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Edition 4 - January 2012

Newsletter 4th edition


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Edition 4 - January 2012
ARTHA PLATFORM NEWS FOR THE INDIA-FOCUSED IMPACT INVESTING COMMUNITY
ARTHA MISSION
A tremendous opportunity exists today to transform the face of investor/donor engagement with the vast, untapped markets at the base of the pyramid (BOP). The Artha Platform mission is to help unlock this opportunity.

www.arthaplatform.com
Table of Contents:

News
Case studies
Stats of interest
Recent investments
investment opportunities
Platforms of interest
Awards
Competitions
Tweet Corner
Events
@huvzcom Download poverty in india in - 50 PDF files http://t.co/NN1OQW8T

@jonathanshainin a link to Joe Sacco's piece in the new Caravan. In case you missed it: bit.ly/wbNzhJ

@procurementasia Nestle has rolled out a global quality, productivity and sustainability programme in India. http://t.co/cNUTRYcf

@sustain_ability Sustainability: Will 2012 belong to wind power or solar power?: India has undertaken a solar mission and is also... http://t.co/IVWNGmvQ

@WaterFootPrintN #India: in 20 years, 60% of all aquifers will be in a critical condition, says World Bank. http://t.co/DivgeVaK #groundwater #sustainability

@ciicesd Join us in celebrating India's Most #Sustainable Enterprises at the CII-ITC Sustainability #Awards event on 10 Feb 2012, Delhi.

@Weeels Urban #sustainability is at stake in #India as the 'Metro Man' retires. http://t.co/VPh3HnFy

@iihsin 86% of the energy source for #India is #coal #UIES

@geojit_bnpp Comprehensive policy action needed to prop-up MSME growth, CII National MSME Council Chairman: Business Standard http://t.co/18XjBtoN

@ashokaIndia Did you know that Chetna Gala Sinha, Ashoka Fellow, runs India's largest microfinance bank run by rural women? http://t.co/58F6Dj0x #ifeelup

@cleangreenpro India Moves To Solar Energy - Wants 20GW by 2020 http://t.co/SxkZfABQ #eco #cleantech #greenbuilding #renewableenergy

@BBCRBlack Remarkable Times of India ed on climate change bit.ly/zn503C - the 'greatest problem' but relying on the West to solve it is 'futile'

@firstpostin Towards alternate livelihoods for Delhi's beggars. http://t.co/bYE8WeUY

@thegreentake Promising: #participatory design methods applied in #india to develop agri ICT services that improve #livelihoods http://t.co/yyOM7Fgz

@VOASouthAsia Indian foundation sees to it that India's poor do not lose livelihoods when they lose a limb: http://t.co/rnSmuzJQ

@OwlTradingNews  India allows up to 50% iron ore export in attempt to safeguard long-term sustainability of the steel industry http://t.co/29XtOaof

@rdejongh India: Impact Investing in the Social and Environmental Sectors - EHS Journal | @scoopit http://t.co/4WjWeoob

@TillyJosephson WANTED: Exceptional Intern for corporate #philanthropy program in #India. Passion for social innov. & #NPTech required. PM me for more info.

@pndblog Has the Time Come for Wealthy Indians to Adopt the Giving Pledge? http://t.co/frvzOkgK #philanthropy #GivingPledge #India

@RReporterIndia Investing in India tough, say NRIs http://t.co/9ZmIdlel


EVENTS
Asia House Events
Date: Wednesday, Feb 15 9-12noon
Location: Asia House, 63 New Cavendish Street, London W1G 7LP UK
In Asia, rising economic powers hold the promise of becoming the largest consumer markets in the world.  economic reforms and financial market development have accelerated the growth of a multitude of new investment opportunities. But how should the West assess the set of growth challenges emerging from the Pan-Asian region and which challenges should be prioritized over 2012? 

Sankalp Forum 2012
Date: April 11-13th, 2012
Location: Mumbai
The Sankalp Forum (one of Intellecap's flagship initiatives is a unique and collaborative platform designed to catalyze impact investments into sustainable and scalable social enterprises globally.  Founded with the support of the Rockefeller Foundation, National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD), Ashoka India, New Ventures and over 25 other sector stakeholders, Sankalp today is one of the largest gathering of social entrepreneurs, impact investors, policy makers and others.For more information please click  here.

Please click here for a 50% discount on Early Bird Registration!

