State Bank of India (SBI) and Macquarie Capital have appointed Varun Bajpai as chief executive officer of SBI Macquarie Infrastructure Management, which will manage the SBI Macquarie Infrastructure Trust, a domestic fund that will invest in infrastructure projects and companies in India.
The two institutions have also appointed Praveen Gupta as deputy chief executive officer of their joint venture management company.
Macquarie and SBI currently manage the Macquarie SBI Infrastructure Fund, which is raising capital from international investors. In April, the fund held a first close on $887 million in capital commitments alongside a direct co-investment of $150 million from SBI, bring the total capital raised to approximately $1.04 billion.
The fund is a joint venture between SBI, Macquarie and the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the private investmnt arm of the World Bank. SBI and Macquarie each hold a 45 percent stake in the fund, while IFC holds the remaining 10 percent stake.
The SBI Macquarie Infrastructure Trust will raise capital domestically and will invest in infrastructure projects in India alongside the Macquarie SBI Infrastructure Fund. The firms anticipate raising a total of between $2 billion and $3 billion in capital commitments for the two funds.
Nick van Gelder, head of Macquarie Capital Funds in Asia, said in a statement the joint venture with SBI is an important one for Macquarie and the appointments strengthen the existing management team, “ensuring we are well placed to take advantage of the considerable investment opportunities available and make a significant contribution to the infrastructure of India”.
Bajpai is a senior managing director at Macquarie Capital. Before assuming this role, he led the establishment of Macquarie’s business in India over the last five years as head of the corporate advisory team. He has also worked for Deutsche Bank and Kotak Mahindra in the past.
Gupta is a general manager with SBI and has more than 25 years of experience in banking. Prior to this, he was the regional head and chief executive officer of SBI’s Bahrain office. He has previously worked at SBI’s London office where he looked after merchant banking activities.
India’s infrastructure deficit presents a tremendous opportunity for investors, R. Sridharan, managing director and group executive of SBI, said in a statement. “Over the next 10 years, the total funding requirement for infrastructure in India is anticipated to exceed $1 trillion, as population growth and demographic change continue to exert pressure on India's existing urban infrastructure,” he added.