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Fund research

Jupiter India: February 2024 fund update

In this update, Investment Analyst Henry Ince shares our analysis on the manager, process, culture, ESG integration, cost, and performance of the Jupiter India fund.

No recommendation - No news or research item is a personal recommendation to deal. All investments can fall as well as rise in value so you could get back less than you invest.

  • Avinash Vazirani has one of the longest track records investing in India

  • The fund invests a significant amount in higher-risk small and medium-sized companies

  • Long and short-term performance has been strong but can be volatile

  • This fund features on our Wealth Shortlist of funds chosen by our analysts for their long-term performance potential

How it fits in a portfolio

The Jupiter India fund aims to grow over the long term by investing in companies that are primarily based in India. The managers invest in companies of all sizes, but invest much more in higher-risk small and medium-sized businesses than some other India funds and the broader Indian stock market.

The fund’s focus on a single emerging country makes it a higher-risk option so it should only make up a small portion of an investment portfolio. We think it could work well alongside other emerging market funds with a focus on larger companies or as part of a broader globally diversified portfolio focused on long-term growth.


Avinash Vazirani has plenty of experience of investing in Indian companies. He started his investment career in 1994 and joined Jupiter in 2007, launching the Jupiter India fund soon after. Having spent such a long period of time focusing on India, Vazirani has unrivalled knowledge of Indian companies, the economy, and the themes set to develop over the coming years. We view this as one of his greatest strengths and admire his commitment to this area.

Since January 2022, Vazirani has been supported by assistant manager, Colin Croft. Croft joined Jupiter in 2006 as an equity analyst and has gone on to manage funds focused on Asia and Emerging Europe. We have spent time getting to know Croft as an investor and are impressed so far. That said, our conviction in this fund currently lies with Vazirani given his length of experience.


Vazirani and Croft believe India is one of the most exciting regions within emerging markets. As India’s economy and population continues to expand, there are plenty of investment opportunities available for active fund managers.

To help whittle down an investable universe of over 6,000 companies, the managers’ ‘GARP’ (Growth at a Reasonable Price) investment philosophy helps focus their efforts. Companies should generate strong cash flow, be financially robust and valued at a share price that doesn’t reflect their earnings potential. As a result, the fund tends to look ‘cheaper’ than the Indian market across several valuation metrics.

The managers spend a lot of time understanding a company’s management team to ensure they’re run prudently. They also analyse long-term trends that companies could benefit from such as financial inclusion, government reform and demographics.

To help generate new ideas, the managers use a wide range of sources. Quantitative screens provide a daily feed of company information and performance. They also use external analysts and have regular conversations with members of Jupiter’s global emerging markets and Asia team. Initial public offerings (companies that sell their shares to investors for the first time) have been popular in India in recent years and provide a good pipeline of potential opportunities for the managers to analyse.

This results in a final portfolio of around 60-80 companies with the managers finding most opportunities in financials, industrials, and healthcare. The fund can invest in companies of any size, but invests more in higher-risk small and medium-sized companies than the broader Indian stock market. As at the end of December 2023, 48.2% of the fund was invested in companies of this size.

Over the past year the managers have found plenty of new investment ideas. They added Indian Oil Corporation and Axis Bank, both companies they believe are trading on relatively low valuations. Other new investments include Tata Motors and Embassy Office Parks REIT (Real Estate Investment Trust).

In contrast, recent market euphoria has seen the share prices of many companies rise which has provided a chance to sell shares at a good price and take profits. Recent examples include Force Motors, Texmaco Rail and BSE, the Indian stock exchange. Some companies were sold as they didn’t live up to the managers’ expectations such as IT services business, Tech Mahindra, clothing company Lux Industries and Star Health Insurance.


Jupiter is a well-known asset manager and part of the UK’s FTSE 250 index of medium-sized companies. Fund managers are given autonomy to invest the way they see fit, but with an appropriate level of challenge from others in the business. The business setup allows Vazirani and Croft to focus purely on fund management and take a long-term view.

Fund managers at Jupiter are incentivised in line with the performance of their funds over various timeframes. We think this aligns their interests with those of investors and helps the managers to focus on delivering strong performance for clients.

