Tata's private equity head quits amid fundraise

Shailendra Bhandari has left the Indian conglomerate less than a year after he joined.

Shailendra Bhandari, the head of private equity at Tata Capital, will leave the firm by the end of the month to “pursue other opportunities”, the firm said.

Bhandari joined Tata Capital, a financial services subsidiary of Indian conglomerate Tata Group, in August 2008.

The firm said in a statement it remains “fully committed” to its private equity strategy and the launch of its funds are on track. According to Indian media reports, the firm is in the market for a sector-agnostic fund targeting commitments of $350 million.

A spokesperson for Tata Capital confirmed Bhandari’s departure but declined to comment further.

Bhandari was previously a managing director and chief executive officer of Centurion Bank of Punjab, which has since merged with HDFC Bank. He was earlier the chief executive officer of ICICI Prudential Mutual Fund also held senior positions at HDFC Bank and Citibank.

Tata Capital has thus far been a direct investor with a focus on growth capital and selective late stage venture and buyout investments. It launched its private equity business last year and disclosed plans to raise capital from external investors. At the time, the firm said that it would raise a “composite mix of sector agnostic and sectorally aligned funds”.

In November 2008, Tata Capital hired Harshawardhan Sabale from Natixis Private Equity’s Indian team as co-head of Tata Capital Private Equity Growth Fund. The other co-head is Pramod Ahuja.

Separately, Tata Capital is reportedly partnering Japan’s Mizuho Securities to raise a private equity fund in Japan. The fund will target commitments of $500 million to invest in unlisted Indian companies in the mid-market, according to Indian newspaper Daily News & Analysis.