This year, Bessemer has expanded aggressively to Asia, opening offices in Mumbai, Bangalore and Shanghai, investing in Bokee and Rico Auto Parts, and cutting distribution deals on behalf of our U.S. portfolio companies, such as Flock and Netli (the "wormhole factory").
Our Mumbai office is staffed by a relatively new Bessemer investor, Anand Sridharan, who has launched a blog ("Seriously Clueless") about capitalizing new ventures in India. Experienced in both Indian and US culture, Anand highlights the differences in our economies, explaining, for example, that the cheap labor pool in India completely saps any demand that might exist for capital goods like vacuum cleaners and high-volume flour mills. Anand also cautions against trying to sell $2 ringtones to a nation whose workers earn only $2 a day, and need those wages to pay for food, shelter, transportation, medicine and children's education.
Contrary to my earlier characterization of Bessemer's team, Anand has actually worked as a consultant inside a Tata Steel mill, where he witnessed the Bessemer conversion process first-hand.