• 14th Pravasi Bharatiya Divas, Bengaluru
  • 14th Pravasi Bharatiya Divas, Bengaluru
  • A Coffee Table publication titled, "20 Mission Drive Social Impact Innovations" produced by Economic Diplomacy Division was released by the Hon'ble Prime Minister
  • Hon'ble Prime Minister Sh. Narendra Modi felicitating the 20 innovators selected through the MEA-NITI Aayog National Social Innovation Contest.
  • Global Technology Summit 2016 Click here for details
  • Global Technology Summit 2016 Click here for details
  • Ministry of External Affairs organises India-Latin Americas and the Caribbean (LAC) Conclave in Guadalajara, Mexico to enhance economic cooperation between India and LAC countries.
  • Ministry of External Affairs organises India-Latin Americas and the Caribbean (LAC) Conclave in Guadalajara, Mexico to enhance economic cooperation between India and LAC countries.
  • Global Technology Summit 2016 Click here for details
  • National Contest on Social Innovation, Pravasi Bhartiya Divas 2017
  • The Framework Agreement of the International Solar Alliance was opened for signing on 15 November 2016. On the first day of its opening 16 countries have signed the framework agreement. More countries are expected to sign the framework agreement in the coming days.
  • MEA - ED and BM Divisions along with Cll organized the India- Myanmar Business Roundtable on 19 October 2016 in New Delhi
  • ED Division continues MEAs engagement with Africa by sponsoring the India Africa Health Sciences Meet in New Delhi
  • 18 member multi-sector delegation from Nanjing, China interacting with Shri Nagaraj Naidu, Director & HOD, ED on 16 August 2016
  • Hon'ble Minister for External Affairs chaired Pravasi Bhartiya Diwas Panel-6 on "Edu, S&T & Innovation" on 30 July 2016. The Panel discussed tech solutions for societal problems, edu for tomorrow and Start Ups.
  • Hon'ble Prime Minister inaugurated investment guides for Indian investors who wants to do business with Kenya and Mozambique during his recent tri-nation visit to Africa. The publication was brought by ED Division with support from Indian Missions in Kenya and Mozambique.
  • Indian dignitaries at the inauguration of India pavilion at INNOPROM exhibition in Yekaterinburg Russia
  • ED Division facilitated visit of a Chinese delegation led by Mr Wang Hao, Mayor of Chaoyang district of Beijing Municipality and arranged meetings with officials of Municipal Corporation of Gurgaon and FICCI on 21 June 2016. (Press Release)
  • ED Division facilitates meeting of CEO of the British Columbia Investment Management Corporation Mr Gordon Fyfe and Team with Hon'ble Transport Minister Shri Nitin Gadkari and CEO NITI Aayog Shri Amitabh Kant on 16 June 2016
  • ED Division facilitates meeting of CEO of the British Columbia Investment Management Corporation Mr Gordon Fyfe and Team with Hon'ble Minister of Finance, Shri Arun Jaitley and CEO NITI Aayog Shri Amitabh Kant on 16 June 2016
  • Inter-Ministerial Meeting on Pharmaceuticals and Healthcare Sector in Africa
  • BRICS India 2016
  • Smt. Harsimrat Kaur Badal, Minister of Food Processing & Industry briefing representatives of foreign Embassies on opportunities in food processing sector in India in a meeting facilitated by ED Division on 17 March 2016 at Panchsheel Bhawan, New Delhi.
  • Investment
  • India at a glance
  • Trade
  • Economy

Business News

India most important for us outside of the US: Omidyar Network

New Delhi: For impact investment fund Omidyar Network, India is the most important country outside the US, and financial inclusion is one of its major interests here, a top company executive said.

“Outside of the US, India is the geography that we are the most excited about and that we feel most committed to. There is no other place where we have a team of this size. There is no other geography where we have the type of portfolio, across all our areas, as we have in India,” said Tilman Ehrbeck, partner at Omidyar Network. Omidyar, which invests in both for-profit and not-for-profit businesses, focuses across five broad areas of interest globally—governance and citizen engagement, education, financial inclusion, property rights and emerging technology.

“India is the one geography where we work on all of these issues, where we have investments across all of these issues and where we have a team on the ground for all of these issues,” Ehrbeck said in an interview.

Since its inception in 2004, Omidyar Network has invested more than $1 billion, of which $480 million went into for-profit companies and $560 million in non-profits. Its India investments add up to $200 million.

For Omidyar Network, financial inclusion is a major area of interest in India, said Ehrbeck, given that in the last couple of years, India has leapfrogged from being a financial inclusion innovation laggard to being at the forefront of the technology-led inclusion movement.

“Financial inclusion is one of the bigger topics that we embraced. When we started, globally, half of the working age adults were outside of the formal financial system. India, until 3-4 years ago, was not at the forefront of the technology led financial inclusion revolution, globally. However, over the last couple of years, India has catapulted itself to the forefront,” said Ehrbeck.

Ehrbeck cited three factors for India’s recent performance which has put it ahead of the pack in financial inclusion innovation—changes in regulation, a tech-savvy government and the development of India-specific digital infrastructure.

“The Reserve Bank of India (RBI), through the financial inclusion committee report, came out with a number of important changes such as the narrow bank licences, which was a way to bring the telcos to the table in a regulated way. The RBI has put in place a lot of enabling pieces,” he said.

The financial inclusion committee headed by Nachiket Mor in 2014 proposed differentiated licences to operate small finance banks and payments banks.

At the same time, the new government at the centre embraced technology and accelerated some of the things that were already underway, including the desire to switch to direct, electronic benefit transfers, said Ehrbeck.

The development of the so-called “India Stack” that includes digital infrastructure such as the unique identity card programme “Aadhaar” and the Unified Payments Interface (UPI) too have been catalysts for financial services innovations, he added.

These factors have also seen Omidyar reorient its financial inclusion strategy towards technology-enabled financial services business models, away from its legacy investments, which was focused on SME lending businesses.

In the last one year, the firm has invested in companies such as Scripbox, a mobile and digital-only wealth management company and ZestMoney, a digital lending platform.

In India, investments in technology-enabled financial services business models that further the financial inclusion goal will only continue to grow in importance for the firm going ahead.

“We are very excited about models that use the flexibility that the digital infrastructure allows you, and use that flexibility to come up with new customer value propositions and deliver them at far lower cost. And in order to do that, you typically have to leverage technology,” said Ehrbeck.

Nearly $270 million, or one quarter of the firm’s total amount invested globally, has gone towards the financial inclusion theme. Around 15% of that capital commitment has been made in India.

“Within financial inclusion, India is a bigger priority now than it may have been in the past. It will be a fair prediction to say that we will invest more in India,” he said.

Source: Livemint


A study has been done by Ernst and Young India with the intention of providing an overview of the investment climate, taxation, forms of business organisations, and business and accounting practices in India.

To view full Text Click Here