Churn at the top level of private equity is not new. However, joining hands together to raise funds in today’s tough fund-raising scenario is. The new partnership on the block doesn’t exactly boast novices. Sunish Sharma, managing director at General Atlantic, and another PE veteran—Manish Kejriwal—the Indian head of the Singapore government-owned Temasek Holdings (who is also married into the super rich Bajaj family) have come together to raise an independent private equity fund.
Interestingly, both Manish and Sunish had worked together at McKinsey & Company as partners. While at GA, Sunish Sharma was a director for Sharekhan, Infotech Enterprises and Hexaware. He is a graduate of Indian Institute of Management, Calcutta.
Manish, who has kept mum about his latest venture, remains amongst the more successful fund managers around, handling investments worth $3 billion during his stint at Temasek. However, he says that his new venture is totally different from a typical PE fund.
Manish, a graduate of Dartmouth College and Harvard Business School, is known for his blockbuster private investments in public equity (PIPE) deals including the $2-billion he pumped into Bharti Airtel, $330 million in Tata Teleservices, $200 million in GMR Energy and a few in unlisted spaces like the $175 million he places in NSE.
Another feather in his cap is his successful exit from ICICI Bank, the stake of which was sold out in open market transaction for $342 million as well as the strategic sale of Matrix labs that Temasek made to Mylan for $103 million.
The grapevine among the managers is that Rahul Bajaj, whose daughter Sunaina is married to Manish, may put money into Manish’s new venture.
Though both Manish and Sunish are experienced hands in PE space, their new venture will not be a guaranteed smooth ride. The PE market is heating up and the duo will have to compete with more than 100 funds who are currently raising money in India.