Indian investment bank, Kotak Mahindra, has started a Singapore operation to market the India story to institutional investors.

The Singapore branch is structured as a subsidiary of Kotak MahindraÆs UK office. Via Singapore, Kotak Mahindra intends to market a number of India-specific investment solutions including traditional equity funds, concentrated funds and private equity.

KotakÆs Singapore office will be headed by Ruchit Puri who has been with the Indian firm since 2000 and specifically focused on international operations since 2002. His experience is centred around private clients and KotakÆs own proprietary book.

ôWe have seen an increase in appetite for India from this region confirming the regional investorÆs need to participate in the India story. Kotak is poised to provide those products and services that fulfil the investment need for India,ö says Puri.

The Kotak Group has a presence across business in the financial services space including commercial banking, stock broking, asset management, life insurance and investment banking. It has a presence across 300 cities and towns in India as well as New York, London, Dubai, Singapore and Mauritius.

Other wholly Indian investment banks have already set up shop in Singapore, initially drawn by the number of Indians now resident and in senior positions there. ICICI BankÆs investment bank subsidiary, ICICI Securities, opened shop in Singapore in mid-2005. Indian investment banks are trying to turn their single-country focus into an advantage, telling clients it is an advantage to deal with them as they have the deepest insight into the market and no conflicts of interest.