A series of changes in India's financial institutional regime led to waves of cross-border mergers and acquisitions (M&A) deals spanning various industries. In this article, we explore firm-level determinants that distinguish between early movers and followers in these waves. We tested our hypotheses using data for the 2001–2011 period. Analysis found support for our hypotheses that prior experience (with alliances), firm size, and international embeddedness of business group influence timing of firms' cross-border M&A. Findings support the springboarding perspective that emerging market (EM) firms engage in preemptive acquisitions to gain first-mover advantage.