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, CEO & Managing Director

Vineet is the founder and Managing Director of ( AVMS) and has over 18 years of experience in early stage investing, small business incubation, and microfinance. He is also the co-founder and Chairman of the Intellecap Group of companies. Vineet with his experience and expertise in venture capital, micro enterprises, microfinance investments, incubations and social investment advisory has led the setting up of Aavishkaar I and II and Aavishkaar Goodwell I & II funds. 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. Vineet has also been awarded the G20 SME Finance Award & UNDP-IBLF World Business Award.

P Pradeep, Executive Director & CIO

Pradeep is the CIO and Executive Director at Aavishkaar. As one of the founding team members, Pradeep has been leading and guiding Aavishkaar in advising various funds over the last decade in making high risk early stage investments that can build value for all stake holders. A career spanning 16 years Pradeep has worked across sectors and served on multiple boards and has been leading the investment process as its Chief Investment Officer. PRADEEP personal interest lies in making investments in sectors such as agriculture, agro processing, renewable energy, healthcare services.Pradeep also represents Aavishkaar on the Indian Impact Investor Council Working Group and holds
Board position across multiple companies. A frequent speaker at National and International events, Pradeep holds an 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.

Sanchayan Chakraborty, Partner

Sanchayan is currently focussed on leading the fund raising and investment activities for the Aavishkaar Frontier Fund, Aavishkaar’s maiden fund for investments in high impact commercially scalable enterprises serving the low-income population in South & South East Asia. Sanchayan brings over 18 years of experience in corporate finance, advising and financing a diverse client base, ranging from multinational and local corporations to small entrepreneurs, in Asia and Middle East. Sanchayan has expertise across the investment and commercial banking spectrum including mergers and acquisitions, leveraged and acquisition finance and project and structured finance, on transactions ranging in size from less than a million to more than five billon Dollars. Prior to joining Aavishkaar, Sanchayan worked for Standard Chartered Bank handling leveraged finance and project finance portfolios. Earlier in his career, Sanchayan has worked for Bank of America, ING Barings and ING Vysya Bank. Sanchayan graduated in Management from Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore (India) and in Electronics and Electrical Communication Engineering from Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur (India).

EN Venkat, Partner

EN Venkat is the Partner at Aavishkaar and leading the Aavishkaar Frontier Fund initiative to take Aavishkaar model to South and South East Asia. Venkat has more than 25 years of experience in Investment banking (Lazard), financial services (IL&FS) & the corporate world (multiple companies). Venkat is a senior investment banker with experience in global buy & sell side transactions. He has executed multiple M&A, project finance & special situation deals. During his career, Venkat was involved with a variety of business situations from start-ups, project financing, infrastructure, private equity, fund management and new business development. Over the years he has also been part of the planning and execution of many projects and assignments in Renewable Energy and CleanTech in India. Venkat has past experience as a CEO of growth stage companies & managing investments. His overseas work experience includes the Middle East and Hong Kong. Venkat received his post graduate diploma in Management from IIM- Ahmedabad, India & is graduate in Electrical & Electronic Engineering from BITS, Pilani, India.”

 

Investment Team

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, Principal

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.

Neha Agarwal, Investment Manager

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.

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.

Shashvat Rai, Investment Manager

Shashvat joined Aavishkaar in January 2012 from the Development Bank of Singapore, where he was a part of the Global Transaction Services team. At Aavishkaar, Shashvat works for the Aavishkaar Goodwell team which looks at deals in the financial inclusion space. Shashvat is an Engineer (Computer Sciences) from IIT Bombay and has done his MBA from the Indian School of Business. Post his  engineering, Shashvat had worked with UBS for over two years in Hong Kong.

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.

Snigdha Rao, Senior Investment Manager

Snigdha is part of Aavishkaar’s Bangalore office and focuses primarily on the funds’ interests in South India. She has been associated with Aavishkaar since 2008, when she led the BYST Growth Fund – a joint venture between Aavishkaar and Ventureast, and a pioneering micro-equity initiative providing equity-
like capital and mentoring to SMEs in conventional industries. She was earlier a management consultant with experience across multiple industries in growth strategy, organization restructuring and operations management. Snigdha has completed her B.Tech. from the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras and holds an MBA from the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad.

