Top 20 Private Equity Firms in India [Most Active in 2024]

The private equity industry in India is booming, playing a pivotal role in the country’s economic growth by providing much-needed capital to businesses that are poised for growth. In this post, we will dive into the heart of this transformative industry, focusing on the top 20 private equity firms in India. Let’s Start-

Understanding Private Equity (PE)

Private Equity (PE) is an investment class which consists of capital not listed on a public exchange. Private equity firms amass pools of capital to invest in businesses, usually acquiring a significant majority stake, with the aim of increasing the value of these businesses and ultimately selling them for a profit.

These firms play a crucial role in the financial landscape, providing capital, operational guidance, strategic direction, and networking opportunities to their portfolio companies. The significance of private equity extends beyond individual businesses to the broader economy, helping drive innovation, job creation, and economic growth.

Criteria for Choosing a Private Equity Firm

When it comes to choosing a private equity firm, businesses should consider:

  1. Portfolio and Investment Strategy: The firm’s portfolio and its past investment performance can provide valuable insights into its strategy and expertise.
  2. Expertise and Track Record: The firm’s team should have the necessary expertise and a proven track record of success.
  3. Industry Network and Connections: A well-connected firm can offer networking opportunities and strategic partnerships.
  4. Funding Capacity: The firm should have the necessary financial resources.
  5. Exit Strategy: A clear exit strategy is crucial for realizing returns on investment.

Spotlight on Top Private Equity Firms in India

Let’s now turn our focus to the top 20 private equity firms in India, categorized based on their investment focus.

Generalist Firms with Diverse Investment Portfolios

These firms have a broad investment focus, investing in businesses across various sectors.

Blackstone Group

  • Overview: Founded in 1985, Blackstone started as a boutique mergers and acquisitions firm, but it rapidly evolved into a global leader in alternative asset management and financial services.
  • Investment Focus and Strategy: The firm invests in a broad range of industries and transaction types, including leveraged buyouts, recapitalizations, growth investments, and strategic partnerships.
  • Notable Investments: A few notable investments include Embassy Office Parks REIT – India’s first publicly listed Real Estate Investment Trust, Nexus Malls – one of the largest mall operators in India, and Mphasis – a leading IT services company.
  • Successful Exits: Blackstone successfully exited its investment in Intelenet Global Services, a leading global business process services company, by selling it to Teleperformance for $1 billion in 2018.

KKR (Kohlberg Kravis Roberts)

  • Overview: Founded in 1976, KKR has grown into a global investment firm managing multiple alternative asset classes. With deep roots in private equity, KKR is recognized as a leader in the investment community.
  • Investment Focus and Strategy: The firm invests across multiple asset classes including private equity, energy, infrastructure, real estate, credit, and, more recently, technology and life sciences.
  • Notable Investments: KKR has been quite active in India, with significant investments such as Bharti Infratel, Ramky Enviro Engineers, and Max Healthcare.
  • Successful Exits: One of KKR’s notable exits in India includes their investment in Alliance Tire Group, which they sold to Yokohama Rubber Co. Ltd., generating a significant return on investment.

Warburg Pincus

  • Overview: Founded in 1966, it has since grown into one of the largest private equity investment firms globally. The firm has has raised 19+ private equity funds, which have invested more than $89 billion in over 900 companies.
  • Investment Focus and Strategy: Their primary sectors include healthcare, financial services, technology, media, telecommunications, energy, industrial and business services, and consumer.
  • Notable Investments: In India, Warburg Pincus has made significant investments in several successful companies across sectors. These include Bharti Televentures, Gangavaram Port, and QuEST.
  • Successful Exits: One of the firm’s significant exits in India includes Bharti Airtel, where Warburg Pincus sold its 5.6% stake for a healthy profit after a seven-year holding period.

Bain Capital

  • Overview: Founded in 1984, Bain Capital has made over 350 investments since its inception, with its global team of approximately 1,000 employees managing $105 billion in assets.
  • Investment Focus and Strategy: Their core focus sectors include consumer/retail, financial services, healthcare, industrials, and technology, media, and telecommunications.
  • Notable Investments: In India, Bain Capital has had several notable investments including Axis Bank, Hero MotoCorp, and Genpact.
  • Successful Exits: One of Bain Capital’s significant exits in India was the sale of its stake in Hero MotoCorp in 2014, which they had acquired in 2011.

