Small scale businesses form the backbone of the Indian economy and Aavishkaar Group is continuously supporting such businesses in India. In the words of Vineet and Swati Rai, its founders, Aavishkaar (meaning innovation), stands to bridge the opportunity gap between entrepreneurs and complex social problems that hold the potential of transforming lives as well as the economy.
"We solve problems worth solving. We believe that economically excluded people need to be provided livelihoods, jobs and employment. They have to be protected from vulnerabilities of climate, education or health," they say.
A majority of the world's population is underserved. Earning between $2 and $8 a day, they lack access to transport, healthcare, energy, basic financial and other services. Aavishkaar Group works at the nexus of the basic needs of these communities and the businesses, governments and systems that help them meet these needs.
The Group is focused on developing the impact ecosystem in Asia and Africa, and manages assets in excess of $1 billion across equity and credit, with 6,000+ employees present across India, Indonesia, Bangladesh and Kenya.
"As you set yourself to be a changemaker, seek the problem that afflicts the largest number of people and try to solve it. You will transform lives and generate wealth in the process," advise the couple to all budding entrepreneurs.
The group's ecosystem includes Aavishkaar Capital, a pioneer in equity-led impact investing; Arohan, one of India's largest technology-led financial inclusion platforms; IntelleGrow, specialised lender to small and growing businesses; Tribe, a fintech player; Intellecap, thought leader and advisory business with a focus on sustainability, and Sankalp Forum, one of the world's largest inclusive development-led platforms.
The enterprise's interventions have created livelihood opportunities for over four lakh people, over one crore have been given access to finance and 9.1 crore people have been given access to essential services.
"A social enterprise must help a billion people. For us, it has been a long journey but with millions of lives impacted and 7,000 colleagues working shoulder to shoulder to make this dream come true, we feel satisfied and grateful," the Rais say.What made the Rais faces of Vibrant Bharat?
“There are several individuals and organisations that focus on sustainable development and a strong financial backing can enable transformation of simple ideas into enterprises leading to long-term impact. Aavishkaar Group’s focus on sustainable organisations not only supports enterprises but touches communities at the ground level,” said Sridhar R, Partner, Grant Thornton Bharat LLP.
"Aavishkaar Group has played an instrumental role in establishing India's impact investment ecosystem, as well making it go mainstream. Their bold bets to place funds in social enterprises beyond big cities, at the beginning of early millenium, are the reason India is well-placed to shape a vibrant Bharat today," Aman Dhall, Founder, CommsCredible, observed.