Jayant Sinha has stepped down as managing director and head of India investments at Omidyar Network, the impact investment firm backed by eBay founder Pierre Omidyar and his wife Pam. An Omidyar Network spokesperson at the firm’s Mumbai offices confirmed the development to StartupCentral today.
The firm is currently in the process of evaluating candidates to replace Sinha.
While it is not known what Sinha’s next move will be, the exit comes at a significant time — just ahead of the country’s upcoming Lok Sabha or general elections, expected around May. Sinha, earlier with McKinsey & Co and Courage Capital Management, is also Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader and former finance minister Yashwant Sinha’s eldest son. The BJP is one of several political parties that will contest the upcoming Lok Sabha polls.
Is the former McKinsey executive now priming for a career in politics? Wouldn’t be surprising.
Sinha joined Omidyar Network in late 2009, a couple of years after it had started investing directly in India. During his stint, Omidyar’s portfolio has grown to 35-odd companies totaling investments worth over $100 million. The investments span for-profit and non-profit ventures and include companies such as Quikr, d.light Design, EnglishHelper, Treehouse, Akshara Foundation, Teach for India and iMerit Technology Services. Recently, it also invested as a limited partner in Mumbai-based early stage venture capital firm India Quotient.
Update: Meanwhile, over at Omidyar Network, operations for India are currently being overseen investment director CV Madhukar and Dimple Sanghi, the firm said. The India investment team also consists of Badri Pillapakkam, Anuradha Ramachandran and Mallika Singh, according to the firm’s website. Incidentally, Sal Giambanco, who leads the firm’s human capital and operations functions globally out of its San Francisco Bay Area headquarters, is currently in Mumbai.
Since its inception in 2004, Omidyar Network has committed $628 investment globally. Out of the total commitment, $288 million has gone into for-profit equity investments. The remaining $340 million has been deployed via grants in non-profit enterprises.