We conduct a novel holdings‐based performance attribution, particularly suited to emerging markets, for equity‐oriented active mutual funds in India. Although, we find significantly positive alphas for an average fund, the stated benchmarks are grossly mis‐specified. A style‐adjusted benchmark could beat the stated benchmarks by greater margins than the funds themselves. While funds’ trading activity consistently adds value, cash drag and market timing usually diminish value. Although, the best‐performing funds exhibit superior security selection abilities, their outperformance does not persist. However, despite the lack of persistence winner funds continue to generate significantly higher alphas than loser funds for quite some time.