Acumen Fund, a non-profit global venture firm focused on Africa and South Asian markets, has appointed Sachindra Rudra as the new director of Acumen Fund India. Rudra joins from private equity firm Navis Capital, where he served as a director in the India operations.
He replaces interim country director Ankur Shah who will maintain his existing role as head of the education portfolio.
“We are thrilled to have someone with such depth of experience and understanding of the local investing landscape joining our team,” said Jacqueline Novogratz, CEO of Acumen Fund. “As Acumen India continues
to grow, most recently with the launch of our education portfolio, we will draw heavily on Sachin’s extensive investment and operational expertise.”
Rudra brings over 15 years of investment experience, working in private equity, consulting and operations across various sectors including healthcare and consumer products. In his most recent role in the India operations of Navis, he oversaw midsize investments and local operations of the team.
Prior to Navis, he worked at Piramal Healthcare (now Piramal Enterprises), where he held various positions including president-strategy and business development and businesshead-orthopaedics. He has also worked with McKinsey & Co in Delhi and began his career working as an area sales manager for Hindustan Unilever Ltd based in Kolkata. He holds a masters degree in Economics
from Cambridge University, MSc from the London School of Economics and a MBA degree from IIM Ahmedabad.
Acumen Fund has been investing in India since 2001, opening a local office in 2006. To date, it has invested $25 million in India, which is a third of its global investments in the same period across 69 companies.
Some fresh investments announced by Acumen Fund in India this year include Rs 9 crore investment in BASIX Krishi Samruddhi Ltd (provides agriculture-related support and business development services to
farmers), Rs 1.5 crore in Mumbai-based education services provider Edubridge Learning Pvt Ltd and Rs 5.2 crore in GUARDIAN (Gramalaya
Urban and Rural Development Initiatives and Network), a Tamil Nadu-based microfinance institution focusing on lending to communities who lack access to water and sanitation facilities.
The social VC fund had earlier appointed Meghna Rao as India head in February 2011. Meghna quit early this year and the position fell vacant.
She joined after Acumen India director Varun Sahni quit in July 2010 to start his own PE firm, Global Impact Investors.
The firm had plans to invest $50 million in the country by 2015 and already has over a dozen portfolio companies in India.