Carlyle Group

  • Overview: The Carlyle Group was established in 1987 and has grown into a global alternative asset manager with over $230 billion of assets under management across 389 investment vehicles.
  • Investment Focus and Strategy: Carlyle invests across four business segments: Corporate Private Equity, Real Assets, Global Credit, and Investment Solutions. The firm has expertise in various industries, including aerospace, defense, consumer & retail, energy, financial services, healthcare, telecommunications and transportation.
  • Notable Investments: Carlyle has made some substantial investments in India, including PNB Housing Finance, SBI Life Insurance, and Delhivery, a leading supply chain services company.
  • Successful Exits: One of Carlyle’s successful exits in India includes its investment in HDFC, where Carlyle sold its remaining stake in the mortgage lender, yielding a substantial return on investment.

Apax Partners

  • Overview: Founded in 1972, it has a presence in several countries across the world and has raised and advised funds with aggregate commitments of more than $60 billion.
  • Investment Focus and Strategy: Apax Partners focuses on investing in companies across four global sectors of Tech & Telco, Services, Healthcare, and Consumer.
  • Notable Investments: Apax has made significant investments in India, including GlobalLogic, Zensar Technologies, and Shriram City Union Finance.
  • Successful Exits: A notable exit by Apax Partners in India includes its investment in GlobalLogic, where Apax sold its stake to Hitachi, making a significant return on investment.
Private Equity FirmYear FoundedKey SectorsNotable Investments in IndiaEstimated Assets Under Management
Blackstone Group1985Real Estate, Telecommunications, TechnologyNexus Malls, Mphasis, Embassy Office Parks REIT$584 billion
KKR (Kohlberg Kravis Roberts)1976Private Equity, Real Estate, Infrastructure, EnergyBharti Infratel, Max Healthcare, Ramky Enviro Engineers$234 billion
Warburg Pincus1966Healthcare, Consumer, Media, EnergyBharti Airtel, Gangavaram Port, QuEST$56 billion
Bain Capital1984Private Equity, Venture Capital, Public Equity, CreditGenpact, Axis Bank, Emcure Pharmaceuticals$120 billion
Carlyle Group1987Corporate Private Equity, Real Assets, Global Credit, Investment SolutionsSBI Life, PNB Housing Finance, Delhivery$246 billion
Apax Partners1981Technology, Telecommunications, Services, Healthcare, ConsumerZensar Technologies, Cholamandalam Investment and Finance$50 billion

Technology and Innovation Focused Firms

These firms primarily invest in technology and tech-driven startups.

Sequoia Capital India

  • Overview: Sequoia Capital India was formed in 2006 and has since become a leading investment firm focusing on the technology, consumer and healthcare sectors across India & South East Asia.
  • Investment Focus and Strategy: Sequoia Capital India specializes in investments in startup seed, early, mid-stage, late, and growth-stage companies in the technology, consumer, and healthcare sectors.
  • Notable Investments: Some of the notable ones include Zomato, a leading food delivery service, BYJU’s, and OYO Rooms.
  • Successful Exits: One of their successful exits in India includes FreeCharge, a mobile transactions platform, which was acquired by Snapdeal.

Accel Partners

  • Overview: Accel, originally known as Accel Partners, is a venture capital firm. It was launched in 2005 and has since emerged as a leading investor in Indian startups.
  • Investment Focus and Strategy: Accel primarily focuses on technology companies. Their areas of interest span categories like business software, consumer tech, fintech, healthcare tech, and frontier tech.
  • Notable Investments: In India, Accel has made several notable investments, including Flipkart, Swiggy, a leading food delivery platform, and Freshworks, a SaaS unicorn.
  • Successful Exits: One of Accel’s significant exits in India includes their early investment in Flipkart, which was later acquired by Walmart.

