ChrysCap Raises $225M For New Fund Sans Ashish Dhawan

By Shrija Agrawal

  • 11 Nov 2011

ChrysCapital Investment Advisors, a private equity firm operating from Delhi and Mumbai, has raised $225 million for its sixth fund ChrysCapital VI LLC, at least two sources briefed with the matter told VCCircle.

The monies have been primarily raised from Harvard Management Company, endowment and related financial assets manager for Harvard University; Asia Alternatives, an Asia-based alternate asset management firm; Adam Street, a Singapore-based private equity investment management firm and some sovereign wealth funds.

ChrysCapital is targeting a hard cap of $500 million and expects to raise the targeted corpus by the first quarter of next year, the sources added.


However, an e-mail query sent to Sanjiv Kaul, managing director of ChrysCapital, did not elicit any response till the time of writing this article.

The development comes soon after the firm’s founder and senior managing director Ashish Dhawan announced that he would be transitioning out to pursue philanthropic interests at a personal level.

Dhawan, a private equity veteran and almost synonymous with the evolution of the private equity industry in the country, had announced in March this year that he would be stepping back from his active role at the firm to pursue social entrepreneurial interests in the area of K-12 education.


He had built the firm from the ground up and earned enough goodwill due to his investment acumen, a great exit track record and delivering good returns for his limited partners (LPs). Such a transition was, of course, considered a big move and raised enough concerns across the industry, as the buck pretty much stopped with him. But ChrysCapital is not.

Dhawan is now selling the shares of his entire GP stake equally among the six remaining partners at ChrysCapital – Gulpreet Kohli, Kunal Shroff, Sanjay Kukreja, Ravi Bahl, Sanjiv Kaul and Ashley Menezes. Dhawan will have no economic interest in the firm and will completely transition out by July 2012. His current responsibilities have been redistributed among the six managing directors.

Under the new set-up, Ashley Menezes will lead client services, due diligence, finance, legal, compliance, industry representation and human resource; Gulpreet Kohli will manage client relationships and cover the real estate and consumer Internet domains; Kunal Shroff will oversee the infrastructure and power sectors; Ravi Bahl will manage the financial services vertical; Sanjay Kukreja will lead the business services and manufacturing verticals and Sanjiv Kaul will oversee telecom, pharma and healthcare sectors.


Although Dhawan is not there, what has really helped ChrysCapital is the great fan following that the firm has and its relationship with the Harvard Stanford Management Company, which has certainly proved to be a kicker, according to industry experts. Also, the fact that ChrysCap is one of the few funds in India which has seen both up and down business-cum-investment cycles and is now raising its sixth fund, lends it a huge institution-like credibility.

Plus, the core team of the private equity firm, comprising the six partners who will now run the business, has remained intact – a rarity in the Indian PE industry. Also, the fact that Dhawan will continue to be consulted occasionally is an added advantage.

However, fundraising is only part of the game. It now remains to be seen how the new team will perform in terms of making new investments, execution and making their most important stakeholders (the Limited Partners, to be precise) happy.


ChrysCapital’s initiative comes at the backdrop of a difficult fundraising environment. Incidentally, as many as 60 India-based private equity firms are out on road to raise money for their first or follow-up funds, expecting to mop up over $13 billion, according to VCCedge, financial research platform of VCCircle. Indeed, the number of funds seems substantial and it will be interesting to see whether the actual investors with the moneybags or the LPs are going to digest it all.

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