With Sixth Sense, Nikhil Vora sees value in timepieces

Invests in luxury watches retail chain

Latest News

Nikhil Vora, equity analyst turned private equity investor, and founder and CEO, Sixth Sense Ventures, will close the calendar year 2014 with two investments.

While the first one is Ethos, India's largest retail chain for luxury watches called (subsidiary of BSE-listed Kamla Dials), the second investment will be in a company providing roadside assistance.

Speaking to dna, Vora said the second deal (in roadside assistance company) will be closed in a few days.

"The investment size will be in the Rs 5-10 crore range and that's pretty much the sweet spot for our Rs 250 crore fund. The investment theme will be domestic consumer-centric ventures including tech start-ups," he said.

Vora, best know as research specialist tracking consumer sector in the country, had quit IDFC Securities as its managing director in January 2014 to launch India's first consumer centric domestic venture fund – Sixth Sense Ventures. He expects to make five to seven investments annually.

While a majority of it will be Series A funding, Sixth Sense will selectively look at mid- and growth stage funding as well.

"We can invest up to Rs 20 crore but those would be very exceptional cases/companies. Investment of up to Rs 10 crore will, however, form a larger pie in our list of investee companies," he said.

While the fund is sitting on considerable investible capital (of the total Rs 250 crore) Vora said the final close will be achieved within this fiscal.

On what got him interested in the luxury watch retailer Ethos, Vora said that the company's line of business sits well in the fund's theme of looking at entities catering to the 'consumer of tomorrow'. "Luxury watches as a segment is growing well, which is evident from the fact that Ethos has grown at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of a scorching 37% over the past five years and is a market leader in its space.

"As more and more aspirational consumers look to upgrade (from traditional Indian brands) the play will be in the luxury category where masterbrands are dominant," said Vora, adding that Ethos is an authorised retailer for around 50 global luxury watch brands priced from Rs 10,000 to over Rs 1 crore.

With online shopping gaining traction in India, over the past couple of years Ethos has also build a formidable e-commerce asset light platform. According to company officials, the online platform is generating over 20% of leads converting into sales.

Find your daily dose of news & explainers in your WhatsApp. Stay updated, Stay informed-  Follow DNA on WhatsApp.

Live tv