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Finding value in '360-degree' scrutiny of firms

India equity manager Vinay Agarwal's firm belief in understanding a company's history and culture is paying off.

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''When we visit a company, we look at what's on the desk of the chief executive such as books, painting; we observe the cars in the carpark, the canteen. Those tell us a lot about the companies and their owners and how they behave. Are they conservative or do they bet the farm in every cycle?''- Mr Agarwal

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KEEPING WATCH: Since inception in August 1999 to end-2015, the First State Indian Subcontinent Fund has generated a cumulative return of 674%, compared to the benchmark return of 368%.

A CONVERSATION with India equity manager Vinay Agarwal is more likely to dwell on the stocks that he likes or does not like rather than macroenomics or interest rates.

He gives Bloomberg screens a wide berth. He also eschews words common among most fund managers, such as over or

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