Private-equity firm 3i has appointed Anil Ahuja as head of Asia.

It has been a year since Jamie Paton, who had overseen the regional business, left to join Candover Investments and establish its first Asian office, in Hong Kong. Paton had been with 3i for seven years and had led its build-up in the region.

Now the London-based firm, which focuses on buyouts, growth capital, infrastructure and quoted private equity funds, has promoted one of its own to take over. Ahuja is a partner in growth capital. He joined the firm in 2005 in Mumbai, but is considered one of the pioneers in Indian private equity, having been in the field for 10 years.

He has led the development of 3iÆs India business, but has also spent eight years at JP Morgan Partners Asia, overseeing its India investments. He started his career in 1986 at Citibank in Mumbai. He currently serves on the board of Vijai Electricals and Nimbus Communications, and has served in the past on others, including those of Adani Power, HDFC Bank, HDFC Securities, DominoÆs Pizza India, MTR Foods and Microland.

As head of 3i India, Ahuja was already spending most of his time between Mumbai and Singapore. He will officially be based in Singapore now, but will continue to have responsibility for the India business, as the firm does not plan to replace him. He will oversee Singapore-based Mark Thornton, partner and head of Southeast Asia, as well as Anna Cheung and Albert Xu, the China partners in Shanghai.

In turn, Ahuja now reports to Chris Rowlands, chairman of 3i Asia and a member of the firmÆs management committee, who is based in London.