Charles “Chip” Kaye of Warburg Pincus is to become chairman of the US-India Business Council (USIBC) on 1 June 2005, succeeding current chairman Rajat Gupta, a senior partner at McKinsey & Company.
The USIBC is a membership organisation comprised of 125 US companies investing in India. It was launched in 1975 by then US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger to promote the private sector economic relationship between the two countries. Among other things, the organisation promotes Indian economic reforms important to industry and provides briefings to US government officials.
Kaye launched Warburg Pincus’ Asian operations in Hong Kong in 1994. Having identified India as a key investment opportunity, the firm has invested close to $1 billion in the country to date.
Notably, the firm has recently made a significant profit from the sale of part of its shareholding in Indian telecom company Bharti Tele-Ventures. Other investments include data storage provider Moser Baer – which was the largest private equity deal in India last year at $149 million – and Rediff.com, an online shopping service.
Economic ties between India and the US have strengthened recently, notably with the signing of an “open skies” agreement last month. This enables Indian and US airlines to fly to more destinations in each others’ countries and also allows access to their respective air freight, passenger and mail markets.