KKR has appointed Gaurav Trehan as the head of private equity business in India with the current KKR India chief Sanjay Nayar moving to the role of chairman, the firm said.
“Gaurav has established himself as one of India’s top private equity investors, and we are excited to add an executive of this calibre to our leadership team,” Ming Lu, head of KKR Asia-Pacific, said.
KKR recruited Trehan from TPG Capital Asia, where he was a partner at the time of his exit. He joined in November.
“With his strong investment acumen, relationship-oriented mindset, and his track record of creating value in companies, we are confident he will enable us to augment our ability to support the local economy and take homegrown businesses to the next phase of growth and development,” KKR’s Lu said.
Prior to joining TPG, Trehan worked in the mergers, acquisitions, and restructurings department of Morgan Stanley with a focus on the technology sector. He received a BS in mathematics/applied science and economics from UCLA, the firm said.
With Trehan’s appointment, the current chief executive officer of KKR India Sanjay Nayar will transition into the role of chairman from December 31, the firm said.
A person familiar with the development said that this would be a non-executive role and Nayar would not be involved in the day-to-day management of KKR India.
KKR said that Nayar will advise and assist India business by leveraging his connectivity and experience across the country.
For the firm, the transition would mark the end of an era. Nayar set up KKR India in 2009 with a flexible capital solution approach which included private equity, corporate credit, and real estate financing. Some of KKR’s biggest exits during Nayar’s reign included Alliance Tyres Group and Gland Pharma.
“We are grateful to Sanjay for his role in establishing our business in India, partnering with and empowering local entrepreneurs to build their businesses into local and global champions, making KKR a leading investor in India, and helping to grow our Asia-Pacific business,” said Joseph Bae, co-president and co-chief operating officer of KKR.
KKR operates its credit business in India through its debt funds and two non-banking finance companies. It has been negotiating a merger of one of its NBFCs with financial services company Incred, a deal which is likely to close by the end of March 2021. KKR also has a real estate NBFC.
The person familiar with this move, cited above, said that its other businesses in India — such as infrastructure — would be managed through a regional structure.
KKR has been investing in India since 2006 and established its Mumbai office in 2009. As of September 30, it had deployed more than $5.8 billion in private equity investments in India and $10 billion across asset strategies, including credit, infrastructure, and real estate.