Regional Spotlight
May 03, 2023

Regional Q&A: Apollo India with Madhura Shah

Apollo has operated and invested in opportunities across India for over two decades. Madhura Shah, Managing Director and Head of Infrastructure, India, recently took time to discuss Apollo’s growth in the country, day-to-day operations and value proposition, and her favorite parts of the job.

Could you describe the growth Apollo has experienced in India in recent years? What are the team’s core capabilities in the region?

Apollo has a long history in India, which began with a Private Equity and Real Estate presence nearly fifteen years ago. Since then, our growth, much like the country’s, has been tremendous. As of today, across our Investment and Enterprise Solutions teams, we’re about to surpass 500 employees, making India Apollo’s second largest country in terms of employment.

In addition to the above, we’ve built out other investment capabilities that are key to Apollo’s global strategy such as Hybrid Value, Credit, and our Financial Institutions Group (FIG). Our team is now able to tackle a much broader range of investment opportunities in India thanks to local experts who also leverage the power of Apollo’s global platform.

I think the global platform component is key to highlight in terms of our capabilities in India. Here we are a true extension of our global teams, and have common goals and objectives to support the firm’s global strategy. Clear and frequent communication and collaboration is instrumental to our success, and we always ensure that our teams in India are brought in early to projects.

It has been an exciting few months for Apollo India, especially given the move into our new Mumbai office. In your view, what does the move to this new strategic hub signify?

The decision to move to such a state-of-the-art space capable of supporting a team that still has more growing to do was an undeniable vote of confidence for Apollo India by the firm’s full management committee. Leadership is transparent in expressing their belief that India could grow to become one of Apollo’s biggest investment markets in Asia, and they recognize the efficiency that our team extension employees provide.

"The new Mumbai office signifies genuine, long-term commitment to India with the full backing of the firm, and this has generated immensely strong momentum here."

Madhura Shah, Managing Director and Head of Infrastructure, India

As Head of Infrastructure for India you lead our day-to-day operations and strategic initiatives in the country. Could you describe what those responsibilities look like? What are the most challenging or rewarding parts of the job?

In short, I’d say my key responsibility is to execute on a clear vision for Apollo India and its 400 plus employees, and evaluate the steps we must take to achieve it. This vision is bold, and we’re aiming to have India be a microcosm for all of Apollo that can manage the highest levels of complexity and global collaboration. We also want to continue to lead when it comes to technology and innovation.

On a day-to-day basis, I focus on operational excellence, talent retention and recruitment, instituting the best possible controls and people practices, and prioritizing efficiency and innovation. I am personally very passionate about innovation, and I have, along with other managers, made a strong effort to drive educational awareness in our offices and encourage and train employees to leverage the best-in-class technological tools available to them.

All the responsibilities I’ve just described are of course challenging, but I find them equally energizing. Similarly, integrating an India team that has grown so significantly in the last two years, particularly in our NESCO location, has been no small task. But our focus on ensuring everyone works cohesively together and sees the bigger picture has started to pay off and is trending in the right direction.

In terms of the most rewarding part, that would definitely be seeing all the great milestones Apollo is reaching with respect to deals, and the India team’s role in the firm’s key bets, whether it is new fund launches, new businesses, or other initiatives. It’s great to see how much the India teams contribute to all these major accomplishments for the firm.

What are some of the highlights of the new Mumbai office space?

The new Mumbai office truly reflects the modern workplace model we prioritize at Apollo. It’s best-in-class, and very employee friendly. One of the many highlights for me would have to be the abundance of collaborative spaces. We pride ourselves on working closely together, which these spaces enable and encourage. Beyond that, it would be hard for anyone to complain about the in-office coffee bar or sunset lounge. Both areas create an environment ideal for bonding over non-work-related topics between colleagues.

What are you most looking forward to in terms of our future activity in India? What’s next?

In addition to the continued institutionalization and expansion of our local investment teams that my colleagues Utsav Baijal and Nipun Sahni are leading, I’m excited to see what our team will accomplish next when it comes to driving innovation. Related to this, in 2022 our strategic simplification effort helped save the firm significant monthly hours via automation and process enhancement. In 2023, I think we can exceed this. We kicked off the year with another edition of our Innovation Fair for all India employees, which I think will produce some exciting outcomes.

Beyond that, the positive, hard-working, and entrepreneurial culture of Apollo India is very special to me, and I can’t wait to continue to cultivate that and share it with others. On that note, we have exciting things planned for our India Campus Hire Program for recent graduates and our LEAP program for internal learning and development, as well as for our employee affinity groups such as Apollo Pride India Ally Engagement. Stay tuned!

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