Private equity professionals going solo, a trend that started two years ago, continues to gain traction in 2011. The trend, which started with industry stalwarts like Ajay Relan (ex-CVCI head who started CX Partners) and Renuka Ramnath (ex-ICICI Venture head who started Multiples), continues with the recent decision of former Westbridge Team to spin out. While most PE pros have decided to raise their own funds, some are also looking at other ventures.
CX Partners and Multiples have raised their new funds and started dealmaking, there are a number of other general partners (GPs) currently on the road for their vehicles. These include the following:-
Rajesh Khanna, former Warburg Pincus managing director and India head, quit to start a new private equity fund Arka Capital. KPMG Corporate Finance’s Rohit Kapur and Helix Investments Director and Head of India Investments Cyrus Driver have joined Arka as managing directors. Arka plans to kick off fundraising by second quarter (April-June 2011) targeting to raise around $400 million.
Former partner at Baring Private Equity Partners India N. ‘Subbu’ Subramaniam is also raising a new fund under MCap Fund Advisors. MCap has roped in two partners – Citigroups chief risk officer Rahul Gupta and former DTZ director Abhilash Lal.
Former members of ICICI Venture team–Jayanta Banerjee, Anand Vyas and Sunay Mathure— founded Pravi Capital targeting fundraise of $200 million. Pravi also roped in Tapan Gandhi, former head of corporate development & strategy, Lehman Brothers, as Principal Investments. Ex-Aureos Capital’s India team members Nilesh Mehta and Sangeeta Modi have set up a $150-million Access India Advantages Fund to invest in mid-market opportunities. It has also roped in Girish Patel, Chairman of Paras Pharmaceuticals (recently acquired by Reckitt Benckiser Group for $726 million), as operating partner.
Other PE brass who quit to set up their own ventures include Ranjeet Nabha, former managing director and CEO of Indian operations of WL Ross & Co, plans to start his special situations opportunities fund of around $250 million. P R Srinivasan, the former managing director & India Region Head of Citigroup Venture Capital International (CVCI), started Exponentia Capital looking to raise a $400-500 million maiden fund after quitting last year.Social venture fund Acumen India director Varun Sahni also started his own PE firm, Global Impact Investors, to specialise in critical service sectors in emerging markets. It will launch its first fund, a $100-million India healthcare offering, in Q1 2011. Tripat Preet Singh, a senior associate with IndoUS Venture Partners, is setting up a social venture firm Ennovent.
Another PE start-up will be KV Asia Capital, founded by former Standard Chartered PE honchos Karam Butalia and Vibhav Panandiker. KV is floating a $500-million fund focussing on India and South East Asia.
Carlyle’s India buyout head Rajeev Gupta, who recently quit after a six year stint, is also reportedly starting his own venture in advisory space. Gupta had set up M&A advisory business for DSP Merrill Lynch, now part of Bank of America.