India’s size and scale dwarfs most other countries. However, this scale also hides the stories behind the numbers. So far, the thrust of technology-driven entrepreneurship has always been to serve the same, small sliver of our massive nation. This slice, earning more than $10 a day per person, comprising roughly 200 Million people, is what we call India-1.
The remaining nearly 1 Billion people in India earn less than $5 per person per day. Given the cost of servicing this high-volume, low-value user base, this vast population has been traditionally underserved by the market. This has denied them access to solutions that could greatly impact improve their lives.
But technology has now made the cost of delivering services, specially digitally, a lot lower than in it was a few years ago. Bharat Inclusion Initiative wants the market to serve these customers as well.
The Bharat Inclusion Initiative supports all entrepreneurs working on problems for the Bharat Market. Some of our programs and grants may be focussed on a particular sector or problem statement. All startups part of the initiative are expected to be using technology as leverage to increase reach, and should be serving the underserved. Currently, we are actively encouraging startups in the spaces of Financial Services for the Poor, Skill Development & Livelihood Generation.
The Bharat Inclusion Initiative wants to create an enabling ecosystem for entrepreneurs to solve the hard challenges of Inclusion. To do this, we focus on 4 key levers
1. Research & Development
Bharat Inclusion Initiative supports the efforts of researchers to develop insights about the unique Bharat Market. In partnership with IIM-Ahmedabad, we are setting up a Centre of Excellence on the Ahmedabad campus to champion the cause of inclusive growth.
2. Educate & Disseminate
There have been significant changes to the Bharat market in the last few years. The availability of JAM and now 4G data opens up channels not available before. We publish specific content and research, insights from all of our programs, and conduct workshops with experts to help startups make sense of emerging trends.
3. Incubate & Accelerate
Bharat Inclusive Initiative will conduct multiple programs throughout the year to handhold entrepreneurs through their journey. Please look at our Programs page to learn more about accelerators, incubators and sprints.
4. Fund & Support
Where possible, we will also provide prototyping or pilot grants to startups testing out new models in the space. We also help with access to experts and test markets through the extended BII & IIM-Ahmedabad network. We also introduce matured startups to IIM-Ahmedabad’s very own Bharat Inclusion Seed Fund & the Bharat Innovation Fund to help them with the funds to grow further.
As a principle, any knowledge or Intellectual Property produced as part of the Bharat Inclusive Initiative will be treated as a public good. We will make our best efforts at disseminating whatever we learn to the larger community.