Neeraj Bharadwaj quits Apax for Accel India

Sandeep Naik and Shashank Singh will replace Neeraj Bharadwaj, as he ends a 10-year Apax career to join the US growth capital firm.

Neeraj Bharadwaj, the managing director who established Apax’s Mumbai office, is ending his 10-year career with the firm to join Accel India Ventures, the Indian affiliate of US growth capital firm Accel Partners.

Bharadwaj will join Accel India as a managing director and will spearhead its growth investment activities. This complements the firm’s existing seed- and early stage investment strategy in the country, according to a statement by Peter Wagner, a Palo Alto-based partner at Accel Partners.

Accel India intends to invest between $10 million and $50 million in mid-sized Indian companies across different sectors, the statement noted.

Neeraj Bharadwaj

At Apax, Bharadwaj will be replaced as country head by Sandeep Naik and Shashank Singh, both of whom joined Apax in 2004. Naik had initially worked in Apax’s New York office, while Singh was in London; both moved to India in 2006 when Apax opened in Mumbai.

“We are pleased to have professionals with the experience and track record of Sandeep and Shashank to lead Apax in India,” Halusa said. “This reinforces our commitment to India, where we now have five investment staff supported by a global team of 117 sector-focused investment professionals.”

Apax is reportedly among several private equity firms – including The Carlyle Group – interested in acquiring stake in Quippo Telecom Infrastructure. The Indian company wants to sell a single-digit minority stake, raising up to $300 million to pay down debt, according to a Dow Jones report.

Accel India was formed early last year when Indian venture firm Erasmic Venture Fund and Accel Partners partnered to launch the $60 million Accel India Venture Fund. At the time, the partners of Erasmic took over as partners at Accel India. Its India portfolio includes HolidayIQ, a travel and holiday information portal; Kaati Zone, a chain of Indian quick service restaurants; Kirusa, which provides value-added mobile services; and Perfint, a healthcare devices startup.