Sequoia India, Kunal Shah, FreeCharge

FreeCharge founder and chairman Kunal Shah is joining Sequoia India. The Indian entrepreneur, who founded the company in 2010 after realizing the potential of online recharging in a rapidly going market, is taking up an advisory role at one of the country’s most important investment firms.

Announcing the move through Social media, Shah said:

Alongside being Chairman at FreeCharge, will also be an advisor with Sequoia India. Look forward to working/learning with portfolio founders and excited for accelerated learning across different sectors.

FreeCharge and Sequoia India already share a relationship that spans over half a decade, so Shah’s move to join the firm in an advisory capacity isn’t a bolt from the blue. Sequoia was one of the investors in FreeCharge prior to its acquisition by Snapdeal and both Shah and Shailendra Singh (who was the advisor overseeing the FreeCharge investment) appeared to think most highly of each other’s capabilities.

Speaking about Kunal and Sandeep Tandon, Singh had said:

They had all the ingredients of Sequoia founders – very committed, resourceful, independent minded, full of profound insights.

And the FreeCharge founders had appeared similarly impressed with their investment advisor.

A year after its acquisition by Snapdeal in what was one of the largest M&A deal in the Indian startup landscape at the time, Kunal was named as the Chairman of FreeCharge — a largely non-operational role. Chief Operating Officer Govind Rajan meanwhile, was elevated to the role of the CEO of the firm.

In his new capacity, Shah will be advising Sequoia India with regards to its present and future investments in the country and the South Asian region. He is also expected to help mentor the companies already in Sequoia’s vast portfolio.

Shah, who is also the Chairman of Internet and Mobile Association of India, founded FreeCharge after dropping out from the MBA program at the Narsee Monjee Institute Of Management.

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