TPG hires former Vodafone India exec as senior advisor

The move comes after Vodafone’s merger with a smaller peer created the country’s largest telecom group, which is now exploring a sale of its mobile towers.

TPG has appointed Naveen Chopra, former chief operating officer at Vodafone India, as a senior advisor. 

Chopra will bring nearly 30 years of experience in the telecom and consumer space to the US private equity house. During his 12-year tenure at Vodafone, he was involved in the company's transformation by establishing its B2B presence, as well as heading operations for its key telecom licences in India. He will still be working with the Indian telecom company on several ongoing projects until their completion, TPG said. 

Vodafone India agreed in March to merge with Idea Cellular, a smaller peer, to create the country’s largest telecom operator. At the time, the two parties were also looking at options to exit their stakes in the telecom tower business, Infrastructure Investor understands.

Prior to joining Vodafone, Chopra spent 16 years at Britannia Industries, a food products corporation in Bangalore, where he served in sales and marketing roles. 

TPG also recently appointed Ajay Kanwal, a former ASEAN and South Asia head at Standard Chartered, as a senior advisor, our sister publication Private Equity International reported. He will advise the firm on its financial services portfolio.

“At TPG, we are committed to building strong executive networks, in key sectors, to provide our deal teams and portfolio companies with the best counsel and support possible,” said Puneet Bhatia, managing director and country head for TPG in India. “Chopra and Kanwal are established leaders in their respective fields, and each brings valuable operational skills and strategic insights to TPG.”

Chopra and Kanwal join Dilip Thomas, former CEO of Hyderabad-based Care Hospitals, as well as Donald Kaberuka, former president of the African Development Bank Group, as senior advisors to the firm. 

TPG’s Asian portfolio includes Apollo Towers, a telecom tower and power business in Myanmar, and several healthcare investments in India.