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Bala Deshpande
Nationality Indian
Alma mater Jamnalal Bajaj Institute of Management Studies,
University of Mumbai
Occupation Senior Managing Director, New Enterprise Associates

Bala Deshpande is the Senior Managing Director of the venture capital firm, New Enterprise Associates (India) since 2008. NEA is a venture capital firm with over US$13 billion in committed capital. NEA started direct investments in India during the downturn in 2008 and has since built a portfolio of 14 companies.

According to Fortune India (2016), she is the 49th most powerful women in India.

Education and personal life

She has completed her post-graduation in Economics from the University of Mumbai. She also holds a master's degree in Management Studies from the Jamnalal Bajaj Institute of Management Studies.

She is married to Chaitanya Deshpande, who heads the Investor Relations and M&A functions at Marico Limited. The couple lives in Mumbai.


She has over 23 years of professional experience, including 14 years of private equity experience. Her private equity experience has seen the full cycle from nurturing young companies to executing multiple exits, including IPO's, buybacks, strategic sales, and capital market divestments. Under her leadership, NEA India's assets under management (AUM) have grown from ~$100mn to over ~$350mn. Bala's investment expertise includes sectors such as retail, media, IT&ITES, telecom, construction as also some manufacturing related industries.

Prior to joining the board of NEA (India), Bala was the Director of Investments at ICICI Ventures since 2000. At ICICI Venture, she used her operational experience to identify opportunities for investment and to play a strategic role in shaping the future of investee companies. She led teams in deals ranging from Rs 6 crore to Rs 300 crore at ICICI Venture. She launched leading e-commerce ventures like Traveljini and BillJunction. Further, she was involved in executing over 10 exits during her tenure with ICICI Ventures.

Before ICICI Ventures, Bala had multi industry exposure and has worked across diverse functions such as sales, distribution and brand management with MNCs such as Bestfoods, Cadbury and ICI. At Bestfoods, she was also part of the strategic planning team.


Bala has been nominated among India's top 50 most powerful women in business by Forbes consecutively in 2011, and 2012. She was also nominated for the Women Leadership Forum held at Bestfoods, New York.


Bala is associated with several leading organization in the capacity of a Director. She is currently on the board of:

  • Air Works India Engineering Private Ltd
  • Naaptol Online Shopping Pvt Ltd
  • Financial Software & Systems Private Ltd.
  • IndiaHomes
  • inTarvo Technologies Ltd.
  • VISHWA Infrastructures & Services Pvt. Ltd
  • Future Retail Limited (formerly, Pantaloon Retail (India) Ltd)
  • Nova Medical Centers Private Ltd
  • Naukri Internet Services Pvt. Ltd
  • Info Edge (India) Ltd
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