Meet Dr. Thillai Rajan, an Assistant Professor in the Department of Management Studies at the IIT Madras, and recipient of the Outstanding Young Management Teacher Award from the Association of Indian Management Scholars (AIMS) International. He received a gold medal and citation at the Seventh AIMS International Conference on Management held last week at IIM Bangalore, where he was a Fellow in 2000. Besides, he was also chosen for the Dewang Mehta award for the best faculty in Finance in 2009.
His work is primarily concerned with private equity in infrastructure, as an upcoming source of financing. At IIT Madras, he has been taking a course in venture capital and private equity for the MBA students, but more recently, this has been developed into a research programme. Prof Rajan says, "India is number three in the world in terms of venture capital and private equity, but when it comes to research, there is very little that has been done." His background in terms of experience in industry is a valuable aid by way of insight into the processes involved as well as the right contacts, in allowing him to proceed with such research. It is this gap that he is seeking to correct with his work. Among other things, he notes that he has been involved in "the first-ever third-party report published on private equity". Prof Rajan has also recently been selected for a Fulbright Nehru Fellowship at Harvard University in America, where he will be based between now and June to collaborate and work on these areas of interest. He plans to work on further evolving the conceptual and theoretical framework that the research programme he is currently running centres on. He will be using a survey-based approach to work on private equity in infrastructure specific to India during his stint at Harvard.