Raj is currently the Vice President, M&A at Telenor, a global tech-telco company. Previously, Raj was part of the Founder’s office at Circles. Life, the world's first digital telco platform and a Partner at Kaizenvest for ten years and worked closely with portfolio companies to help drive significant increases in revenues and margins, post-investment. Prior to Kaizenvest, he spent 7 years in private equity investing including stints at Guggenheim Partners and Helix Investments. With experience investing across sectors, Raj’s most successful exits were with education companies, one of which is now listed.
He maintains close relationships with education entrepreneurs, investment advisors and research professionals, and brings his extensive network and operational experience to bear in his roles at companies. Raj has an MBA from the Indian Institute of Foreign Trade (IIFT), New Delhi.
Founder and Managing Partner
Sandeep is the Founder and Managing Partner of Kaizenvest, an education focused fund management firm, headquartered in Singapore. He is responsible for overseeing the firm’s strategy, growing operations across regions, driving the company's thought leadership and building the firm’s investor and entrepreneur networks across the globe.
He has 25 years of experience in private equity, investment leadership, consulting and operations management. His passion is to work closely with entrepreneurs who have a deep sense of purpose similar to one that led him to establish Kaizenvest. Under Sandeep’s leadership Kaizenvest has established itself as the only education sector focused fund manager with private equity and private debt funds across South Asia, South East Asia and Sub Saharan Africa.
Prior to founding Kaizenvest, Sandeep spent seven years working in the Silicon Valley. During his time there, he was a Partner at Outlook Ventures, a leading US-based venture capital fund, where he was involved in 11 investments and delivered superior returns to his investors. He also served as a board representative for the firm’s portfolio companies, providing active support in areas of sales operations, business development and product marketing leadership.
Sandeep sits on the boards of various education companies across the Philippines, Vietnam and India. He is also an established thought leader, having been frequently featured as a speaker on private equity, emerging investments, globally impactful trends and the importance of continuous research and innovation.
Sandeep holds a Masters of Business Administration (MBA) from the Graduate School of Business at Stanford University.
Jetu is a Managing Partner of Kaizenvest, an education focused fund management firm, headquartered in Singapore. He is responsible for driving the firm’s portfolio management, impact assessment and sits on the firm’s investment committee. He is Kaizenvest’s ESG officer and supports portfolio companies in strategy definition, operations execution, hiring, reporting management, and corporate governance.
He has 30 years of experience in investing and building companies from the ground up. Prior to his current role with Kaizenvest, Jetu has helped nurture emerging companies in the fields of engineering and chemicals with world-leading joint ventures in India, such as Saab from Sweden, Dresser Industries & Emerson Electric from the US and Degussa from Germany, among others.
Jetu is also a trained DiSC® profiler under Thomas International for evaluating individuals and teams, a capacity he has used to conduct corporate team analysis for portfolio companies and conducted trainings in multitude areas including creativity, execution, effectiveness and business ethics. He has also provided corporate leadership advice and was the Ethics Officer at Emerson Electric's Saab Rosemount for the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) compliance.
A life-long learning champion, Jetu has been in the sector for close to three decades. His notable contributions include building village schools, working with student councils and teacher unions as well as holding various administrative and leadership roles at leading education institutions in Mumbai.
Jetu holds a Bachelor's of Commerce from Sydenham College, Mumbai and an OPM (Owner/President Management) accreditation from the Harvard Business School.
Nirav Khambhati is an Affiliate Partner at Kaizenvest. He is the Partner & CEO of The Blended Finance Company (TBFC) and has a diverse professional background marked by his contribution to the financial and education sectors. Formerly with Kaizenvest, he served as a Managing Partner of Kaizen Private Equity – II where he led private equity transactions.
He was responsible for the firm's blended finance practice. Nirav was instrumental in securing USAID-funded projects for CATALYZE EduFinance in South Africa and Rwanda, and led these projects. He has previously served on the boards of Varthana, Yola, MindX, Toppr, and INSOFE.
