Key Principals

  • Vineet Rai
  • P Pradeep
  • Wim van der Beek
  • Noshir Colah

Investment Team

  • Vinod Keni
  • Ajay Maniar
  • Sushma Kaushik
  • Priyank Jain
  • Madhuri Vijaykumar
  • Sunitha Ramaswamy
  • Aarthi R
  • Shashvat Rai
  • Rishabh Kaul

Investment Committee
Members

  • Arun Diaz
  • Pravin Gandhi
  • Sameer Wagle
  • Els Boerhof
  • Dr. V. Anantha-Nageswaran

Team

The Aavishkaar Investment team is employed by Aavishkaar Venture Management Services Private Limited (AVMS) and is guided by the Investment Committee members. The team is comprised of highly motivated individuals with experience in both the private and social sectors.

Key Principals

Vineet Rai, Partner/Managing Director

Vineet is the founder and Managing Director of AVMS and has over 17 years of experience in early stage investing, small business incubation, and microfinance. Vineet has led the setting up of Aavishkaar I and II and Aavishkaar Goodwell I & II funds. He provides overall leadership to the fund team with key focus on fund raising and post investment mentoring and exits. Vineet is also the Co-founder and Director of Intellecap, a pioneer and leader in the multiple bottom line investment advisory industry and also chairs the board of Intellecash, a Non Banking Finance Company. He also serves as the Director of Villgro, a rural business incubator that creates networks for rural innovations. Vineet is an Ashoka Fellow, and has received honorary membership to the Xavier Labour Research Institute (XLRI) Alumni Association, a premier management institute in India. He holds a Post-Graduate diploma in Forestry Management from Indian Institute of Forest Management, Bhopal.

P Pradeep, Partner/Executive Director

Pradeep has been associated with Aavishkaar since its inception in early 2002 and has over 15 years of operational and investment experience in sectors such as agriculture, agro processing, renewable energy, healthcare services and delivery, micro-finance and financial services. Pradeep leads the investment process at Aavishkaar and provides leadership to the investment team during due diligence and post investment mentoring process. Currently, Pradeep represents Aavishkaar’s interest on the boards of four companies namely Belstar, Vaatsalya, Grameen Koota and Servals Automation. Pradeep holds a MBA with specialisation in finance and is a Bachelor in Applied Sciences (Engg.).

Wim van der Beek

Wim is the founder of Goodwell Investments (GIBV)- a Netherlands based investment firm focused on high-impact high-return investment solutions – and also the Managing Partner for the microfinance funds (AGIMDC I & II) . In 2007 GIBV joined hands with Aavishkaar to launch Aavishkaar Goodwell India MDC (AGIMDC) focused on equity investments in early and growth stage MFIs. GIBV also initiated and manages Goodwell MDC, a business development company for the microfinance sector which was launched in 2006. In 2009, GIBV launched a successor to GMDC I, GMDC II, as well as Goodwell West-Africa MDC in partnership with investment teams in Ghana and Nigeria.

Wim has over two decades of experience in financial structuring, investment management, private equity and cross border direct investments. Before launching Goodwell, Wim co-founded and managed an institutional fund advisory company. In the first half of his career, Wim learned “the art” of bringing together people, processes and knowledge at PricewaterhouseCoopers. As a partner in the international financial services practice he worked with institutional, corporate and private clients on a diverse range of financial structures, cross-border investments, M&A transactions, treasury and private equity structures, funds and investment product development. He has served in international client service leadership roles, led many industry initiatives and fulfilled various knowledge management roles. He holds a masters degree in economics and taxation from Erasmus University Rotterdam and post-graduate qualifications from Insead, Darden Business School and the multi-disciplinary Comenius program at seven European universities.

