Venugopal has wide experience as an equity analyst. He has the experience of managing several funds at Tata AMC like Tata Midcap, Tata Contra, Tata Equity Opportunities, Tata Balanced, Tata Young Citizens, Tata Pure Equity, Tata Capital Builder and Tata Infrastructure. Venugopal is a mathematics graduate and also holds an MBA degree with specialisation in finance
Do you see a market crash in the near future?
If polls are announced in India there could be a sharp correction. But it is unlikely to be a crash.
What is the strategic and tactical orientation of your fund?
The Tata Balanced Fund invests 65-75 per cent in equities at all points of time. The rest of the assets are invested in quality fixed income securities or money market instruments. Within equities, the fund follows a strategy of growth at reasonable price. The endeavour is to identify strong growth opportunities ahead of time and patiently let these play out. The strategy adopted in managing this fund is also a mix of top-down and bottom-up, in the sense that, first sectoral opportunities are identified and then stocks are selected from within the sector. The fund also seeks to finely balance exposure to large- and mid-cap stocks and, depending on the market condition, exposure is skewed a little to either of these segments. Over the last few years, the fund has remained patiently invested in some high pedigree stocks, market/technology leaders in there respective segments. The equity portfolio is fairly diversified at all times with 30-40 stocks. Also, there is a fair bit of sectoral diversification.The fund has rarely invested more than 5 per cent in any single stock. As fund manager, my focus and effort has been to maintain consistency of returns at all times while giving the fund as much fire power to deliver higher returns.
Which are your top sector preferences?
Industrial Capital Goods
The fund is also bullish on power, construction and cement.
This interview appeared in the October 2007 issue of Mutual Fund Insight.