Every known civilization in this world has been built based on stories. For time immemorial human beings have been using the different type of stories to create civilizations. Humankind has forayed into agriculture by building a narrative well supported by different kind of myths. The ability of stories to usher new changes are immense, that is evident since evolution throughout our history. But it also matters how effectively can we use stories to change the existing situation, lead the society for a better tomorrow. Fast- forward to present we are facing several issues in the form of climate change, poverty & inequality. To overcome the present predicament that we are in, powerful stories can bring big changes in the collective consciousness of society. The positive stories can not only be inspirational but also can create systematic changes in society. Real-time examples of successful social entrepreneurship models can really act as a direct route to emotions, hence it helps in decision making. Stories can set new patterns that create a positive impact on the way we think and behave. Powerful stories play a foundational role in changing the values, mindsets & goals.
Stories illuminate Stores can act as light, glue or web, yet it has a powerful sense to change the way we behave, act and indulge. The point to drive home here is that in today’s chaotic world building positive narratives through powerful stories is very crucial. For instance, supporting and promoting niches in innovation for social welfare can create a wider impact in the system, it builds narratives with a purpose to change the world for a better tomorrow. The stories of people who have been making slow changes in the society need to be highlighted with good supporting narratives. Such impactful peoples’ life needs to be amplified to a larger crowd through powerful stories by leveraging the available platforms.
Changing the future We can use stories to create riveting visions that can bring desired changes with a purpose. The stories can help to humanize issues. For instance, impactful social business models need to be communicated properly, the desired impact aimed from the business needs to be highlighted regularly with personal examples & narratives. The compelling reasons to become outlier by thinking differently for a better cause. Stories should be built in such a way to highlight the success stories more often than usual Stories can act as a tool to build a strong community through empathy & unity. Though It helps people to connect across communities and as a glue that holds everyone together.
Way forward The only way forward to tackle the existing problems is through collective responsibility. Any individual or organisation taking up such causes needs to be given due importance and their activities, efforts need to pass on to larger society through effective stories. Because the world needs more such stories more than the past, Those who are making steady progress in such areas needs to be accepted with respect. However, it is equally important to let others be motivated by hearing such captivating stories that can as a catalyst for a change. So lets all welcome and follow such success stories from business, art, environment and other social issues.
Impact investing offers significant potential for growth. The term Impact investment in the broader sense means a lot. Impact investing literally means “ a financial undertaking that aims to generate specific and measurable benefits to society & environment in addition to financial goals. Conventional investment models are skewed towards giving more importance to financial gains. However, the impact investment philosophy gives equal importance to social and environmental benefits. It uses private capital to fund to address the issues faced in the society and the environment.
Impact investment has been gaining more traction, as evident on the ground, its growth in the last several years looks promising. The investment seeks innovative solutions and ideas with a dual return of assets, It also aims to measure the impact it has created and its outcomes. The organisation that promotes impact investment also benefits handsomely whilst improving overall reputation in the society.
The individual investor, trust, funds or organisation who applies the principle of impact investment would always believe in taking steps to create long-term value for the society. The art of doing impact investment is by adopting careful design and implementation of programs that are scalable to have a very positive impact on the society. The future of this society and environment largely revolves around making sustainable development goals to tackle the problems faced by society. The realm of impact investment looks beyond the single objective of just making financial gains but deploying capital in such a way that benefits the overall wellbeing of the society & environment.
The united nations estimates that reaching the Sustainable development goals in developing countries will cost around 3.9 trillion per year and private and public capital put together provides just 1.4 trillion.
Amid all the benefits discussed so far, impact investment means different things to different people. Some would see it as a strategy for beating financial benchmarks because a business that target the existing gap in social or environmental needs can be profitable, one other hand inspite of the guaranteed lower returns, still they would like to back the investment for the sake of the society or environment.
Social enterprises and impact creation. At present mainstream managers are willing to allocate their share of money as capital to a promising company for impact-oriented business or to social enterprise, however, most of them are still reluctant to deploy a that significant portion of the money for such activities. So it is the responsibility of government agencies and large companies to expand markets for impact investing.