Noshir Colah, Operations Partner

Noshir Colah has over 25 years of wide-ranging international experience in top management across sectors. He has been an integral part of three start-up companies. His domain knowledge includes renewable energy and green technology, construction, mechanical engineering and the services sector. His fields of experience covers various aspects of management, including concept & product development, intellectual property rights, licensing and joint ventures, finance, legal, operations, sales and marketing. However, his passion is organization building through the development and implementation of corporate systems. In the past two decades, he has held four “C-Level” positions and has served on the Board of Directors of several companies in India and abroad. Noshir has earned his M.B.A with a dual major in Finance and Computer Systems in Business from Ohio University and is an alumnus of Mumbai’s St. Mary’s School (ISC), Sydenham College of Commerce and Economics, Government Law College.

 

Investment Team

Vinod Keni, Chief Financial Officer

Vinod Keni leads the fund management process and plays an active role in helping seed stage companies in firming up the financial process. Vinod brings over 20 years of diverse experience across fund raising, BPO, outsourcing, treasury, corporate development, operations, M&A. Vinod has extensive experience with technology, healthcare services, BPO/KPO and VC/PE sectors. Vinod has been the MD & CFO Partner at Aquarian CFO Services & Peachtree Capital Partners. He also has been the Investor/Director at Westrix Technologies Private Limited, Consultant/General Partner at SCP Private Equity Partners, USA and IL&FS Investment Managers, India. Vinod has completed his Private Equity Development Programme from the Indian School of Business, India, Executive Management Education in Finance & Management from the Harvard Business School. Vinod also holds CPA from AICPA, MS in finance from Bentley college, Waltham, MBA from Johnson & Wales University, MS and BS in finance & accounting from Bangalore University and is also a CA from ICAI, India.

Ajay Maniar, Principal

Ajay has been associated with Aavishkaar since January 2011. He brings over 15 years of experience across rating agencies and banks. He started his career with Credit Analysis & Research Ltd. followed by stints with HDFC Ban and Citibank. During this period he has successfully undertaken diverse role within the risk domain and has extensive experience in dealing with large, mid-size and small business units. He is a chemical engineer and has done his Masters in Management Studies (MMS) from Jamnalal Bajaj Institute of Management Studies (JBIMS), Mumbai, 1996.

Sushma Kaushik, Investment Manager

Sushma brings with her over 9 years of diverse experience in the field of consulting and investing. She started off with an entrepreneurial venture in engineering design services and moved on to a role in investments in Real Estate and Hospitality as a part of the acquisition team at Starwood Capital India Advisors. She has extensively evaluated real estate transactions covering debt and equity structures. Sushma then moved to Ashoka-Innovators for the Public to work with social entrepreneurs in the ‘Housing for All’ initiative. She has worked closely on building collaborative partnerships in market based solutions for the low-income population. Sushma is an engineering graduate from RVCE, Bangalore and has an MBA from the Indian School of Business, Hyderabad.

Madhuri Vijaykumar, Social Performance Specialist

Madhuri Vijaykumar specialises in social and environmental due diligence, monitoring and reporting of Aavishkaar’s portfolio and pipeline companies. She has over six years of experience in the development sector. Prior to joining Aavishkaar, Madhuri was working with HSBC in their Corporate Sustainability Practice, where she was managing the Bank’s ‘Education and Financial Inclusion’ portfolio and leading Future First, HSBC’s global education programme for street children, orphans and children in care. Madhuri has also worked with grass roots non-profit organisations in UK and Bangalore. She holds a Masters’ degree in Social Policy and Development from the London School of Economics and a Bachelor’s degree in Commerce from the Bangalore University.

Divya Srinath, Associate, Social Impact Office

Divya Srinath is an Associate in the Mumbai office. She specializes in the assessment and analysis of Aavishkaar’s portfolio companies on the commercial, social and environmental side. Divya has over 6 years of experience in the development sector and worked with the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and United Nations World Food Programme (WFP). She was also the Head (Operations) of data64 Techno Solutions, a startup company based in Pune that specialised in courses in cyber crime investigation. Prior to joining Aavishkaar, Divya was working with EdelGive Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Edelweiss Financial Services, one of India’s largest financial services companies. At EdelGive, Divya was responsible for partnerships and fundraising for collaborations with development agencies, foundations, corporate and individual donors in the philanthropic space. She executed strategies to raise funds for EdelGive’s portfolio organisations from funders in India and overseas. Divya holds a Masters’ degree in Social Policy and Development from the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) and a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology from the Delhi University.

