In a fresh senior-level exit at ICICI Venture, Rajiv Shukla, a director of investments, is leaving India's largest private equity firm after a two-year stint. He is seen joining a lifescience-focused global private equity fund as its partner.

Shukla joined the fund in early 2008 and focused on investments in lifescience and chemicals sectors. He was involved in ICICI Venture's sale of Vetnex, a part of RFCL, to Pfizer in a deal topping Rs 350 crore last year. Shukla was on the boards of RFCL, Swiss Biosciences, Arch Pharmalabs, Bharat Biotech and Malladi Drugs. 

He was not available for immediate comments.

Private equity watchers say, action in India's lifesciences industry, estimated at $13 billion in annualized revenue, could pick up after deals dried up in the wake of the global financial crisis. The average deal market in India until last year was pegged at $400 million, almost on par with China, with the overall emerging markets pipeline for private equity put at around $1 billion annually.

This placed India and China as the two significant markets for investments in lifesciences. In December last year, Orbimed, a global healthcare fund managing assets worth over $5 billion, closed its first investment in India when it picked up a minority stake in Ecron Acunova.

Private equity played a role in some of India Inc's audacious cross-border deals in the pharma space in the last five years. But, the focus of fund action shifted to domestic healthcare services domain in the last two years.

Prior to this, Shukla was an executive director at investment banking firm Avendus Capital. He has had a five-year stint as senior director business development at Pfizer Inc where he worked on five acquisitions, led the creation of acquisition strategy and early stage licensing strategy for the $9 billion global R&D division. He was made a senior director at 31.

A Harvard grad, his first stint was with Boston Consulting Group.

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