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Ratan Tata's RNT Associates ties up with California University

Press Trust of India  |  Bengaluru 

RNT Associates, the investment vehicle of veteran industrialist Ratan Tata, today announced a partnership with the University of California to look at funding-appropriate startups, new companies and other enterprises in India.

"We are here today to announce a partnership with University of California and ourselves - basically to look at funding appropriate startups, new companies and other enterprises in India," Tata told reporters here.

He also said many details need to be worked out and it is at a concept stage. However, it is a very far-sighted step to recognise the new industry that is emerging in India, Tata added.

"It is very far-sighted step to recognise the new industry that is emerging in India - (it is) not an extension of the industrial growth of any of us," he said.

Asked about the duration of investment, the University of California's Chief Investment Officer, Vice President of Investments, Jagdeep Singh Bachher said they are looking at five to tens years of investment.

"The most important thing is alignment of five to 10 years long-term investment, not looking for quick solutions. I don't think there is the capital issue. I don't think access to talent is the issue. I don't think there is any problem finding ideas to work on," he said.

The partnership means there is a great runway that these opportunities have the ability to become collectively the new India which is exciting, Bachher said.

Tata also said young people coming from US universities and some of them from University of California, can work together for cementing ties involving high, low and new technologies.

To a query, Tata said, "What we are hoping to do is to provide mobility of these new startups to be partly funded to get interconnected." The partnership will cater to the needs of their businesses, he added.

Replying to another query, Tata said "meeting after six months or a year, we will have found a better feel of what we have found, along the way resulted in investment."

Talking about the nature of partnership, Tata said the "University of California, through its system, they have areas where great assistance will come to an entrepreneur which he himself would not be able to put together, and there may be areas in our side that the University of California has not seen an outlet, but an outlet does exist.

Asked for what purpose the funds were going to be used,

Tata said, "We haven't prejudged on either side that this is what funds are going to be used for. I think we have joined (hands) to encourage entrepreneurship which we think is promising.

"We will support the founding group in a manner whichwe hope will make a difference," he added.

Tata said the partnership can bring the strength of the University or connection that they have in related industry, but it is not a contractual thing.

Asked about details of the partnership, Bachher said there is lots of details to be worked out, which is because the future is unknown.

"You are absolutely right, there is lots of details to be worked out because the future is unknown. Also it is not because we cannot figure out how we can work together. It is because it is going to be constantly evolving," he said.

Bachher also said the beauty of this partnership is to be flexible and nimble and just be part of the journey.

Replying to other query, Bachher also said "even public sector and debt markets are exciting. So our view is to come and learn more and do more, but it with the trusted partners like Tata."

"By partnering with them there will be tangential benefits," he added.

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First Published: Thu, February 04 2016. 22:22 IST