CII Partnership Summit
Date: January 11-13th, 2012
Location: Hyderabad Int'l Convention Center
The Partnership Summit 2012, the flagship international event of the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) brings together economic and commercial policymakers, businesses, innovators, and the public at large for relevant discourse on the current status of innovation in all spheres of activity, with the goal of helping the evolution of a roadmap for leveraging innovation for global inclusive growth and development. This 18th Partnership Summit will be co-hosted by the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion of the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, India, the Government of Andhra Pradesh, and the CII.  Read more here.

CII Knowledge Summit
Date: January 31st - February 1, 2012
Location: Vivanta by Taj, MG Road, Bangalore
The CII Mission on Knowledge, in existence since the past five years was created to allow KM practitioners to share, learn, and collaborate so as to effectively manage intellectual capital to gain a competitive edge in the present knowledge driven global economic scenario. The Knowledge Summit 2012 will focus on 'KM for Successful Collaborative Enterprises'. In an era where global economies are slowing down and competition is brutal each firm will have to harness all its knowledge capital and use its resources well to succeed. Collaborating within and beyond the firm will be an imperative in every industry. Read more here.


India Social Entrepreneurship Journeys

Dates: 30 November - 8 December 2012
Dates: February 2013 (exact dates TBC)
Journeys for Change features its November 2012 social entrepreneurship journey, which is a once-in-a-lifetime experience designed to enable you and your organisation to create greater positive impact in the world. Joining a select group of senior leaders from some of the world’s top private, public and civil society organisations, you will get first-hand lessons in innovation, entrepreneurship and leadership from some of Delhi and Rajasthan’s leading social entrepreneurs. Read more here.


 
AWARDS
Sankalp Artha Award
This year's eminent Sankalp Forum will feature one more award based on a partnership with the Artha Platform, recognizing the most innovative, investable entrepreneurial project from the 5 main streams of the Sankalp competition with a significant cash prize.  Further details forthcoming!

Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Award 2012
The Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year award recognizes the ingenuity of exemplary thinkers and individuals who hold the power to transform the universe; who push their limits and illuminate many with their ideas and determination to make a difference.  The Awards banquet for the E&Y Entrepreneur of the Year Award 2011 will take place in Mumbai in February 2012.  Read more here.

USAID to support Mera Gao Grid Power
with a $300,000 grant to construct and operate approximately 40 new village-level micro grid lighting facilities and evaluate their impact on school enrollment, health, and household income.  MGP provides its customers with more light points running for more hours each day providing more than 10 times the amount of light compared to kerosene. The project will reach 4,000 new customers and 20,000 new beneficiaries in Sitapur districts of Uttar Pradesh, India.
COMPETITIONS
 

USAID seeking new applications for Development Innovation Ventures (DIV)
The United States Agency for International Development’s (USAID) Annual Program Statement is currently seeking new grant applications under its new venture capital style fund called DIV. DIV emphasizes producing development outcomes more effectively and more cost-efficiently while managing risks and obtaining leverage by focusing on scale, rigorous testing, and evidence. It is a mechanism for working with partners to identify and test potential development solutions, and helping to scale those that are proven to produce development impact. 


CASE STUDIES
 

D. Light
Started by Stanford Business School graduates, Sam Goldman and Ned Tozun, D. Light was established as a for-profit company in 2008. Its mission is to enable households without reliable electricity to attain the same quality of life as those with electricity.  Through the use of D. Light's products, households have the option of working longer hours, thereby increasing productivity and income up to as much as 15-30% monthly. Similarly, the solar lanterns enable children to study better and longer. Read more... 



Suminter
Established in 2003 in Mumbai, India, Suminter India Organics has grown from a small trading company with the aim of helping local farmers to a fully integrated organic cotton and produce supply chain that distributes cotton products within India and both cotton and produce abroad. Suminter is currently working with 7,500 farmers who have approximately 80,000 acres under cultivation across the five states of Gujarat, Maharashtra, Uttaranchal, Kerala, and Rajasthan. By providing farmers with inputs such as seeds, training them in organic farming methods, and entering into 5-10 year purchase contracts with them, Suminter is able to supply high quality organic cotton and produce including various fibers, seeds, and spices to the market.  Read more...

