becoming a really interesting manufacturing hub for many of these medical devices and consumables,” Rastogi said, adding that the next 10 years could see four or five big companies emerge.