Mumbai: Private equity, the emerging preferred source of alternative capital for Indian businesses is finally seeing green shoots of revival, months after the financial world was rocked by the Covid-19 pandemic. PE funds are back in the game and are now adding talent to their teams – both for their internal strength as well as their investee companies, executive search firms and PE heads said. There were over 100 CXO and leadership level moves in the past three months within PE and its portfolio teams, according to data exclusively put together for ET by specialist staffing firm Native (erstwhile VitoAltor).
Funds such as Warburg Pincus, Sequoia, Creador, Multiples Alternate Asset Management, Apax Partners, Bain Capital, Kedaara, ChyrsCapital, ADIA, Lightspeed Ventures, KKR, Epiq Capital, among others, have been bolstering their teams in the last three months when the world has been under lockdown.
“Hiring within the PE portfolio has been most active within renewables, diagnostics, consumer and consumer tech sectors,” said Nagesh Wagh, managing partner, Native. Native is currently running more than 20 CXO mandates across PE firms. Digital technology, business growth and transformational finance professionals are in high demand.
PE firms said there was a need to add key manpower for future growth. “Ï do see significant hiring in new age companies that are working towards new digital business models,” said Renuka Ramnath, founder and MD, Multiples Alternate Asset Management. Her fund has hired a few people in the last two months. “The versatility and the long-term characteristics of private equity is particularly suitable in navigating the current situation of uncertainty,” she added.
According to Native data, some of the key top level hires by PEs for their portfolio firms in the past three months include Tapan Jindal, CFO, Baazi Games; Jaipal Singal, CFO – India &UAE at iD Fresh Food; Rahul Tewari, CFO, Games24x7; Swayam Sen, chief people officer, Avanse Financial; Vithal Acharya, head HR, Ola Electric Mobility; Abhishek Mehrotra, leader HR – India (Tiktok), Byte-Dance; Arjun Mohan, CEO India, Upgrad; Tejinder Singh, CBO, Paytm; Kumar Saurabh, business head – lifestyle, Udaan; Vasant Nangia, CEO, Chumbak, and Amit Mande, head, lending business and CEO, Mswipe Capital, among others.
Led by the blitzkrieg of investments in Jio Platforms, the telecom venture of the Reliance Group, PE investments were up 12% for the six months ending June. Vishal Mahadevia, managing director and India head, Warburg Pincus India, said he continues to be bullish on the Indian market and has hired five new professionals in the India team. “At the portfolio level, though most companies are going through the common pain that the pandemic has caused, some of them are beefing up their senior management teams,” said Mahadevia.
While some funds are adding to their existing teams, some such as Temasek and KKR, are building separate teams for infrastructure investing and are in the market scouting for talent. ‘KKR remains confident in India’s economic growth story grounded in sound government policies and strong demographic tailwinds and we will continue to onboard the right talent at all levels to support that investment thesis,” said Sanjay Nayar, chief executive, KKR India. RSuresh, founder of Insist Executive Search, which is currently running mandates for three of the top PE firms, says “lower valuations during Covid times offer an opportune time for PEs to buy and hire for their portfolio companies.”
(This story is part of a series of articles in association with Facebook. Facebook has no editorial role in this story.)