2009 spelt interesting career moves for industry professionals. It was sprinkled by instances of elevations to the top job, transition from big to small firms, unprecedented moves, shift from industry domains to private equity and so on. VCCircle brings you its selection of “People Moves” profiling professionals we should watch in 2010.
Vishaka Mulye took over from Renuka Ramnath as the new MD & CEO of ICICI Venture in April 2009. A career banker who joined ICICI group in 1993, Mulye has occupied various roles in treasury, structured products and insurance. She was the CFO of the bank between 2005 and 2007 and later the CEO of ICICI Lombard General Insurance. Her appointment at the helm of India's largest private equity fund (with about $2 billion fund under management) has catapulted her into the big league.
Neeraj Bharadwaj, who led the Indian operations of global buyout major Apax Partners, moved to venture capital and growth equity firm Accel Partners in October 2009 as managing director. Bharadwaj, who has surprised many with this move, will be responsible for scaling the growth stage effort at Accel. Accel is active in early-stage companies and also targets investments worth $10-50 million in mid-sized Indian companies.
Subbu Subramanian, partner with Baring private equity firm, quit the firm over professional differences with Rahul Bhasin, the managing partner of the firm. Baring's fund management fee is about $15 million a year (since it manages $750 million) and also had a huge carry since it made a multi-bagger exit from Mphasis.
Shweta Jalan, former director in ICICI Venture, joined Advent India PE Advisors Pvt Ltd as a director to support the development of Advent’s business in India. Prior to that, she was at Ernst & Young in the corporate finance division focusing on private equity placements and valuations. Jalan has also been active with fund-raisings and managing relationships with large institutional investors in private equity.
Akhil Awasthi, former partner at Baring Private Equity Partners India, joined Tata Capital in October 2009 as the managing partner at its mid-market private equity fund. Awasthi brings to Tata Capital 20 years of experience in PE, listed equity and banking across industries such as technology, life-sciences and consumer. At Baring, he built the healthcare practice and created a portfolio of four successful investments. Tata Capital is planning to raise a fund of around $350-400 million.
Arun Sarin, former CEO of British telecom major Vodafone, rejoined private equity giant Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co (KKR) in October 2009. He was earlier the CEO of Accel-KKR Telecom and a senior advisor to the buyout major. KKR, which has set up its India office in early 2009, will gain from Sarin’s experience in the Indian telecom market. Sarin led Vodafone's entry into the Indian market with the multi-million dollar acquisition of Hutchison Essar in 2007.
Mahendran Nathan joined Russell Investments, a global investment and financial services company in November 2009 as CEO of its Southern Asia business. The appointment was part of company’s move where Russell Investments had split its Asia-Pacific operations into three zones for greater focus in the sub-regions. Russell is reportedly raising multiple funds for Asia specially targeting investments in China and India.
D Sundaram, former Hindustan Unilever Ltd (HUL) vice chairman, joined TVS Capital in July 2009. An industry veteran, his appointment has strengthened TVS capital’s acumen in deal origination-evaluation capability and value creation in investee companies. TVS Capital manages a Rs 600-crore mid-cap growth equity fund. It also appointed Murli Ramachandran, former managing director of Sanmar Speciality Chemicals Ltd, as an executive director in April 2009.
Anish Shah joined US conglomerate General Electric in May 2009 as president & CEO of its finance arm in India GE Capital. He is responsible for consumer and commercial financial services of the firm in India. This is his second stint in GE Capital.
Naina Lal Kidwai was promoted to the role of chairwoman in April 2009 in a top-level shake up at HSBC India operations. She had taken the charge of group general manager and country head of HSBC Group Companies in India. Earlier, she was deputy CEO of HSBC and MD and vice chairman of HSBC Securities and Capital Markets India Private Ltd. HSBC is into asset management, investment banking, credit card, personal loans and private equity. In 2008, it entered retail broking and life insurance venture.
Vibhav Panandiker, former director at Standard Chartered Private Equity, joined JP Morgan Private Capital Asia in March 2009 as managing director to look at its PE investments in Southeast Asia and India. JP Morgan Private Capital Asia, a proprietary fund of JP Morgan, will invest between $25 million and $125 million per transaction in development capital, acquisition financing and PIPE opportunities in private and public companies.