Former KPMG India Chair and CEO joins US venture capital firm

09 May 2022 2 min. read
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The former Chairman and CEO of KPMG India, Arun Kumar, has joined US venture capital firm Celesta Capital as a Managing Partner.

Arun Kumar served as KPMG’s Chairman and CEO for five years, and was succeeded in February this year by Yezdi Nagporewalla (CEO) and Ajay Mehra (Chairman) after completing his five-year term.

On passing on the baton, Kumar said, “I’m delighted to hand over the roles to Yezdi and Ajay. I have no doubt they will lead the continued success of the firm in the coming years.”

Arun Kumar, Managing Partner, Celesta Capital

In India, accounting and consulting giant KPMG has over 10,000 employees working from over a dozen offices in Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Chandigarh, Chennai, Gurugram, Hyderabad, Jaipur, Kochi, Kolkata, Mumbai, Noida, Pune, Vadodara and Vijayawada.

As part of his role, Kumar was a member of the global board of directors of KPMG, as well as its Europe, Middle East, Africa and India regional board.

Before that, Kumar served in President Obama’s Administration as Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Global Markets and Director General of the US & Foreign Commercial Service (USFCS), under the leadership of Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker. As the Administration's lead official to promote US exports, foreign direct investment, and enhanced market access around the world, Kumar led a team of 1,700 professionals in 78 countries and all 50 United States.

Prior to his nomination by Obama, Kumar was a partner at KPMG in the US and served on the Board of the firm. Based in Silicon Valley, he led KPMG’s Management Consulting practice in the West. His areas of practice included performance and finance management, in particular the deployment of analytics capabilities and organisational transformation.

Before joining KPMG, he was a co-founder and executive of three technology companies in Silicon Valley.

Now at Celesta Capital, Kumar will work with large institutional investors, government agencies, and technology companies on venture investments, specifically in the US - India corridor. In addition, he will provide mentorship and coaching to entrepreneurs and executives with Celesta Capital’s network (the firm has funded over 80 technology companies since its inception).

From its base in Silicon Valley, Celesta Capital invests in young companies in the US, India, and Israel, with a focus on the software, semiconductors, intelligent systems, bioconvergence, and technology verticals.

“I am excited to join the accomplished and forward-looking Celesta Capital team that is passionate about growing globally impactful companies,” said Kumar. “Given my abiding interest in working with entrepreneurs, I am looking forward to sharing my decades of international experience with Celesta's portfolio companies as they build and scale their enterprises globally.”

Sriram Viswanathan, Founding Managing Partner at Celesta Capital, said, “We are delighted to welcome Arun to the team. His strong connections in both the public and private sector, along with his impeccable credentials, will be invaluable to our portfolio companies.”