We’re optimistic, a good year ahead for India: Blackstone

Rajesh Kurup Mumbai | Updated on March 04, 2020 Published on March 04, 2020

US private equity major Blackstone Group, which has invested a total of $15.5 billion during the last 15 years in India, of which a record $6 billion was in 2019, considers the country a strong market and is optimistic the trend will continue.

“India has given us the strongest results across the world. And I am optimistic this is to continue going forward,” Blackstone Chairman, CEO and Co-founder Stephen A Schwarzman told a select group of media people over lunch.

The country has changed ‘enormously’, he said, adding India is an unusual market and despite the problems, such as the crisis in the banking system, the country has a lot of potential.

“India’s education sector is doing well, producing seven times more engineers than the US does annually. So it means it has all the preconditions for expansive growth as the economy has reached an inflection point,” Schwarzman, who was in the city to promote his book ‘What It Takes: Lessons In The Pursuits Of Excellence’, said.

Schwarzman said the US Federal Reserve’s half-percentage point cut in interest rate in the wake of the coronavirus scare might not be the right move, as this will end up hurting the financial institutions more.

“I don’t understand how interest rate cuts can be a cure,” he said, adding, it is difficult to assess how long this will go on.

In his book, Schwarzman uses episodes from his life to tell readers how to build, transform and lead thriving companies. He has also etched out the mistakes he made during his entrepreneurial career, and said, “I don’t want others to repeat the same mistake.”

The book throws a glimpse into his life and career, from growing up in Philadelphia, going to Harvard Business School, seeking $10,500 dollars for a job, his philanthropy and first investment banking deal among others.

Good year for investments

Blackstone Group is expecting this year to be another ‘good year’ for investments in India.

“There are equal opportunities this year also, and we don’t see any slowdown in business and economic activities,” Amit Jain, Senior MD at Blackstone Advisors India, said.

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Published on March 04, 2020
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