Matrix Partners

  • Overview: Founded in 1977, the firm has made numerous successful investments over the years. Matrix Partners India was established in 2006 to extend the firm’s multi-stage investment strategy to the Indian market.
  • Investment Focus and Strategy: Matrix Partners India invests in companies targeting the Indian consumer and enterprise market. The firm’s areas of interest include consumer technology, B2B, enterprise, fintech, and healthcare.
  • Notable Investments: Matrix Partners India has made significant investments in several successful companies in India, including Ola, Practo, and Dailyhunt.
  • Successful Exits: One of Matrix Partners’ successful exits in India includes its investment in Ola. In 2020, Matrix Partners partially sold its stake in Ola.

SAIF Partners

  • Overview: The firm was founded in 2001, and it manages over $4 billion in capital. SAIF began investing in India in 2002 and has backed more than 50 companies since then.
  • Investment Focus and Strategy: They invest across sectors such as consumer, financial services, technology, internet, mobile, manufacturing, and healthcare services.
  • Notable Investments: In India, SAIF Partners has made significant investments in multiple successful companies, including Paytm, Swiggy and UrbanClap (now known as Urban Company).
  • Successful Exits: One of their successful exits in India includes MakeMyTrip, a leading online travel company. SAIF had invested in the early stages and made a significant return when MakeMyTrip went public.

Lightspeed India Partners

  • Overview: Lightspeed India Partners, a branch of the global VC firm Lightspeed Venture Partners, was established in 2007, and it has since played a significant role in providing funding to promising startups in India.
  • Investment Focus and Strategy: They primarily focuses on early-stage investments in technology-led businesses. They invest in a wide range of sectors, including enterprise and SMB, consumer, and healthcare.
  • Notable Investments: Lightspeed India Partners has made investments in successful companies in India, including Byju’s, Udaan, a B2B trade platform, and OYO Rooms.
  • Successful Exits: One of their significant exits in India includes their investment in OYO Rooms. In 2019, Lightspeed sold part of its stake in OYO, earning a considerable return on its investment.
Private Equity FirmYear FoundedKey SectorsNotable Investments in IndiaEstimated Assets Under Management
Sequoia Capital India2000Technology, Consumer, HealthcareByju’s, Oyo Rooms, Zomato$4 billion
Accel Partners1983Technology, Consumer, HealthcareFlipkart, Freshworks, Swiggy$12.4 billion
Matrix Partners1982Consumer, Enterprise, HealthcareOla Cabs, Practo, Quikr$5 billion
SAIF Partners2001Technology, Consumer, EducationPaytm, Swiggy, UrbanClap (now Urban Company)$4 billion
Lightspeed India Partners2004Enterprise, ConsumerByju’s, OYO, ShareChat$3 billion
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Healthcare, Pharma, and Life-sciences Focused Firms

These firms focus on investments in the healthcare, pharmaceutical, and life sciences sectors-

OrbiMed

  • Overview: Founded in 1989, the firm is headquartered in New York and has additional offices globally, including Mumbai, India. It is one of the world’s largest healthcare-dedicated investment firms.
  • Investment Focus and Strategy: OrbiMed specializes in the healthcare sector, including biotechnology, pharmaceutical companies, healthcare services, life science tools, and medical device companies .
  • Notable Investments: In India, OrbiMed has been involved in significant investments such as Suraksha Diagnostics, and MedGenome, a genomics-based diagnostics and research company.
  • Successful Exits: One of their successful exits in India includes their investment in Bharat Serums and Vaccines, a biopharmaceutical leader, which was later acquired by Advent International.

ChrysCapital

  • Overview: Founded in 1999, ChrysCapital is one of India’s leading private equity firms. With over $4 billion under management, the firm has made more than 80 investments in India.
  • Investment Focus and Strategy: ChrysCapital focuses on a broad range of sectors including Consumer, Financial Services, Healthcare, Infrastructure, Manufacturing, and Pharma.
  • Notable Investments: ChrysCapital has a record of making significant investments in various companies like Mankind Pharma, and Hero FinCorp.
  • Successful Exits: One of their most successful exits includes Intas Pharmaceuticals. ChrysCapital sold its stake in Intas Pharmaceuticals, generating more than $1 billion, marking one of the largest exits in the Indian private equity sector.

