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Addressing key social challenges

Thursday, September 07, 2017

Binali Suhandani, CEO, AVPN

Binali Suhandani has over 19 years of experience in the not for profit sector in India and UK. Her last seven year stint as a Country head was with Akshaya Patra Foundation. Asian Venture Philanthropy Network (AVPN), the only pan-Asian network for social investors, will host its inaugural India Summit in Mumbai, India on 14th Sept 2017 to promote strategic social investment in India’s education sector.

In conversation with Dominic Rebello, Binali says AVPN India believes that by promoting collaboration between different groups on a sector interest basis leads to the efficient deployment of scarce resources and the maximisation of social impact.

What are the current and future activities of AVPN?
The core mission for AVPN India is to increase the flow of financial, human and intellectual capital to Social Purpose Organisations (SPOs) or NGOs as they are popularly known, and for those resources to be deployed as effectively as possible to address key social challenges.

AVPN India believes that by promoting collaboration between different groups such as foundations, family offices, private equity firms, corporates, etc on a sector interest basis leads to the efficient deployment of scarce resources and the maximisation of social impact. Our platform seeks to collate the different and dispersed sources of capital in order to increase deployment both in amount and in terms of effecting social impact.

AVPN adds tremendous value to the social sector in India by facilitating a more informed philanthropy & social investment ecosystem through the below across 5 key pillars:

The Knowledge Centre: The AVPN Knowledge Centre is a hub for research, knowledge and thought leadership in the social investment sector in Asia.

Signature Events: Quality programming for inspiration, advocacy and networking opportunities such as Speaker Series, Roundtable discussions and customised member gatherings and webinars on relevant topics involving members from India and across Asia.

Deal Share Platform: The Deal Share Platform (DSP) is a forum connecting Social Investors and Philanthropists looking to support best-in-class social purpose organisations (SPOs).

Asia Policy Dialogue (APD): The APD supports governments to build an enabling environment for the social economy through dialogue in the social enterprise sector across Asia. We plan to have this in India.

Collective Initiatives: AVPN is launching this new program in September 2017 to catalyse pooled funding for under-represented causes with high-impact potential. The first Collective will kick off at the AVPN India Summit, focusing on Early Childhood Education.
Tell us about the inaugural India Summit taking place this fall...
The inaugural India Summit will focus on the theme “Investing for Impact in Education” and will outline the Education landscape in India. Practicing experts and thought leaders will have opportunities to share different approaches to investing as well as address some of the current gaps and challenges in the sector.
AVPN will also be releasing a Funding Education with Impact report at the Summit focused on the Education sector in India, in partnership with our member organization Sattva. The report will provide a comprehensive overview and also identify gaps and opportunities in this sector for investors who are looking to broaden their education portfolio.
What kind of partnerships is AVPN looking for through this summit?
The AVPN India Summit is the first of its kind with representations across multi-stakeholders – Government, academia, Corporates, grant making orgs, support organisations/intermediaries, family offices, impact investing firms, non-government organisations and more. We hope that this summit will provide a platform for participants to interact, learn, share from each other.
Tell us about AVPN’s increased local presence and its commitment to India?

The Asian Venture Philanthropy Network (AVPN) is a non-profit pan Asian membership association established in December 2011 with its headquarters in Singapore. AVPN’s diverse membership currently counts 381+ members from 28 countries, from a wide range of sectors, including social investment, private equity, engaged grant making foundations, advisory firms, government related organisations, academia and banks. Of these, 69 members are in India - 18% of Membership, the second largest presence in the region.

AVPN is sensitive to the fact that for the local entities to prosper and maximise impact, they need to be encouraged to form and operate locally.

In the early stages, possibly the first 5 years, AVPN Asia will be the central to the India initiative, although the process of transitioning to local ownership has begun since the day AVPN India was registered in India.

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