Sanjaya Kulkarni

With a career distinguished by strategic acumen and financial expertise, Sanjaya Kulkarni presently serves as an advisor to Indian industrial groups, providing invaluable insights into growth, strategy, fund raising, and acquisitions. His expertise extends to cross-border collaborations and acquisitions, contributing to the success of numerous transactions.

Sanjaya is a trusted advisor to Motilal Oswal Private Equity Fund and Motilal Oswal Real Estate Fund. His commitment to the investment landscape is further exemplified by his role as a member of the Investment Committee for all four private equity and real estate funds.

As an independent director on the boards of listed companies, including Agrotech Foods Ltd (a ConAgra affiliate), TPL Plastech Ltd, and Chairman of Time Technoplast Ltd, Sanjaya brings a wealth of experience and governance to these esteemed organizations. He also serves as an independent director on unlisted companies such as Ned Energy Ltd, Iprof Education Pvt Ltd, and Supreme Non-Wovens Ltd.

A seasoned professional, Sanjaya played a pivotal role in setting up and managing Century Direct Fund in 1996, one of the earliest private equity funds focusing on growth companies in India. The fund’s investments included notable companies such as Alok Industries, Secure Meters, Ecoboard Industries, UTV Communications, Time Technoplast, and Drish Shoes. His directorship extended to all these companies.

Having promoted 20th Century Finance Corporation Ltd in 1980, Sanjaya steered the company to become the largest finance group by 1999, with diversified operations. His visionary leadership oversaw the group’s operations, which included an asset financing business, a commercial bank (Centurion Bank), a mutual fund in collaboration with Zurich Financial, a car financing business with GMAC, and a retail finance business with Kinetic Engineering. The group also held memberships in both BSE and NSE.

A trailblazer in the financial industry, Sanjaya pioneered innovative financial products for 20th Century Finance, including foreign currency borrowings, swaps, securitized lending, securitization of lease and HP receivables, and commercial paper. The firm achieved the highest credit ratings of AAA from CRISIL for its fixed deposits from 1999 to 2005.

Apart from his successful corporate journey, Sanjaya has contributed significantly to the industry. He served as the Chairman of the Equipment Leasing Association, the industry association of leasing, from 1993 to 1995, and as Vice Chairman for two years before that. Additionally, he was part of the RBI committee on lending to finance companies in 1993.

Sanjaya holds an MBA from IIM Ahmedabad (1973) and a B.Tech (Hons) from IIT Bombay (1971), showcasing a solid academic foundation complementing his illustrious career.