Photo of Pooja Patel

Partner in the General Corporate Practice at the Mumbai office of Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas. Pooja has over fourteen years of experience advising domestic and international clients on a range of commercial laws and strategic issues. Pooja specializes in cross border M&A, PE / VC investments, joint ventures as well as post-deal issues and shareholder disputes. She has advised on transactions across industries including cement, mining, manufacturing, telecom, media & entertainment, real estate, seeds & agriculture, hospitality, healthcare, pharmaceuticals and IT & ITeS as well as a wide range of structures and instruments including equity, structured debt and mezzanine finance. She has advised several leading private equity funds as well as leading Indian and international business houses.

Pooja has been recognised as one of the three “Next Generation Indian Corporate and M&A Lawyers” in 2016 and 2017 by Legal 500. She can be reached at pooja.patel@cyrilshroff.com

India’s Foreign Investment Policy on E-commerce Retail

The Indian government has been striving to effectively regulate India’s e-commerce retail market, since its first attempt in 2000. The regulations have been a by-product of the fear of organised global retail with deep pockets adversely affecting scores of unorganised “mom-and-pop shops” and retailers. The Indian foreign direct investment policy on e-commerce retail has been amended several times, and the e-commerce business houses operating in India have restructured themselves to fall in line with every such change in policy without significantly altering their operations.

In the latest episode of this ongoing saga, the Government of India issued a Press Note No. 2 (2018 Series) on December 28, 2018, to effectively legislate against e-commerce entities that disguise their inventory-based business models[1] as marketplaces[2]. Reportedly[3], Walmart-backed Flipkart and Amazon India are undergoing complex structuring and restructuring to align themselves with the amended policy. This to and fro between the Government and e-commerce players has not only been unproductive for the country’s economy, but is also against this Government’s stated objective of certainty and Ease of Doing Business in India. While the effective implementation of the regulations governing e-commerce retail continues to be a significant issue, there are certain other fundamental concerns relating to the approach of the Indian government towards e-commerce retail, which require immediate consideration.    
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Evolving Private Equity Trends in India – Buyout Transactions

INTRODUCTION

Private equity (PE) transactions in India conventionally comprised minority investments in Indian companies. However, maturing market conditions and an increasingly favourable regulatory landscape have been providing tailwinds to PE firms to undertake buyout transactions. Many PE firms investing in India have gained significant experience to deal with the governance and regulatory risks that Indian markets pose. This enables them to leverage their expertise from running businesses globally to managing businesses in India.
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