Harjit Bhatia, Executive Chairman & Founding Partner
Mr. Bhatia rejoined Asia Growth Capital Advisors (AGCA) as Executive Chairman, effective 1st December 2014 from PineBridge Asia Partners, where he was responsible for managing Asia Opportunities Fund II (AOF II) as Managing Partner & CEO from July 2012 – 30th November 2014.
Harjit Bhatia founded Asia Growth Capital Advisors (AGCA) in August 2010, along with Soma Ghosal, who worked with him at Credit Suisse Private Equity Asia (CSPEA). He was, till July 2010, the Chairman and Managing Partner of CSPEA, a pan Asian fund sponsored by Credit Suisse as the exclusive investment vehicle in the region. Mr. Bhatia joined Credit Suisse in April 2007 from Ritchie Capital Management (RCM) where he was Chairman and CEO, Asia Pacific and led RCM’s expansion into private equity investing in the region.
Prior to RCM, Mr. Bhatia spent 11 years at General Electric (GE), most recently as President and CEO of GE Corporate Financial Services in Asia Pacific. While at GE, Mr. Bhatia recruited and managed a team of more than 30 private equity investment professionals operating out of offices in Hong Kong, Tokyo, Sydney, Mumbai and New Delhi, and successfully pioneered one of the first dedicated, local, investment programs in Asian private equity (1997-2002).
From 2003 to 2005, Mr. Bhatia led GE’s Asia-Pacific business focused on distressed asset acquisition / management and broad corporate financial services, managing over 200 employees across offices in Hong Kong, Tokyo, Taipei, Beijing, Seoul, Bangkok and Delhi. Prior to joining GE, Mr. Bhatia founded and led Deutsche Bank’s Merchant Banking business in New Delhi, India (1991-1994), and worked at the State Bank of India for 18 years in various leadership positions in India and Japan. In all, Mr. Bhatia has over 40 years of broad management experience across private equity, distressed investing, corporate finance and investment banking.
Mr. Bhatia holds an MBA from the University of Delhi, India and a Master of Commerce from the University of Allahabad, Allahabad, India. He is also a Certified Associate of the Indian Institute of Bankers. Mr. Bhatia also obtained a “Green Belt” certification under GE’s Six Sigma Quality Program. He is fluent in English, Hindi, Punjabi and Urdu.
Soma Ghosal Dhar, Partner, CEO
Soma Ghosal Dhar is a Partner and Cofounder of AGCA. Prior to co-founding AGCA, she was a Partner with Credit Suisse Private Equity Asia (CSPEA), based out of Mumbai and Hong Kong and was responsible for originating and advising on private equity opportunities in India, as well as working on some of the strategic fund raising related initiatives at CSPEA. Soma joined CSPEA in 2007 from Ritchie Capital Management, where she covered India.
Prior to Ritchie, Soma was an investment professional with GE’s private equity division, initially as a key member of GE Equity’s India team, and later leading GE Equity’s India private equity initiative. She worked closely with Harjit Bhatia during his leadership of GE Equity business in Asia Pacific. At GE, some of the transactions that she was responsible for originating and managing included GE’s marquee investments in various IT Services and media companies.
Soma briefly worked at Kotak Investment Banking, where she established and led their Financial Sponsors Group. Soma started her career with HSBC India, after which she was a founding member of Gateway Capital Management, a Mumbai based boutique advisory firm focused on private equity and mergers and acquisitions. During her 15+ years of covering the Indian private equity space, Soma has managed several investments through their life cycle.
Soma holds a post graduate degree from Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad and is fluent in English, Hindi and Bengali.
Tushar Sinha, Director
Tushar Sinha joined AGCA in August 2012 and was before that a Deal Lead with D. E. Shaw & Co.’s India private equity team. Mr. Sinha joined D. E. Shaw in February 2010. From 2007 to 2010, Mr. Sinha was an investment professional with Standard Chartered Private Equity in India where he was involved in deal closures of ~USD 200 mn and worked on deals across a wide variety of sectors including industrials, automotive components, renewable energy, media, travel and tourism.
He was involved in Standard Chartered’s investment into InterGlobe Technology Quotient where Standard Chartered, DBS and Credit Suisse made a consortium investment in 2007-08. The company is now a key portfolio company under AGCA’s management.
Mr. Sinha has also worked at Kotak Investment Banking (Goldman Sach’s joint venture partner at that time), where he was a key member of the M&A team and was involved in several marquee deals including Actis’ investment in Hindustan Motors’ automotive component division and CRH’s investment in My Home cement. While at Kotak, he completed a 6 month secondment stint with Goldman Sachs in Hong Kong and Singapore.
Mr. Sinha holds a Bachelor of Arts with Honors in Mathematics from St. Stephen’s College, Delhi and a Post Graduate Diploma in Management from the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad. Mr. Sinha is fluent in English and Hindi.