RECENT INVESTMENTS
Vortex raises VC funding of INR 3.7 Cr.
Tata Capital, Aavishkaar and other existing investors in vest INR 3.7 Cr. In Vortex Engineering Pvt. Ltd. (Sankalp Alumnus 2010) as a part of the current planned round of INR 5 Cr. Vortex is the pioneer of Rural ATMs, which operate efficiently in no-frills locations in remote regions, at a fraction of cost of a conventional ATM while not compromising on the security and functionality of a traditional ATM. Aavishkaar, Bamboo Finance and Venture East are existing investors in the company.  Courtesy of Intellecap Sankalp Sector Round up. 


Waterlife Receives INR 22 Crores (approx USD 4.2 Mn) Investment from Matrix Partners India
Waterlife India Private Limited (Waterlife) announced that it has received INR 22 Crores (approx USD 4.2 Mn) investment from Matrix Partners India. Intellecap was the sole advisor for this transaction. Waterlife is a pioneer in providing high quality potable water solutions to the underserved  in an affordable and sustainable manner. It has installed safe water systems in more than 1,500 villages & urban areas covering more than 1 million people in a sustainable manner.
Read more...



 
Happy New Year and Welcome to the Artha Newsletter in 2012! The Artha team is pleased to announce continued progress on the development of the Arthaplatform.com
The Artha Team has worked through 2011 to bring you an improved user interface, better functionality and an opportunity to connect with those who share your goal of supporting social business in India.  The platform today caters to 74 invited members, with 27 social enterprises featured on the Artha pipeline.  We provide a space for news, resources, and information exchange for famliy offices, social venture capital funds, venture philanthropists, foundations, DFIs, entrepreneur support organizations and individuals who operate in this niche arena.

NEWS
Guardian coverage of Mera Gao Power, an Artha Pipeline opportunity
Mera Gao is a social enterprise led by US-born entrepreneurs Nikhil Jaisinghani and Brian Shaad, and provides low-cost mobile-charging and light services through micro grids in Uttar Pradesh, enabling the poorest to cease relying on kerosene. This company has begun to pioneer a wholly different energy system, designed to meet some of the most basic needs of the poorest, based on the operation of solar-powered micro grids at a village level. Each household receives two LED lights and one mobile-charging point in their home at a cost of 25 rupees (£0.30) per week. The setup cost is an additional one-off payment of 40 rupees (£0.48), which is the kind of price point that the majority can afford. Press here to read The Guardian’s coverage of this story in their article. See the Artha Enterprise Pipeline for further detail.

New Ventures India Company Nandan Cleantec PLC Goes Public
Nandan, which focuses on the production of the biofuel jatropha, will hold its initial public offering (IPO) on AIM, which is the London Stock Exchange's international market for smaller, growing companies.  Nabarro LLP, which is advising Nandan on its IPO, has valued the company at approximately $259.5 million. After 8 years of extensive research, Nandan has developed and received global patents for four hybrids of jatropha seeds with higher oil yield and new cultivation methods that maximize production. The 40,000 acres of jatropha allow Nadan to sequester 3.2 million tons of carbon.  Jatropha biofuels provide clean energy to large communities and replace polluting, GHG-intensive options. Nandan currently provides a steady income to over 15,000 small farmers.

Liberalisation of foreign borrowings by Indian MFIs
In its Circular of 19 December 2011, the Reserve Bank of India has amended the rules on External Commercial Borrowings (ECB or foreign borrowings) by Indian MFIs.  Until now, foreign borrowing by Indian MFIs registered as NBFCs was not allowed at all and borrowing by those registered as NGOs was only allowed up to $5 million per year.  Foreign lenders are advised to bear in mind political risk, credit risk and issues around lending rates and hedging costs.

India's financial sector regulator has allowed all MFIs - all those registered as NGOs, cooperatives and non-bank finance companies (NBFCs) and complying with the microfinance norms announced by its circular of 2 December 2011 - to borrow from eligible foreign sources up to a limit of $10 million (or equivalent) in a financial year.  This is a crucial decision in the context of the drying up of commercial bank funding for MFIs in India.  This note by M-CRIL discusses the implications of this decision for foreign lenders to Indian MFIs and also for the MFIs.  It identifies and discusses the issues the foreign lenders will have to bear in mind in deciding quantum of lending to Indian MFIs and suggests a way of taking better informed decisions on the risks involved. Link to the article


Start Green Venture Capital sets up a strategic partnership with Infuse Capital, India to promote faster transfer of clean-technology to the subcontinent
Naarden, 19th December, 2011: Start Green Venture Capital today signed a strategic partnership agreement with Infuse Capital, a venture fund backed by the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad (IIM) and the Ministry of Renewable Energy, Government of India, to promote the growth of and accelerate the transfer of clean energy to India.