Nirav chairs the board of trustees of Global Schools Forum and is a member of the steering committee of USAID’s Education Finance Network. He is a director on the board of Varthana and a member of the International Advisory Committee of NORRAG’s No One Left Behind Project. Nirav was with the Tata Group for over 20 years in various roles including as the CEO of the two education companies of the Group and Vice President in the Chairman’s Office of the holding company Tata Sons.
Partner and Head - Investor Relations
Nandita joined Kaizenvest in 2021 and leads Investor Relations and Finance. Nandita has twenty years of experience in financial services with global and Indian Financial Institutions such as ICICI Bank, Standard Chartered Bank and Northern Arc Capital. She also served on the Board of Northern Arc Investments – a leading impact alternate investment fund that facilitates debt investments in the financial inclusion sector.
Prior to joining Kaizenvest, Nandita spent nine years at Northern Arc Capital – India's leading financial inclusion focused lender and debt capital market platform. At Northern Arc, she held various leadership positions including Head of Capital Markets, Chief Officer Strategic Alliances and Chief Financial Officer. Under her leadership, the placements and debt syndication business at Northern Arc Capital grew by over 10 times in six years. Nandita successfully built and scaled up partnerships with over 150 investors including large multilateral agencies and DFIs as well as domestic investors like Public and Private Sector banks, Mutual Funds and Insurance companies. Over the years her work with regulators, intermediaries and investors has been directed towards building a deeper market and efficient access to capital for financially excluded borrowers in sectors such as microfinance, affordable housing, small business finance, vehicle finance and agri finance.
Nandita is a qualified Chartered Accountant and has a Bachelors degree in Commerce from Mumbai University.
Ryan joined Kaizenvest in 2021 as an Africa Advisor. Prior to joining Kaizenvest, Ryan co-founded SPARK Schools, a South African start-up focused on changing the education paradigm for low-income communities. Having built and exited SPARK Schools, Ryan joined the South Africa SME fund, the largest institutional investor in venture capital. At the SME fund, Ryan has been involved in the establishment of five venture capital firms.
Ryan currently sits on several LPAC and Investment committees and has served on the Board of Entrepreneurs Organization and was Chairman of Moringa Schools. Ryan holds a Bachelors from Rhodes University as well as an MBA from the Gordon Institute of Business Science and an Aspen Institute ALI Fellow and MIT Legatum Fellow.
Paul is a renowned development economist with a specialization in designing, management and evaluation of policies, funds, and financial instruments that promote market-based solutions to poverty, enterprise development, and inclusive growth. He holds an Honours in Economics from Wits, Sussex, and Cape Town universities, as well as a Post-Graduate Diploma in Development Management (cum laude), and a diploma in Impact Investing.
He has held key positions at prestigious institutions including Lloyds Bank International, Ewbank Preece Engineering Consultants, and the Intermediate Technology Development Group in the UK. He played a pivotal role in establishing and implementing the European Union's Programme for Reconstruction & Development in South Africa.
Amongst one of the many noteworthy contributions to development in South Africa, Paul led the design and implementation of the National Pilot Land Reform Programme and established the Land Reform Credit Facility at Khula Development Finance (now SEFA).
As a consultant, Paul has led the design and management of several 'poverty reduction through market development' programs across Southern and East Africa, working with renowned organizations such as UK-DfID, KfW, the EU, World Bank, and the SA Business Trust. He also led the conceptualization, design, and establishment of the Jobs Fund, a successful R9bn job creation fund operated by the SA National Treasury based on challenge principles for the past five years.
Paul was appointed as the founding CEO of the Tourism Conservation Fund. He has a special focus on the wildlife-tourism economy, which presents unique opportunities for sustainable, partnership-based poverty reduction and shared value wealth creation. Paul also serves as the Chair of the Nedbank Legacy Trust and holds other esteemed board appointments.
Pacifique is an experienced investment professional with more than 10 years with both national and regional. His areas of expertise include deal sourcing, conducting due diligence, investment appraisal, Business development, Portfolio management, Fund management and Relationship Management. He has gained an extensive experience from having worked with the Rwandan banking sector and international impact lender.
Prior to Kaizenvest, he managed Economic Recovery Fund at National Bank of Rwanda, which is a government fund created to support the recovery of businesses hardest hit by COVID19 with a focus on Education, public transport, hospitality and working capital.
