Grameen Capital to be part of conscience-capitalism ecosystem
CEO has broader ambitions as firm turns 10; impact investing still modest in Asia but growing.
Ten years on from the foundation of Grameen Capital India, its chief executive still has a mission.
“It’s my crazy dream,” says Royston Braganza. “A capital-with-a-conscience ecosystem, with a social investment bank, a social debt vehicle, a social equity fund and a social stock exchange.” The first of those four components is Grameen Capital itself, founded as a joint venture between Grameen Foundation USA, Citi and IFMR Trust, and whose 10th anniversary passed on Sunday.
“We were globally the first social investment bank, set up as a social business primarily because we spoke both languages: that of the capital markets and of life at the bottom of the pyramid, where there were 400 million people living below $1.50 a day,” Braganza says, speaking to Euromoney at a BNP Paribas conference on sustainability.
“We were set up to be a connector, to become the pipes through which liquidity can flow.”
Grameen Capital serves microfinance institutions (MFIs) and similar organizations, providing them with debt and equity solutions to build scale. At first it was mainly about raising debt for them; then, given the leverage that created, the bank helped them raise equity to de-risk.