Interview: Why India Is At the Hawk Eyes of All Investors, Explains Eric Savage

Friday, January 16, 2015

Eric Savage is a Duke and Harvard-educated American investment banker who chose to leave a high-flying career with Citigroup in Hong Kong to come to Bengaluru in 2008. Here he launched Unitus Capital, a firm that specializes in helping social enterprises to raise funds. Social enterprises apply market approaches to address societal challenges.

Unitus Capital recently achieved the landmark of raising a Billion Dollars in investments for social enterprises in India. Vaibhav Gowda interviewed him on his journey and future plans.

You’ve raised a billion dollars for social impact companies. Can you elaborate on what this billion dollars signifies?

We never set out to raise a billion dollars or to meet any specific target. But it is a lot of money in the bottom of the pyramid context.

What we do is raise capital – equity and debt for socially impactful companies. Those companies could be in fields like microfinance, affordable healthcare, affordable private schools, renewable energy, or in agriculture working with small farmers.

So it’s a wide variety. Most of the capital we raise is in increments of $3-20 million. We’ve raised capital for about 65 companies.

In the mainstream investing banking world firms sometimes raise billions of dollars and sometimes trillions of dollars. But in the impact investing world it’s quite rare.

Source: One India (link opens in a new window)

Base of the Pyramid, impact investing, social enterprise