InvAscent

  • Overview: InvAscent is a leading India-focused private equity firm that was established in 2007. The firm has been investing together for over a decade and has a wealth of experience in the Indian market.
  • Investment Focus and Strategy: InvAscent invests in Indian businesses across healthcare, life sciences, and other specialized manufacturing sectors.
  • Notable Investments: Notable investments include MedPlus, a major pharmacy retail chain, and GVK Bio, a leading Contract Research and Manufacturing organization.
  • Successful Exits: One of their successful exits in India includes Thyrocare Technologies, where InvAscent sold its stake to PharmEasy in a transaction valuing Thyrocare at about $800 million.
Private Equity FirmYear FoundedKey SectorsNotable Investments in IndiaEstimated Assets Under Management
OrbiMed1989Healthcare, Biotech, PharmaceuticalsStrand Life Sciences, Surya Children’s Medicare, Sanat Products$18 billion
ChrysCapital1999Financial Services, Pharmaceuticals, Business ServicesMankind Pharma, Hero FinCorp, Infogain$4 billion
InvAscent2000Healthcare, Consumer, IndustrialsMedanta Medicity, Healthium MedTech, Incred Financial Services$600 million

Consumer, Retail, and E-commerce Focused Firms

These firms invest in consumer goods, retail, and e-commerce businesses.

General Atlantic

  • Overview: Established in 1980, General Atlantic combines a collaborative global approach, sector-specific expertise, and a long-term investment horizon, with great entrepreneurs to build exceptional businesses.
  • Investment Focus and Strategy: General Atlantic focuses on investments across five sectors, including Consumer, Financial Services, Healthcare, Life Sciences, and Technology.
  • Notable Investments : General Atlantic has made significant investments in various companies such as Byju’s, and Reliance Jio Platforms.
  • Successful Exits: One of their successful exits in India includes their investment in Mu Sigma, a leading data analytics company. General Atlantic sold its stake, marking a successful exit.

Everstone Capital

  • Overview: Founded in 2006, Everstone Capital is a premier investment group focused on India and Southeast Asia, with assets over $5 billion across private equity, infrastructure, and venture capital.
  • Investment Focus and Strategy: The firm prefers to invest in the consumer, healthcare, industrials, logistics, and financial and business services sectors.
  • Notable Investments: Everstone has made significant investments in firms like Burger King India and SJS Enterprises, a leading manufacturer of aesthetic surfacing products.
  • Successful Exits: A successful exit by Everstone was the sale of its stake in Global Tranz, a leading technology-driven freight management solution provider.

Lighthouse Funds

  • Overview: Lighthouse Funds, established in 2001, is a private equity firm specializing in growth capital and mid-market investments.
  • Investment Focus and Strategy: Lighthouse Funds primarily focuses on sectors such as Consumer, Services, and Healthcare.
  • Notable Investments: Notable investments by Lighthouse Funds include Nykaa, and FabIndia, a renowned platform for products made from traditional techniques.
  • Successful Exits: A significant exit by Lighthouse Funds was from Bikaji Foods International, a leading Indian snack food manufacturer, where the firm successfully exited its investment in 2019.
Private Equity FirmYear FoundedKey SectorsNotable Investments in IndiaEstimated Assets Under Management
General Atlantic1980Technology, Financial Services, Retail & ConsumerByju’s, Reliance Retail, BillDesk$53 billion
Everstone Capital2006Real Estate, Consumer, Logistics, IndustrialsBurger King India, Modern Foods, Ozone Overseas$5 billion
Lighthouse Funds2007ConsumerNykaa, FabIndia, Bikaji Foods$500 million

Infrastructure and Manufacturing Focused Firms

These firms focus on investments in the infrastructure and manufacturing sectors-

Temasek Holdings

  • Overview: Founded in 1974, Temasek Holdings is an investment company headquartered in Singapore. With a staff of over 800 people, Temasek owns and manages a net portfolio of over $380 billion.
  • Investment Focus and Strategy: Temasek invests in a wide spectrum of industries: telecommunications, financial services, real estate, transportation and industrials, life sciences and agribusiness etc.
  • Notable Investments: In India, notable investments include stakes in the National Stock Exchange, Bharti Airtel, and ICICI Bank.
  • Successful Exits: One of their successful exits in India was from their investment in Glenmark Pharmaceuticals.

