Impact Investing: A Sustainable Approach to Development

For Immediate Release

Friday, September 15, 2017
Neha Khator
91 11 24198000

New Delhi: The Impact Investors Council (IIC) in partnership with the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and IPE Global today hosted an event aimed at building awareness and encouraging wider participation in Impact Investing in India.

The conference, “Impact Investing: A Sustainable Approach to Development,” aimed at building awareness among donors, foundations, family offices, and corporates, as to how their resources can be meaningfully invested for impactful development outcomes. A study report by McKinsey on Impact Investing in India set the agenda for the event, followed by insights on Global Impact Investing Trends by GIIN.

Impact Investment Funds differ from traditional grants as the funds can be invested in social/development ventures (such as education, healthcare, sustainable livelihoods) to generate a financial return on capital. It is estimated that Indian Impact Investors deployed $5.2bn over the last seven years impacting 80 million lives, and an increasing number of philanthropists are beginning to consider impact investments as a financially viable and socially sustainable solution to meet national priorities and Sustainable Development Goals.

“As India’s development needs become more extensive and complex, there is a growing acknowledgement that big challenges like poverty elimination cannot be addressed through an archaic lens of inputs and outputs or only traditional means like grants from charitable organizations.  Impact investing places the needs of beneficiaries at the heart of the ecosystem.  It provides the investors’ opportunities to ‘do good and do well.’ said Geeta Goel, Vice President- Mission Investments, Michael and Susan Dell Foundation & Chairperson IIC.

USAID is helping encourage impact investment in India to channelize resources for health programs through the Partnerships for Affordable Health Access and Longevity (PAHAL) program implemented by IPE Global. This effort from USAID can be a game-changing initiative as it can unlock critical resources for addressing the health challenges in child, maternal and adolescent health, TB and HIV/AIDS and other communicable and non-communicable diseases.

Elaborating on USAID’s new strategic approach for sustained development, Ms. Ramona El Hamzaoui, USAID Deputy Mission Director to India, stated: “USAID is reducing emphasis on the traditional donor-recipient relationship, and is increasingly encouraging strategic partnerships to generate development outcomes that encompass multiple stakeholders. The focus is now on identifying evidence-based innovative approaches and combining these with Indian financial and intellectual capital to sustainably advance health and development goals in India, and contribute to solve worldwide development challenges. Thus the support to building an impact investment ecosystem is very important.”

Speaking at the event Ashwajit Singh, Vice Chairman and Managing Director, IPE Global, said: “IPE Global recognizes the power of the private sector and is committed to promoting market based solutions for solving development challenges. In co-operation with USAID, we have been building the impact investment ecosystem. I am pleased to announce the launch of Ajooni Impact Fund, which will invest in social enterprises that help the disadvantaged by promoting sustainable livelihoods and sustainable urbanization.”

The day proceeded with a panel of esteemed industry veterans discussing and debating on how to build greater mutual understanding of risk-return and social impact through Impact Investing in a financially viable and sustainable manner. The discussions focused on how sustainable impact / outcomes can be created through Impact Investing by leveraging enterprise and capital.

The event converged industry players and leaders shaping and strengthening the social  investment ecosystem including Donors, Foundations, Family Offices, CSR, GoI representatives, Development Finance Institutions, Policymakers and select Social Enterprises.