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Waterlife India Private Limited (Waterlife) announced that it has received an investment of INR22 crores (~US$4.2m) from Matrix Partners India. Beyond Profit‘s publisher 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 and urban areas reaching more than one million people.

“This capital infusion provides Waterlife the growth capital to expand its scale in the underserved potable water space. We started our work in West Bengal and Uttar Pradesh, and presently work in six states to provide potable water solutions. We are now poised to emerge as the leading player in this segment across India. We are very impressed with Matrix’s deep understanding of the water sector and are very  pleased to have them as our partner, said Sudesh Menon, Managing Director of Waterlife India Private Limited.

Anurag Agrawal, Co-Founder and Senior Vice President of the Investment Banking division at Intellecap, had this to say: “We are delighted to partner with Waterlife as it is one of those rare business models that has successfully demonstrated that it is possible to create true triple bottom-line returns and create tangible large scale impact on the ground in rural India. We’re confident this is just the start of many paradigm shifting achievements for Sudesh and his team.”

“It is our privilege to be associated with the Promoter team of Sudesh Menon, Mohan Ranbaore & Indranil Das. We believe Water will remain a high growth sector driven by strong government focus and socio-economic relevance of water as a resource. We believe Waterlife with its innovative business model complemented by a high quality management team is set to emerge as a leader in the potable water segment,” said Avnish Bajaj, Co-Founder & Managing Director of Matrix India.

Waterlife won the prestigious Sankalp Award this year in the Health, Water and Sanitation category.

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Sankalp Forum opens applications for Sankalp Awards 2012 (India and South East Asia), finalist MSMEs to get access to funding and capacity building.

Sankalp Forum, a global platform for social enterprises, announced that it is now accepting applications for the Sankalp 2012 Awards. The awards will recognize emerging enterprises across 6 categories, including the newly launched South East Asia Award for the most innovative social enterprise in the region. Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) with a social impact focus, also known as ‘social enterprises’ are encouraged to apply in order to access finance and capacity building services. An initiative by the social advisory firm Intellecap, Sankalp Forum has connected over 400 enterprises and over 400 investors in the last three years.

Social enterprises aim to provide high quality yet affordable goods and services like healthcare, education, and financial services to the poor, thus creating social benefits while making a profit. Investors are increasingly backing these and using a new strategy called ‘impact investing’, that expects monetary as well as social returns. The profit opportunity for such businesses is estimated to be over INR 32 lac crores* over the next decade. As a clear validation of the power of social innovation these enterprises have, the Government of India announced an INR 1000 crore National Innovation Fund to support such ideas.

“With some amount of social as well as mainstream funding available for social enterprises, the key game changer is identifying and exposing the best entrepreneurs to these opportunities, and preparing them to take on the challenge of scale. This is the need gap that Sankalp Forum looks to fill through its annual awards. We’re especially excited about our South East Asia award, which is the first of its kind for the region.”, said K Sree Kumar, CEO of Intellecap.

The Sankalp Awards attract applications from the most innovative, scalable and sustainable enterprises across India. The applicants are then put through a vigorous jury process. In the past Sankalp jury members have included stalwarts like PrakashBakshi, Chairman -NABARD, VipulMankad, President – SIDBI Venture Capital Ltd. and Mohanjit Jolly, Managing Director – DFJ India . In 2012, the finalists will be supported through an intensive capacity building program, including a  residentialbootcamp. They will then be invited to pitch their ideas to investors at the annual Sankalp Summit from April 11 to 13, 2012 in Mumbai, which will have over 100 investors in attendance.

In a testament to its efficacy, in the past 3 years alone, over 25 Sankalp Award finalists have received investment. In fact, FINO and eHealthpoint, winners of the Sankalp Awards 2011 received investments from Blackstone Group and Fontus Water respectively, shortly after winning the award. Additionally, enterprises nominated for the Sankalp Awards also gain preferred access to other platforms. AshwinNaik, CEO Vaatsalya Healthcare, said “If you are an enterpreneur in the social space, don’t miss the sankalp conference. Sankalp is the world economic forum for social enterprises”. Vaatsalya won the Sankalp Award in 2009, and in June this year received a third round of funding from Aquarius India and Seedfund.

