The 2014 All-India Research Team: Media, No. 1: Vikash Mantri
Vikash MantriICICI SecuritiesFirst-Place Appearances: 1
Total Appearances: 4
Analyst Debut: 2011Vikash Mantri of ICICI Securities advances one rung to notch his first top finish on this roster. Amit Kumar, who had claimed the sector crown every year since the survey was launched, in 2011, decamped Kotak Securities earlier this year for Espírito Santo Investment Bank and falls from the list. Mantri wins plaudits from one proponent for his “extensive ground work on understanding the intricacies of digitization. Given the fast-changing rules and regulations in the sector, he has managed to stay on top of the same.” The 34-year-old analyst professes to being “nervously cautious” about the prospects for India’s media players, believing that the digitization of cable services is likely to be delayed significantly, given the government’s recent shifting of deadlines. In addition, Mantri believes that identifying the cable companies that will be the true winners of this process will take time. This market is still evolving, he explains, new players with capital are trying to break into the space, and “one does not know if direct-to-home will outscore cable or not.” He is advising investors to buy Dish TV India because the Noida-based company is the largest of the direct-to-home services providers, which eliminate the need for local cable operators, and the one most focused on profitability. Plus, he expects strong subscriber additions in the fiscal year that begins next April to drive its stock performance. Mantri joined ICICI in 2007 from SBI Capital Markets Securities, where he covered Indian telecommunications shares. He graduated from Andhra University in Visakhapatnam with a bachelor’s degree in commerce and earned an MBA at the Indian Institute of Management, Lucknow.