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Investing in India: A Value Investor's Guide to the Biggest Untapped Opportunity in the World, + Website

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Praise for Investing in India

“Saraogi has attempted the impossible. To capture the soul of the most ancient country on earth and its complex cultural heritage and yet make it contextual for the modern reader with recent incidents requires both scholarship and shrewd insights. Even those who think they know India well will find the book surprising.”

—Vallabh Bhanshali, Co-founder and Chairman, Enam Securities

“Highly recommended. Eerily close to my views and understanding of India. Covers a lot of ground in a short space.”

—Prashant Jain, Chief Investment Officer, HDFC Asset Management

“Rahul did a masterful job decoding the complex DNA of investing in India in this terrific book.”

—Vitaliy N. Katsenelson, CFA, Chief Investment Officer, Investment Management Associates, Inc.

“Investigate before you invest! It is a maxim all value investors abide by. Finally, a book that helps you to do both. A must read for all India hands.”

—Ramesh S. Damani, Member BSE, Mumbai, India

“Rahul Saraogi, one of the bright shining stars of Indian value investing, has written a must-read compendium to investing in India. Leaving behind the hype of many books on emerging markets, Saraogi provides an insider’s view into the opportunities and challenges facing investors in one of the world’s largest economies. Highly recommended!”

—John Mihaljevic, CFA, Managing Editor, The Manual of Ideas


RAHUL SARAOGI leads Atyant Capital Advisors, advisor to the Atyant Capital family of funds. In the last 14 years he has focused on the Indian markets. His mission is to consistently identify the best 10-15 investment ideas from among the thousands of publicly-traded Indian corporations. Rahul’s value-based investment philosophy stands apart due to his belief in the paramount importance of corporate governance, specifically how management operates with its minority shareholders in mind. While getting his undergraduate education at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School, he discovered Warren Buffett, Charlie Munger, Benjamin Graham, Phil Fisher, and Robert Cialdini.

Foreword xi

Preface xiii

CHAPTER 1 Understanding India 1

Agrarian Roots 1

India’s Villages 2

The Role of the Family 3

Seven Generations 3

Colonialism and Its Impact on Indian Villages 6

Deep-Rooted Beliefs and Aspirations 9

Spirituality and Superstition 14

Villages Are Not the Same Anymore 16

Urbanization Is Changing India 17

Summary 18

CHAPTER 2 Government, Politics, and the Media 19

Is India One Country? 19

Democracy 21

The Rise of Regional Parties 22

Competition among States Is Healthy 38

The Goods and Services Tax 39

Is Democracy Holding India Back? 40

State of Political Affairs in India 42

Bureaucracy 44

Corruption and Rent Seeking 45

War, Terrorism, and Violence 48

Role of the Fourth Estate and Accountability 49

The Ultimate Free Market 49

Summary 50

CHAPTER 3 The Economy 51

Overview of the Indian Economy 51

India’s Unique Economic Model and Its Legacy 55

India’s Public-Sector Undertakings (PSUs) 56

Monsoons and What They Mean for India 60

The Problem of Indian Agriculture 62

Manufacturing in India 65

India’s Infrastructure Defi cit 69

India’s Services Economy 73

India’s Natural Resource Wealth 74

Savings, Land, and Gold 77

The Macroeconomy 78

Summary 80

CHAPTER 4 Financial Architecture 81

History 81

The Banking System in India 83

Nonbanking Finance Companies 85

Financial Inclusion 87

The Reserve Bank of India 91

Equity Markets 97

Market Participants 99

Bankruptcy and Foreclosure 101

Risk and Capital 105

Summary 106

CHAPTER 5 Value Investing in India 107

Risk On, Risk Off, and Global Capital Flows 107

Liquidity, Volatility, and Risk 110

Value Traps 114

Corporate Governance 115

Capital Allocation 118

Business Fundamentals 125

Financial Strength 128

Relative Opportunity 128

Summary 130

CHAPTER 6 Looking Back 131

Real Estate 131

Private Equity 135

Equity Markets 139

Foreign Direct Investment 141

Debt Markets 142

Entrepreneurs and Businesspeople 143

Summary 144

Afterword 145

About the Companion Web Site 149

About the Author 151

Index 153