Nepal’s Global Equity Fund has elevated Swati Roongta Agarwal as a managing partner, barely eight months after she joined the alternative investment firm.
Agarwal’s elevation comes even as the firm is aiming to raise up to $25 million for its first flagship investment vehicle.
Agarwal is arguably the first woman in the Nepalese PE and VC ecosystem to ascend to the position of a managing partner. She is also a director on the board of Laxmi Bank and has been an independent director on the board of Prime Life Insurance. Both Laxmi Bank and Prime Life Insurance back GEF as limited partners.
In addition, Agarwal is a founder director on the board of Sanaa Impex, which is managed by her family.
GEF is managed by five executive members, and is headed by founder and managing partner Manish Thapa.
Agarwal, who hails from a Nepalese business family, graduated from New Delhi’s Lady Shri Ram College for Women with a major in commerce. She later got an MBA degree from Pune’s Symbiosis Institute of Business Management.
Agarwal began her career with Credit Suisse, and moved back to Nepal after a two-year stint as an investment banker and a derivatives trader.
“When I moved back to Nepal after marriage, there wasn’t so much to be done in terms of investment banking or derivatives trading. Nepal was going through the initial phases of what data analysis is and how investment banking could take off here,” she told The Capital Quest.
“That’s when I came across Lakshmi Bank and joined as a director. I also started my own company, which is into distribution of various things,” Agarwal said.
Agarwal says that after Lakshmi Bank floated a special purpose vehicle to start Global Equity Fund as a PE firm in 2019, she joined it.
“As a managing partner, my role will be to get deals through, using my banking connections,” Agarwal said. “We have good personal connections with industrialists and youth that are investing and innovating in sectors such as IT,” she said. “I am a part of the whole dealmaking process, right from cracking it through the negotiations,” she added.