The deal intends to promote greener and cleaner sources of energy and reduce the gap in the demand and supply of India's future energy needs, while creating a new market for Dutch 'clean-tech' start-ups. India holds vast potential in the wind, solar and biomass sectors, and the agreement intends to access these opportunities and address energy security concerns.


Infuse Capital will provide capital, along with knowledge of local markets, access to local entrepreneurs and government agencies and guidance for entrepreneurs. Start Green Venture Capital will provide the know-how and technical expertise along with capital to promote and accelerate the transfer of clean technology between The Netherlands and India.

Coenraad de Vries, Managing Partner, Start Green Venture Capital, comments, "We believe that in the next ten years India will see a huge economic transformation. An economy growing at this rate under a business-as-usual scenario means India's demand for energy will continue to increase exponentially. India's untapped renewable resources are also impressive. Aside from wind and solar, there is also vast potential in different biomass sources. Decentralized renewable energy and energy efficient technology will help India fill this gap faster than other economies." He further added "Joining hands with Infuse Capital will not only provide an opportunity for scaling up high-growth Dutch enterprises in the cleantech sector rapidly, but also help us raise capital and provide strong access to local networks and government agencies. This will also give us a chance to build a better understanding of India's energy needs and be a part of the country's solutions."

About Start Green Venture Capital
 Start Green Venture Capital is an early-stage clean-tech venture fund. Through two funds, Start Green invests in entrepreneurs and businesses seeking to commercialize innovative and sustainable technologies or products. The Start Green Sustainable Innovation Fund targets sustainable technologies in general, while the Start Green Consumer Products Fund invests in the development of sustainable consumer products and technologies. Since its inception in 2006, Start Green has built a strong and well-diversified portfolio of 12 companies. Start Green's expertise lies in commercialization of technology, minimizing investment risk and taking companies to the next level of growth. The managing partners of Start Green Venture Capital, Laura Rooseboom and Coenraad de Vries, have a total of more than 30 years of experience in investing in early stage clean-tech ventures.

About Infuse Capital
Infuse Capital is an India-centric early stage venture fund focused on the sustainable energy sector. Managed by seasoned investment professionals, Infuse Capital is backed by leading global businesses and the Ministry of Renewable Energy, Government of India and is housed at the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad, the leading business school in India. Infuse Capital leverages the expertise of its mentors and advisors which include leading energy entrepreneurs, investors, policy makers and researchers from across the world.


PLATFORMS
OF INTEREST
 
Nomads Hub
This platform is designed as a catalyst for change makers at all stages of their project (from idea development via startup to established venture), with retreat-like spaces on the one side (offers for treatment and concentration, reflection and development) as well as co-working spaces on the other (keep working on your job whilst away from the office, solve your most pressing challenges with peers and experts, get up to date with the latest trends, design and pilot social business approaches, implement the first/next steps).


The program includes interactive activities and participatory methods such as buddy coaching & mentoring, field trips to local social enterprises, open space conferences, world café, etc. What makes the Nomads Hub special is that it is holistic with a balance between DOING and BEING: giving support to the whole being, not just the projects people are working on.

It seems a contradiction but it's possible: a break from routine, a place to go within and reevaluate whilst getting your work done in a beautiful environment, surrounded by nature and meaningful questions of like-minded, nurtured with healthy food for body & soul.

It is also significantly longer than other existing events in India (e.g. Sankalp, Villgro, TEDx, Social Mashup) and thus more of a winter academy or learning journey, enabling real change to manifest and a community of continuous support to emerge.

As a participant one joins a community of professionals with similar values, sharing everything from design of business models, management approaches, networks and experiences. Click here to read more about it.


 

Shop for Change
Shop for Change Fair Trade is a section 25 Not for Profit company set up by the NGOs International Resources for Fairer Trade (IRFT) from India and Traidcraft Exchange from the UK to find an innovative solution to the problems faced by of poor farmers and artisans in India. Shop for Change (SFC) uses certification to build the capacity of producer groups and improve their access to value-added markets as well as protect the environment, promote social equity and raise awareness among consumers. Shop for Change has four main functions; certification, business services, producer services and awareness raising.

