Indian American entrepreneur, Obama aide Arun Kumar joins tech VC firm Celesta

iNDICA News Bureau-

Arun M Kumar, an executive with 40 years of experience across sectors like technology, financial services and government and former head of KPMG in India, is joining Celesta Capital as a managing partner.

Celesta Capital is a leading deep technology venture capital firm that leverages synergies between leading centers of innovation in the U.S., India and Israel to create global enterprises. It has helped build multi-billion-dollar businesses at companies such as Intel, Cisco, Apple and Flex and funded over 80 technology companies globally. It invests in software, semiconductors, intelligent systems, bio-convergence and industry transformers.

Along with the Celesta management team, Arun Kumar will work with large institutional investors, government agencies and technology leaders while leveraging his wealth of experience, specifically in the U.S.-India corridor.

“We are delighted to welcome Arun to the Celesta Capital team,” said Sriram Viswanathan, Celesta Capital founding managing partner. “His strong connections in the public and private sector, along with his impeccable credentials, will be invaluable to our portfolio companies.”

“I am excited to join the accomplished and forward-looking Celesta team that is passionate about growing globally impactful companies,” Arun Kumar said. “The combination of Celesta’s uniquely focused expertise in deep technology with the talent and market synergies between the U.S. and India is a powerful value proposition.”

For the past five years, Arun Kumar served as chairman and CEO of KPMG in India, which consists of several thousand professionals engaged in providing assurance, tax and advisory services. He was a member of the global board of directors of KPMG as well as its EMA board.

Arun Kumar previously served in President Barack Obama’s Administration as assistant secretary of commerce for Global Markets and director general of the U.S. & Foreign Commercial Service (USFCS) under the leadership of Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker.

As the Administration’s lead official to promote U.S. exports, foreign direct investment and enhanced market access around the world, he led a team of 1,700 professionals in 78 countries and all 50 states. The Global Markets unit and USFCS saw substantial growth in coverage and impact during his tenure. At the time, Arun Kumar also had a special focus on the U.S.-India economic relationship, helping to establish high-level bilateral dialogues in areas ranging from innovation to infrastructure and working closely with the U.S.-India CEO Forum.

Pritzker, founder and chair of PSP Partners, noted, “Arun Kumar is a thoughtful and effective leader with an impressive track record that spans industry and public service.”

Prior to his stint in government, Arun Kumar was a partner at KPMG LLP in the U.S. and served on its board. Based in Silicon Valley, he led KPMG’s management consulting practice in the West. His areas of practice included performance and finance management, in particular the deployment of analytics capabilities and organizational transformation.

He established the cross-border U.S.-India practice in KPMG. Before joining KPMG, he was a co-founder, CEO and CFO of three technology companies in Silicon Valley; over the years, he has been a mentor to entrepreneurs in the Valley and India.

Arun Kumar serves on the board of Indiaspora, an organization that links accomplished and influential people of Indian origin in many countries to be a force for good in enhancing the relationships between their country of residence and India.

He has also had a long association with the U.S.-India Business Council and is an advisor to its board of directors alongside other industry and global leaders.

Arun Kumar chairs the Wadhwani Institute of Technology and Policy and is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.