Top Treasury official leaves DC for Indian sector

Washington: Anil Kakani, who held a senior Treasury position in the Obama Administration, has decided to move to India to take up a private sector job with an Indian company.

Kakani, who till December served as Senior Advisor for India at the US Department of Treasury for nearly two-and- a-half years, this month moves to deccan Indian city of Mumbai to take up a senior level position in a mid-size boutique investment bank Anand Rathi and Co.

Kakani has joined as Executive Director of cross border initiatives, Anand Rathi, and will team up with investment banking CEO Praveen Chakravarty and his team of bankers that are very India focused to help bring infrastructure related technology into India.

"In my new role I will be working with American and other foreign companies looking to enter the Indian market through acquisition or partnership with mid-market Indian companies, as well with Indian companies looking to access foreign markets, technology, talent, and capital," Kakani told PTI in an interview.

It is one of the rarest occasions that a senior administration official has decided to move to India to take up a private sector job with an Indian firm.

"I think it is really driven by the opportunity through my relationships with mid-market companies and large MNCs on both sides, I have a strong feeling for the opportunities and perceived challenges for unique technology acquisitions involving US and Indian companies," Kakani said.

Kakani believes that there is great opportunity in the mid-market space for American technology companies to enter through acquisition of assets in that market. "I think there are only a handful of firms that can bridge that gap."

Kakani says there is tremendous potential for the economic relationship between India and US.

"There will continue to be challenges and bumps along the way. But I think on both sides there is recognition that there is much more potential in this bilateral relationship. The question is how you help achieve this potential," he observed.

Kakani was instrumental in launching the Economic and Financial Partnership between India and the US in April 2010, and also during the historic India visit of the US President, Barack Obama, in 2010.

Kakani also travelled to India as part of the White House team during President Bill Clinton`s 2000 visit.

As Senior Advisor for India at the US Department of the Treasury, a position he was recruited for to build the US-India Economic and Financial Partnership (EFP), Kakani spearheaded the highest level economic policy summit ever between the two countries bringing together central bank governors, securities and commodities regulators, and other key economic policy principals.

In addition to developing the structure and roadmap for multiple working groups of the Partnership, he led two major visits by Treasury Secretary Geithner to India.