Accessing India's growth: why you need more than a GEM strategy

India's economic prowess has become a focal point for institutional investors eyeing long-term growth. Traditionally, investors lean towards Global Emerging Market (GEM) strategies to tap into this opportunity.

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The year 2023 turned out to be fairly pedestrian in terms of emerging markets’ performance. The asset class was weighed down by China, which recorded its third consecutive year of negative returns.
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In the FSSA GEM Focus strategy we own high-quality businesses which have competitive advantages such as strong brands, distribution advantages, cost leadership, or simply providing a service/product that customers cannot live without. Historically, this has given them pricing power and the ability to preserve margins despite adverse headwinds.
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One of the true competitive advantages we believe we have at FSSA is a genuine long-term investment horizon. For us, investing is not about trying to predict which stocks will rise or fall next month or quarter; rather, it is a non-speculative activity aimed at participating in the long-term value creation we believe the best companies can generate.
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As long-term, bottom-up investors, our starting point for finding suitable investments is to seek out companies that benefit from structural tailwinds and have clearly-defined competitive advantages.
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Since we last wrote, roughly three months ago, investors in emerging markets have had to reconcile themselves to a stream of disappointing headlines from several key countries. We are often asked about our own views on politics and macroeconomics, and how we incorporate them into our investment process.
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Albert Einstein famously said, “Not everything that can be counted counts and not everything that counts can be counted.” This holds true in many situations, but we think it is especially true when it comes to risk management.
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