Blackstone opens Mumbai office

The New York-based private equity firm is opening an office in India, as well as earmarking $1bn for investment in the country.

The Blackstone Group announced today that it was opening a new office in Mumbai, India, and is allocating $1 billion (€790 million) for investment in India.

Akhil Gupta, a former chief executive officer with Indian corporation Reliance, will head up the office as a senior managing director and the chairman of Blackstone India.

Stephen Schwarzman, the chairman and CEO of Blackstone, said the firm will eventually raise a dedicated fund to focus on the country.

“We believe that India has enormous potential and that foreign direct investment can play a significant role in supporting the country’s economic growth,” he said in a statement.

Gupta formerly worked as the CEO for Corporate Development for Reliance Industries and Reliance Infocomm. He previously also worked for several leveraged buyout companies in the US after getting an MBA from Stanford University in 1981.

We believe that India has enormous potential and that foreign direct investment can play a significant role in supporting the country’s economic growth.

Stephen Schwarzman, chairman and CEO, The Blackstone Group

The move comes as private equity firms continue to focus on the country. The Indian government has also been relaxing foreign direct investment regulations, most recently the rules governing ownership of real estate. Earlier this year, Washington, DC-based private equity firm The Carlyle Group also opened an office in the Indian commercial hub.

The Blackstone Group was founded in 1985 and has invested $32 billion in alternative investments. It has offices in New York, Atlanta, Boston, London, Hamburg and Paris. The firm is in the process of raising a new buyout that is expected to exceed $10 billion, the largest private equity fund ever.