Neha Agarwal, Senior Associate

Neha Agarwal is a Senior Associate in the Mumbai office. She specializes in the assessment and analysis of Aavishkaar’s investee companies on the finance & operations side. Neha has over five years of experience in the finance sector and has previously worked with Citigroup, DSP Merrill Lynch Limited, & Brand Capital (Bennett Coleman & Co Ltd). Prior to joining Aavishkaar, Neha was involved in setting up and running a corporate finance offshoring business providing high end analyst support to boutique finance firms globally. Neha holds an MBA from the Indian School of Business and a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from Lady Sri Ram College. She has completed all three levels of the CFA and is currently awaiting her charter.

Praneet Chawla, Investment Manager

Praneet Chawla is an Investment manager in the Mumbai office. He is responsible for deal sourcing, due diligence and portfolio management in sectors like Agribusiness, Education and Healthcare. Prior to joining Aavishkaar, Praneet was working with KPMG India in their Management consulting Practice, where he was advising corporate clients, private equity firms and venture capitalists on their M&A, Growth strategy and investment related decisions. Praneet holds a management degree from the Indian Institute of Management Bangalore and a Bachelor’s degree in Engineering from Punjab Engineering College, Chandigarh.

Sunitha Ramaswamy, Associate

Sunitha has joined Aavishkaar in November 2011 from Microfinance Information eXchange. Sunitha has completed her management education from the Isenberg School of Management and computer engineering degree from the SJC Institute of Technology. After engineering, she had worked with Infosys Technologies Ltd.

Shashvat Rai, Associate

Shashvat joined Aavishkaar in January 2012 from the Development Bank of Singapore, where he was a part of the Global Transaction Services team. Shashvat is an Engineer (Computer Sciences) from IIT Mumbai and has done his MBA from the Indian School of Business. Post his engineering, Shashvat had worked with UBS for over two years.

Rini Singhal, Associate

Rini joined Aavishkaar in 2013. Prior to Avishkaar, Rini has spent close to three years in Investment Banking at Nomura working across a wide range of deals.  Rini holds an MBA degree from Narsee Monjee Institute of Management Studies, Mumbai and a Bachelors degree in Economics from Hindu College, Delhi University. She has completed level I and II of the CFA program of CFA Institute, USA.

Kartik Desai

Kartik is Senior Investment Manager for Aavishkaar Frontier Fund, responsible for sourcing, evaluating and managing Aavishkaar’s investments in South and Southeast Asia. He has more than 11 years of global experience in international development and policy, management consulting, investment banking, private equity, venture capital / impact investing and social entrepreneurship working with organizations including the Rockefeller Foundation, Accenture, the United Nations Development Program, the BTS Group, DSP Merrill Lynch, Lok Capital and What’s up Bharat. Kartik has a Bachelor in Economics from the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, dual-majoring in Finance and Management, and a Master of International Affairs from Columbia University, majoring in International Finance and Business with a regional focus on South Asia.

Investment Committee Members

Arun Diaz

Arun has been part of the founding team at Aavishkaar and devotes significant time to providing support to both the investment team and Aavishkaar’s portfolio companies. He sits on the board of Aavishkaar portfolio companies Vortex Engineering, INI Farms and Suryoday Microfinance. In a formal advisory position, Arun would provide support to the Principals and Investment Managers through dedicated review of SOW and TEND stage companies and taking board positions to protect the interest of Aavishkaar II and guide the companies in the formative stage. Arun has completed a distinguished career with Standard Chartered Bank spanning 28 years in various positions including international locations. He also led the Reuters Consulting division in South Asia. Arun holds a Masters in Business Management from Xavier Labour Relations Institute (XLRI), Jamshedpur, India and a degree in Mathematics from the University of Madras.

