New Silk Route’s Darius Pandole quits to head JM Financial’s PE unit

Darius Pandole, partner at private equity (PE) fund New Silk Route (NSR), is moving out to join JM Financial Ltd to head its private equity unit.

Mint reported that Pandole has resigned from NSR and would be leaving the PE firm shortly to head the PE unit of JM Financial.

JM Financial declined to comment. E-mail queries sent to NSR and Pandole did not elicit any response.

Pandole has been a partner at New Silk Route Advisors Pvt. Ltd since its inception in February 2007.  He holds a BA (Economics) from Harvard and an MBA from University of Chicago. 

Previously, he has managed the operations of his family- owned soft drinks business Duke’s Ltd which was subsequently sold to PepsiCo. Pandole has over 15 years of equity investing experience. 

In 1997, he joined the investment team at the IndOcean Fund, one of the first private equity funds to be established in India. In February 2003, he joined IDFC PE Ltd and was chief operating officer of the asset management company that managed infrastructure focused private equity funds.

In the last one year, NSR has seen some senior level movements. In November 2015, the fund promoted Arvind Malhan as partner. Before that, its partner Shantanu Nalavadi quit the firm and to join the Piramal Group.

In a similar movement, early this week, Nimesh Kampani, one of India’s top dealmakers, decided to quit as managing director of JM Financial Ltd.

JM Financial’s PE business is planning to raise a second fund with a similar corpus as its first fund of Rs 1,000 crore raised in 2006, the report said. The first fund was co-sponsored by Old Lane Partners, Evolvence India Fund I and EIH. 

The portfolio companies of JM Financial include Mumbai-based pharmaceuticals firm DiagnoSearch Life Sciences Pvt. Ltd, salon chain Enrich, offshore logistics services firm Samson Maritime Ltd, farm equipment manufacturer International Tractors Ltd, auto components company Sona Group, knowledge process outsourcing firm Pre-Media Global and microfinance firm Spandana Sphoorty.

NSR's portfolio companies include 9x Media, Ascend Telecom Infrastructure, Aster Pvt. Ltd, Coffee Day Enterprises Ltd, KS Oils Ltd and Ortel Communication Ltd. One of its portfolio companies Varsity Education Management has hired merchant bankers to raise Rs 2,000 crore in a public listing.

NSR's publicly listed portfolio companies include Ortel Communications Ltd, VRL Logistics Ltd and Coffee Day Enterprises Ltd. The fund has exited or partially exited some of its portfolio companies.

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