3i names India head

Anil Ahuja, formerly head of India investments for JP Morgan, has joined the global private equity firm as it makes further inroads into Asia.

Global private equity firm 3i Group has named Anil Ahuja managing director and head of the firm’s India investments.

Ahuja formerly oversaw JP Morgan’s investments in the country. He will report to Chris Rowlands, 3i’s head of Group Markets.

Ahuja sits on a number of boards including Planet Diamond Tools, Plexion Technologies and Dominos Pizza India. He also serves as the independent director on the Board of HDFC Bank. Ahuja also held a number of leadership roles at Citibank India, where he worked for 11 years.

Last week, 3i Asia Pacific Managing Director Jamie Paton said in an interview with Dow Jones that the firm planned to expand its Asian presence with offices in China and India, as well as expand 3i’s investments in the area five times to between $1.2 billion and $1.5 billion (€911 million and €1.1 billion).

In India, Paton said, the firm would focus on financial services and healthcare companies. The firm plans to spend between $20 million and $100 million per company.

At this time, 3i has no direct investments in the country, but an Indian business publication reported that 3i is gearing up to invest $60 million in an Indian company.

The move comes as private equity and venture capital firms are paying increased attention to the Asian subcontinent. According to the Indian Venture Capital Association, private equity investment in India was more than $1 billion in 2004, up from $700 million in 2003. 

Global private equity firm The Carlyle Group also recently announced it was expanding its presence in the region with an office in Mumbai, India.