The Big Five Who Will Drive Sequoia India

By Pallavi S

  • 15 Feb 2011

The new top brass who are to steer through Sequoia Capital in its fresh avatar in India have a strong history of consulting, entrepreneurship, investment banking, technology development background making it the right of mix of profile required for early stage and pure venture capital investment. Here’s a look at the new team.

Abhay Pandey, who is to front-end investments in infrastructure sector besides late stage venture capital and growth investment, had joined Sequoia in June 2007 after heading Real Estate and Infrastructure investment banking wing at DSP Merrill Lynch where he had led capital raising efforts of the largest Indian initial public offering in the sector by DLF Ltd. He moved out of DSP Merrill Lynch weeks before DLF debuted on the stock exchange.

The IIT Bombay-IIM Calcutta grad worked at McKinsey & Co in the media & entertainment and manufacturing sectors prior to DSP Merrill Lynch besides serving a short stint in the Asian research team at Credit Suisse.


Within the Sequoia portfolio, Pandey has been involved with firms like construction services company specialising in underground applications such as hydropower projects and tunneling- Coastal Projects, power generation firm Ind-Barath and pharma contract research firm GVK Bio.

Former Bharti Airtel senior vice-president Mohit Bhatnagar will be heading the mobile related investment practice at Sequoia. Bhatnagar is already involved with portfolio firms such as Micromax, Prizm Payments, Comviva, Ideacts, IMI Mobile and Nazara. Before a successful stint at the country’s largest mobile services firm where he is credited with scaling up the business from a few states operation into a national wireless carrier, Bhatnagar had co-founded Bright pod, a wireless startup in the US, by orchestrating a spin off from Ericsson Mobile Systems.

Shailendra Singh, who will be heading the technology investments henceforth, has been involved with portfolio firms such as Druva, GlobalLogic, Goldsquare, Guruji, Interactive, iYogi, JustDial, Pine Labs, SCIOinspire and Via in the private firms besides eClerx, Edelweiss and Pangea3 in the public listed space.


Prior to joining Sequoia in 2006, Singh was a strategy consultant at Bain & Company in New York. The IIT Mumbai-Harvard Business School grad was also an entrepreneur in the digital media industry. He will be joined by Shailesh Lakhani who has been involved with Nazara and was the managing director of Redknee’s Indian arm. The Harvard grad has previous consulting experience with Microsoft India and Tata Sons.

VT Bharadwaj, who will lead investments in cleantech among other sectors, is a former McKinsey & Co executive where he advised senior management in energy, consumer, retail and manufacturing companies on key strategic and operational issues. The BITS Pilani-IIM Ahmedabad grad is at present involved with firms such as Celon Labs, Cotton County, Dr Lal Pathlabs, Genesis Colors, Ind-Barath, Tribi and Vasan Health Care.

GV Ravishankar or GV is also a former McKinsey & Co executive where he advised senior management of top Indian companies on issues such as business building, channel management and leadership development. Before that, he worked at Wipro Technologies in their embedded and internet access division where he helped several venture-backed networking start-up clients design and build customer premise equipment for next generation applications like VoDSL and internet-over-cable. The IIM Ahmedabad graduate has been involved with Apnapaisa, Cafe Coffee Day, Carzonrent, Digital Signage, Glocal, iYogi, Printo, Satellier, Ujjivan and Via in the private domain besides SKS Microfinance in the public domain.


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