KKR India real estate chief Ashish Khandelia is said to be leaving the US private equity firm to start his own business, according to an account this week in Singapore-based Dealstreet Asia.
Khandelia would be leaving the US buyout giant after five years running its India property investments, and his departure comes amid a burst of entrepreneurial activity among top executives at international real estate firms in the country.
KKR India Real Estate Team on the Move
Khandelia is said to be leaving KKR to start his own real estate investment business focused on private equity deals, including structured debt, the Dealstreet report noted, citing sources familiar with the personnel move.
Prior to joining KKR in 2013, the MBA holder from the Indian School of Business had spent seven years with Morgan Stanley Real Estate Investment in India, where he served as head of acquisitions. During January of this year, KKR was announced as joining Singaporean sovereign wealth fund GIC and other global investors to take a $1.75 billion stake in India’s largest mortgage lender, Housing Development Finance Corp (HDFC).
In addition to the upcoming vacancy in KKR’s top real estate job, Saurabh Gupta, who serves as a Principal with the same team, is also said to be leaving the private equity firm after more than four years with KKR.
Real Estate Investment Surge Leads to India Job Jumping
The personnel departures at KKR come as India’s real estate industry has become a favourite shopping destination for international developers and private equity real estate investors, including Blackstone, Brookfield and many others.
In the last 12 years foreign investors have put $42 billion into Indian real estate deals, according to JLL, and the agency expects that developers, private equity firms and other buyers will put another $58 billion into the country’s property market over the next decade.
Just last month US developer Hines promoted long-time executive Amit Diwan to head of its India business after the Houston-based firm’s former India head Yash Gupta resigned last October to set up his own real estate business.
Early last year, JLL’s former India head Anuj Puri left the real estate consultancy to set up his own residential property firm in partnership with his former employer less than six months later. Puri’s depature was followed in January this year by JLL’s former head of India capital markets, Shobhit Agarwal, leaving to set up his own real estate investment advisory firm ANB Capital Advisors.
Singapore’s Ascendas-Singbridge also introduced Vinamra Srivastava as its new India CEO in February after former boss Sanjay Dutt left for local titan Tata Group.