Sep 2016 - May 2018
Having travelled extensively across South-East Asia, I didn’t know what to expect arriving in Mumbai. The hustle and bustle that greeted me was one that signalled to me that I had arrived in what seemed to me a combination of SE Asia and some African countries I had previously been to. The sounds of car horns, small businesses at every corner, affluence and poverty, people everywhere, the heat and a permanent haze of smog. I was looking forward to meeting my colleagues as well as learning and exploring the city of Mumbai.
The days that ensued were a combination of learning, both in theory and practice, about how foreign and local firms operated in India and other emerging markets with first hand experience speaking to those on the front-line of these businesses. The sense of opportunity, growth and potential was palpable. Everyone we spoke to had a sense that India was in transition with the current demonetisation a part of the overall Modi government plan to give India an edge. Given the size of the population and demographics, the opportunities are evident, how and when this is organised well enough to compete with the likes of China and other developed nations remains to be seen.
I had the opportunity to speak with many of Mumbai’s working class and what struck me was the discipline, drive and determination of some of these individuals. Some travel up to 2 hours each way, 6 days a week to get to their places of work. A few individuals use at least 3 to 4 modes of transport on this journey. This resonated with me deeply and my passion for Impact investing. When the desire to improve one’s personal circumstances drives this level discipline, when this is coupled with a responsible investing regime, the realisation of the opportunities that exist start to manifest and the impact is immense.Back to top of article