Billionaire investor laments red-tapism in India | delhi | Hindustan Times
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Billionaire investor laments red-tapism in India

delhi Updated: Jan 22, 2012 11:55 IST

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Global billionaire investor Nicolas Berggruen, founder and President of Berggruen Holdings, has lamented the red-tapism involved in setting up business in India saying it is slowing down investments in the country.

"In 2006 we had announced an investment of around USD 300 million, but due to slower pace of growth here, we have been able to invest only half of that amount so far," Berggruen said.

The company has invested in hotels under Keys brand, car rental services, real estate and education sector.

"We started operations in India five years back from a scratch. The growth is much slower in here. It takes longer to build businesses here than anywhere else," he said.

Taking permissions and other administrative work takes too long in this country, he added.

Berggruen, whose global assets exceed over USD 2 billion, however, wants to expand faster in India.

"We continue to invest in India and are not done yet. We want to grow all our five businesses here. A lot of work has to be done," he said.

While the company's 'Car Club' business is focused on providing corporate car rental services, its 'Keys' brand is positioned as a mid-market hotels chain.

Of the dozen Keys hotels in India, the company owns and manages half of them and the rest are under management contract only.

In the education sector, the company runs UEI Global, an institute that offers degree and vocational courses. Berggruen Holdings also has real estate projects in Hyderabad, Mohali, Mysore and Vizag.

In terms of revenue generation, Car Club is the largest business for for the company, but in terms of asset value the hotel chain Keys is the biggest.

Globally Berggruen Holdings' investments are estimated to exceed USD 3 billion. The company has made than 100 direct investments in over the last 20 years.