Pacifique holds a Master of Business Administration in Finance and Accounting from Mount Kenya University; he is a Certified Compliance Analyst from Global Academy of Finance & Management and a Certified Trainer from Luxembourg house of training. He has undergone various management and leadership training. Pacifique is fluent in English, French and Kinyarwanda.
Learning Outcomes Manager
With more than 12 years of experience in the education sector, Anselme’s areas of expertise include developing programmatic strategies and interventions for quality assurance and enhancement of career development programs & services; measuring learning outcomes and tracking down the program deliverables, results, and impact through a systematic monitoring and evaluation system; designing tailored programming to access and finance for Education and Skills Development.
He has also an extensive experience in the management of integrated child development services (ICDS) programs, tracking records of evidence-based learning improvement, and conducive learning environment.
Prior to Joining Kaizenvest, Anselme served in different projects for the Government of Rwanda as a specialist in developing capacity development for strategic leadership, management, and financial modeling, focusing on the Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) ecosystem for skill development and Career navigation pathways. He has also provided different consultancy services in Eastern and Central Africa to GOPA Worldwide Consultants, GIZ, Swisscontact, and the World University Service of Canada, to mention a few.
Anselme holds a Postgraduate Diploma in Early Childhood Care and Education from Indira Gandhi National Open University and a Bachelor’s degree in Education from the University of Rwanda. He is fluent in English, French, and Kinyarwanda languages.
Gaurav is a Principal with Kaizenvest with 12 years of PE/VC experience in emerging markets. He joined Kaizenvest as its first employee, and has experience across the complete life cycle of investing - from
fund raising, fund structuring, commercial diligence, termsheet negotiations, deal structuring, investment execution, portfolio management, exits, and ESG reporting.
Gaurav has led the complete execution of several investments in businesses such as K12 school chain, B2B Ed-Tech company, Online SaaS education business and skills training and has actively done diligence in companies across India, Thailand, Indonesia, and Sri Lanka. He has also executed multiple exits through strategic sales, promoter buybacks and distress sales. He has also worked with portfolio companies as a Board member and helped companies in areas of strategy building, working on projects to improve cost efficiencies and streamlining internal process.
Gaurav has also set up funds across India, Mauritius, Singapore, and Netherlands and built internal processes such as finance, operations & Investor Relations and ESG Policy and reporting. He has contributed to various thought leadership pieces developed by Kaizenvest and actively helps in developing the fund's investment thesis. He is as a silver medalist with an MBA in Finance from NMIMS Mumbai in 2009.
Marjon joined Kaizenvest in 2014 and focuses on investor relations. Prior to Kaizenvest, she has over 7 years of experience in Investment Banking in fund raising, investment and financial analysis, and in developing and marketing PE and M&A transactions with stints at Waterfield Advisors, Centrum Capital and Future Capital Holdings.
At Kaizenvest, Marjon supports the fund raising process, and drives LP reporting, and portfolio compliance. She holds an MBA in Finance from the Welingkar Institute of Management.
Frances joined Kaizenvest in 2020 as part of the EduFinance Africa team. Prior to Kaizenvest, she worked with SPARK Schools - an affordable learning provider network, where she was responsible for organisation-wide strategic planning and project management. Her expertise lies in translating strategic goals into defined operational activities, particularly in new ventures and organisations in their scale up phase. She holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree in Finance and Economics from the University of Cape Town, South Africa.
Zanele Mocumi joined Kaizenvest as the Project Director for the USAID project, Catalyze Edufinance South Africa and Rwanda. She began her career as an economist for the Ministry of Finance (the National Treasury of South Africa). Her role focused on developing economic policies that support trade facilitation and infrastructure development in the Southern African Customs Union. Thereafter she worked as a project economist for the Export Credit Insurance Corporation of South Africa, a role that exposed her extensively to African markets.
Her career has since gravitated to developmental investments with a key focus on healthcare and education. In her role prior to Kaizenvest, Zanele managed the Impact Investment portfolio of the second largest pension fund in South Africa, the Eskom Pension and Provident Fund. Zanele holds a masters degree in Development Finance from the University of Cape Town.
