Haresh Chawla, the former chief executive of the media conglomerate, will join India Value Fund Advisors (IVFA) as a Partner from June 1, 2012. He will be responsible for building and scaling up businesses owned by IVFA across sectors, and will lead media & entertainment investments at the private equity firm which has $1.4 billion under management.
IVFA, whose investment strategy leans towards control transactions, has a history of backing firms in the media and entertainment space. It has earlier invested in companies like the multiplex chain Fame Cinemas (then called Shringar Films) and animation firm DQ Entertainment.
Its current portfolio in the segment includes Bangalore-based multi-service operator Atria Convergence Technologies and Music Broadcast, which runs Radio City. Other recent investments include hospital chain DM Healthcare and , which runs Meru Cabs.
Chawla’s appointment comes after George Thomas, one of the Partners looking after business management in portfolio companies, left to set up his PE firm last year. Led by managing partner Vishal Nevatia, other partners at IVFA are Sanjay Arte, Pramod Kabra, Sunil Theckath, Vikram Nirula and Mahesh Krishnamurthy.
Under Chawla’s leadership, Network18 grew from a single business news channel (CNBC-TV18) and solitary portal (Moneycontrol.com), with revenues of Rs 15 crore in 1999, to a truly diversified media group with revenues in excess of Rs 2,500 crore in 2011, according to a statement.
Chawla also worked on scaling up Viacom18 from a Rs 150 crore business to a Rs 1,200 crore conglomerate, including the launch of the TV channel Colors. Chawla had earlier worked with HCL Comnet and at the Times of India Group where he launched its music label Times Music.
“Haresh brings in unique experience as he has built several world-class brands in the media and entertainment space. He blends professional management with entrepreneurial drive and the combination will be invaluable in helping IVFA scale up and further build its portfolio of businesses,” said Nevatia.
“India Value Fund Advisors is a uniquely positioned firm which not only infuses capital but also the mindset and strategic management thinking, required to scale up mid-sized businesses into large, professionally run enterprises. This operating model was particularly appealing to me as a chance to leverage my experience in building up businesses and helping management teams perform to their true potential,” said Chawla.