Certification
By consulting a broad cross-section of businesses, academics, farmer and artisan organisations and consumers SFC can set fair trade standards that are designed to meet the unique challenges faced by Indian farmers and artisans. The SFC certification system is participatory, so that the certification process itself works to empower farmers and artisans. Certification also works on a continual improvement basis to remove barriers for new farmers and artisans wanting to enter into the system. They use independent auditors to check that standards are being. Those standards are kept under constant review so that they remain relevant to the situation on the ground.

Business services
Shop for Change engages brands and retailers about the fair trade concept and provides supply chain services, linking up businesses to the suppliers they need. We use marketing and promotional campaigns to support the sale of products that carry the Shop for Change Mark and help businesses communicate about their involvement in fair trade. Shop for Change standards also ensure consistent supply of market quality products for buyers.

Awareness raising
With promotional campaigns and online marketing SFC generates media coverage to build a network of informed consumers to spread the fair trade message in India and grow the market for Shop for Change Fair Trade certified goods. They work with likeminded organisations to highlight the plight of disadvantaged farmers and artisans and build the fair trade movement in India. Click here to read more about it.




Artha Partner Ennovent has launched its online Global Network on www.ennovent.com. The online Global Network will bring together entrepreneurs, investors and experts to discover, finance and scale the best solutions that make a sustainable impact on low income people. Register for free and create an impact at the BoP!

INVESTMENT OPPORTUNITIES
R U Reducing, Reusing, Recycling (RUR)
RUR aims at creating an environmentally aware society in which individuals adopt green consumption practices whereby they reduce, reuse and recycle.  In the first year, the project plans to adopt 10 market places across Mumbai and make them plastic-free zones. Additionally, it also aims to train women in slum areas to make and produce eco-friendly cloth bags. In the next three years, the project expects to reach out to 3000 market vendors. Monisha, Sumegha and Sejal came together after having met through their children's school and discovering they were connected by a common passion for the environment. The team has been running their environment forum RUR and has succeeded in getting 20 outlets of a retail chain to use cloth bags at check out.

No Nasties
No Nasties aims to provide a means for the Indian consumers to make an impact on the fair trade, ethical, organic market without having to alter their lifestyle. This impact would improve the conditions of farmers in the cotton belt and factory workers, as well as the environment through ethical trade practices. No Nasties also uses the fair trade premium for community development: schools, hospitals, storage warehouses, funds for distressed farmers, solar power, etc.

Apurva has 8 years experience in product design in startups and enterprises, while Diti works as a freelance Graphic Designer with experience in Design Strategy and Communications. Due to limited options in eco-friendly clothing brands as a consumer, Apurva and Diti teamed up to build a business that could fill this void and be sustainable in all aspects - financially, socially and environmentally – as well as be fashionable & stylish.


STATS OF INTEREST
 
The advantage of India
Strategies for sustainability are often counter-intuitive: No is really yes, up is really down. This is true for companies and countries alike. Over the past five years, Stuart L. Hart has been working extensively in both China and India. The contrasts could not be more stark.


China: Five year plans, massive investment, rapid industrialization, infrastructure development, new town planning, national highway system, high-speed rail, new airports.

India: Messy democracy, corruption, mass migration to cities, chaotic slums and shantytowns, poor infrastructure, inadequate roads, antiquated rail system.

Many point to China as the model, with its gleaming skyscrapers, maglev trains, freshly paved highways, and massive new towns. But will they regret it in a decade when the full impact of Peak Oil hits? Will many of these investments, so dependent on increasing consumption of fossil fuels, become like giant albatrosses?

Stuart L. Hart stated " It hit me on my most recent trip to India, where I am involved in founding a new Indian Institute for Sustainable Enterprise in Bangalore, that India's apparent ineptitude may turn out to be its "silver lining." With 600,000 villages, 700 million plus rural farmers, burgeoning slums, inadequate infrastructure, and a culture of transparency and entrepreneurship, India still has a chance to steer the country in a different direction".

India can draw upon all of its ancient knowledge and traditions while at the same time applying the best of the emerging clean and sustainable technologies to "leapfrog" to what comes next:
  • new urbanism
  • mass transit
  • sustainable agriculture
  • distributed generation
  • renewable energy
  • bottom-up entrepreneurship
  • IT-enabled development
  • inclusive wealth creation
India can take a "green leap" into future precisely because it has not used up all its seed corn on the "Old Way."

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