Mr Sunil Kant Munjal, a well-renowned industrialist, thought leader, and Chairman of Hero Enterprise, invested $15.4 million (INR 100 crore) into Aavishkaar’s new fund called as the Aavishkaar Bharat Fund. The investment reflects
The investment shows Mr. Munjal’s commitment addressing the prime challenges faced by the country today in various domains such as employment, education & skills, environment, healthcare and financial inclusion. This is also his endorsement of Aavishkaar’s entrepreneurship-based approach in solving these issues with sustainable solutions.
Explaining the reason behind the investment, Mr. Sunil Kant Munjal, Chairman at Hero Enterprises said:
At this stage in India’s evolution, it is clear that for the entire country to develop, rural areas and underprivileged citizens must become part of the economic miracle, not through charity, but through real opportunities. Currently, most of India’s development has taken place in urban areas and in medium and large enterprises. So it is heartening that a number of small and brave entrepreneurs are getting into projects aimed at the Indian heartland. It is our turn to step in, provide support, and help create prosperity at the bottom of the pyramid
Aavishkar was founded in 2001 with a vision to fasten the development in India’s underserved regions. The company identifies capable entrepreneurs, provides them with capital, supplements it with a nurturing environment and helps build sustainable enterprises.
Commenting on the investment, Mr. Vineet Rai, Founder, and CEO of Aavishkaar-Intellecap Group said
We know that Mr Sunil Kant Munjal does not normally make announcements of his investments, unless there is a compliance of a market requirement. But in this case, he agreed with us that this is something that needs to be encouraged, especially amongst other corporates. With this investment we can continue to build and scale enterprises that are working at the grassroots, whilst simultaneously multiplying their impact outcomes
Aavishkaar’s big innovation is the adoption of venture capital methodology to serve the low-income market segment by creating scalable enterprises. Aavishkaar’s founding team faced the challenge of modifying the investing methodology followed in the Silicon Valley. Funding in the Valley typically focused on new technologies and breakthroughs in intellectual property.
Back home, Aavishkaar had to adapt it to brick and mortar, investing in the hinterland and rural geographies with a target clientele that had a tiny wallet. At the same time, reasonable returns had to be delivered to investors. This meant that Aavishkaar with its limited capital and resources had to find a large number of startup companies scattered across underdeveloped regions and then invest small amounts of capital in them.
Aavishkaar’s claims their approach to be unique and that has resulted in its invested enterprises impacting over 56 million lives and creating over 1500K jobs and livelihoods. Hero Enterprise also has been involved in promoting and supporting a large number of projects aimed at healthcare, community transportation, skill development, promoting women entrepreneurs, digital learning, holistic education for children, etc.
For his contribution to affordable health care, Mr. Munjal has been honored by the Royal Society of Medicine in London. And also, Aavishkaar is the only Indian fund to be featured as a case study by the Stanford Business School.