Top Dutch financial conglomerate, Rabobank International, is betting big on India’s telecommunications and media segments, which it says are on the threshold of an explosive growth over the next two-three years.
“We are very bullish on Indian telecom,” said Ed Smith, Rabobank International’s global head for telecom, media and Internet group.
Given the kind of growth anticipated in telecom over the next few years, “we could be scaling up our exposure to the sector in the next three years”.
According to Smith, Rabobank’s exposure to the sector is currently around $450 million (Rs1,980 crore). Rabobank expects Indian telcos to grow by acquisitions in overseas markets and venturing into the rural hinterland.
Rabobank would be more than willing to facilitate domestic firms looking at major acquisitions in the emerging economies of Asia and Africa, but it also expects rural mobile telephony to be a major driver of growth, Smith said.
India’s private telecom players, including Bharti Airtel and Hutchison-Essar (Vodafone Essar), have expressed their interest in rolling out rural networks in pursuit of growth.“We expect a tremendous surge in business when these operators roll out their business in C-circles,” said Smith.
Smith added that the emerging markets of Asia and Africa could provide good acquisition opportunities for Indian telecom players. “There is a tremendous potential in these markets ,” said Smith.