Arun Sarin, former CEO of telecom heavyweight Vodafone, has rejoined private equity giant Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co in a second stint. Sarin, who was last year tipped to become the CEO of Yahoo, most famously led Vodafone’s entry into the Indian market with the acquisition of Hutchison Essar in 2007.
Sarin was earlier the CEO of Accel-KKR Telecom and a Senior Advisor to the buyout major.
An IIT alumnus, Sarin led Vodafone’s entry into emerging markets across the world. He expanded the firms reach into markets besides India like Turkey, Ghana, Romania, Czech Republic and Qatar through acquisitions.
Sarin retired from Vodafone last year. Earlier this year, KKR set up its India office and has appointed Sanjay Nayar, former head of Citi India, as the country head.
Sarin’s experience with Indian telcom market will surely come in handy for KKR. The PE firm holds a 2% stake in Bharti Infratel, the tower company of Bharti Airtel, which it bought for $250 million last year. Also telecom and allied sector is one of fastest growing sectors in the country, making it one of the favourites among PEs in India.
“We are delighted to welcome Arun Sarin back to the Firm as a Senior Advisor. From our past close partnerships with Arun – starting when he became CEO of Accel-KKR Telecom almost a decade ago and then as a Senior Advisor to KKR – we know first-hand of Arun’s deep knowledge, global relationships, and diversified career as a world-class executive,” said Henry R. Kravis and George R. Roberts, Co-Founders of KKR, in a release.