US private equity giant KKR is expanding its India footprint by opening a new office in the country’s National Capital Region, and has brought on board a former BlackRock executive to spearhead its Gurugram presence.
“Having a team in Gurugram will strengthen our operating model across the globe by expanding our reach and enabling us to tap into a fantastic talent pool,” KKR chief operating officer Ryan Stork said in a statement. “Today’s milestone marks the beginning of a sizable investment in talent in India, as the new location is an important part of how we scale our global operations and service our clients.”
KKR says it plans to expand its team in the commercial hub southwest of New Delhi to 150 new employees by early next year. The firm’s new office is located in the city’s DLF Downtown development.
The Gurugram location is KKR’s second in India after it set up shop in Mumbai in 2009, with the company having since invested in real estate projects with local developers Lodha, Shapoorji Pallonji and Embassy Group, among others.
Building a New Team
To lead its northern India presence, KKR has turned to Nisha Awasthi, who joined the company last month after more than 18 years with BlackRock.
Gaurav Trehan, KKR’s head of private equity for Asia Pacific and head of India welcomed Awasthi to the team. “She brings to KKR her extensive experience building and managing teams in Gurugram, and her perspectives and leadership will be invaluable as we look to deliver on our strategic priorities and develop talent through our new office,” he said.
In her most recent role Awasthi served as head of financial markets advisory for BlackRock India, while based in Gurugram.
The graduate of Savitribai Phule Pune University worked her way up at the asset management giant, having started as a senior associate in 2005. In her work she was responsible for origination and underwriting of commercial mortgage-backed securities, bridge loan financing, loan assumption, loan securitisation, due diligence and other tasks.
Last month Indian billionaire Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Retail Ventures said KKR had invested an additional $250 million in India’s largest retailer at a valuation of $100 billion. The follow-on investment brought KKR’s stake in Reliance Retail to 1.42 percent, according to the statement.
Having established its Gurugram presence, KKR now has offices in 24 cities in four continents, including nine in Asia Pacific. In the region the New York-based firm has presences in the mainland China cities of Shanghai, Beijing and Hong Kong, in addition to one location each in Seoul, Singapore, Sydney and Tokyo.