Battery adds partner, prepares to open in Mumbai(2)

Gautum Patel will be based in the venture firm’s Silicon Valley office until the second half of 2008, when he and fellow GP Ramneek Gupta relocate to Mumbai.

Battery Ventures has strengthened its India-focussed investment team with the hire of Gautum Patel.

Patel was most recently the European head of iGATE, a Nasdaq-listed firm offering technology, business process outsourcing and infrastructure services. He previously led Middle Eastern operations of a similar firm, MphasiS. Gautam also founded 3Genesis, a venture-backed Indian wireless telecom services firm, and has worked in Mumbai for Indocean Chase Capital Partners and eVentures.

He started his 15-year finance and technology career in the US, working for investment banks Lazard Freres and Smith Barney.

At Battery, Patel joins the firm’s India investment team, comprised of Ramneek Gupta and Mark Sherman, which has been investing in India since 2004.

Patel and Gupta will relocate to Mumbai later this year, effectively opening the firm’s first India office and its second outside the US. The team will focus on traditional IT and outsourcing opportunities, as well as possibly target companies in the financial services and media sectors.

Last year, Sherman told sister publication Private Equity International that India and other emerging markets “will be where some of the most interesting pieces of [new] technologies get applied”. He used as an example India’s soaring number of mobile phone subscribers, noting it is a ripe market in which to both cultivate and deploy related technoliges.

Battery is investing its eighth fund, closed last year on $750 million. It currently has four Indian portfolio companies: payment processing company Tech Process; optical networking developer Tejas Networks; travel website Travelguru; and newly created Indian credit bureau High Mark.

The 25-year-old venture firm has offices in Menlo Park, California, Waltham, Massachusetts and Tel Aviv.