Interview with Kiran Dutta, host of the Mumbai Deal Flow Summit
Kiran, you are SoHo Ventures’ Managing Partner. What is it that you offer?
SoHo is a Family Office Management consulting firm working on three verticals – Help family businesses establish Single Family Offices, Investment Advisory and Thought Leadership – through Conferences and Events
Last month you hosted the first DealFlow Summit in Mumbai. Why?
SoHo is also a platform for Global Family offices help understand and educate about Landscape and Investment opportunities in India and connect with peers in India to drive co-investments.
Given the bullish growth story and the opportunities in the Economy for the next 2 decades, SoHo aims to provide a collaborative role in driving Investments into India.
What was the purpose of the summit? And what did you discuss?
The purpose of the summit is to help Global and Indian family offices help understand various asset classes and opportunities – Real Estate, Venture Capital, Private Equity, Distressed Assets and Impact Investing.
In addition, panelists also shared their experiences on building a long term family office portfolio, analyzing the geopolitical risks for a global mandate, structuring investments, pros/cons of a co-investment deal, unique structures etc.
How many families did you gather and what was their background?
We had 80 families in the room from 8 countries including India in attendance representing over $30 BN in AUM. Delegates travelled over 60,000 miles to attend the conference.
Some of the premium families included – Adidas from Germany, Royal Family from Abu Dhabi, Pidilite Family Office, Mariwala Family Office, Patni, HeroMoto Corp, Chokhani, Vikas Poddar, Jheejeeboy’s from India to name a few.
Our conference has seen, both Patriarchs and the first generation kids who are taking over family reigns and are keen in exploring the new asset classes.
Which services were most requested from the families?
Families requested more closed events and in depth information on each asset class with experts in the room. Along with that, families are looking for inputs on building family office structures, building a longer horizon portfolio and the asset allocation strategies.
I know that the feedback was tremendously positive – what did the families like the most?
This was first of its kind conference in India. Families liked the concept of Privacy and relevant people in the room. There were no wealth managers and asset managers ipresent in an official capacity and it allowed family offices and the family members to interact more in a private setting, exchange ideas and discuss opportunities.
What are the risks and opportunities for financial service providers on the Indian subcontinent?
The Indian subcontinent offers tremendous opportunities for service providers over the next few decades. Given the rapid mobile penetration (1 GB costs less than 40 cents in India where as it costs $15 USD in USA. Yes, you heard it correct). So, there are tremendous opportunities for businesses who are providing their services on a digital platform. In addition, the rise in consumerism and the demographic dividend (65% of the population will be working age by 2035), the continent offers tremendous investment and business opportunities.
Though things are changing enforcing the title and contract is still an issue in India and one needs to be cautious and would recommend to have a local partner on the ground to align with for the business.
Did you get external help to set up the event?
Mr. David Grammig, who has successfully organized Global Family office conferences in Dubai and Africa has provided mentorship and tremendous support for this conference. His insights on initiation, planning and execution has helped SoHo put together this conference in a record 3 months. He has provided candid feedback at every step and has helped align the work in the right path which saved many productive hours.
I would highly recommend his team and his services for anyone looking to organize an international conference
When will you host the next summit in India?
As mentioned, SoHo is a platform to bridge the gap between Global and Indian Family offices, to that extent, SoHo will organize its next event in London early this fall. This will be a unique opportunity for SoHo given, it’s the first time in the history that a home grown startup from India organizing a Family Office conference on a foreign soil.
Kiran, thanks a lot for speaking to us.