We continue to monitor the culture at Jupiter after a number of senior management changes following the acquisition of Merian Global Investors in 2020.

ESG Integration

Jupiter’s approach to Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) is fund manager led, so the fund managers are responsible for implementing ESG in their investment decisions. They typically approach ESG issues with a materiality-based approach, which means they focus on ESG risks most material to each company. The firm also subscribes to several third-party data providers (including Sustainalytics, RepRisk, ISS and MSCI) which offer information that fund managers can use in their research. Where red flags are raised, the managers investigate. The firm offers a small number of exclusions and sustainability-focused funds, including the longstanding Jupiter Ecology fund.

Managers are held to account for their ESG decision making and are frequently challenged on their ESG analysis by the in-house Governance and Sustainability team. The team is also available to provide specialist ESG knowledge.

We like that company engagement is not delegated to a separate department. Instead, the fund manager who made the decision to invest in the company leads engagement activity directly, which allows more meaningful and relevant engagement. Jupiter also votes at all shareholder meetings and provides a monthly voting record, available via its website, including rationale where it votes against company management. More information about the firm’s ESG policies, voting record and engagement case studies can be found in its annual Stewardship report.

While ESG considerations are integrated into the idea generation process, this fund is not an ESG focused fund. This means it might invest in companies that could be considered ESG sinners.


The fund has an annual ongoing charge of 0.99%, but we’ve secured HL clients an ongoing saving of 0.30%. This means you’ll pay a net ongoing charge of 0.69%. We think this offers good value for access to the managers’ best ideas. HL platform fee of up to 0.45% per year also applies.


Avinash Vazirani has invested in India for decades and built a strong track record over this time. Since he launched this fund in February 2008, it’s returned 343.63*, outperforming the IA India/Indian Subcontinent sector average return of 247.05%. He’s also outperformed the MSCI India index return of 225.00%.

Our analysis suggests this performance is down to talented stock picking and being exposed to the right sectors. Remember past performance is not a guide to future returns.

Given the fund’s bias towards small and medium-sized companies, the fund can be more volatile than its peers and the benchmark. We typically expect the fund to perform better than the market when it’s rising, but investments in smaller businesses can impact performance, both good and bad. For example, during 2018-20 the share prices of smaller businesses were much weaker than larger ones which held back performance. Investors should be aware the fund is likely to be more sensitive, and could underperform, during periods of market stress or when larger companies outperform.

India’s economy has flourished in recent years and market excitement has seen the share prices of many Indian companies rise considerably, especially smaller companies. This was helpful for performance over the past year with the fund returning 48.49%, versus 22.36% for the IA sector average and 23.29% for the index.

Sectors like financials, industrials and energy were some of best contributors to performance. At a stock level, BSE, electric bus manufacturer Olectra Greentech and Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Ltd were some of the strongest performers. In contrast, Godfrey Philips, which is the largest investment, and State Bank of India were weaker.

We like the fact Jupiter India invests differently. This gives it the potential to perform better than the Indian market, though the reverse is also true. Whilst recent performance has been exceptionally strong, investors shouldn’t expect further periods of such strong performance.

We continue to believe a well-diversified portfolio should have exposure to different asset classes, investment styles and geographies. We think this fund offers something quite unique, though there will be times when the style is out of favour and there are no guarantees.

Annual percentage growth

Jan 19 - Jan 20

Jan 20 - Jan 21

Jan 21 - Jan 22

Jan 22 - Jan 23

Jan 23 - Jan 24

Jupiter India






IA India/Indian Subcontinent






MSCI India






Past performance isn't a guide to future returns.
Source: *Lipper IM to 31/01/2024
Important information - Please remember the value of investments, and any income from them, can fall as well as rise so you could get back less than you invest. This article is provided to help you make your own investment decisions, it is not advice. If you are unsure of the suitability of an investment for your circumstances please seek advice. No news or research item is a personal recommendation to deal.
Written by
Henry Ince
Henry Ince
Investment Analyst

Henry is a member of our research team, having recently re-joined HL in 2023 after working in asset management for several years. His expertise is deployed writing insightful analysis across a range of sectors including the Asia & emerging market fund sectors.

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Article history
Published: 13th February 2024