Global impact investors Rockefeller Foundation and Omidyar Network have joined hands with Dasra, a strategic philanthropy foundation, to launch the Impact Investing Forum in India.
The forum on Saturday announced the launch of the India Impact Economy Innovations Fund to catalyse collective action and market development in India, a statement said.
Rockefeller and Omidyar announced a grant of $800,000. Dasra would administer the grant through the next few months. "We see a lot of potential for impact investing in India. With this grant, we hope to build an ecosystem that nurtures innovation, unlocks different forms of capital and fosters collaboration", said Margot Brandenburg, associate director, Rockefeller Foundation.
Today, many new organisations are addressing some of the toughest developmental challenges in India through market-based solutions. Investors are increasingly attracted to such investments. According to a recent study by the Planning Commission, investments by impact investment funds in India stand at about Rs 1,200 crore.
At on Saturday's launch event, Neera Nundy, partner and co-founder, Dasra, said, "We are bringing together different stakeholders and building a common voice to boost impact investing in India and take it to the next level."
The event was kicked off with a panel discussion led by philanthropist Rohini Nilekani, Vineet Rai, founder of Aavishkaar Fund and Manish Sabharwal, chairman and co-founder, Teamlease Services.
Jayant Sinha, partner, Omidyar Network, said, "India is the global epicentre for impact investing. We need to focus on a sector-based approach and build market innovation, policy and infrastructure to enable impact investing to flourish in India and move millions out of poverty….To create impact in India, there is a role for markets and state action. Sarkar and bazaar need to work together to deliver results ….It's only when market forces are at play that impact investing works. Ours is a combined network of for-profit and non-profit grant making."
Vineet Rai, who has been involved with the impact investing space for about 17 years, said, "A lot more patient capital needs to be unlocked and those providing funds should to be willing to wait a long while before their investments become profitable."