India currently ranks as one of the most vibrant impact investing markets in the world. A large base of low income customers, strong entrepreneurial talent with robust technology skills and strong capital flows have proven to be a very potent combination to create large scale impact. The Indian Impact Investors Council’s (IIC) research suggests that over the past decade, 600 early-stage, innovation-driven impact enterprises have impacted more than 490 million lives in India. The impact created is diversified across multiple sectors (Financial Inclusion, Health, Education and Agriculture related impact initiatives are key) : approximately 200 enterprises receive annual funding of USD 3 Billion on an annual basis.
In a country as wide and diverse as India, technology has been at the heart of the impact investing revolution in the country. It has been the magic ingredient which has enabled organizations to create distinct social impact for their customers alongside financial returns for investors. While each business model can be considered unique, most organizations have used technology for impact along three broad dimensions:
Developing new products for underserved customer segments : Customized solutions in local languages coupled with smartphone penetration, for instance, have enabled large swathes of non-English speaking low income populations to use the internet more effectively to acquire products and services.
Creating new delivery models to lower costs for value chain disruption : Agriculture, Financial Services as well as Education are spaces where process efficiencies have demonstrated sharp reductions in costs and substantially enhanced scale.
Deep tech solutions based on proprietary IPs : Deep tech has allowed for new products in areas like medical devices, precision agriculture, fintech etc.
We believe this panel discussion will provide insights on the role of technology for creating large scale impact with the potential for adaptation and replication in other emerging markets. Our panel is an attempt to showcase some of India’s leading impact entrepreneurs who can share their experiences and talk about the role of technology in their impact journey. We bring forth a few path-breaking stories straight from the following Indian entrepreneurs:
DeHaat: AI-enabled agritech platform that provides end-to-end solutions for farming communities in India to drive supply chain and production efficiency. Founded in 2012, Dehaat currently has 350,000 farmers in their network in 4 states across India.
Kinara Capital: Transforms lives, livelihoods and local economies by providing collateral free, small business loans to micro-entrepreneurs in India. Founded in 2011, Kinara Capital has so far disbursed USD 267 million across 36,000+ customers.
Vedantu: It is a leading edtech company that offers personalized and group classes with tailor-made content from India’s best curated teachers through live tutoring for students in grades 6 to 12. Founded in 2014, Vedantu currently has 36+ million students learning in 500+ cities worldwide.
1mg: 1mg is India’s leading digital healthcare platform with affordable services such as tele doctor consultations, home lab tests and an online pharmacy. Founded in 2015, they have delivered 27+ million orders in 1800+ cities with 160+ million visitors on their platform.