Impact Investors switch focus to Health, Education

August 2020

Recent coverage of IIC-Asha Impact Report by Business Standard on the state of impact investing in India with massive growth in the last two years with an active focus on healthcare, education, and agriculture.

Future of Financing | Social Stock Exchange for Impact Enterprises

July 2020

Asha Impact along with UNDP, KPMG, and IIC hosted a virtual consultation on the 10th of July 2020 to discuss the proposed recommendations that enable social enterprises to benefit from the announced Social Stock Exchange. Check the insights that emerged from the discussion here.

Blended Finance Primer by Asha Impact

July 2020

This primer curated by Asha Impact is part of the organization's initiatives to build and further the collective knowledge on blended finance and its growing significance in India.

Blended Finance blog series: How DIB ready is your non-profit?

July 2020

This blog is part of the Blended Finance primer to address questions on whether blended finance is appropriate for an organization, and how it can leverage these instruments to raise funding. What are the structural and organizational changes a social enterprise must undergo to become DIB ready and why robust programmatic data is necessary as donors become more data-driven?

Scaling of government service delivery

July 2020

How do communities, local administrations, and civil society leaders manage the lifting of the lockdown while taking care of their most affected and vulnerable members? How can NGOs collaborate with the state government to fund and scale public education, healthcare, and other service delivery?

The road ahead:The Government's role in the new normal

July 2020

This blog covers the session on the govt's role in the new normal, moderated by Pramod Bhasin, Co-Founder, Asha Impact as part of Charcha2020. The session aimed to answer a few key questions — What is the bold thinking and drastic action that is needed to be taken to address the bottlenecks for effective public-private partnerships? What can (and cannot) the government do in today’s environment? How does the government manage the re-opening of the economy, the gaps in the preparedness of the health system, and fostering the civic sense and behavioral change needed in the post Covid world? What are the best practices and strategies being used by state governments that can be scaled to other hotspots?

Blended Finance blog series: Understanding Blended Finance Models

July 2020

This blog as part of the Blended Finance Primer provides an overview of the market size of impact bonds, trends in India and globally; a perspective on where and why impact bonds are useful, evidence on their success and key challenges, and a review of the current bonds in the market and under development.

Blended Finance blog series: Bridging the human capital divide using blended finance

July 2020

This blog is part of the Blended Finance primer that captures the discussion with three pioneering organizations in education and blended finance. Using insights from the existing impact bond structures in India, the speakers shed light on the operating models that are best suited for blended finance structures in a post-Covid-19 world, where nonprofits need to innovate, and what it will take to get these models off the ground quickly.

Blended Finance blog series: Role of Blended Finance & Philanthropy in re-building nonprofits

July 2020

This blog is part of the Blended Finance primer that aims to analyze the critical role of philanthropy and blended finance in a post COVID world. Where are grants most suitable? Where and how can philanthropic capital be leveraged to scale impact? Will we be able to tap into global capital markets/commercial pools of capital to fund development outcomes — will commercial capital bite in a post covid world?

How can impact linked debt help your social enterprise raise funds?

June 2020

Impact linked debt instruments such as Social Success Notes can help social enterprises raise capital for growth, especially in these tough times. In this blog, Aparna Dua and Sanchi Khurana from Asha Impact provide a brief introduction to the instrument and a perspective on contracts and regulations required from Atulaa Krishnamurthy and Amrut Joshi of GameChanger Law Advisors.

Pandemic Distress: 5 step approach for businesses to survive the crisis

April 2020

Pramod Bhasin, Chairman, and Founder at Clix Capital & Co-Founder, Asha Impact shedding light on the actionable steps to revive the economy from COVID-19

The future of impact investing

January 2020

Op-ed in Business Standard by Asha Impact's Executive Director Kartik Desai on what are the three major trends shaping impact investing at the turn of the decade, and their implications for the design of the national social stock exchange.

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.

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.

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.