A dynamic & passionate entrepreneur, Mr. Jijina is the Managing Director of Piramal Finance Limited and Piramal Housing Finance Limited. He has been associated with the Piramal Group for over 17 years. He along with his team focus on funding wholesale opportunities within real estate and non-real sectors such as renewable energy, infrastructure, auto ancillary, cement and the retail lending business through the Housing Finance Corporation.
He grew up in a family of entrepreneurs and always displayed a natural inclination towards business, right from childhood. But, it was the steadfast decisiveness and quick wit displayed by his uncle belonging to the theatre business that played an important role in shaping his destiny.
Prior to joining the Piramal Group, Mr. Jijina trained with some of the leading corporates in India. After completing Chartered Accountancy, he joined Rallis – a Tata Group company, as an Internal Auditor. It was after he was transferred to Group Treasury, Mr. Jijina was able to prove his mettle as a top-notch finance professional. His role in Group Treasury required him to be aggressive in his approach owing to this interactions with multiple banks and bankers. To this day, Mr. Jijina considers it a matter of great fortune to have spent a great deal of time working on international assignments – most frequently in Israel, dealing with Jewish businessmen, known to be tough negotiators.
Following this, Mr. Jijina joined the Piramal Group in 2001. In 2014, he took over as MD of Piramal Finance. In the early years, post taking over as MD of Piramal Finance Limited, Mr. Jijina built important business processes and formed a core senior management team. He along with his team also created an impressive portfolio of innovative products that redefined the market.
Coincidentally, Mr. Jijina’s orientation towards taking quick decisions was further reinforced owing to his interactions with Mr. Ajay Piramal, Chairman – Piramal Group, who always maintained that the worst decision was not to take a decision. Mr. Jijina credits his close interaction with Mr. Piramal, over all these years as the single most influencing factor that shaped his career as well as his personality.
Under Mr. Jijina’s guidance and leadership, the combined assets under management (AUM) of the wholesale business, across both real estate and non-real estate, has witnessed exponential growth. From an asset base of Rs. 1,500 crore in January 2014, the combined AUM has now risen to Rs. 65,000 crore in January 2018 with zero/negligible NPAs across the entire book.
Today, he is the Managing Director of Piramal Finance Limited and Piramal Housing Finance Limited. Piramal Finance effectively funds across the entire capital stack ranging from early stage Private Equity, Structured Debt, Senior Secured Debt, Construction Finance and Flexi Lease Rental Discounting within real estate and mezzanine funding, as well as senior secured debt, loan against shares, and corporate funding within non-real estate on a sector-agnostic basis. Piramal Finance also offers loans to smaller corporates that are usually not covered by traditional wholesale lending channels. With the setting up of an Emerging Corporate Lending group, the company made a foray into lending to Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs).
Mr. Jijina leads a strong 450+ member team. He oversees the entire spectrum of activities ranging from origination, investments, asset management, exits and new fund raising. Mr. Jijina also leads the family office for all proprietary investments. Owing to his leadership and guidance, the team have constantly redefined the market with innovative products and customized transaction structures, all of which have created stickiness in their relationships with their funding counterparts.
With Mr. Jijina at the helm, Piramal Finance occupies a position of scale and relevance in each of its target markets, and across sectors. In fact, today, on a run rate basis, Piramal Finance is the single largest lender (wholesale) in the real estate space. In the early years, Mr. Jijina was instrumental in creating a uniquely aligned compensation system wherein each of the team members were given the opportunity to act as an entrepreneur, in the best interest of the firm as a whole. This democratization of incentives and carried interest is rarely seen in the financial services space.
Mr. Jijina’s portfolio also includes Piramal Fund Management. The third-party fiduciary business advises institutional and retail investors through opportunistic residential development. Additionally, they provide customised fund management strategies. Under Piramal Fund Management, Mr. Jijina has also been instrumental in establishing large separate account mandates and joint ventures with reputed global institutions such as Asia Pacific Group (APG), Canadian Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB), and Ivanhoe Cambridge, the real estate arm of Caisse de Depot et Placement du Quebec (CDPQ).
Considering the size, scale and market relevance of the wholesale lending business, the launch of the retail housing finance vertical was a natural progression. With Mr. Jijina at the helm of operations, HFC has newly inaugurated two operational branches in Mumbai and a roll out of branches in Bangalore, Delhi & Pune, is due to take place this month.
Mr. Jijina is a firm believer in the Piramal Group’s motto of ‘Doing Well and Doing Good’. His journey has led him to believe that limitations only exist in the mind and can be overcome with sheer will and tenacity. It is due to this belief, he encourages the younger generation to constantly challenge the norm.
Mr. Jijina constantly stresses upon the importance of practising good work ethics, conduct and integrity as the sole means to leave behind a lasting legacy. He deeply values Integrity and the four values of Knowledge, Action, Care and Impact on which the premise of the Piramal Group is laid. These, according to Mr. Jijina, represent the formula to his success.
As a result, Mr. Jijina has played a significant role in initiating the concept of the ‘Social Cell’ in Piramal Finance. The ‘Social Cell’ activity was launched with the objective to build social consciousness among the employees and to give back to the society. Mr. Jijina has actively contributed to the planning and execution of several volunteering activities, including the ‘School Paint Project’. Mr. Jijina is a keen practitioner of Yoga and enjoys playing Golf and watching films in his spare times. He is also passionate about traveling and likes to explore new destinations.
Mr. Jijina says, “I have always believed in challenging myself and stepping up to accept any responsibility. I still follow that mantra in my personal and professional life.” While his motto in life is to give without expecting anything in return, he has always advised youngsters to not act in haste and take the wrong path, to be ambitious but humble and to have the courage to say what they truly believe in.
Mr. Jijina believes his recent role as the Managing Director of Piramal Finance & Piramal Housing Finance as the most fulfilling part of his journey in the Piramal Group. The most rewarding aspect is what the team as a whole has achieved in terms of AUM and revenue/profitability. Piramal Finance is now well regarded – both in India and overseas, having won many plaudits and awards. His vision for the company was elucidated by him recently, “Our aim is to set new records in the Indian Financing Industry and become the go-to financier, whether it is for equity or debt financing.”