In Conversation with Mr. Kartik Desai, Partner (Asia) at KOIS

Mr. Kartik Desai is a partner at Kois International and has more than 15 years of experience across management consulting, impact investment and private equity. He has previously led Asha Impact as the Executive Director and Lok Capital and Aavishkaar Frontier Fund as Vice President developing deep expertise in innovative finance and impact investing.


Mr. Kartik has built a track record of raising and deploying private capital across high quality social enterprises in sectors including financial inclusion, education, health, affordable housing and energy access, with multiple successful exits and industry awards. He has served thrice as a board member of the Impact Investors Council and Co-Chair of its Ecosystem Committee on Blended Finance.


He holds a Master’s degree in International Affairs, International Finance and Business from Columbia University.


In this Interview, Mr. Desai answered the following questions: 

  1. Before we begin, it will be great to understand your background and how you got interested and then transitioned in a development finance space.
  2. Since you have been associated with impact investment for a very long time, and have a rich experience and expertise in the domain how would you describe the emergence of impact investment and innovative financial solution in India and its current potential to bring change at scale.
  3. India is the 2nd largest cultivator of bamboo, but the overall commercial bamboo sector is fragmented and unorganized but the Bamboo market is lucrative but bamboo-based business models in India struggle to showcase scalability with an end-to-end focus from farmers to producers (artisans) to retailers. So, how does the Bamboo Regenerative Pay-For-Success (PFS) Instrument that you have recently developed envisage to bring sustainable cultivation practice and improved rural livelihood.
  4. Prevalence of mental health disorders in India is increasing steadily which has been further amplified due to Covid-19 and in the absence of a trained mental health professional, it becomes extremely complex to manage and address the mental health challenges. So, to overcome this, you have proposed a mental health development impact bond as a promising solution to help scale up existing community based mental healthcare models in rural India, could you please explain this model along with some of its challenges?
  5. Lastly, how did you foster convergence and develop collaborations between governments, for-profit organisations, social players, donors and investors to unlock the social impact?


Impact-Talk is a series of views and interviews of CSR heads, impact leaders, and change-makers, addressing development challenges in India. If you have an impact-maker in your network, please suggest/share details at shilpi@csrbox.


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