Dr. Aman Puri, Consul General of India, Dubai
"We are talking to an unbelievable number of people in India - VC funds, private equity funds, and technology companies," said Pankaj Gupta. Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: Consul General of India in Dubai Dr. Aman Puri on Wednesday said several UAE-based funds and venture capitalists were planning to have a presence in India.

“They will take a little bit more time, but shortly we’ll be announcing that few other funds, VCs [and] family holding offices are actually now planning to have a full time presence in India,” said Puri during an event at the India Pavilion. Puri’s remarks come a day after UAE-based Gulf Islamic Investments (GII) announced that it will set up an office in India’s startup capital of Bengaluru. GII also said it would invest $500 million in a broad range of sectors in the world’s sixth largest economy.

“India is a consumption-driven economy, consumer, consumer tech, and healthcare, are three particular segments which are of great interest to us,” said Pankaj Gupta, Co-Founder and Co-CEO of GII. “Demographics are in favor and secondly, we have a team which understands these three sectors very well.”

GII is currently in talks with a number of potential partners.

Startup platform

GII has plans to tie up with IIT Mumbai to set up a platform that will allow Indian startups and companies to invest in Dubai. The investment fund will support winners of Eureka 2021 – Asia’s largest business model competition – to participate at the India Pavilion.

“Eureka 2021 would actually be showcasing some of the best ideas from India - that is a platform created at IIT Bombay, one of our finest institutions,” said Puri.

Apart from that, the India Pavilion has set up a mobile platform called the ‘India Innovation hub,’ which will host upwards of 500 startups across different sectors during the next six months.

“We want to use this time and opportunity to support Indian businesses, corporates, and innovators to connect with the local counterparts - that is the key,” said Puri.

Expo opportunity

Expo 2020 will help “catalyze” many of the projects planned under the UAE-India $75 billion fund, said Puri.

“Dubai announced an agreement to invest in Jammu and Kashmir, where the government entities from Dubai would be investing in real estate, IT parks, logistics and infrastructure,” said Puri. “There is so much scope in hospitality, healthcare and education in J&K and that is where we are getting the support of our strategic partner – UAE”