NIIF hires two principals to strengthen investment team

 NIIF hires two principals to strengthen investment team

National Investment and Infrastructure Fund (NIIF), seen as India’s quasi-sovereign fund, has boosted its investment team under two verticals.

It has hired one principal each for its fund-of-funds business and for Strategic Opportunities Fund, a direct growth-stage investment vehicle.

For the fund-of-funds wing, NIIF has recruited Krupa Shankar from German development finance institution DEG. Shankar joined NIIF this month, as per his LinkedIn update.

Shankar is a BITS Pilani graduate and worked at HCL Technologies. He later studied management at IIM Lucknow. He had worked at Yes Bank, Elara Capital, investment banking firm O3 Capital and mid-market private equity firm M Cap before joining DEG in October 2016.

NIIF’s Fund of Funds invests through India-focused equity fund managers and currently counts four funds in its Limited Partner (LP) portfolio.

It has backed Green Growth Equity Fund, HDFC Capital Affordable Real Estate Fund 2, Multiples Private Equity Fund III and Somerset Indus Healthcare India Fund.

The Green Growth Equity Fund is managed by EverSource Capital, an equal joint venture between Everstone Group and Lightsource BP. The Multiples PE fund is approaching its final close. The Somerset vehicle is the second fund managed by Somerset Healthcare Investment Advisors.

Shankar will work with Anand Unnikrishnan, who is the managing partner of the Fund of Funds business and is directly responsible for the LP portfolio.

NIIF has also added Gordon D’Souza as a principal in the Strategic Opportunities Fund. He joined NIIF last month. Prior to joining NIIF, he was part of Investcorp’s private equity team in India for over 13 years. He became part of Investcorp when the Bahrain-based alternative investment firm took over the PE business of IDFC Alternatives.

D’Souza’s investing career spans sectors such as consumer, technology, healthcare, education and industrials.

He will work with Krishna Kumar, who manages the Strategic Opportunities Fund; and Nilesh Shrivastava, partner at the same fund. Kumar was earlier CEO at IL&FS PE and joined NIIF last April.

NIIF says its Strategic Opportunities Fund makes growth-stage investments in companies and sectors that are strategically important to the Indian economy and are likely to benefit over the medium to long term. The sectors of initial focus are financial services, food and agriculture, healthcare and education, among others.

This fund has committed investments in NIIF Infrastructure Finance Ltd and Aseem Infrastructure Finance Ltd. Both investments have become part of NIIF Infrastructure Debt Financing Platform. This platform will straddle across the entire infrastructure debt financing spectrum through these two separate but complimentary vehicles.

Ankit Doshi

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