PE firms went on a hiring spree in record-breaking 2021
At a time when 2021 saw record investment inflows from the private equity and venture capital firms totalling $63 billion, the fund managers that stitch these deals also beefed up their teams to make the most of the growing investment opportunity in the Indian market.
There were about 310 mid-to-senior hires in global and domestic private equity and venture capital funds in India in the past one year, the highest at least in five years, according to data exclusively put together for ET by executive search firm Native. This is up from about 200 moves in 2020, 165 moves in 2019, and just over a hundred each in the previous two years.
Some of the top funds that have strengthened their teams include IIFL PE, True North, Carlyle, NIIF, Lightspeed, Kedaara Capital, among others.
“The PE/VC Industry is in its best phase of investment activity and the demand for high quality talent across levels is at its highest. We expect this year to be robust on talent churn and new funds expansion across asset classes and envisage an intense hiring activity across funds,” said Sonali Puri, Partner Capital Markets and Private Equity at Native.
Some of the notable hires were Aditya Sharma as partner-growth equity at Lightspeed India Partners; Padmanabh Sinha as executive director and chief investment officer – private equity at National Investment and Infrastructure Fund (NIIF); Anshuman Goenka as head of PE at IIFL Asset Management; Sandeep Bapat as partner at Trifecta Capital; Ketki Paranjpe as Partner at Sixth Sense Ventures; Kiran Vasireddy as partner at Kalaari Capital; and Rubin Chheda as managing director at True North, among others, according to data from Native.
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Private Equity – Venture Capital (PE-VC) firms invested a record $63 billion (across 1,202 deals) in Indian companies during 2021, registering a 57% rise over the $39.9 billion (across 913 deals) invested in the previous year, according to the data from Venture Intelligence.
From early stage deals to late stage buyouts, there was a marked uptick in the number of transactions in 2021 and the hectic deal making is expected to continue in 2022 and these firms are internally preparing themselves to take the opportunity head on.
As domestic investors are coming of age it is now competing with global funds to get a meaningful share of the growing deals in the segment. Of the total number of hires in 2021, about 58% were within domestic funds. India focused funds are finding it easier to raise newer and larger pools of capital leading to more people being hired in such firms.
“We have doubled down our efforts towards growth investing and now have a dedicated India team that we hired in 2021 and will add to that in the current year. The new team will capitalise on the investment opportunities that the Indian and Southeast Asian market has thrown open,” said Aditya Sharma, partner-growth investing at Lightspeed India.
According to the Native data, 44% of the total hires were done by growth funds.
IIFL Wealth & Asset Management, one of the leading wealth & asset management firms, is looking at including “specialists in some sectors where we are more focused such as consumer and financial services,’’ said Anshuman Goenka, Head – Private Equity, IIFL AMC. The firm, which manages AUM of more than Rs 300,000 crores, roped in Goenka in August from Investcorp.
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