Who we are
We are a strategic advisory firm. We work on identifying opportunities, designing, growing businesses and evaluating investment ideas in the emerging markets.
Founded in January 2007, we have set the priority of the firm for the first 5 years to harness the power of business and principles of management to help address the social and environmental challenges in the emerging markets.
We aspire to prove that market- based approaches to products and business model innovations to meet the needs of the underserved low income population will lead to sustainable businesses and inclusive growth in these markets.
Why emerging markets?
In the last decade the rapid economic growth of the emerging markets captured the imagination of the world. The investments followed through. In a 2003 forecast, "Dreaming with BRICs", Goldman Sachs forecasted that in 2025 Brazil, Russia, India and Chinas’ ( BRIC) economies could be half as big as the combined G6: the United States, Japan, Britain, Germany, France and Italy, and could overtake the G6 by 2039. It said China could become the world's largest economy by 2041.
The current facts are supporting progress towards this forecast. China is now the third largest economy of the world, Asia is contributing more than 35% share of the world GDP. Despite the financial crisis in 2009 both India and China are growing at respectable rates. “BRIC”s is now a known story but “CEMENT” (Countries in Emerging Markets Excluded by New Terminology) economies of Bangladesh, Egypt, Indonesia, Korea, Mexico, Nigeria, Philippines, South Africa, Turkey and Vietnam are also achieving sustained robust growth.
For the better part of the 21st century the emerging markets will be at the leading edge of economic growth and a source of global innovation. It is an exciting, challenging and often frustrating place to be in. This explains why we work in these markets.
Why we chose to work on social and environmental challenges in the emerging markets?
The first driver of this choice is that the excitement of the growth of the emerging markets often masks the fact that there are still estimated 4 billion people at the “base of the pyramid” who live on less than USD 2 per day per capita income, out of the total world population of 6.3 billion. The majority of them live in the rural areas and urban slums of these emerging markets. According to World Bank estimates 79.9% of India’s population ie close to 900 million live on less than USD 2 per day per capita and another 620 million in China. These underserved low income population has been largely excluded from formal market mechanisms and the benefits that it brings.
We believe we can celebrate the prosperity of the emerging markets when we see tangible and substantial improvements in the lives of the people at the grass roots level. To us that is the measure of real change .This means access to quality health care, education, financial services, energy, water and communication at the right price points. This means increased opportunities to augment their income. The government, multi lateral institutions and NGOs have contributed substantially towards this development agenda. It is now time for fresh approaches to bring in an inclusive and sustainable growth. The social entrepreneurs and established businesses are working on innovations and business models which include the low income population as co-creators, consumers and producers. Multi sector partnerships are being designed to approach the challenges of the emerging markets.
We are inspired by this approach of harnessing the benevolent power of business and principles of management to create an inclusive world.
The second driver for our choice is that traditional models for development will fail to achieve the growth potential of the emerging markets. Behind all the economic growth projections of the emerging markets there are implicit assumptions of limitless resource availability for growth. That is not for real. The thing that is for real is the impending energy crisis. The commercial harnessing of renewable energy has not reached the scale where it will take the burden off the fossil fuels. The effects of climate change, the rising sea level is leading to the risk of losing livelihoods and land for many low income countries. In this scenario also the low income population will be the hardest hit .We need new paradigms for growth and development and scalable innovations in areas of energy, natural resource management to support sustainable development of these markets.
We intend to play a role in identifying, assessing and nurturing innovations and entrepreneurs who are working on mitigating the adverse impact on the environment.