MISSION Framework: Sustainable businesses create sustainable impact

In partnership with the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation, the Social Innovation & Investment Initiative at the New York University Wagner Graduate School of Public Service (NYU Wagner) analyzed more than 40 foundation-related investments, and together we developed a MISSION framework to document the foundation’s impact investing strategy. The framework is comprised of the following elements: Market, Impact, Scale, … Continued

Skilling India: What’s next?

For over six years, the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation has invested in education technology platforms and programs that can empower India’s young adults to learn an array of new skills from English-language fluency, to repairing cars, to learning optometry, to navigating corporate interviews and office culture, and much more. While the training offered ranges, … Continued

MISSION Framework: Growing Momentum to Achieve Scale

In partnership with the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation, the Social Innovation & Investment Initiative at the New York University Wagner Graduate School of Public Service (NYU Wagner) analyzed more than 40 foundation-related investments, and together we developed a MISSION framework to document its impact investing strategy. The framework is comprised of the following elements: Market, Impact, … Continued

MISSION Framework: Where Impact is not an afterthought

In partnership with the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation, the Social Innovation & Investment Initiative at the New York University Wagner Graduate School of Public Service (NYU Wagner) analyzed more than 40 foundation-related investments, and together we developed a MISSION framework to document its impact investing strategy. The framework is comprised of the following elements: … Continued

Catalyzing markets to create impact in India

In partnership with the foundation, NYU Wagner Social Innovation & Investment Initiative analyzed more than 40 foundation-related investments, and together we developed a MISSION framework to document its impact investing strategy. The framework is comprised of the following elements: Market, Impact, Scale, Sustainability, Incrementality, Organization and Next. This blog is the first in a series … Continued

Impact Investing Lesson: Need does not drive demand

Last  year, I shared 10 lessons learned over a decade of our Impact Investing journey in India. I’m starting 2018 with a deep dive into one of those lessons: Need does not drive demand. There is a tendency for both businesses and philanthropists to sometimes equate need with demand. Need is informed by an entity or … Continued

Ensuring that “impact” stays in “impact investing”

As an insider to India’s impact investing scenario for over a decade now, I have developed my own beliefs on the sector. McKinsey India’s recent report titled ‘Impact investing: Purpose-driven finance finds its place in India’ offered a great opportunity for me to reflect and see how impact investing has evolved over the past few years in India.

Lesson two: Execution comes first for India’s social enterprises

Michael Dell once said, “Ideas are a commodity. Execution of them is not.” This is especially relevant for social enterprises that sell affordable products and services at small margins to low-income users. Scale, sustainability and replicability become crucial for the long-term success of such companies.

Lesson one: Sector knowledge is crucial in impact investing

Our earliest lesson was that sector knowledge is critical for social entrepreneurship. In 2006, the foundation made its first impact investment in Ujjivan Financial Services, a microfinance company for the urban poor. At that time, urban microfinance in India was considered a risky venture.