Former bureaucrat Sanjay Gupta to launch PE fund, plans to raise USD 1 billion in next 5 years


Sanjay Gupta

Former bureaucrat turned entrepreneur, and the person behind INR 2,000 crore NEESA group, Sanjay Gupta on his mission to help entrepreneurs, has recently launched a new PE fund i.e. Let India Fly for Ever aka Life fund.

Sanjay will be using his experience as a bureaucrat, business professional and entrepreneur, to identify the right enterprises to invest in, as well as for looking into investors for funds across the globe.

Life Fund will initially raise INR 250 – 300 Crore from investors in India and abroad to provide capital solutions to enterprises for expanding their business. Sanjay has already approached the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) for regulatory approvals, which might come between 45-60 days. The fund falls under the Category II–AIS SEBI regulations.

As per reports, the fund is expected to wrap up the first round of financial closure within the next three months.

Focussed on sectors like media, hospitality, healthcare and lifestyle businesses, Life Fund’s first scheme to be launched is titled as ‘India Aspiration Scheme’ which will focus on SMEs and industries with a turnover between INR 20 crore to INR 200 crore.

Sanjay explains that unlike in the west, PE in India means ‘growth capital’ and it focuses only on scaling up and with the pressure of generating a fixed internal rate of return (IRR), entrepreneurs get into financial engineering instead of focusing on business and profit. Thus they lose sight of the cost structure and profit in the process of scaling and making their ventures ‘IPOable’. “Our fund will take a long-term view and help a venture accelerate, rather than put pressure on it to scale up,” he said.

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The fund will be putting in financial capital of around INR 15-35 crore into each venture and will come under early-growth or late startup stage. Apart from providing financial support the fund will also be providing business intelligence and a support network depending upon the business need and requirements.

Sanjay Gupta, a former bureaucrat left his services in 2002 and joined Adani group as chief executive (infrastructure). Later he founded Neesa Group which now operates 16 companies across various categories and in 2005-06 he set up his own venture chain of hotel under the brand ‘Cambay’. He had also served as the chairman of the Metrolink Express between Gandhinagar and Ahmedabad (MEGA), for two years.

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