Learning Outcomes Manager
Oliver joined Kaizenvest in 2022, coming from over 9 years’ experience in leading the blended learning model at SPARK Schools. Through leading the implementation of a blended learning model; training, coaching, and supporting educators and instructional coaches; measuring and monitoring model impact, spearheading innovative strategy for long-term sustainability and scalability; and pilots to test and inform model for wide-scale implementation to provide a quality user experience for students, Oliver’s experience in and passion for digital pedagogy and frugal innovation in the education space shines through.
At Kaizenvest, Oliver is responsible for improving learning outcomes of children enrolled at the low-fee learning providers that avail the credit facilities provided under the CATALYZE Edufinance South Africa initiative.
Oliver holds a Bachelor of Education in Early Childhood Development, with a major in ECD Management from the University of Pretoria.
Indrayan joined Kaizenvest in 2018 and focuses on analyzing investment opportunities for the firm. Prior to Kaizenvest, he worked with a boutique private equity consulting firm where he was responsible for conducting due-diligence processes and corresponding industry research for a US middle market private equity firm with over $1B of capital under management. He holds a B.Tech. degree from VJTI, Mumbai.
Vaibhav joined Kaizenvest in 2021 as an Associate in the Investment Team. Before joining Kaizenvest, he was an Investment Banking Associate at o3 Capital in their Technology team. Prior to that, he worked with Goldman Sachs for 2 years where he covered Financial Institutions in the Australia and New Zealand region. He holds an MBA from Indian Institute of Management Kozhikode (IIM K) and B.Com (H) from St. Xavier’s College Kolkata. Vaibhav has cleared all 3 levels of the CFA charter.
Maitri joined Kaizenvest in 2023 as an Analyst in the Investment team. She is involved in the sourcing and evaluation of deals, preparation of investment proposals for investment decisions and due diligence. Prior to joining Kaizenvest, she was an Investment Banking Analyst at JP Morgan for 2 years with the Debt Capital Markets team covering investment grade corporates spanning across sectors.
She is also a qualified Chartered Accountant.
Kinjal Tanna joined Kaizenvest in 2023 as a Compliance Executive. Prior to joining Kaizenvest, she was associated with Waterfield Advisors Private Limited as a Compliance Professional & Assistant Company Secretary overseeing the compliance, legal and various secretarial compliances of the Waterfield group and its subsidiaries. She handled various assignments including review of insider trading of the employees on a periodical basis, anti-money laundering checks, investment advisory compliances and application for Portfolio Management Services License (PMS License). She possesses over 6 years of diverse experience in company secretarial and legal compliances.
She is also a qualified Company Secretary and an experienced lawyer.
Siddhi Ved joined Kaizenvest in 2023 as an Assistant Manager – Accounts, having more than 4 years of experience in the field of Accounting and Auditing. Prior to Kaizenvest, Siddhi had worked at DB Pednekar & Associates where she spent more than 2 years and also has experience working at Grant Thornton as a contingent employee for a year. She aims to consistently keep upgrading her skills and believes in proactive and rational thinking. In her leisure time, she likes to travel and explore new places and savour diverse cuisines.
Siddhi is also a qualified Chartered Accountant.
Anay joined Kaizenvest in 2021 as an Analyst in the investment team. Prior to Kaizenvest, he worked with the Investment Banking division in J.P. Morgan for 2 years, primarily focused on opportunities in the Greater China region, across sectors. He has worked as a Market Risk Intern at Credit Suisse for 6 months. Anay holds a B.E. (Hons) degree from BITS-Pilani, with a major in Electrical Engineering and a minor in Finance, where he graduated 6 months ahead of his batch. Anay has also cleared two levels of the CFA charter.
Prathamesh joined Kaizenvest in 2020 and looks after Compliance. He has 4 years of experience in Secretarial Compliances. Prior to Kaizenvest, he has worked independently with SVC Industries Limited as Company Secretary, looking after its 11 group companies. He is an Associate Member of Institute of Company Secretaries of India and holds a Master’s Degree in Commerce, and Bachelor of Laws.
