Experiences in unlocking and deploying capital from the perspectives of an agri-SME and an impact investor

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Experiences in unlocking and deploying capital from the perspectives of an agri-SME and an impact investor

When and where

Jul 14, 1:30 PM – 2:30 PM GMT+2
Webinar

About

This webinar will offer a first-hand look into the financial journey of two India-based entities, an agri-SME and an early stage agri-SME focused fund, as they transition through different stages of financing and seek to align their needs with the right sources of capital and support. The agri-SME experience will be presented by Our Food, a technology-driven agribusiness platform working to decentralize the food processing industry by establishing a network of Farmer Franchises that deploy new age, low-cost micro-processing units with the help of rural entrepreneurs to process the raw material at the farm gate. The second presentation will be given by Caspian, an early stage investor targeting SMEs in the food and agriculture sector with debt and equity instruments.

Both institutions will give short presentations covering their business model and financial trajectory, including specific challenges and solutions found in matching different sources and types of capital to their needs at different stages of growth. As an early stage investor, Caspian will present its experience working with different agri-SME models, highlighting the various financing challenges, as well as their own journey in securing capital for such investments. The presentations will be followed by a discussion with participants aiming to distil specific lessons learned of relevance to other enterprises with similar features as well as to investors, donors, technical assistance providers and investment facilitators such as those who gather in the SAFIN network.

The webinar will open with a short introduction to Setuka Partners LLP who is well acquainted with both institutions in its capacity as an advisory firm. Setuka works with responsible enterprises and investors to forge enduring partnerships that involve the movement of catalytic capital (debt, equity, and grants) and capacity from overseas providers to social enterprises.

Speakers

Bala Reddy V., CEO and Co-Founder

Bala is the CEO and Co-Founder of Our Food, a company providing low cost processing facilities at the farm level, connecting farmers and bulk buyers using technology and logistics. Prior to starting Our Food, he matured extensive experience in handling businesses and successful exits in the infrastructure sector. He had earlier worked in renewable energy, finance and software development. He worked as the Chief Marketing Manager for Mission Biofuels across seven states in India. He holds a Management Degree in Agribusiness Management from the Indian Institute of Management (Ahmedabad) and a Bachelor of Technology from the National Institute of Technology (Warangal).

Emmanuel Murray, Fund Manager, Caspian

Emmanuel is the Fund Manager of Caspian Leap for Agriculture Fund, supporting early stage companies (Seed and Pre-series A) in the food & agri sectors. Prior to joining Caspian, he worked as the Deputy Managing Director of Maanaveeya Development and Finance, the Indian subsidiary of Oikocredit, Netherlands. Between 2008 and 2011 he worked with NABARD as General Manager and managed over USD 100 MN of grant capital for the development of soil and water management across the states of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh. From 2003 to 2008, he worked with Mr. Harun Khan (former Deputy Governor of the RBI), and was responsible for blending his grassroots level experience with policy level changes. As part of the Khan Committee, he was instrumental in preparing the report that helped modernize the financial inclusion sector through models like business correspondents and farmer-producer organizations. Emmanuel holds a Master’s degree in Rural Management from the Institute of Rural Management, Anand (IRMA).

Saurabh Johri, Group CFO, Caspian

Saurabh is Chief Finance Officer (CFO) at Caspian and has primary responsibility for managing finance and accounting, fund raising, financial control, and risk. Prior to joining Caspian, Saurabh has worked for over 7 years with Jana Small Finance Bank in the areas of equity raise, financial planning, treasury mid-office and business analytics. At Jana, he was responsible for raising over USD 800 MN in equity capital. Prior to Jana, Saurabh was with Infosys Technologies Limited for over 12 years working in a variety of roles in corporate strategy, programme management, and technology implementation. Saurabh holds a Bachelor’s degree in Technology from the Institute of Technology, Varanasi, India and a Master’s degree in Business Administration from the Fisher College of Business, Ohio State University, USA.

Dialogue recording

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