Pravin Gandhi

Mr. Gandhi has been affiliated with Aavishkaar for many years as a member of the investment committee.  He is a Managing Partner of Infinity Venture Fund, an early stage fund launched in year 1999. He is also a Director of Seed Fund, an early stage fund launched in 2006. With operational & management experience spanning more than 30 years, he was one of the early IT entrepreneurs and promoted Hinditron in 1972 with a successful IPO in 1988. Mr. Gandhi has been an angel investor in various IT Companies with several board directorships in listed and unlisted companies including significant shareholding & directorship of Schiller Healthcare. He is currently also the President of TIE, Mumbai. Mr. Gandhi holds a B.S. degree in Industrial Engineering from Cornell University

Sameer Wagle

Sameer Wagle has over 16 years of Private Equity & Operational experience in India & South East Asia. Sameer has invested in and worked closely with a number of companies in the Consumer services, Technology and Manufacturing sectors. He has extensive experience in deal origination, due diligence and portfolio management including working with portfolio companies in helping them drive their corporate strategy. Sameer is currently Executive Director at Nomura Securities in Mumbai where he heads the Indian activities for the firm’s Private Equity division. Prior to this, Sameer was a Partner at IL&FS Investment Managers, Mumbai. Before this he worked as an Investment Manager at Vertex Management, Singapore and Gujarat Venture Finance, Ahmedabad. Sameer also has operational experience from positions at DGP Windsor and Crompton Greaves, Mumbai. He holds a Masters in Business Administration from SP Jain Institute of Management & Research, Mumbai and is a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) from the US. Sameer is an Electrical Engineer from the Pune University.

Els Boerhof

Els Boerhof joined Goodwell Investments, BV as a partner in March 2008. Besides being an active member of the Investment Committee, she oversees fund management and investor relations for Aavishkaar Goodwell. She is also the Managing Partner for Goodwell West Africa, an equity fund she has been instrumental in launching in Dec’09 along with investment teams in Nigeria and Ghana. Prior to joining Goodwell, Els  managed the EUR 300 mln Micro & Small Enterprise Fund ‘MASSIF’ of the Dutch Development Bank FMO. On behalf of that institution she was also a non-executive board member of Acción Investments in Microfinance (USA) and member of the Credit Committee of the AfricInvest Financial Sector Fund. Within FMO she previously held the positions of Manager Business Development and Investment Officer Asia. Before FMO, Els worked for MeesPierson in Amsterdam, Rotterdam and Johannesburg in Trade & Commodity Finance (the Americas) and Correspondent Banking (Africa & Middle East). She graduated from Tilburg University in 1995 with a thesis on “The monitoring and evaluation of credit for the rural poor”, for which she conducted the research whilst working for the Visayas Co-operative Development Organisation (VICTO) in The Philippines.

Dr. V. Anantha-Nageswaran

Dr. V. Anantha-Nageswaran graduated with a Post-Graduate Diploma in Management from Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad in 1983. He obtained a doctoral degree in Finance from the University of Massachusetts in 1994 for his work on the empirical behaviour of exchange rates. Between 1994 and 2004, he worked for Union Bank of Switzerland (now UBS) and Credit Suisse in Switzerland and in Singapore. In July 2006, he joined Bank Julius Baer & Co. Ltd. in Singapore as the Head of Research for Asia. In March 2009, he was appointed as the Chief Investment Officer for the bank. Since July 2011, he has been an independent consultant on financial markets, based out of Singapore.

He is an angel investor in many start-up companies in India. He was one of the founders of Aavishkaar India Micro Venture Capital Fund. He is one of the Directors of the NPS Indian International School in Singapore. He is also on the Board of Kerala First Health Services (Ayurved health care) and Aparajitha Corporate Services (end-to-end HR solutions). He also teaches International Finance in several business schools in India and in Singapore. He is one of the founders and Trustees of the Takshashila Institution (a networked virtual non-partisan think-tank contributing to India’s public policy discourse). He is a regular columnist for MINT, a financial daily published in India.