“I made a wrong choice. My clock has wound back 13 years,” says M Mahadevan, the seasoned restaurateur from Chennai.
“When I saw it wasn’t going anywhere,” he continues, “I shouldn’t have waited for [my] 50% [shareholding] to go down to 30%.”
Mahadevan’s referring to the 11 years of private equity (PE) investment that he lived with when Peepul Capital put money in his two-decade-old restaurant business, Oriental Cuisines. When Peepul came knocking in 2007, Mahadevan had chosen to become a non-resident Indian, ready to roll out 11 restaurant projects internationally. In Peepul’s “zero-interest” capital he saw an opportunity to grow.