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Asha Impact Newsletter June 2018

July 2018

The Asha Impact quarterly newsletter brings to you the latest news from the impact investment sector - top deals, pioneering research, exciting events and more.

Why is Impact Investing particularly relevant in India?

June 2018

What does impact investment mean to an emerging economy such as ours? Why is it important? Can it help solve a number of social challenges that affect the day to day functioning of millions of Indians? What are the different trends that affect the impact investment market in developed and developing countries?

What makes cities sustainable ?

June 2018

More than half the world’s population lives in cities today and is estimated to grow to over two thirds by 2030[1]. In India, about a third of the 1.25 billion population lives in cities and will account for 70% of the GDP by 2030[2], a parallel to the global economy where 60–70% of the economy is currently driven by cities. It is disheartening then, that rather than celebrating the rise of urbanization and cities, one often hears the vitriol that dense cities are at the heart of increasing political and social volatility and economic instability.

Converting Waste to Wealth, Part 1: Challenges Plaguing Waste Management in India

June 2018

ndia generates over 150,000 tonnes of municipal solid waste (MSW) per day, with Mumbai being the world’s fifth most wasteful city. With only 83% of waste being collected and less than 30% being treated, Indian cities have a serious challenge at hand¹. The sector has been plagued with poor segregation practices, which results in overfilling of landfills and presents numerous social and environmental challenges. There is then the invisible plight of thousands of waste-pickers who sustain their livelihoods by collecting, sorting, and trading waste; in an entirely informal ecosystem.

Converting Waste to Wealth, Part 2: Waste Management?—?At an inflection point

June 2018

In the earlier part of this series, we glossed over the main challenges that have plagued the waste management sector. In this section, we would like to shed light on the drivers that are enabling business to build commercially viable operations tailored towards the Indian waste management value-chain.

Insights from the Asha Impact Annual Leaders Meet

June 2018

Asha Impact’s first Annual Leaders Meet held in Mumbai on 31st May brought together a close group of like-minded individuals?—?business leaders and philanthropists, successful social entrepreneurs, leading impact investors, VCs and policymakers?—?to discuss the state of the Indian impact investment industry and deep dive into a few sectors including Affordable Housing, Waste Management and Financial Services.

Annual Impact Report 2018 - Asha Impact

June 2018

The Annual Impact Report 2018, is Asha Impact's first Annual Report which provides a comprehensive overview of the social footprint of our portfolio companies, advocacy in the housing and energy sectors and ecosystem building activities.

Impact Investing Primer - Asha Impact Primer

May 2018

The Asha Impact primer on impact investment provides quick links to key reports and videos that shall give a comprehensive overview of the sector.

Asha Impact Newsletter March 2018

March 2018

The first edition of the Asha Impact quarterly newsletter brings to you the latest news from the impact investment sector - top deals, pioneering research, exciting events and more.

Agri-Input startups in India: Not just an e-commerce play

March 2018

The agri-input marketplace (sale of seeds, fertilizers, crop protection etc.) sector seems to be one of the flavours of the month in agri-business in India. Numerous start-ups have tried, and continue to try, to address this sector. However, we would be remiss to say that this is a recent phenomenon. Large input companies, had already identified the opportunity to formalize distribution and retail of inputs, in order to take home a larger chunk of the estimated Rs. 60,000 crore industry.

Could FSI be a Solution to the Urban [Affordable] Housing Problem?

March 2018

The problem of urban housing shortage is a complex one. With limited availability of land and owing to rapid urbanization there is an increased pressure on a city’s resources and especially on the availability of affordable homes. Cities are expected to house nearly 40% of India’s population by 2030 and account for nearly 70% of India’s GDP by 2030[1]. Urban India has managed to attract investments on the back of robust growth, but has failed to offer a basic standard of living to its citizens. With this rapid pace of urbanization, cities are growing, many a times in an unplanned manner. Housing, and in particular ‘affordable’ housing is getting pushed to city peripheries or pockets that still lack basic amenities, trunk and social infrastructure. It is against this backdrop that the ongoing debate of whether FSI should be increased in cities becomes relevant.

Energy Access through Interconnection

January 2018

India has set an aggressive goal to generate 175 GW of renewable energy, which includes 100 GW of solar power by 2022. The government’s commitment to achieving this target is evident, given that in the past three years, India’s position on the World Bank’s electricity accessibility index has jumped 73 positions, surpassing numerous developed countries and, more than 10GW of solar capacity has now been developed?—?starting from a low base of 2.6 GW. Furthermore, the government’s focus on utility scale renewable energy power plants has driven the price of solar energy to an all-time low of Rs 2.62, making it cheaper than coal!

Reflections from the Global Entrepreneurship Summit 2017

December 2017

Just as the buzz and excitement from my Hyderabad trip was settling, emails from entrepreneurs I had met at the summit started to trickle in, rekindling the whirlwind of energy I had experienced. The Global Entrepreneurship Summit 2017, organized in Hyderabad last month was a brilliantly curated conference that brought together 1600 entrepreneurs, investors, policy makers, business leaders and NGOs from 150+ countries?—?all under one roof for networking, mentorship, and workshops! Unlike the angst common towards the end of multi-day conferences, I shared the sentiments of other attendees in their yearning to be at the conference for 1–2 more days.

What is Impact Investing

December 2017

More and more people are becoming familiar with the related concepts of impact investing and social entrepreneurship. These ideas are commanding increasing attention in business, academia and government, and also among the public at large, with hundreds of articles and dozens of research studies. MBA graduates want to get in on a piece of the action. Billions of dollars have been flowing in, away from traditional NGOs, to this new model of socio-economic development that harnesses market forces. And some political leaders are also taking note, in emerging markets like India as well as developed countries like the UK and US.

My Journey Into Impact Investing

December 2017

Asha’ means ‘hope’ in Hindi and ‘life’ in Swahili. To me, it is a word that has long been associated with service or giving back to society. I first came across this word when I was a teenager in Bombay studying at the Cathedral School and several of my classmates and I used to volunteer at at an institution called Asha Daan, a charity set up by Mother Teresa in Mumbai.

Impact investing finds its place in India

September 2017

The global market for impact investments is projected to grow to $300 billion or more by 2020,1 according to the Global Steering Group on Impact Investment. Although this is still a fraction of the total private-equity assets under management (about $2.5 trillion in 20162 ), mainstream investors have entered the arena and are bringing scale to what was earlier considered a niche. And the dialogue is shifting rapidly from impact investing to “investing for impact.”