PE funds are back on track, hiring opens
Private equity, which is becoming a preferred source of alternative capital for Indian businesses, is finally seeing growth. This is happening after a long period of slow down due to the Covid-19 pandemic. PE funds are now opening up and are adding more private equity professionals to their teams. Looking at the trends, the increase in strength of professionals is expected at both places – internal strength as well as portfolio companies. All this is good news, but PE had its own share of challenges during the last three months.
According to Native, a specialist staffing firm, over 100 CXO and leadership level moves were seen in the past three months within PE firms and their portfolio teams. While many sectors are still reeling due to the disruption caused by the spread of coronavirus and are laying off employees, having a career in private equity is turning out promising.
PE Funds such as Warburg Pincus, Sequoia, Creador, Multiples Alternate Asset Management, Apax Partners, Bain Capital, Kedaara, among others, have been strengthening their teams over the last three months, when the world was under lockdown.
A few areas including Renewables, diagnostics, consumer and consumer transaction are where hiring has been strong. Digital transformation, growth, and active finance are areas where private equity investment professionals are in high demand.
PE firms require manpower for the future for growth. Rennu Ramnath, founder, Mutiples Alternate Asset Management says, “I do see significant hiring in new age companies that are working towards new digital business models.” The alternate asset management company hired a few PE professionals in the last two months. Rennu, further adds, “the versatility and the long-term characteristics of private equity is particularly suitable in navigating the current situation of uncertainty,”
Tapan Jindal, CFO, Baazi Games; Jaipal Singal, CFO – India &UAE at iD Fresh Food; Rahul Tewari, CFO, Games24x7; Swayam Sen, chief people officer, Avanse Financial; Vithal Acharya, head HR, Ola Electric are some key level hires by private equity firms for their portfolio companies, according to Native.
Abhishek Mehrotra, leader HR – India (Tiktok), Byte-Dance; Arjun Mohan, CEO India, Upgrad; Tejinder Singh, CBO, Paytm; Kumar Saurabh, business head – lifestyle, Udaan; Vasant Nangia, CEO, Chumbak, and Amit Mande, head, lending business and CEO, Mswipe Capital, among others are key roles in portfolio companies.
The recent slew of investments in Jio Platforms (part of India’s largest energy conglomerate) saw PE investments increase by 12% over the last six months till June 30. Vishal Mahadevia, Managing Director Warburg Pincus said he is still bullish on the Indian market and has added five new private equity professionals to the team. He further adds “most companies (portfolio companies) are trying to solve problems that current pandemic has thrown; some portfolio companies have started shopping and are beefing up their senior management roles.
Some PE funds are adding more private equity professionals to their team, others are building new teams. Temasek and KKR are building separate teams for investment in infrastructure and looking for talent in the market. Sanjay Nayar, Chief Executive, KKR India, said the PE fund is confident about India’s economic growth prospects in the wake of sound government policies and strong demographic tailwinds and will continue to onboard the right talent at all levels to support that investment thesis.
After solving problems at portfolio companies, US private equity firms too are getting back on track as well. Data from LinkedIn suggests that new hires at KKR, Apollo Global Management, and Blackstone has reached 92%, 75%, and 86% of last year’s June level respectively.
The lower valuations of companies during COVID-19 times also offer opportune times for PE funds to buy and hire for their portfolio companies, adds R Suresh, Founder of Insist Executive Search.