Neeraj Bharadwaj, who led the Indian operations of global buyout major Apax Partners, is joining venture capital and growth equity firm Accel Partners as Managing Director to help build its growth equity investing initiative in India.
In a parallel development, Apax has elevated two executives Sandeep Naik and Shashank Singh as co-heads of the India office.
Bharadwaj, who has been with Apax for almost a decade, has been Managing Director and Country Head for the Indian arm, which was established in 2006, and one of the prominent faces in the country’s PE circuit. At Accel, he will be responsible for scaling the growth stage effort, which will target investments worth $10-50 million in mid-sized Indian companies across different sectors.
Accel’s existing VC activity in India targets smaller investments and active involvement in high potential early-stage companies. Its venture portfolio includes Indian companies such as MuSigma, DoveTail, HolidayIQ, Inbiopro, Flipkart, Kaati Zone, Myntra, Chakpak and Perfint.
In a statement, Neeraj Bharadwaj said: “This is an exciting time for growth capital investing in India given the nation’s economic growth and the emergence of first generation companies competing successfully with the incumbents in key markets. Accel has the ideal platform to assist these companies, and a stellar track record of building market leaders in media, technology, retail and other high-growth sectors. Working with Accel will mean working closely with entrepreneurs and executives who have the character and the ambition to build world-class companies in India.”
Some investments in which Neeraj was involved include Apollo Hospitals, Jamdat (NASDAQ: JMDT), Widerthan (NASDAQ: WTHN), NXP among others. Prior to joining Apax Partners in 1999, the Harvard Business School graduate held positions at McKinsey & Company, Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley.
Founded in 1983, Accel Partners which has over $6 billion under management operates through offices in Palo Alto (California), London, and Bangalore besides China through the IDG-Accel Partnership.
Meanwhile, Apax appointed Sandeep Naik and Shashank Singh as co-heads of the India office. Both had joined the buyout firm five years ago in the New York and London offices, respectively, and relocated to co-found the India office in 2006.
Apax Partners, that opened its Mumbai office in 2006, made its first direct investment in the region in 2007 with the acquisition of a significant minority stake in Apollo Hospitals, India’s largest private hospital group. Apax has global funds under its advice and management worth over $40 billion providing long-term equity financing in companies across sectors such as technology and telecom, retail & consumer, media, healthcare and financial & business services.
Shashank Singh, now co-head of the Mumbai office, is a Cambridge University grad with MBA from Harvard. Apax deal experience includes Weather Investments, TIM Hellas, Q-Telecom, Bezeq, TDC and Synetrix.
Sandeep Naik, whose prior experience includes Medtronic and McKinsey, is a Wharton MBA grad. His Apax deal experience includes Apollo Hospitals, Esprit Pharma, Xanodyne and Spectrum Labs.