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Rising stars in mutual funds: Pankaj Tibrewal on spotting mid and small-cap stocks early

As a fund manager of two highly successful schemes from the Kotak Mahindra MF stable, Tibrewal talks about holding on to winners and not obsessing over valuations

March 30, 2021 / 08:22 PM IST

Note to readers: Although most fund houses are process-driven and mutual fund schemes are driven by many guidelines,  a money manager’s role cannot be undermined. At the heart of fund management is a core team of analysts and fund managers who track multiple sectors and companies on a day-to-day basis. And every scheme has a designated fund manager who is responsible for its long-term performance.

In this five-part series, we have identified the next generation of fund managers who hold the potential to become top performers. All of them are under 45 years of age. Today, we meet Pankaj Tibrewal, Executive Vice-President and Fund Manager, Equity, at Kotak Mahindra Mutual Fund.

Pankaj Tibrewal, 42, began his career as a credit analyst two decades ago. Today, he manages equity funds that have delivered strong performances, both in the recent past and over longer periods. His specialty lies in identifying small and mid-cap stocks. According to data from Value Research, Kotak Emerging Equity Fund has been the top-quintile performing fund in the last three, five and seven-year periods in its category. Kotak Small Cap Fund has also been a top-quintile performer in these periods in its category.

Focusing on companies that are leaders within the sectors they operate in has worked well for Tibrewal. “Leaders aren’t just found in large-sized companies, which is what many people think. Within mid and small-caps, too, we can get companies that are leaders in sectors such as electrical wires, cables, bearings, tiles, capital goods or infrastructure,” he says.