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Asha Impact Quarterly Newsletter June 2019

June 2019

Budget 2019 presented by our first female Finance Minister, Nirmala Sitharaman has announced a number of policy measures to accelerate growth towards India’s $5 trillion economy. For start-ups in particular, the government plans to set up a Social Exchange for Social Enterprise, reduce scrutiny on on share premium and valuation and encourage information sharing on start-ups through a dedicated television program.

Asha Impact Quarterly Newsletter December 2018

December 2018

Wishing everyone a prosperous year ahead. Read Asha Impact's newsletter to get a glimpse of the major events of 2018. Asha Impact and Jindal Centre for Social Innovation + Entrepreneurship have launched India’s first 4-week online course on the impact investment industry which captures insights from top impact investors including Michael and Susan Dell Foundation, Aaviskhaar, Omidyar Network, Northern Arc, Leapfrog, Acumen, Aspada and many more.

Recommendations’ for the Deployment of CSR Funds through AIFs & Social Businesses

December 2018

India’s CSR law is one of the most innovative pieces of legislation globally. However, it is estimated that over a third of the total CSR money is not invested for various reasons, and a large portion is given to the Prime Minister’s Relief Fund, showing that many corporates have not yet used CSR as an effective tool for social impact and value creation. There are several challenges in allowing CSR capital to flow to for-profit enterprises whether directly or indirectly through venture funds or blended finance/outcome funding.

Making Indian Cities Sustainable

October 2018

Read Asha Impact, Omidyar Network and eGovernments Foundation's latest report which explores the market opportunities that exist in making India’s cities more liveable, sustainable and business friendly. Cities are engines for sustainable development. They represent the true confluence of ideas, commerce, culture, science, and productivity.

Asha Impact Quarterly Newsletter October 2018

October 2018

Attend the Global Steering Group’s Impact Summit where Asha Impact founders, Vikram Gandhi and Pramod Bhasin along with 900 global impact investment leaders shall be discussing key actions to take the industry to the global tipping point by 2020. Join Asha Impact at the Indian Impact Council’s flagfish LP-GP conference - Prabhav - to explore how we can collaborate to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.

What is the market opportunity for precast technology in building affordable housing?

September 2018

The Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA) of the Government of India has recently announced that it is set to launch the Global Housing Construction Technology Challenge as part of the technology sub-mission of PMAY-U to kickstart housing construction in urban areas. Through this challenge, the MoHUA will invite ideas for innovations in delivering mass housing more sustainably, cheaply, and quickly.

What I read in the last year and my learnings as an Investor

September 2018

Working in early stage investments is a steep and perennial learning curve. That’s why, nurturing a curious mind, while building frameworks for analyzing large volume of unstructured data are core to what we do. I find reading helps jumpstart this process, exposing us to experiences and ideas, that would be physically impossible for us to find for ourselves in this lifetime.

Healthcare Landscape in India: Challenges versus Emerging Technologies (Part I)

September 2018

The Indian healthcare industry is at a very interesting position, delicately poised to grow to USD 280 Billion by 2020. As India’s masses increase in affluence and awareness, they are demanding access to better health care. Despite this increased demand for quality healthcare, India’s healthcare spending pales in comparison to other developed or emerging economies, with the Indian government spending less than 1.3%[ii] of the GDP on healthcare.

What’s your impact investing approach?

September 2018

As a novice in the impact investing world, what became immediately apparent to me is that impact investing is not an asset class of its own. The principles of traditional investing apply just as well. For example, all investors consider an enterprise’s maturity, and consequently, the round of investment (seed, series A, B, C) the enterprise requires.Impact investors simply apply an added lens of social impact to their investment strategy.

Industry Night Corporate Social Responsibility - Catalysing Corporate Startup Engagement

September 2018

“Industry Night” is a series of bi-monthly evening events, started by Zone Startups, to stimulate an interaction between the leading members of the industry and the startup ecosystem and to share best practices and enabling a peer network in innovation within the space. At an “Industry Night” you can hear a reverse pitch, wherein industry leaders talk and discuss problems that they are facing; which, shows that the industry is trying to work with innovation or new solutions.

Asha Impact Quarterly Newsletter June 2018

July 2018

Asha Impact clocked its first exit from Varthana, a Bengaluru based lender to Affordable Private Schools impacting 2 million students across 3,500 schools. NEPRA -Let's Recycle, a waste management company raises $6.5 million in its Series B round of funding from Asha Impact and Aavishkar. As per our market analysis, the quarter saw ~19 deals of total value ~$ 190 million. Majority of these were Series-B/C investments in Financial Services and Agriculture companies.

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

India 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.

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. Preparing our first such report to answer the question of how do we create impact – the word in our name itself – has been a useful exercise forcing us to critically evaluate the results of our efforts over the last three years.

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. Impact investing is unlocking significant sums of private investment capital to complement public resources and philanthropy in addressing pressing global challenges. Hundreds of impact investors are engaged in this movement to redefine the role of capital and channel its full power to create a better world.

Asha Impact Quarterly 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. As per Asha Impact’s proprietary bottom-up analysis, FY18 saw ~60 deals of total value ~Rs. 720 Cr, with significant Series-A deal activity in Financial Services and Agriculture and early-stage activity in Education, Energy Access, Healthcare and Technology for Development.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Beyond Off Grid: Integrating Mini-grids with India's Evolving Electricity System

May 2017

Up to 250 million Indians are not connected to the national grid and the majority of rural consumers have grossly unreliable power supply. At its core the report aims to provide a framework and roadmap that enables the national grid and mini-grid operators to work together towards an integrated electricity system