Mike is the Founder and Managing Director at EdTech Asia, an EdTech and education market intelligence, business development and research services firm specializing in emerging markets throughout Asia and the south-south corridor. Mike also serves as an International Development Consultant for UNESCO, UNICEF, UNDP and USAID. Mike holds a Master of Education degree from George Mason University and a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Colorado.
Diana leads Education in Motion (EiM) Ventures as its Executive Director. She also sits on the Group Executive Board of Dulwich College International. Over the last 12 years, Diana has been a hands-on member in the formation and growth of the schools in the DCI family of schools. Diana holds an MBA degree from INSEAD (Dean’s list), a Bachelor of Business/LLB degree from the University of Technology, Sydney and is a Solicitor of England and Wales.
Shaun joined Kaizenvest in 2022 as an analyst in the investment team. He is involved in the sourcing and evaluation of deals, due diligence, and the preparation of investment proposals for the fund’s investment decisions. Before Kaizenvest, Shaun had worked in the investment arm of Kamet Capital Partners dealing in both the primary and secondary markets spanning the consumer and technology sectors in HK/China and the US/EU. Notable deals involved Boss Zhipin, Zuoyebang, and KK Group, He also worked as an equity research intern at CLSA and as a private equity intern at MEC Global Partners Asia. Shaun graduated with Honours from Nanyang Technological University, with a major in Physics (Distinction), and was given the NTU President Research Scholar Award from Nanyang Business School.
John is the founder of Saturday Kids - a curiosity school for children - and Doyobi - an edtech startup whose mission is to help educators nurture future-ready students who can exercise agency, become changemakers, and create positive impact in the world. He is also an investor in tech startups, in particular startups reimagining the future of work and learning such as Padlet, Galileo, Contra and Beanstalk. Saturday Kids runs Code In The Community, a Google and government supported initiative that is the largest free coding programme in Singapore. John is an Obama Foundation Asia-Pacific Leader, Transcend Fellow and Ashoka Changemaker.
Hester is a Dutch management consultant-turned-education-entrepreneur-turned-investor, living in Singapore.
After a 15+ year international career at PriceWaterhouseCoopers and then as Director at Deutsche Bank as Director in Amsterdam, London and Frankfurt, she pivoted in 2019 to become a founder in the Education Technology sector, where she became Germany's first country manager for modern education system and coding school "42". She found funding for the establishment of two campuses, persuaded the market, and hired talent to run the schools. Both campuses launched successfully early 2021.
Driven by a passionate belief that the education industry is due an update, Hester continues to work with and invest in founders in the EdTech space. Hester enjoys sharing her experiences and insights for the development of others, and coaches both corporate and scale-up leaders. Keen to especially help other women advance their careers and scale their impact, she co-founded Epic Angels, a female angel investors network that aims to give more women the confidence to invest in start-ups.
Hester is mum of 2 young boys and is a frequently requested speaker in both Europe and Southeast Asia on the topics of Future of Learning, Start-ups and Investing, Career Pivots, and Education Technology.
Clarence has over 15 years of investment banking (corporate finance, fundraising, M&A) and venture capital experience across Asia covering the technology, consumer and real estate sectors. He has completed over US$2B of transactions and brings with him an established regional network of corporates, strategic and financial investors, entrepreneurs, C-level executives, government agencies and other partners across Asia.
He was most recently Director at Velocity Ventures, a VC firm focused on Hospitality and Travel tech in South-East Asia, where he led fundraising, partnerships and co-investments. Prior to that, he was Director of South-East Asia Corporate Finance at PricewaterhouseCoopers and led fundraising and M&A for companies in the technology sector. He is equipped with senior management and entrepreneurial experience having previously served as Head of Investment Banking for the Bank of China in Singapore where he set up the investment banking division and oversaw the origination and execution of China-South-East Asia investment banking transactions including corporate finance advisory, M&A, private equity fundraising and IPOs.