Rajat Bhatia, Principal
Rajat joined AGCA in 2013 and has prior experience in private equity and investment banking in the US and Asia. Prior to AGCA, Rajat worked with CVC International(CVCI) in Hong Kong and Standard Chartered Private Equity in Mumbai on executing private equity deals and portfolio management across Asia and India. Prior to that, Rajat was an investment professional in the Private Equity team at Ritchie Capital Management (RCM), a $3.0bn alternative investment manager, in New York where he focused on growth equity deals in the TMT sector. At RCM, Rajat originated, executed and managed nine investments, across a range of sub-sectors and stages, was deeply involved in portfolio management and was a board representative at several of the portfolio companies.
Earlier on in his career, Rajat was a Leveraged Finance investment banker with Merrill Lynch & Co. in New York where he closed approximately $4.0 billion of high yield financings for financial sponsor and corporate clients in various sectors. Rajat also had a stint as an equity analyst covering high growth technology companies at Compound Capital, a long/short equity hedge fund in Boston.
Rajat has a BA in Economics and Psychology from Williams College where he was a ‘Class of 1960’ Scholar and an MBA in Finance and Management from the Wharton School. Rajat was awarded the Williams-Oxford fellowship to study Economics and Politics at Exeter College, Oxford University. Rajat grew up in India, Japan and Hong Kong and has lived and worked in the US, UK and Asia. He is fluent in English, Hindi and Punjabi.
Tanvi Bhatia, Head, Operations and HR
Tanvi Bhatia has been with AGCA since January 2011 and is in charge of the company's Operations and Investor relations. She is responsible for the Fund's operations and regulatory reporting, including managing external fund administrators, auditors and offshore SPVs in the Cayman Islands, Mauritius and British Virgin Islands.
Prior to AGCA, Tanvi worked for the Four Seasons Hotel Group for over two years, in operations, revenue management and customer relations.
Ms. Bhatia holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree with Honors in Hospitality and Human Resources Management from the Glion Institute of Higher Education, Switzerland and is a member of the International Hotel Honors Society Eta Sigma Delta. She is fluent in English and Hindi.
Sokho Jung, Managing Director
Mr. Jung has over 25 years of investing experience in Asia and USA. He joined AGCA in December 2014 as Managing Director from Pinebridge Asia Partners. He is responsible for managing three private equity investments in South Korea as also marketing for new business in South Korea and Greater China. Additionally, he is responsible for providing overall portfolio valuation and operations support for Asia Opportunities Fund II (AOF II) portfolio.
Prior to joining PineBridge as Senior Consultant in 2012, he worked with Credit Suisse Private Equity Asia Fund from 2008 to 2010 as the Managing Director for Korea and at Standard Chartered Bank from 2002 to 2008 as Head of their private equity business in Korea.
Earlier, Mr. Jung worked at GIC in Singapore as Senior Investment Officer, based in Singapore from 1999 to 2000. He has also worked previously with Lone Star Advisors LLC in Seoul, Pacific Gemini Partners LLC in Los Angeles, Coopers & Lybrand LLP in New York and Bankers Trust in Seoul.
Mr. Jung holds a Bachelor degree from Seoul National University, Master of Science in Statistics and Operations Research and MBA from NYU, Leonard N. Stern School of Business.
Shyamal Lahon, Assistant Vice President
Shyamal joined AGCA in July 2015 in the Mumbai office. Shyamal is engaged in managing Asia Opportunities Fund II’s existing six portfolio investments in India, besides generating and working on new business opportunities in the country. Prior to AGCA, Shyamal worked for TVS Capital Funds for about 3 years, where he was focused on growth equity investments across sectors including financial services, consumer products/ services and infrastructure services, among others. Shyamal was largely responsible for deal origination, transaction execution and effectively managing portfolio companies.
Earlier in his career, Shyamal worked for KPMG in New York and Gurgaon (India) offices in its Economic & Valuation Services and Corporate Finance Advisory practices respectively for about 2 years after his MBA. Prior to his MBA, he worked as a Software Engineer in Product R&D at Quark Inc.
Shyamal holds an MBA from Duke University – The Fuqua School of Business (USA) and also a Bachelor in Electronics and Communication Engineering from National Institute of Technology – Jalandhar (India).
Linwoo Chung, Portfolio Advisor
Mr. Chung joined AGCA as Portfolio Advisor (based in Seoul) in December 2014 from PineBridge Asia Partners, where he was working as Vice President. He is responsible for monitoring and actively managing three private equity invested portfolio companies in South Korea and originating new business in the South Korean market.
Prior to his engagement at PineBridge, Mr. Chung was an investment banker specializing in M&A transactions with Standard Chartered in Seoul and Deutsche Bank in Hong Kong and the U.S., where he was involved in various M&A and corporate finance transactions, including MSPE’s acquisition of Nolboo, Net1’s acquisition of KSNET, SCPE’s investment in Doosan Industrial Vehicle, sale of Oriental Brewery to KKR / Affinity and Hong Kong listing of Alibaba Group.
Mr. Chung holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Economics from the University of Pennsylvania. He is a fluent speaker of Korean and English.
Ashish Kumar, Senior Consultant