Silicon Valley Tech Investors Sees Huge Potential in Emerging Markets at CKGSB’s Chuang Community Talk

Despite concerns of the sell-off in emerging markets stocks, China’s slowing growth and the US-China trade war, Silicon Valley’s most notable investors stayed bullish on investment opportunities. On August 31, Cheung Kong Graduates School of Business’s Chuang Community hosted Helen Liang, Managing Partner of FoundersX Capital, Ram Parameswaran, Partner of Altimeter Capital, and Luis Guilherme Ronchel Soares, Founding Partner of Nucleo Capital spoke of the future on investment trends at a talk titled, “China, US, India, Brazil: Global Outlook for Investment Trends and Opportunities” in Beijing.

CKGSB professor of Accounting and Finance, Associate Dean of DBA and Chuang Community, Liu Jing, started the event with an opening statement, “In the long run, improving productivity is a way to ensure economic growth, and the key to improvement is innovation.” Professor Liu said, “As we [China] move from poverty to prosperity, we will for sure become more innovative, and I highly believe China will have more Nobel Prize winners in future.”


CKGSB Professor of Accounting and Finance, Associate Dean for DBA and Chuang Community, Liu Jing

Helen Liang, Managing Partner of FounderX Capital and advisor of CKGSB Chuang community Silicon Valley Program sees huge potential in robotics and drones, and AI’s application in software, healthcare, education and law. Liang discussed the challenges and opportunities for China’s AI development. “Compared to the US, talent in AI (those with more than 10 years of experience) in China is much lower. Capital in China’s AI sector is increasing but still low compared with the US. However AI development in China has a solid foundation with the help of China’s ability to collect big data, its manufacturing prowess, and advanced logistics industry.”

Managing Partner of FounderX Capital and Advisor of CKGSB Chuang Community Silicon Valley Program, Helen Liang

As a board member of CKGSB’s Chuang Community Silicon Valley Program, Liang hopes that the program will help companies based outside of China grow and scale their business in the China market. Liang emphasized the need for more start-up companies to use technology to fix some of society’s biggest problems.

Ram Parameswaran, Partner at Altimeter Capital, a $3b hedge fund based in San Francisco Bay Area and Boston, is the sector head for Internet and fintech. Current investments for Parameswaran include Jinri Toutiao, Alibaba, Tencent, Uber, Facebook and Google, along with several private companies in India. Parameswaran, who left India at the age of 21 for the US, sees great potential in his birth country as he cites three advantages in the Indian market: young talent, market size and capital and investment. “The young and educated are no long immigrating to the US, but are starting companies in India instead,” says Parameswaran. “These young tech entrepreneurs are staying in India to help transform the country.” Although, the GDP per capita is low in India, Parameswaran thinks it’s an attractive place for investment because “business models that work in India can be applied to the rest of Southeast Asia.”

Ram Parameswaran, partner at Altimeter Capital

Luis Guilherme Ronchel Soares, Founding Partner of Nucleo Capital shared his views on investment opportunities in Brazil, “Brazil’s inflation has been a serious problem”. “The cost of health care is increasing at an astonishing 15% per year. Many Brazilian families spend 20% of their income on healthcare. Education is also a problem with only 3% of people who have a  university degree and job prospects remain low.” He said, “Although there are many challenges, if foreign companies can tackle the needs of the Brazilian market by collaborating with the right partners, there’s potential to make a difference and succeed.”

Luis Guilherme Ronchel Soares, Founding Partner of Nucleo Capital

Following the keynote speeches, CKGSB DBA Alumni, Sun Gang, CEO of KK, an online Mandarin language learning platform, moderated a roundtable discussion with the four investors. When asked what advice they would give to young entrepreneurs, Soares replied, “Many problems seem difficult to tackle and seem impossible to fix but that is precisely why it there is value in doing something. We need to get rid of our stereotypes and have an open mind to different cultures and market.” 

Parameswaran says the key to success is to, “have a positive mindset and the ability to take risks.” He advised entrepreneurs to “find the right partner and continuously expand your personal network.”

Liang’s advice to young entrepreneurs is to have a long-term view. “What are you really trying to achieve? Quick cash or are you really trying to change the world?”

Cheung Kong Graduate School of Business (CKGSB)

Established in Beijing in November 2002 with support from the Li Ka Shing Foundation, CKGSB is China’s first faculty-governed and independent business school. CKGSB boasts more than 40 full-time professors, many of whom previously held tenured faculty positions at leading business schools such as Wharton and Yale. Their research has provided the basis for more than 400 case studies of both China-specific and global issues. CKGSB also stands apart for its unmatched alumni network. More than half of CKGSB’s 10,000+ alumni are at the CEO or Chairman level and, collectively, they lead one fifth of China’s 100 most valuable brands.

Headquartered in Beijing, CKGSB is also located in Shanghai, Shenzhen, New York, Hong Kong and London. The school offers the following innovative courses: MBA, Finance MBA, Executive MBA, Business Scholars Program (DBA), and Executive Education programs.

CKGSB Chuang Community

The CKGSB Chuang Community is an ecosystem for start-ups, initiated by CKGSB and CKGSB alumni in May 2015. Thanks to our faculty, alumni and strong partnerships with business giants around the world, we are committed to building a truly global learning platform and accelerator for start-up founders and innovators.

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