3i appoints head of Asia

Anil Ahuja, formerly co-head of 3i Asia with Mark Thornton, has been appointed as the head of 3i's Asian operations. He will continue to lead the India team and report to Chris Rowlands, chairman of 3i Asia.

UK-headquartered private equity firm 3i has appointed Anil Ahuja as its head of Asia. Ahuja was, until now, the co-head of Asia along with Mark Thornton, who is a partner and the head of the firm’s Southeast Asian operations.

Ahuja will lead 3i’s investment teams in Asia and work with the firm’s local business heads in China, India and Singapore. He will continue to report to Chris Rowlands, chairman of 3i Asia, and will also continue to head 3i’s India team.

Anil Ahuja

Ahuja joined 3i in April 2005, prior to which he worked for eight years at JPMorgan Partners Asia, where he was responsible for overseeing investments in India. Before that, he worked with Citibank in Mumbai for 11 years.

He is currently on the boards of Vijai Electricals and Nimbus Communications in India. In the past he has served on the boards of other Indian companies such as MTR Foods, a manufacturer of instant pre-mixed instant foods; Adani Power; HDFC Bank; HDFC Securities; Domino’s Pizza India; and Microland, an IT infrastructure management outsourcing company.

3i recently closed its Hong Kong and Shanghai offices and relocated its Chinese investment professionals to Beijing as part of cost-cutting measures that include 15 percent reduction of its 600-strong workforce.

It currently has a team of 28 investment professionals across offices in Singapore, Beijing, Mumbai and Delhi. The Asian team manages assets of more than $1 billion as of 31 March, 2008.

3i generally acquires minority stakes in growing businesses across Asia. In India and Singapore, the firm also invests for control stakes in the mid-market in companies with enterprise values of up to $1 billion. It also invests up to $400 million per deal in Indian infrastructure assets.

In Asia, the firm focuses on investments in sectors such as consumer, financial services, healthcare, media, general industrials, and oil, gas and power.