At a time when the pillars of global investment banking had started to shake, Sidharth Punshi had two choices—relocate to Goldman Sachs India or take the top job at Jefferies India to set up its India operations. He chose Jefferies although he says he is averse to taking risks.
So, in mid-2008, Punshi was prowling the corridors of power in Delhi and Mumbai to get various regulatory approvals. "Dealing with the regulators, deciding on the office space, putting together a team—it's been the toughest but an exciting challenge for me," says Punshi, a wine collector and a kick-boxer in his leisure time.
The challenge didn't end with getting the licence. The next job was to get a motivated team. The slowdown helped him, as he could hire bankers who were keen to get out of large set-ups. "Given this role of building a team, I have to be consensus-driven but I have to take control and ownership at some level," says Punshi, describing his management style. The deals started flowing in from late last year, and there hasn't been any looking back for Punshi and his team.
Sidharth Punshi, 35, MD, Jefferies India