IL&FS PE mulls $1B fund to back Nordic firms for India-focused clean tech projects

India's leading infrastructure company, IL&FS is mulling a USD 1 billion fund to bring in clean technologies from Nordic nations to the country to support the new government's huge infrastructure building efforts, top company officials said here in the Finnish capital.

Infrastructure Leasing & Financial Services Limited (IL&FS) is planning a USD 1 billion Environmental Sustainable Infrastructure Fund to be managed by its Private Equity division, Pradeep Puri, CEO of MET Project said.

The fund is being set up primarily to help small and medium businesses in the Nordic countries with technological capabilities who are interested in setting up a range of environmentally sustainable projects in India, he said.

"The proposed Fund will also enable Nordic capital to support Nordic business interests in developing efficient and meaningful partnerships with their Indian counterparts and bid successfully for Indian projects sustainable infrastructure services, " Puri said ahead of President Pranab Mukherjee's three-day state visit to Finland.

He said IL&FS is going to undertake a road show in Nordic countries including Sweden and Finland in the next few days to attract potential partners.

IL&FS is also in talks with sovereign funds like the Finnish pension fund and export import bands to participate in the new infrastructure fund.

The Sustainable Innovation Platform will focus on connecting Nordic companies and institutions working on themes such as energy, water, waste, climate change and related environment sectors with their Indian counterparts.

The Nordic region has a strong tradition of innovations in clean-tech and sustainability, Paritosh Gupta, Chief Executive, IL&FS Infrastructure Development Corp, said.

"There is an untapped and huge opportunity for such companies to partner with Indian businesses. It is in this context we are launching initiative in India to connect potential clean tech innovations from Nordic region to opportunities in India," he said on the sidelines of a seminar on 'Indo-Nordic Sustainable Innovation Technology Platform ? inviting Nordic companies to partner for projects in India'.

The proposed Environmental Sustainable Infrastructure Fund will be in addition to the billion dollar infrastructure development fund which IL&FS has already announced, the company official said.

Camilla Laag, Director Of Innovation Technology Platform said the IL&FS proposal would enthuse Nordic small and medium enterprises to invest in India and the new government's infrastruture initiatives have already enthused Nordic firms.

Interestingly, the announcement of setting up of a USD 1 billion fund has come at a time when the Narendra Modi Government has launched ambitious projects such as Smart Cities and Clean India and has invited foreign investments.

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