Ishan Mishra, Social Sector Specialist

Ishan is a Social Sector Specialist and brings with him 8 years of diverse experience in the fields of  Technology Consulting and Social Impact Assessment. Prior to joining Aavishkaar, Ishan was working in the Impact Assessment team at Dasra where he was helping build capacities of partner Non-profit organizations to perform Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E). He has helped drive impact assessment strategy of Non-profit organizations in diverse sectors, has developed and implemented impact related reporting frameworks for portfolio organizations, has participated in developing sector specific impact assessment curriculum and implementing capacity building workshops for organizations and has conducted due diligence visits to identify suitable partner organizations. Ishan has also helped develop and implement a data management system to facilitate project management and decision making within Dasra. In addition, Ishan has over 6 years of experience in the IT consulting industry and has worked as a Senior Consultant in the Investment Banking domain at Oracle (OFSS) where he was designing robust, cost effective technology solutions to help address complex business needs and challenges of Financial Institutions.

Dr. Shruti Nair, Social Sector & Communications Specialist

Dr. Shruti Nair is a social sector and communication specialist and has joined the social impact team at Aavishkaar. Shruti is a PhD in Media and Communication Studies from Florida State University (FSU), where she specialized in evaluation and impact assessment in the area of communication technology in social change. She has worked as a faculty member at the SP Jain Institute of Management and Research and led the team at the Institute’s Centre for Excellence that trains managers in the development sector. Shruti has more than eight years of experience and has a Masters in Mass Communication from NTU, Singapore.

Subit Saurav,  Investment Associate

Subit comes with over 04 years of experience with IFMR and has varied exposure in working on Financial Modelling , Equity term sheet negotiations , debt raising , strategic partnerships , treasury management, team management and financial analysis. Subit also has experience in working in the Corporate – Finance function with IFMR. Subit has completed his B. Tech from IIT – Guwahati and PGDM from IIM – Calcutta.

Neha Saraf, Investment Manager

Neha works as an Investment Manager at Aavishkaar, responsible for deal sourcing, assessment of deals and management of portfolio companies. She joined Aavishkaar in August 2012 from Goldman Sachs, where she was a part of the Investment banking team. She has over five years of experience in Investment banking which involved working on various strategic advisory assignments and capital market transactions. She holds an MBA degree from Symbiosis Institute of Business Management, Pune and a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from Lady Shri Ram College, Delhi University

Adi Sudewa, Investment Manager

Adi has more than 10 years of experience in strategy & IT services assignments in Indonesia & Singapore with leading firms including McKinsey and Co. And IBM Business Consulting Services, and two years as Vice President and Head of Retail Banking Strategy at Permatabank, one of the leading consumer banks in Indonesia. He also has entrepreneurial experience in the real estate sector in Bali and 3 years of strategic advisory experience in banking & telecom sectors in ASEAN. He was responsible for the implementation of CRM/e-governance systems on an end-to-end basis in ASEAN countries. Adi has a MBA from UCLA Anderson School of Management, USA and BE (Informatics Engineering) from Bandung Institute of Technology, Bandung, Indonesia.

Samruddhi Mulye, Human Capital Specialist

Samruddhi comes with over 14 years of experience in Human Resources . She holds a post graduate degree in Human Resource Development and is a certified Black Belt – Lean Six Sigma champion. Her core expertise lies in Talent Acquisition and Talent Management, Performance Management , Compensation and Reward Management and Organisation Development . Samruddhi is a part of the HR team at Aavishkaar , that also extends support on people and organisational development matters to Aavishkaar’s investees (Portfolio companies). Samruddhi has worked across various industries and has donned multiple hats in HR from leading the HR team to strategic HR business advisor , Human Capital consultant to various companies like Infovision, Carlson group , Royal Bank of Scotland . She has predominantly worked and focussed on people plan and people management with start-ups that have predominantly been in the field of healthcare, Technology , Biomedical Engineering , BFSI, Banking and Financial Services , Social Media and Advertising and NGO to mention few.

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.

 

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.