Many countries in the region have broadened their approach toward economic development - promoting inclusive growth strategies that can sustainably benefit the poor and vulnerable. While the private sector has been a key contributor to the economic boom in Asia, it has yet to fully realize its potential in creating shared value and impact for income groups below the $3-$4 vulnerability line (the base of the income pyramid).
Inclusive businesses are for-profit enterprises that directly engage - in innovative ways - populations at the base of the income pyramid in their value chain as consumers, suppliers, distributors or employees. India provides a vibrant market for innovative inclusive business experiences in many sectors. With about 30% of the Indian population (355 million people) living below the national poverty line, 87% on less than $4 a day, strong private final consumption, and a sizable lack of adequate public service provisions for the poor, the market for Inclusive Business in India is huge (estimated $667 billion in PPP terms).
ADB's Inclusive Business website comprises - among others - a study on the opportunities of inclusive business in India. The Inclusive Business Forum tackled the results of that study, and the proposed design of an Inclusive Business Investment Fund for India and Sri Lanka.
Objectives and content
The objective of the Inclusive Business Forum in Mumbai was to discuss the findings of the inclusive business country assessment study for India, and the recommendations for the ADB to support inclusive business scale-up by possibly establishing an investment fund for India and Sri Lanka.
The India Inclusive Business Forum was held on 31 August 2012, following a roundtable discussion in Delhi on 30 August 2012. The Delhi roundtable discussed issues of government support for inclusive business and on the use and design of the impact assessment tool.
Organizers and participants
A variety of stakeholders including inclusive businesses, fund managers, government bodies, industry associations, and ADB participated in the forum. Private sector chief executive officers presented inclusive business models, fund managers and prospective investors discussed their interest in investing in such ventures, and government representatives and development partners shared how they can support inclusive business in India.
More than 100 participants joined the forum in Mumbai, while around 30 expats participated in the roundtable in Delhi.
The Forum was organized by ADB in cooperation with Dalberg Consult. ADB's Inclusive Business initiative is also in partnership with the Netherlands' development organization SNV, the World Business Council on Sustainable Development, and other development partners including DFID, the Ford Foundation, KfW, SIDA, and the Inter-American Development Bank (IADB).