What is Impact?
Businesses while operating in a society have several long-term and short-term effects on its surroundings. These effects could be both positive and negative, direct and indirect, and affect the people and planet at large. To sum it up, Impact is the sum of all the above-mentioned factors either in tangible/intangible form, affecting the society at large.
Why is Impact important for IntelleGrow?
A fourth All India census of the MSME industry shows the MSME sector in India comprises of 36.2 million enterprises and contribute to about 8% of the country’s GDP, 40% of exports and about 45% of our manufactured output. This sector alone employs over 70 million people in the country. These figures highlight the facts that MSMEs highly contribute to employment, exports and production and plays a vital role in contributing to the economic development of our country.
With India’s increasing population pressures taking a heavy toll on its resources, the brunt of the problem is borne by most who are at the Bottom of the Pyramid (BOP). This sector accounts for more than 800 million people. As the public infrastructure is never enough to support the guzzling needs of the society, this class of people is constantly deprived of the basic amenities of life.
We at IntelleGrow follow a top-down approach in meeting the unmet needs the society. Since our inception in late 2011, we have been engaged in providing debt capital to the large unaddressed social enterprises in the country. Our earlier business model supported the businesses in the clean energy sector, which benefitted the low-income communities by providing them access to clean and renewable energy solutions such as mini solar powered portable grids, solar home products, and generating electricity from biomass/biofuels (eg. Rice husk) etc.
Over those years we developed our model to become sector agnostic and identified 5 Impact sectors other than clean energy viz. Agri-Supply Chain, Water & Sanitation, Education, Financial Inclusion and Healthcare. Our lending in these sectors is largely focused on the fact that enterprises in these six sectors generate positive economic, environmental and social impact on the society at large by also generating positive economic returns.
We were set up with the aim of filling a yawning demand gap which exists in the debt market. According to anIntellecap- IFC study, there exists a debt gap of USD 49 billion for the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises in the country. Small and growing businesses (SGBs) which have recently been incorporated (1-3 years) and have with a limited operational and financial track record and have limited access to immovable collateral find it hard to obtain funds from the market to address their growing business needs. We aim to serve the existing gap in the lending space to SGBs in India and help these Impact enterprises scale new heights.
Having a successful business model is central to having the right kind of finances to support it. We have committed ourselves to these above-mentioned sectors to provide debt to the capital-starved Impact enterprises. By targeting the under-served beneficiaries including the producers, consumers, suppliers, employees and/or entrepreneurswe aim to create a permanent and far-reaching positive impact for company’s entire stakeholder ecosystem. While lending capital to Impact enterprises is important to us,
measuring the extent of Impact our funding has generated is also equally essential. While financing these Impact enterprises we also strive to address wider environmental, social and governance issues. These issues form ESG Risks which IntelleGrow tries to negate. We identify, assess and mitigate ESG risks associated with our portfolio companies. This is to ensure that to IntelleGrow as well as its clients do not engage in activities which have a negative environmental and social impact by incorporating checks and balances in the daily operational activities so as to manage the ESG Risks.
The Impact generated by different Small and Growing Businesses (SGBs) is discussed further below:
Millions of Indian consumers lack access to basic financial services, including banking, accounts, credit and simple loans. In rural areas lack of access to personal finance is a significant barrier to moving out of property.We consider Financial Inclusion as spreading awareness, making available and enabling cash and financial products and services which are either unavailable or not easily available. IntelleGrow’s financial inclusion loan fund companies that are working to provide solutions to personal finance, from solar-powered ATM access to support products for the banking sector. We do not fund micro-finance projects.
India is among the lowest ranked country in the world for healthcare infrastructure.With hospital bed density of just 0.9 beds per 1000 patients, over 700 million Indians continue to be deprived of proper healthcare facilities.With health benefits of people at the nexus, IntelleGrow focusses on SGBs operating in lower income geographies or in niche areas thereby expanding the availability of services which are otherwise not easily accessible. IntelleGrow invests in unique health delivery models on medical innovations that decrease cost or increase the availability of quality treatment.
Over 300 million of India’s population does not have regular or reliable access to electricity, and for them, clean and modern energy services is a far-fetched dream, and many of the energy options available to base of the pyramid consumers contribute to negative individual and global consequences.By providing debt to producers of clean or modern energy products and services, IntelleGrow’s borrowers provide reliable and affordable energy solutions across India. Few of the noted SGBs funded by IntelleGrow through their different levels of growth curve include off-grid solar products SGBs providing electricity on a prepaid basis through mobile recharge mechanism, SGBs involved in manufacturing, assembling and retailing of solar energy products like solar water heating systems as well as Solar Photovoltaic (PV), energy producer through risk husk which is a farm waste and other similar SGBsin clean energy space.
Agriculture Supply Chain
An estimated 70% of India’s population relies on the agriculture sector for income, yet this important supply accounts for only 18% of the country’ s GDP. Private sector investment is expected to address gaps in the value chain.SGBs in this sector are generally vertically integrated organizations providing integrated solutions along the supply chain of commodities related to agriculture supply chain.IntelleGrow provides capital to private agriculture supply companies that increase farmer income and advance better food distribution systems.
In India, 346 million children should be in school, but only 237 million are actually enrolled. Education is the single largest non-survival expense for Indian families, and yet the quality of education varies greatly on the ability to pay.IntelleGrow lends to market-based education solutions as one to key to ensuring a well-educated future India across economic strata. Our portfolio companies include SGBS involved in vocational training, sports training and physical education by including the same in the school curriculum, NBFC providing loan to schools for Infrastructure and other assets etc.
Water and Sanitation
Today in India, more than 50% of the population still lacks access to basic sanitation facilities, creating significant health and safety concern across the nation- and depriving millions of Indian of dignity. The water and sanitation sector is one of the fastest growing in India, and IntelleGrow provides loans to companies that can provide these vital water and sanitation services.These SGBs are involved in activities such as waste recycling and reuse of paper, rubber or industrial waste, distribution of potable water, water and waste treatment plant construction and maintenance etc.
On occasion, IntelleGrow responds to other opportunities outside our core portfolio focus when an enterprise shows a high level of innovation as well as promise for high impact in improving livelihoods.