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HindustanTimes Fri,31 Oct 2014

Will not invest in telecom sector again: Analjit Singh

PTI  New Delhi, May 04, 2014
First Published: 14:47 IST(4/5/2014) | Last Updated: 14:51 IST(4/5/2014)

Former non-executive Chairman of Vodafone India Analjit Singh will not invest in the telecom sector again, and will look for other options for making investments.

"No, I will not come back in telecom. I am done with telecom as an investor," Singh told PTI on sidelines of launch of book 'Winning in India'.

Singh, who is Founder and Chairman of Max India, in March exited from Vodafone India by selling his entire stake to its parent company, the UK-based Vodafone Plc.

He and his wife Neelu jointly held 24.65% stake in Vodafone India through Scorpio Beverages Pvt Ltd, which according to sources, was paid Rs. 1,241 crore.

Singh was the face of the company and held talks with the Indian government in the Vodafone tax case, estimated to be around Rs. 20,000 crore with interest and penalties.

Commenting on the book 'Winning in India', authored by Dabur India's Vice Chairman Amit Burman and real estate firm India Home's Managing Director Samarjit Singh, he said 'winning' needs no explanation, but India needs explanation.

"Like you need to understand spouse, you need to understand India," he said.

Singh is one of the contributors to the book along with Bharti Enterprises Founder and Chairman Sunil Bharti Mittal, Hero MotoCorp Joint Managing Director Sunil Kant Munjal, DLF Chairmam Kushal Pal Singh and Jubiliant Bhartia Group Co-Chairman and Founder Hari S Bhartia.

Singh said that in India execution risk is much higher than in any other country and touched upon retrospective tax amendment which was floated by government, after the Supreme Court order in Vodafone tax case came in favour of the company.

"Those are goofy things. The retrospective judgement etc, but fortunately there aren't many example of retrospective tax case. To the contrary, I can tell you if you look at same company and same example. Hutchison sold, Vodafone bought. Rs. 11 billion transaction happened," Singh said.

He added that there are more example of people who have succeeded, than those who have failed.

"Those who have executed well and have found markets and understood India like Unilever, McDonalds are successful. Today you can sell. I can sell my company to a foreigner. A deal can be done. The market will transact them. Understanding 'in India' is very critical," Singh said.

He said that 100% Foreign Direct Investment in the telecom sector is a very good step taken by government.

"India can now say to the rest of the world that we have a sector where 100% FDI is allowed. That's good for India. I am one joker in this game. I can take money and do 10 different things," Singh said.


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