He is also passionate about sustainability/ESG, technology and the new economy, having done angel/venture investments and serves as Business Mentor/Adviser to entrepreneurs/Founders on go-to-market strategies and fundraising. Clarence holds a Masters in Corporate Finance from EDHEC Business School and Bachelor of Accountancy from Nanyang Technological University. He is also a qualified Chartered Accountant (CA Singapore).
Claudia is a well-known Professor at INSEAD and an advisor to corporations & institutional investors; as an esteemed public speaker and critical commentator; she brings the ability to explain complex concepts to audiences of diverse backgrounds.
As an Author as well as Angel Investor and expert on private equity and corporate venture capital, Claudia is one of the best-networked people in the Private Capital space with extensive experience in bringing her academic and professional background to inform boards. She has done work on Responsible Investing and ESG strategy implementation.
Claudia advises governments on the creation of entrepreneurial ecosystems, is an Angel investor and Startup mentor. With three decades in global financial markets in Germany, US, UK, Japan and Singapore, Claudia brings in-depth knowledge of the challenges of implementing corporate governance within diverse cultures and international corporate settings.
Naina is the Chairperson and CEO of AVPN. She serves on the Board of Global Resilient Cities Network (GRCN) and as a Trustee of the Bridge Institute. Prior to joining AVPN, Naina was a member of the senior leadership team of a purpose driven unit at the Monitor Group. Naina was also a Partner and Co-founder of Group Fifty, which provided a medium for Indian artists to showcase their work to a larger audience. Naina holds a Masters degree in Industrial and Labor Relations from Cornell University where she graduated at the top of her class.
Sunil is an experienced business leader with a career spanning almost four decades in the Tata Group. He has held several leadership positions and serves on the boards of international companies, including Tata International West Asia. Sunil's leadership style is rooted in Tata's commitment to ethics and excellence.
As CEO of the Tata Business Excellence Group, Sunil spearheaded the implementation of the Tata Business Excellence Model (TBEM) for over 100 Tata companies. This transformational program is modeled on the USA's Malcolm Baldrige Performance Excellence Program. Sunil's contributions to business excellence were recognized by the Malcolm Baldrige Foundation, leading to his appointment to their board in 2015.
Sunil is a respected academician and serves on the Board of Trustees in the International Academy for Quality (IAQ) and as Vice Chair of its Think Tank on Quality and Sustainability. He has delivered keynote addresses on business excellence and innovation at prestigious institutions, including the Harvard Business School and the University of Chicago - Booth School of Business.
Sunil's extensive leadership experience and expertise in business transformation and development make him a valuable asset to any company seeking to improve its operations and achieve excellence. He is currently the Founder and CEO of Ignite Excellence Advisory, a Dubai-based advisory company.
Jens is a Managing Partner at Halo Investments, a principal investment and corporate finance firm headquartered in Dubai. Prior to Halo, Jens was a Partner and Managing Director at New Silk Route Growth Capital and has over two decades of private equity experience, serving on the boards of over 20 companies. Jens holds an MBA degree from Harvard University.
Alex is the Managing Director of Spaze Ventures, a seed capital fund focused on early stage tech startups. Alex is the Vice-Chairman of Singapore Enterprise Chapter at SGTECH and the Vice-President at Enterprise Singapore Society. Alex has served as the Manager and Team Lead in Enterprise Singapore in the past. Alex holds a Master of Science degree and a Bachelor of Engineering degree from Nanyang Technological University.
Jia En Teo
Jia En Teo runs a single family office and invests in both the private and public markets, across various asset classes. Jia started her career in New York, working at Bloomberg. Jia then founded a company in the travel and technology sector, which she ran for 7 years before joining her family office and focusing on investments full time. Concurrently, Jia is also one of the founders of Crane, a social club and community with a focus on sustainability, mindfulness and lifelong learning.
Harshad joined Kaizenvest in 2014 and handles accounts and finance for the firm. He has 13 years of experience in the domain, having worked with both Indian and offshore companies. He spent a year in Dubai to explore the international work environment before returning to Kaizenvest in 2020. Prior to Kaizenvest, Harshad worked in the accounts and finance teams at Frischmann Prabhu and Birla Sun Life Insurance. Harshad holds a Master in Finance Degree from LLIM, Mumbai.