In conversation with Frank Hancock – Innovation in the economy

By UK India Business Council (UKIBC)

Dr. Rakhi Rashmi, Barrister England and Wales in a candid conversation with Frank Hancock, Managing Director and Head of M&A for India, Barclays Capital PLC

Mr. Frank Hancock is a Managing Director and Head of M&A for India at Barclays Capital’s Investment Banking Division. He has over 20 years experience as an emerging markets investment banker in the Middle East, Africa, Eastern Europe, and for the past 15 years in India. In August 2008, Mr. Hancock joined Barclays Capital in Mumbai as a Head of M&A advisory for India, where he focussed on executing large cross border transactions. For nine years, he headed the corporate finance business for ABN AMRO in India and was responsible for the M&A advisory and equity capital markets activities of the bank in that country.

1) In the banking sector there is scope to develop more innovation with best practice being shared both ways. Here are two examples;

– There is scope for India to develop better long term funding models for infrastructure. In India, a lack of trust by investors in local corporate governance has somewhat held back access to long term bond funding for infrastructure projects by the Indian private sector. The support of RBI in forcing businesses to clear NPAs will be needed to establish the right environment for this to happen.

– There is scope for UK to learn from India’s booming digital economy and outsourcing sector as the UK’s own digital banking sector develops. One way to do so would be for UK banks to sponsor an accelerator programme for Indian start ups and fund innovative ideas that enable them to benefit from all the innovation in India.

2) We would advocate against anything that suggests a strategic plan developed at the government level for industrial collaboration as this will not work. Business to business links between India and UK are already extremely strong (both countries are among the largest foreign investors in each other) so its best left to the private sector to develop areas of common interest in sectors ( like defence manufacturing) where there is shared focus by both countries.

3) We do think the UK India business relationship can become more strategic with the UKIBC playing more of a catalyzing role in policy advocacy. At the moment, UKIBC’s mandate is too focused on assisting SMEs. We believe this should be modified so UKIBC can play a more strategic lobbying role on major opportunities in key sectors (eg insurance, banking) like that of USIBC

5) Areas where both countries are focusing include finance (banking as well as insurance) healthcare, IT (including digital), automotive, and defence manufacturing

6) Governments should ideally ‘lead from the rear’, encouraging private sector collaboration (through bodies such as UKIBC), while avoiding any attempt at central planning.

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