Brookfield Asset Management

  • Overview: Founded in 1899 and headquartered in Canada, Brookfield Asset Management owns and operates long-life assets and businesses, many of which form the backbone of the global economy.
  • Investment Focus and Strategy: The firm targets sectors such as Business Services, Infrastructure Services, Industrial Manufacturing, and Consumer and Retail.
  • Notable Investments: It acquired a telecom tower business from Reliance Industries and also holds a large real estate portfolio in the country.
  • Successful Exits: One of their successful exits in India was from their investment in Ambit Alpha Fund, a multi-strategy alternative investment fund.

Actis

  • Overview: Actis was established in 2004, and since then it has grown significantly and currently manages over $12 billion in assets across private equity, energy, infrastructure, and real estate.
  • Investment Focus and Strategy: In private equity, the firm focuses on buy-outs and providing growth capital to businesses in consumer, financial services, healthcare & industrial sectors.
  • Notable Investments: Actis has made significant investments in India, including Pine Labs, and L&T IDPL, a prominent infrastructure developer.
  • Successful Exits: A successful exit by Actis was from its investment in Nilgiris, a leading South Indian retail chain, which was sold to Future Group.
Private Equity FirmYear FoundedKey SectorsNotable Investments in IndiaEstimated Assets Under Management
Temasek Holdings1974Financial Services, Telecommunications, Media, Technology, Consumer, Real EstateBharti Airtel, Infosys, Zomato$225 billion
Brookfield Asset Management1899Real Estate, Renewable Power, Infrastructure, Private EquityTelecom Tower Assets from Reliance Industries, Renewable Energy Assets$600 billion
Actis2004Consumer, Healthcare, Financial ServicesL&T IDPL, Pine Labs, Nilgiri’s$10 billion

The Evolving Landscape of Private Equity in India

India’s private equity industry has come a long way since its early days in the 1990s. Today, it represents a vibrant and rapidly growing segment of the Indian financial ecosystem.

Over the past few years, India has grown to become an attractive destination for global investors, primarily due to its rapid economic growth, booming startup ecosystem, and substantial market size. Here are a few reasons why Indian private equity firms hold considerable appeal on the global stage:

  1. Robust Economic Growth: India has been one of the fastest-growing major economies in the world. Even amid the global economic slowdown, the Indian economy has displayed significant resilience. This sustained economic growth has created ample investment opportunities across sectors.
  2. Emerging Middle Class: The rise of the middle class in India has led to a significant increase in consumer spending. Investors are keen to tap into this growing consumer market, driving a lot of private equity activity in the country.
  3. Strong Entrepreneurial Culture: India has a vibrant startup ecosystem, with a new breed of entrepreneurs who are not afraid to take risks and innovate. These startups offer excellent investment opportunities for private equity firms.
  4. Government Initiatives: The Indian government has launched several initiatives to attract foreign investment, such as Make in India and Digital India. Further, reforms in regulations have made it easier to do business in the country. This conducive environment has attracted many global private equity firms to India.
  5. Sectoral Opportunities: Certain sectors in India, such as technology, healthcare, and consumer goods, have shown substantial growth. Private equity firms, both Indian and global, find these sectors particularly appealing for investment.
  6. Successful Exits: Indian markets have witnessed several successful exits in recent years, which has boosted the confidence of investors. Both strategic sales and public markets have provided profitable exit routes.

Conclusion

The future of private equity in India looks bright, with a multitude of investment opportunities across various sectors. Whether you’re a business seeking investment, an investor looking for opportunities, or simply an observer of the financial landscape, it’s worth keeping an eye on these leading private equity firms in India. For more insights into the world of private equity, don’t hesitate to contact us.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the investment focus of PE firms in India?

Popular sectors for PE investments include technology, healthcare, consumer goods, financial services, and infrastructure

What factors should be considered when choosing a Private Equity firm?

The primary factors to consider include the firm’s track record, industry focus, investment size, funding capacity, and the team’s expertise and approach.

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