Our client was facing difficulty in assessing the true potential of an offshore market


An international asset manager was planning to make direct investments in Indian retail-shopping properties. The firm wanted to assess attractiveness of opportunity in the Indian retail sector in the context of hype and exuberant projections in the media and industry research. The client, who was not based out of India, was unable to:

– Assess the true growth opportunity of the Indian retail market

– Validate growth claims by on-the-ground research

– Identify potential investment tie-ups


ValueNotes used extensive primary research to uncover ground realities


The success of this research depended on effective, qualitative primary research on the Indian retail market, which is highly fragmented. Organized retail forms only a small part of the total market. Specific challenges faced by the ValueNotes team were:

  • Inadequate availability of good data: There was inadequate depth of coverage of the evolving retail industry in India and most of the prior research was redundant or consistently optimistic.
  • Requirement of reliable “expert” opinion: In the absence of reliable sector specific and allied data from macro variable inputs to spending patterns and consumer behaviour at the catchment level, we had to back our arguments with proxy data through incisive conversations with industry experts.
  • Tight expectations on turnaround time: further magnified the challenges. The client was coming to India within 3 weeks to meet property developers, investment bankers and evaluate existing investment opportunities. Given that experts had to be sourced from scratch, the turnaround time expectations were very tight.


ValueNotes conducted comprehensive research on the evolving retail formats in India, along with economic research and analysis of growth trends and projections. Our understanding of the Indian context, the retail industry and ability to speak with senior industry executives, helped in delivering a solution to the client.


Value Delivered = Money Saved


ValueNotes provided on-the-ground insights and an initial due diligence report in an extremely short time. Based on our recommendations, the client adopted a cautious approach on their India entry:

  • The vulnerability of irrational growth expectations was exposed and Indian realty sector valuations more than halved over the succeeding quarters.
  • The client decided it was premature to enter the Indian retail market and put their investment plans on hold.
  • This saved the asset manager at least US$50m.


Outsourcing this research to ValueNotes helped the client gain a local (Indian) perspective on the industry, based on ground realities. This enabled them to rationalize their go-to-market decisions and improve returns to their investors.

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