Mumbai: India and South-East Asia focused private equity fund Everstone Group is planning to hire a chief digital officer who would look after the strategic digital game-plan for its portfolio companies, the group’s co-founder and managing partner Atul Kapur said.
Founded in 2006 by Kapur and Sameer Sain, Everstone Capital has close to $4 billion of assets under management.
“We are moving from an operational to a functional expertise. Disruption is the game for the next decade. We are deciding to bring a chief digital officer at a corporate level who can at least start putting strategic framework for companies to think about," Kapur said at a panel discussion at the Annual Mint Private Equity Conclave.
In August, Everstone strengthened its team by hiring Food and Beverage (F&B) industry veteran Ajay Kaul as senior director to support growth in the quick service restaurant business of its food platform F&B Asia. F&B Asia is an investment vehicle owned and managed by Everstone Group to build a food and beverage services platform across Asia.
“The biggest challenge to build out the franchise is talent. Everything from recruiting, training, retaining and compensating talent is a real challenge. The industry is bounding ahead in terms of capital they are raising but I am not sure if quality talent pool is keeping track. This is not a business of genius, but a business of experience," he said.
The private equity and real estate investment firm of the group had earlier appointed Bhavna Thakur as the head of capital markets and exits.
The group aims to focus on the digital aspect of the business for next five years, he said, adding, “The most important thing as a private equity fund manager is to constantly and consistently generate returns. That capability set is far beyond an associate, executive or a managing director looking at spread sheets. Whether it’s a minority or a controlled transaction, a deeper understanding of the industry not just at an industry level but also at a functional level is required."
In 2016, True North, another home grown private equity firm, appointed former vice president at IBM India, Anand Narayan as the chief digital officer of the firm. Narayan focuses on information technology, and drives the transformation to digital enterprises of the portfolio companies.