Market Building

Industry Leadership in Impact Investing

Asha Impact has taken a leadership role in building the impact investing industry in India. Our Executive Director Kartik Desai has served for two terms as an elected board member and executive committee member of the Impact Investors Council ( as well as Chair of its Research Committee. Asha Impact has worked closely with IIC to produce thought leadership (such as our report analysing a decade of Indian Impact Investment), engage in policy advocacy (with bodies including Niti Aayog, Finance Ministry, SEBI and RBI) to enable greater flow of capital to social enterprises, and active efforts over several years to build the market for blended finance in particular social impact bonds – first by evangelizing these instruments and facilitating roadshows (e.g. for Ronnie Cohen and Social Finance) and then by deepening engagement with government, outcome funders, risk investors and intermediaries to create alignment on structures, pricing and standards.

Facilitating finance for SGBs (ANDE)

Asha Impact seeks to further the agenda of unlocking capital to help scale Small and Growing Businesses (SGBs), especially social enterprises, which often operate in hard geographies and serve underserved populations. As a member of the India Steering committee and Chair of the SGB Finance Lab at ANDE, a global network of more than 260 organizations across 150 countries to propel entrepreneurship in emerging markets, we have helped create awareness about innovative financial instruments such as impact linked debt, impact bonds, masala bonds, revenue royalty structures etc. which help lower the cost of capital for SGBs and also price in the social impact being generated by entrepreneurs. Together with ANDE, we have hosted convenings and webinars to expand the pool of investors and co-authored a playbook on Social Success Notes to increase the reach of such instruments.

Representation at Global Conferences

Over the years, Asha Impact has participated in major global convenings including (i) Social Capital Markets, (ii) The Global Steering Group on Impact Investment's annual forums, and (iii) the Global Impact Investing Network's annual meeting. Our Executive Director Kartik Desai and founder Vikram Gandhi have spoken at these forums in plenary panels, and officially represented the Indian impact investment industry through IIC, which acts as the National Advisory Board (NAB) for impact investment in India as a GSG member. Vikram Gandhi, through his work at Harvard Business School, is an active speaker in various global forums on impact investment, ESG and sustainable finance.

Impact Management

Since inception, Asha Impact has had a robust and practical approach to impact management, understanding its criticality to making developing finance more accountable. Beyond practicing impact management in our investment activities, we have been thought leaders in this space, encouraging the industry to adopt sector-based Minimum Impact Reporting Standards (MIRS) according a simple 3P Framework (People, Planet, Purpose) which is consistent with global standards like the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), frameworks like the Impact Management Project (IMP) and metrics developed by Impact Reporting Investment Standard (IRIS). Through its Annual Impact Report, Asha Impact reports on the cumulative impact created by its investees as well as the impact created by its policy advocacy and market building activities. Several of our portfolio companies are standard bearers in impact management (e.g. Gramophone which has been featured as a GIIN Case Study). Please click here to read more about our view on impact management.