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CVCI appoints India head

Citi Venture Capital International has appointed PR Srinivasan as its India head following the departure of Ajay Relan from the firm to start his own fund.

Citi Venture Capital International, a private equity investor focused on growth markets, has appointed PR Srinivasan as its India head. The firm said in a statement that Srinivasan will report to Dipak Rastogi, chief executive of CVCI.

Rastogi said that “CVCI sees clear potential for growth and value creation in India.  It is a key focus country for CVCI and we continue to be fully committed to India.”

Srinivasan has been at CVCI since 2002. Prior to joining CVCI, he spent seven years at HSBC Private Equity and three years at ICICI Venture.

Meanwhile, erstwhile India head Ajay Relan is reportedly setting up his own private equity fund, and is joined by Jayanta Basu, who was a vice-president at CVCI India prior to his exit from the firm.

In an interview with Indian daily Mint, Relan said that he and Basu are planning to launch a private equity fund that will target commitments of between $500 million (€321 million) and $700 million.

“We parted ways by mutual agreement from Citi. Now, we are in the process of setting up a PE fund of our own and doing pretty much what we are good at doing, which is investing in growth capital,” Relan said. Referring to his decision to quit CVCI, he said wanted to see if he could replicate the success that he had enjoyed at CVCI.

Relan and Basu have begun contacting investors for their maiden fund. Relan said that it will be an India-dedicated fund and will make its first investment in about three to six months. The two are looking to raise capital from overseas institutional investors including insurance companies, endowment funds, pension funds and sovereign wealth funds. “Some of them are based in Singapore, Hong Kong; some of them have offices in London, New York and San Francisco,” he said.

The fund will make investments in the financial services, technology, ancillary infrastructure, and media and entertainment sectors. According to Relan, investments will be made in “companies which have pricing power, barriers to entry, some embedded competitive advantage and market leadership. Now, these can come across a slew of sectors”.

CVCI has invested more than $1 billion in India to date. Some of its investments include retail stock broking firm Sharekhan; Suzlon Energy, a wind turbine manufacturer; You Telecom, a broadband internet service provider; and Emaar MGF, a real estate development joint venture of Dubai’s Emaar Properties and India’s MGF Development.