Designing new products and practices. The impact fund managers need to be clear about the overall strategies they are going to adopt and its objectives, also it is equally important how to balance the nonfinancial impact with financial returns. Impact fund managers can also create sector or issue specific products whose impact can be measured consistently. Though impact investment still remains as a novel idea, if adopted across the board has the potential to bring significant changes in the society. Unlike traditional investment models, impact investment takes time to bear fruits also due to its long gestation period. it takes a longer time than usual to create an impact that can be realistically measured. But one thing is sure our world needs more of such impact investment themes, professional fund managers to handle and deploy the capital to its best use. But the overall transformative impact it creates in sectors like education, Healthcare and the environment is huge that can fetch huge dividends for the nation as a whole.
Nobel laureate Mohammed Yunus from Bangladesh defines social business as a self-sustainable business created, designed to address the social problems. The social business is a not a new model per se, but it is a new approach of looking at the business with a different perspective to create maximum social impact in the society. The social business model requires new thinking with the aspect of creating maximum value in the society taking the community and the people together for a common good. When the business entity starts focussing the new path it bounds to create altruist impact in the society. However, it should be based on acceptance, embrace the problems faced by the society through collective action with an objective to bring perceptible changes in the quality of life of people. This new approach could create a lasting impact on the society by accepting, collectively to create opportunities for everyone in the community. Besides, that approach has the potential to create an environment of right balance and hence can act as a catalyst for change. Also, the new role if adopted can alter the existing business’ equation significantly in the society by becoming more inclusive in approach & behaviour.
Social business a moment of truth
Time has come for business houses to realise the moment of truth by thinking the way it conducts its business. The moment of truth means business houses need to think and behave as if they are part of the environment and society in which it operates. The moment they see themselves as a separate entity from the society, it leads to the creation of more friction with its external stakeholders and also cannot strike a right chord with the society.
Importance of shared value creation
The current business practices have created enough mess on the environment and society, So the situation certainly calls for a shared value creation means business houses need to extend their hands towards society in which they operate. The decision makers and the employers should internalise themselves the consequence of their action on the society. Henceforth a constant effort and need of the hour is to bring business and society together. Also social business to a great extent can create social harmony and sustainable growth.
Nestle the Global multinational giant has redesigned its coffee procurement process working extensively with small farmers who were trapped in low productivity and poor quality due to environmental degradation. The role of Nestle as a company in giving advice on new farming practices, providing the farmers with plant stocks, distributing fertilizer and pesticides and last but not least company paid the farmers in premium for cultivating quality coffee beans. The social impact created by this move has helped the small farmers in distress and improved their economic benefits and also helped to improve their quality of life.
Impact investment via social business.
Resourceful action seriously can create an impact in the society and could solve the problems faced by society at large, provided stakeholders of the company to act creatively with a mind to usher maximum positive impact in the society. The existing capitalistic business models has been creating unequal scenarios and sapping resources with no remorse has already weakened the nature and society . So going forward if they continue to do same means it would create detrimental effects on the community, natural resources and economy. So social business is the new model of capitalism where owners decide not to take the dividends but keep reinvesting the financial resources for new social business ideas in order to a create much larger impact in the society. Besides, that concentration of wealth in the hands of few can be reduced and effective deployment of resources to the population at the bottom of the pyramid.
Governments’ role as a facilitator
Elected government through its administration alone cannot suffice the role in bringing radical changes in the society and it has proven beyond doubt that collective effort from business houses and industry leaders could bring a very positive and impact full change in the status quo. So Government as a dispensation should become more of a facilitator in framing new laws and policies for a smooth operation of social business models across different areas. Since the magnitude of the problems faced by the majority of the population is huge, it is also equally important that all stakeholders in the society should think and act with empathy to get rid of the issues faced by the society. Hindsight issues at hand certainly ask for fundamental changes the investment made on business and how the profits made out of the business get redeployed to create maximum social impact. The government should come forward with policies to create an environment for such a smooth transition. When proper policies are in place might pursue business houses and its owners to proactively take up the most pressing issues in the society and unitedly find solutions by giving the opportunity for everyone’s sustenance.
