Exclusively: Khaitan & Co is actively scouting to open Chennai and Hyderabad offices as Amarchand Mangaldas lateral partner Ganesh Prasad started in the Bangalore office yesterday with a remit to focus on South India.
Khaitan was “actively looking at expansion plans in Hyderabad and Chennai”, Prasad said.
He added that he was thrilled to start working after having been trekking in the Himalayas and been on gardening leave in lieu of notice after he resigned from Amarchand in December.
“It is an exciting opportunity to augment the corporate practise of Khaitan & Co across the firm and with special focus on South India,” he said.
Khaitan & Co partner Rabindra Jhunjhunwala confirmed that there was no fixed timeline to start in the cities and it could take longer than beyond the end of this year. “It is something we’ve had in mind and would like to do but it is really about the opportunity coming by and if it comes up, say next month, then we’ll speed up the process.”
“The model has always been that we’re not just going to start up a liaison office or a small shop there,” added Jhunjhunwala, noting that the firm would only seek local talent in Chennai and Hyderabad. “Unless you have local people it can’t be a success.”
“The problem with these two markets is, there isn’t a big firm there and typically the thing is to have smaller set ups and smaller shops and it is very difficult to make someone understand why you should be part of a bigger firm.”
Amarchand would start a Chennai office with former Kochhar & Co partner Dorothy Thomas by March, Legally India reported in February.