Palod steps up at 3i India as Ahuja quits

Samir Palod, a partner in 3i’s infrastructure business, has been appointed managing director in India. The move coincides with the departures of 3i Asia head Anil Ahuja (pictured) and partner Girish Baliga who are leaving to ‘pursue other opportunities’.

Samir Palod, a partner in London-listed fund manager 3i’s infrastructure business, has been appointed managing director of India. He has been making private equity and infrastructure investments from the firm’s Mumbai office since 2005.

In his new role, Palod will take responsibility for 3i’s team of Indian investment professionals in Mumbai and Delhi. The team manages private equity investments and the infrastructure investments in 3i’s India Infrastructure Fund. Palod, formerly at Citigroup and Arthur Andersen, will report to London-based infrastructure managing partner Cressida Hogg.

The appointment comes as Anil Ahuja and Girish Baliga announce their departures from 3i “to pursue other opportunities” according to a 3i statement, which added that they had both signed part-time consultancy agreements with 3i.

Ahuja had been a partner at 3i Asia in Singapore since 2005, having previously overseen Indian investments at JP Morgan Partners Asia, and worked with local heads in India, China and Singapore. Baliga, a Mumbai-based infrastructure partner, joined 3i as a director – also in 2005 – from Indian private equity firm ChrysCapital.

In the statement, 3i chief executive Simon Borrows said: “India is an important market for 3i, and I’m delighted that Samir will be leading our Indian team going forward. Samir has worked on a number of successful deals for 3i and has a deep understanding across our portfolio in India.I would also like to thank Anil Ahuja and Girish Baliga for their contribution to 3i and am pleased we will be retaining their expertise going forward.”

In an interim management statement today, 3i said the investment period for the 3i India Infrastructure Fund – which closed on $1.2 billion in 2008 – came to a close at the end of November last year. A planned second fund, which had an initial target of $1.5 billion, is currently on hold due to the tough macro environment.