Enterprises that meet the Sankalp Awards 2012 criteria are encouraged to apply before 30th November 2011. For more details, please visit sankalpforum.com.

*According to a recent report by JP Morgan.

About Sankalp Forum 

The Sankalp Forum is holistic ecosystem designed to catalyze impact investments into sustainable and scalable social enterprises globally. Our mission is to create an enabling platform that supports socially relevant small and medium enterprises. We provide year-round access to investment opportunities, capacity building, knowledge and crucial networks. We connect over 400 social enterprises, over 400 investors and funders, and 10,000 other stakeholders from across the world. In the past three years, more than two dozen of our enterprises have received investments, and over 160 others have been made investment ready through mentoring and capacity building programs.

Sankalp Forum in an initiative by Intellecap, a social advisory firm that works in underserved markets.

For more details, www.sankalpforum.com

 

About Intellecap

Intellecap is a global advisory firm. We provide intellectual capital to catalyze businesses with positive social and environmental impacts and outcomes.

Intellecap offers Investment Banking and Business Consulting to clients positioned at the intersection of inclusive and mainstream sectors, including agriculture, food and rural business; clean energy; education; financial inclusion; healthcare and technology for development. We build sector knowledge and nurture networks through thought leading forums, publications and content management services. We also initiate and lead solutions to development issues and incubate new development ideas and innovations.

For more details, www.intellecap.com

 

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This story originally appeared in the October 2011 edition of the Searchlight South Asia newsletter created by Intellecap for the Rockefeller Foundation.

By Usha Ganesh

South Asia is home to about 20% of the world’s population. It is also home to over 60% of the world’s poor. Rapid urbanization and expanding cities are fast becoming ubiquitous in South Asian countries like India and Bangladesh.

As urban sprawl expands to engulf nearby rural areas, it is becoming increasingly difficult to draw a clear boundary between urban and rural areas. As a result, sizable peri-urban areas dot the landscape. These areas demonstrate urban as well as rural characteristics with traditional occupations giving way to more modern ones, changing lifestyles and social interactions. Most importantly, though, this “urban sprawl” is imposing severe pressure on infrastructure in these areas, particularly in terms of access to water. Peri-urban areas are a veritable no-man’s land, as they are no longer part of the rural governing bodies’ jurisdiction, and are yet to be assimilated into that of beleaguered urban governing bodies. This compounds their vulnerability to water access challenges, as no one is quite clear on who is responsible for ensuring fair water supply to the peri-urban poor. Continue reading

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This story originally appeared in the October 2011 edition of the Searchlight South Asia newsletter created by Intellecap for the Rockefeller Foundation.

By Nisha Kumar Kulkarni

Hyderabad, state capital of Andhra Pradesh, is the sixth most populated city in India and holds the same ranking for the country’s most populated “urban agglomeration.” The city also has a significant urban poor population. According to the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation(GHMC), more than 33% of the city’s population lives in slums. The overall slum-dwelling population in Andhra Pradesh is approximately seven million people, and Hyderabad claims near two million. Regarding the growth of the city’s slums, the GHMC states: “Slum settlements have multiplied over decades and the living conditions of the poor have not improved. Environmental decline, vehicular pollution, inadequate basic services and infrastructure in the poor settlements hit the poor hardest.” Continue reading

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This story originally appeared in the October 2011 edition of the Searchlight South Asia newsletter created by Intellecap for the Rockefeller Foundation.

