Starwood rehires India deal exec

Sundaram Rajagopal has been appointed managing director in charge of the firm’s acquisitions and asset management in India, after four years at Lehman Brothers.

Starwood Capital Group has rehired former executive Sundaram Rajagopal to lead the firm’s deal operations in India.

Rajagopal worked for Starwood between 2002 and 2005 as a transaction vice president working from the firm’s Greenwich, Connecticut headquarters. He left Starwood to join Third Point India for one year before being appointed managing director and head of India at Lehman Brothers Real Estate Partners.

Starwood opened a Mumbai office in 2006 and in 2007 teamed up with Walton Street Capital and Bangalore-based Shriram Properties to develop a $1.25 billion IT township in Kolkata. At the time of the deal’s announcement, it was revealed the three firms would each own a 33 percent stake in Bengal Shriram Hi-Tech City Private, the special purpose vehicle to develop the 20 million-square-foot technology and auto park on the former site of Hindustan Motor’s Uttarpara plant in West Bengal.

According to data provider Real Capital Analytics, the site was acquired for around $67 million.

Starwood said in a statement this week it had been “actively pursued a number of investment opportunities in major developments in various markets [since opening its doors in India], along with strategic investments in operating platforms”.

Founder Barry Sternlicht said he was “thrilled to welcome back Raj, a home grown talent”.

Starwood is also in the process of opening an office

Starwood Capital Group is in the process of opening an office in Brazil as it looks to take advantage of the country’s growing hospitality sector. Three to five people are expected to work in the country, possibly in Sao Paulo, with a Brazilian Starwood presence expected this summer.