The most significant issue faced by the informal sector in India has been the shortage of finances or the very limited access to resources to run one’s business. It is very evident that the informal sector in the last several years has been going through severe crisis one after the other, along with existing issues demonetisation has played havoc in the informal economy. In such circumstances, fintech like Kalediofin has started offering solutions to address the issues in the informal sector.
Product offering niche
Kalediofin has started in 2017 with an initial investment of Rs 10 million and so far added 2,500 customers have benefited from the innovative product offerings from the startup. The fintech startup is a platform that provides tailor-made financial solutions to households through its products like Ummeed, Lakshya and Udaan. The product offerings from this start-up have a unique proposition like offering tailor-made solutions based on one’s personal goals & individual’s saving habit. The product mix encompasses the aspects of savings, investment, credit. The solution gathers its strength using the latest technologies and algorithms. The delivered to the customers seamlessly at their doorstep, above all the rates offered by Kaledin are affordable and cost-effective.
The startup has clocked a revenue of Rs 1million in FY18 and raring to expand its operation to other states also, Currently, it has a presence in Tamilnadu, Bihar & Gujarat. Kalediofin focuses on providing small loans to households, it can provide the necessary impetus to the informal sector, helps to improve households’ living standards above all it helps the women folks to be empowered by achieving financial independence. It would also lead to an increase in disposable income to rural households and thus increasing their purchasing power in the economy. Kalediofin has been a perfect example of an ecosystem which combines the power of the latest technology and innovative business idea which has the potential to create a perceptible social transformation in the informal sector.
The Idea and driving force behind Kalediofin are Sucharita Mukherjee & Puneeth Gupta who founded this entity after working together at Institute of financial management and research.
Bringing the huge un banked masses to the banking fold is a task which needs more focus & Attention. In India penetration of banking services is less than 50 % which is going to be a huge cause of concern.
Still in India you can find people or family who never had a banking account or nor they have been educated up on the need to have basic savings account to keep their savings for future contingencies .The statics looks awful and completely out of the realm if we really want to achieve the set task of financial inclusion , setting up banking services in rural hinterlands is need of the hour. This category of unbanked population depends on other traditional sources like money lenders and cooperative banks & NBFC’s . Today we are discussing about futuristic banking services and many of the established banks in India had already started operating in this space, looking forward to forge technological partnerships to come out solutions which functions in digital space. Expanding banking services to rural hinterlands is the earnest motive of RBI which lead them to grant two full fledged banking licenses to institutions, But how far this objective is going to be achieved is questions which remains unanswered, But when compared to global peers our penetration of banking services in India is relatively poor( below graph illustrates where we stands today) .
Roping in on the concept of payment banks, receipt banks is fairly a good idea , But if we can use the innovative technological platforms ,it can bring new dimension to the issue penetration of banking in rural sector. I believe the role of technology and innovative models which integrates digital banking platforms ,with an eye to access and service this unbanked population should be strengthened to provide a seamless operation their by achieving operational efficiency by catering banking services to this masses. The advantages of this are manifold.
Access to cheap and affordable credit facilities to the rural population.
It helps to increase the monetary transmissions in an economy where more than 80% still lives in rural sector.
Once implemented we can think of universal banking , where every individual in this nations would have at least one banking account.
Subsidies and grants could be directly routed to the individual’s banking account rather than depending on intermediaries.
Provide opportunities for rural population to access cheap credit facilities to buy seeds, seek information on latest farming techniques& advices.
Support to set up schools , health care facilities with the help of NGO’s , panchayaths to improve the living condition of the common man.
Banking could also helps the population to think of building affordable houses, toilets ,which could bring in a radical change in their living habits and improve their quality of life.
It is the responsibility of the government and their monitoring bodies to make the banks & other financial intuitions to stretch themselves to achieve for common cause which is socially viable and progressive one.
So banking industry has lot more to offer which could shape the future , only if they could think beyond the objective of healthy balance sheets, Lower NPA’s , over and above achieving profit margins & rallying their share prices in the bourses.