Investment is not like charity. One does not just give investment. If Tata is to invest in Bangladesh’s 2.4 percent market share Teletalk, it will have to have answers to the following questions:
1. Will it get a controlling interest in the company? Even if the government agrees to yield majority control, will it allow professional managers accountable to the majority shareholder to do their job? Will the roles of the different shareholders be defined through a legally enforceable Shareholders’ Agreement?
2. Will the transaction be conducted in a transparent manner that will shield the investors from future problems?
3. Will the regulatory regime ensure that the privatized entity will be treated fairly?
Just offering investment opportunities will not suffice as the Minister should have learned from the Malaysian experience. She should obtain professional assistance to package the deal and then go on the road.
State Minister for Telecom Tarana Halim placed her proposals before the Indian telecom giant and other Indian investors in several meetings held in Kolkata on Wednesday.
The Indian entrepreneurs were urged to invest in any Bangladeshi telecom company they want, officials who attended the meetings said.
Tata showed its interest to invest in Bangladesh’s telecom sector and discussed related regulatory issues.
Tarana, who is now on a four-day visit to Kolkata at the invitation of the West Bengal government, shed light on the potential of Bangladesh’s telecom sector at the meetings.
The authorities of Tata Communications responded very positively, said Md Monwar Hossain, managing director of Bangladesh Submarine Cable Company Ltd (BSCCL), who also attended the meeting.