By Carlin Carr

The city of Ahmedabad, India, is one of the country’s—and the world’s—fastest growing urban areas. This capital of Gujarat state has a population of nearly six million and is the seventh largest city in India. The city is experiencing many of the same issues as other mega-cities in the country, like its larger neighbor Mumbai. In spite of this, Ahmedabad is known for its entrepreneurial spirit and inventive nature. After all, it was from Sabarati Ashram in Ahmedabad that Mohandas Gandhi led the people of India on a non-violent freedom struggle to victoriously overcome British rule. Three decades later in 1972, the pioneering Self Employed Women’s Association (SEWA) formed in the city, and today is one of the leading organizations for underserved women in India, and perhaps the world. The city is also home to the Centre for Innovation, Incubation and Entrepreneurship, which comprises students, faculty and alumni from the Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad, and is “passionately committed to helping disruptive innovations and aspiring entrepreneurs succeed commercially.” It is not surprising, then, that this city is hosting the international traveling exhibit “Vision of 10” in October 2011, which showcases a vision for 10 sustainable cities in 2030. Ahmedabad is the only Indian city featured in the exhibit, mainly for its progressive transit system Janmarg. Continue reading

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This story originally appeared in the October 2011 edition of the Searchlight South Asia newsletter created by Intellecap for the Rockefeller Foundation.

By Carlin Carr

The need for quality employment in the developing world underlies the success of nearly all other development initiatives. Job creation has become one of the most pressing issues on the road towards fueling the economic engine and impacting complex and intertwined poverty issues, such as education, nutrition, healthcare and housing. Without the ability to have a stable, reliable income, there is little hope for the poor to engage in sustained solutions that will improve their circumstances. Continue reading

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This story originally appeared in the September 2011 edition of the Searchlight South Asia newsletter created by Intellecap for the Rockefeller Foundation.

By Usha Ganesh

In an attempt to deal with the mounting energy crisis in the country, the Economic Coordination Committee of the Cabinet in Pakistan has approved a new framework for operational and maintenance contracts that essentially handover management of power generation companies to the private sector for a period of 10 years.

This move is expected to improve efficiency at the power plants, which are currently maintained and operated by the government, and increase power supply to the tune of 1,243 megawatts of electricity. The cash-strapped Government of Pakistan cited paucity of resources and capacity to undertake the much-required upgrade for these power plants as the main reason for privatization. This move would also mean a reduced subsidy burden for the government, which otherwise bears the differential between a higher cost of production and a lower distribution cost. Continue reading

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This story originally appeared in the September 2011 edition of the Searchlight South Asianewsletter created by Intellecap for the Rockefeller Foundation.

By Carlin Carr

In India, 10 million people are estimated to have loco-motor disabilities, and only 5% of these disabled receive a wheelchair, brace or prosthetic that would allow them to be mobile, reports a study by Disability India, an NGO. These underserved create makeshift devices, such as a wood plank atop rollers to push themselves with their hands through heavy-traffic streets. In most cases, the disabled, who suffer a double stigma of economic and social exclusion in societies that look down upon these “abnormalities,” stay indoors in an effort not to be seen. “The most basic thing that we disabled people lack in India is easy access to anything and any place. That’s why we are called the ‘invisible minority’ because we never move out of our homes,” said a wheelchair user in India. Continue reading

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This story originally appeared in the September 2011 edition of the Searchlight South Asia newsletter created by Intellecap for the Rockefeller Foundation.

By Carlin Carr

Bangladesh’s capital city of Dhaka exhibits South Asia’s rapid urbanization in its most frenzied state. With over 14 million residents and more than one million commuters to the city every day, Dhaka is said to be the fastest growing city in the world. The trend is expected to continue: estimates predict that by 2025, the city’s population could swell to 20 million—that’s larger than Mexico City, Beijing or Shanghai. Concerns over this growth abound. About 32% of the population in Dhaka is considered poor, with about the same percentage living in slums. As the city is estimated to grow, most new migrants will likely move to these informal settlements. Continue reading

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This story originally appeared in the September 2011 edition of the Searchlight South Asia newsletter created by Intellecap for the Rockefeller Foundation.

By Nisha Kumar Kulkarni

Over the last two decades, alongside the story of India’s impressive economic growth is the story of its urbanization. Average economic growth has been 6-7% per annum over the last 20 years. Urban centers like Bangalore, Chennai, Delhi and Mumbai have seen their industry and populations explode to new highs, placing tremendous strain on existing systems and infrastructure. The story of urban India’s success, though, seems skewed: media reports and research make allusions to the notion that South Indian cities have handled urbanization more successfully when compared to their northern counterparts. Is this indeed the case? And if yes, why so? Continue reading

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