AVPN Global Conference 2023 | 20 - 22 June 2023


Reviving Livelihoods Post COVID: Leveraging Innovative Finance

By Asian Venture Philanthropy Network (AVPN)


Online and India

Date & time

02 December 2020



02 December 2020


About this event

Register Now

The COVID pandemic has forced millions of daily wagers and low-wage gig workers to return to their villages stretching the frail rural livelihoods sector to its limits. This will soon force the workers to eventually return to the urban areas for work or remain in a life of perpetual penury. The rural to urban migration can be mitigated If better skilling opportunities are made accessible and contextualized to the demand in local communities.

In India, the pandemic has pushed the unemployment rate on a steep upward curve which is even more severe in tier III and rural districts, aggravated currently by rural distress and reverse migration. With increased public and private spending on social issues, it is time to change the narrative in the sector from ‘focusing on inputs’ to discussing the outcome achievement. Impact bonds will not only drive the conversation on effective resource deployment and measurements, but also catalyze private capital to solve for social challenges.

Join us to understand and help tackle the issue of rural livelihoods in India. Hear from the veterans who are investing in solutions to generate rural employment and entrepreneurship to drive the local economy in the country’s aspirational districts which have been severely impacted by the pandemic. The reverse migration offers an immense opportunity to not just build the economic and social infrastructure in rural India, but also to solve urban population pressure by balancing access to opportunities, a step towards making local districts ‘Atma-Nirbhar’ (Self Reliant).

With a special focus on empowering women by providing economic opportunities, these models show that investing in women is smart developmental economics.

Key Takeaways:

  • Understand the available opportunity to invest and support rural livelihoods, migrant workers, and women entrepreneurs
  • Learn from successful examples of how India is leveraging social finance to become outcome-oriented (for adoption/replication)

This webinar will also be shared through AVPN’s collaboration with its global sister networks EVPA, AVPA, and Latimpacto.

Geeta Goel
Country Director – India,
Michael & Susan Dell Foundation

Geeta manages the foundation’s operations in India to transform the lives of urban low-income communities through improved education, livelihoods and financial inclusion. In her role, Geeta manages the strategy and implementation of the foundation’s work in India in two key areas of Education and Family Economic Stability. Leveraging a suite of funding tools – grants, contracts and program related investments (debt, equity and guarantees) – the foundation has committed over $150 million in India and has over 50 active projects in the country, which are all anchored around our core thesis of Impact, Scale and Sustainability.

Dr. Manish Kumar
MD and CEO,
National Skill Development Corporation

Dr. Manish is the Managing Director & Chief Executive Officer of National Skill Development Corporation. He is responsible for providing a strategic vision to NSDC in ensuring that the team moves cohesively towards achievement of Skill India Mission. Prior to joining the NSDC, he was working as Country Coordinator and Senior Institution Development Economist, The World Bank. He was Task Team Leader for USD 1.5 billion Bank’s loan to India for “Swaachh Bharat”. He earlier worked for the Bank in Middle East and North African countries covering Lebanon, Iraq, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Morocco, Egypt, Nigeria, etc. Manish earlier served in the Indian Administrative Service, occupying many responsible positions, his last being Secretary to Government of Tripura, Power & Home Departments.

Alkesh Wadhwani
Director-India Country Office,
Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Alkesh leads the poverty alleviation portfolio for the foundation’s India Country Office, which comprises programmatic work in Agriculture Development, Water, Sanitation & Hygiene, Financial Services for the Poor (FSP), and Gender Equality. Previously, He led the health, nutrition, and family planning portfolio for the foundation in India. Alkesh joined the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in India in 2003 and was one of the key members who helped conceptualize and implement the $338 million funded Avahan program, the AIDS initiative of the world’s largest HIV/AIDS prevention programs.

Sushil Ramola
Founder and Chairman,
BASIX Academy for Building Lifelong Employability (B-ABLE)

Sushil is a social entrepreneur and a civil society volunteer. He is founder and chairman of B-ABLE (BASIX Academy for Building Lifelong Employability Ltd.) which he founded in 2009 in partnership with BASIX, the pioneering microfinance and livelihood promotion organisation in India. B-ABLE became the first partner of National Skills Development Corporation (NSDC) to embark on the mission of providing skills and meaningful livelihood opportunities to less educated and disadvantaged youth and has so far trained around 3 lakh youth in 28 states of India. It also runs vocational education programs in around 1,000 Government Senior Secondary Schools across India.

Pramod Bhasin
Asha Impact

Pramod is the co-founder of Asha Impact, Virtual Fund focused on Social Impact Investments and Advocacy. He is an active investor in different companies, from start-ups to ongoing businesses. He has also co-founded the Skills Academy that focuses on providing vocational skills training to lower income youth in villages across the country. The Skills Academy has trained over 50,000 students and placed the majority in jobs, post training. Pramod’s career spans a professional & entrepreneurial journey in Financial Services & Business Process Management across the globe. He built Genpact, a global leader in Business Process Management from the start in 1997 and was its President & CEO till 2011.

Jasjit Singh
Professor of Strategy and Sustainable Development,

Jasjit has been an INSEAD professor since 2004. His expertise includes Strategy, Innovation, Sustainable Development, Purpose-Driven Business, Impact Investing and Impact Evaluation. He regularly speaks on these topics, and also advises entrepreneurs, philanthropists, investors and organizations on how to best manage their societal impact. Jasjit has written numerous articles for leading journals and case studies that have won prestigious awards. He earned a PhD in Business Economics (Strategy) at Harvard Business School and an MA in Economics at Harvard University, having earlier obtained a BTech in Computer Science & Engineering at IIT Delhi and a double-MS at Georgia Tech.


Priyaka Nagpal Dhingra
Advisor, Vision Entrepreneur’s Livelihood Bond,
Essilor International

With extensive experience across Social Impact and Finance, Priyaka is currently an advisor with Essilor’s social impact team for their Livelihoods Impact Bond. She has managed the philanthropic portfolio of Amit Chandra (Chairman Bain Capital and Forbes Asia hero of Philanthropy) over a large part of last decade and then went on to set up their family foundation. As a drafting committee member for the creation of India’s Social Stock Exchange (Ministry of Finance) she focused on innovative structures for social finance deals and also contributed to the social finance frameworks in the CSR Policy High-level committee. Her profile was recently chronicled in Rockefeller Foundation’s ‘Women Leadership in the Development Sector’.

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