MUMBAI—MSLGroup India has named new leadership, with CEO Jaideep Shergill moving to a new business venture that focuses on Indian startups.

The firm has promoted Chetan Mahajan and Amit Misra to the roles of co-MDs. Mahajan was previously MD of 20:20 MSL, and has been with the group for the past decade.

Misra, meanwhile, is elevated one year after joining MSLGroup to lead New Delhi and public affairs. Misra previously spent five years with Edelman.

Together, the duo take on the responsibilites handled by Shergill, who took on overall leadership of MSLGroup in early 2013. Shergill previously led MSL India, overseeing its rebranding from Hanmer following its acquisition by Publicis Groupe in 2007.

From January, Shergill will begin a new business venture with Hanmer founder Sunil Gautam, who is also chairman emeritus of MSLGroup India. Shergill's close association with Gautam stretches back to his decade-long stint as COO at Hanmer MSL. 

The new business, said Shergill, will focus on advisory for Indian startups, including M&A, investment strategies and mentoring young entrepreneurs.

"It’s an exciting business plan and doesn’t conflict with what MSL is doing," said MSLGroup Asia-Pacific president Glenn Osaki.

However, Osaki and Shergill were less forthcoming about whether the new business would exist within MSLGroup. "It's not a core MSL business," said Osaki, noting that more details would follow in the coming weeks.

Regarding the new leadership duo, Osaki said they bring "very strong complementary skills."

"Chetan is probably our sharpest and most business-savvy operational expert," explained Osaki. "Amit is much more of a relentless business developers — he’s a great networker and thought leader in the industry, and is our growth champion."

Osaki also declined to comment on the firm's mooted deal with Perfect Relations. The Holmes Report understands that any acquisition has yet to move beyond the negotiation stage, as revealed in July.