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Analysis

Mr Guo Guangchang travels to India before Fosun shareholders meeting

Mar 26, 2018 by Yun Nie
Mr Guo Guangchang travels to India before Fosun shareholders meeting

Where is Mr Guo Guangchang? A week before the shareholders general meeting, the answer is obvious: India.

It comes as no big surprise that Mr Guo Guangchang, the chairman of Fosun International, decides to begin his journey to India at such a significant point in time.

According to data from The Paper, the business giant’s assets include at least 21 A-shares listed companies at the end of 2015. Mr Guo Guangchang himself was ranked 149 at the Forbes World's Billionaires 2018 list with an estimated property value of $ 69.5 billion.

Divay Pranav, who is the administrator of the Department of India Investment said that Mr Guo Guangchang was invited to India to discuss business opportunities, global trade deals and Fosun’s investment in India.

Why India?

For international conglomerates and investment companies like Fosun, the Indian market is intriguing and of much interest.

Since 2014, a large number of Chinese corporations have entered the Indian market and invested in diverse local industries, including real estate, information technology (IT), renewable energy resources, textile, automobile industry, etc.

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The above statistics show that direct foreign investment in India has been booming during the last three years. The boom is the consequence of direct investment by multinational organizations like SoftBank (Japan), Amazon and Apple (U.S), and Naspers (South Africa), which have spent a large fortune to vertically and horizontally expand their global industrial chains.

Crucially, for the major Chinese investors — SAIC Motor, OPPO, VIVO, BYD, Tsingshan, Midea, Haier, SANY Heavy Industry — investment and acquisition in India is about to enter a new era. An earlier report revealed that from April 2000 to December 2017, the cumulative investment in this country rose to approximately USD177,955,000 by Chinese entrepreneurs.

Mr Guo Guangchang and his “India-centric enthusiasm”

In the eyes of Mr Guo, India seems to be more appealing than other hot economic spots. In his personal WeChat official account, images of himself with friendly local people repeatedly emphasize the billionaire’s love for this nation.

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“The most impressive thing about India is that the Indians are a diligent, resolute, and friendly lot. Cities have become more modernized with an orderly environment,” Mr Guo said after his trip.

“Traversing urban Indian shopping streets, it is common to see Chinese brands —not only cellular companies like Xiaomi, OPPO and Vivo, but others like Vero Moda, Jack & Jones, Tsingtao Brewery — and many others becoming increasingly prevalent and beloved by the Indian public,” he said.

The purpose of his journey to India seems to be far beyond business negotiations and investments. In addition, Mr Guo has gone out of his way to get a closer look at Indian society and local culture.

Fosan and its India investment

Mr Guo’s enthusiasm for this country has led to Fosun International showing special interest in the Indian market. The big business giant got more prominent for a remarkable moment — the successful merger and acquisition in 2016.

In 2016, Fosun successfully acquired 86% shares of the Indian pharmaceutical company, Gland Pharma at the price of USD1.26 billion, which was unparalleled in any Chinese global mergers and acquisitions related to the pharmaceutical industry, so far. It was heralded as “setting the highest transaction record” at the time. The corporation thereby began a new phase to get more international projects rolling.

In the following year, Fosun invested in the Indian finance company Kissht, Indian search engine ixigo.com, and other enterprises driven by Big Data. The corporation also established a number of new offices in Southeast Asia, determined by the “China + 3 Regions” investment model.

Prime Minister Modi enacted the policy of “Made in India”, triggering the foundation for a new business department, “Invest India”, which is now the Department of India Investment. Under the administration of Divay Pranav, a professional team consisting of experts on China was formed with a focus on assisting Chinese entrepreneurs in the Indian market and future investments.

The general manager of Fosun RZ Capital, Tej Kapoor said that although there was a slight deterioration in the China-India relationship, “we are still optimistic about the future investment in the nation.”

This point is also verified by official statistics — the bilateral trade between China and India reached a staggering USD 84.44 billion, setting a new record.

“Based on the current trend, India has gradually become one of the most appealing markets for the flow of Chinese capital”, Divay Pranav said. “An increasing number of Chinese business giants have already invested in diversified Indian projects, covering a majority of local industries.”

On his return after completing a successful trip to India, Mr Guo Guangchang posted an article on his WeChat official account. “It was about 20 years ago that Fosun established its first office in India. However, the real turning point that enabled Fosun to make a strong impression in the Indian market was the Gland Pharma project. Combining Chinese business experience with the trust of our Indian friends, I feel confident about our bright future and hope that we can contribute more to people in both countries.”

Yun Nie

Yun Nie is a New York-based tech reporter. She focuses on India-China financial market, global IT giants and technology-centric market trends. She can be reached at Yunnie@thepassage.cc.

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