UNDP and Invest India Identify 18 Investment Areas In SDG Map

UNDP and Invest India have launched the SDG Investor Map for India, laying out 18 Investment Opportunities Areas (IOAs) in six critical SDG enabling sectors, that can help India push the needle forward on Sustainable Development.

The partnership with UNDP India to develop the first-ever ‘SDG Investor Map for India’ will be an instrumental stride in India’s development trajectory and data-backed research and insights will serve as useful blueprints to understand how best the SDG financing gap can be narrowed in India, said Mr. Deepak Bagla, CEO & MD, Invest India on the launch occasion.

Ms Shoko Noda, Resident Representative, UNDP India acknowledged the launch of the Map at a time of pandemic to make economy and society more resilient and sustainable. This map uses critical factors such as enhanced productivity, technology adoption and increased inclusion to identify attractive sectors for investors.

Highlights

  • Out of the 18 IOAs identified, 10 are already mature investable areas that have seen robust Private Equity and Venture Capital activity, and feature companies that have been able to unlock scale and demonstrate profitability. The remaining eight IOAs are emerging opportunities, which have seen traction from early-stage investors.
  • The map has also identified eight White Spaces, which have seen investor interest and have the potential to grow into IOAs within a 5-6-year horizon. However, these require further policy support and private sector participation to mature into commercially attractive IOAs.
  • Nearly 50% of the shortlisted IOAs have historical investments that have yielded internal rate of return (IRRs) in excess of 20%.

Investing in opportunities that enhance employment and employability, push forward the inclusion of underserved communities and leverage technology will be of essence to India as it grapples with the challenges of a post-COVID economy. The observations from the map present a strong case for investing in SDG enabling sectors and IOAs, bridging the gap between high-level development targets and the need for commercially viable returns. Moreover, investing in the SDGs is crucial to ‘Building Back Better’ from COVID-19 and enhancing India’s resilience to future threats. 84% of the IOAs have investment timeframes ranging from the short term (less than 5 years) to the medium-term (between 5- 15 years) and 83% of the identified IOAs address job creation and industrialization needs, 70% focus on inclusive business models and 50% leverage digital technologies to deliver commercial returns and impact at scale.

By mapping the overlaps and gaps between public sector priorities and private sector interest, the SDG Investor Map lays out pathways that can bring together private-sector investment and public sector support for SDG-enabling sectors such as Education, Healthcare, Agriculture & Allied Activities, Financial Services, Renewable Energy & Alternatives and Sustainable Environment. These sectors and the IOAs within them were selected through a rigorous analytical process that included extensive consultations with a number of investors.

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