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Former Wipro CEO TK Kurien named PremjiInvest’s CIO

27 January, 2017

PremjiInvest, the private investment office of IT major Wipro’s billionaire chairman Azim Premji, has appointed TK Kurien as managing partner and chief investment officer (CIO) from February, it said in a statement.

Kurien will retire as Wipro’s executive vice chairman at the end of January. At PremjiInvest, he will succeed Prakash Parthasarathy, who has resigned to pursue entrepreneurial aspirations.

Kurien has been with Wipro since 2000, heading various businesses, including Wipro Consultancy Services, Wipro BPS, EcoEnergy division, healthcare and life sciences unit and telecom internet service business. 

Kurien, who was Wipro’s CEO for five years, took over as its executive vice chairman last year. He was initially due to retire in March but his tenure will now end two months earlier.

“TK with his decades of experience in running startups and established enterprises and deep financial acumen is best positioned to take PremjiInvest to the next level,” said Azim Premji, chairman, PremjiInvest.  

PremjiInvest

PremjiInvest has a corpus of over $1 billion through its two funds—PI Opportunities I and PI Opportunities II. The firm also received Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI)’s approval for a category III ‘long only PIPE fund’ which has been named as Pioneer Investment Fund, as per disclosures.  

PremjiInvest is focused on investing in consumer, financial services, healthcare, IT, automobile, education and hospitality sectors. So far, the broad consumer sector has elicited maximum attention from PremjiInvest—the firm has invested $393 million in consumer discretionary sector across 20 deals, and $188 million in the consumer staples space over six deals, according to VCCEdge, the data research platform of News Corp VCCircle.   

It has also made significant investments in the financial services sector, striking eight deals worth $412 million. The healthcare sector has received $51 million from five known deals, while it has put $85 million over 12 deals in the IT sector. It typical deal size is in the range of $20-60 million. 

Nearly $857 million worth investments have been private equity bets. Notable investments in the private sector include apparel retailer FabIndia, Equitas Holdings (which later went public) and the National Stock Exchange.  

Notable exits include Myntra Designs after it was acquired by Flipkart in 2014, and ServiceMax after it was acquired by General Electric in November 2016. In 2016, PremjiInvest also exited Manipal Global Education Services and Wilderness Resorts, according to VCCEdge.

Parthasarathy did not respond to a request for comments.

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Former Wipro CEO TK Kurien named PremjiInvest’s CIO

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