2022 Global Impact Summit, Bengaluru

300+ leaders across climate, health, education and workforce assembled in Bengaluru in the fourth of our Global Impact Summits.

Intelligence Unit

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October 17, 2022

300+ leaders across climate, health, education and workforce came together in Bengaluru for the fourth event in our Global Impact Summits Series.

This week we reflect on India and South Asia, and a busy, buzzing impact summit in Bengaluru. Together with presenting partners Enzia Ventures, Google Cloud and Luminus Life Plus, HolonIQ hosted a full day of panel discussions, presentations and fireside chats with industry leaders, CEOs, and experts in this innovative, vibrant ecosystem. 

Co-CEOs Maria Spies and Patrick Brothers opened proceedings with HolonIQ’s signature interactive overview of the global impact economy, from population growth, advanced technology, capital markets and how the innovation economy is traveling. From here, the Summit moved to parallel sessions on climate, health, and education, sharing challenges and opportunities such as measuring impact, climate intelligence, the jobs and employability crisis, and an evolving digital healthcare system. Cautious optimism and India’s entrepreneurial spirit was evident throughout each track, and observations on society, technology and investment suggest that this region, like many others, is undergoing a period of profound and necessary change.  

“It’s important to think of outcomes at multiple levels, across multiple stakeholders beyond just the customer. As we come out of this funding winter, it’s even more important to think of customer outcomes because that’s what will ensure engagement, retention and ultimately sustainable monetization” 

(Karuna Jain, Co-Founder & Partner, Enzia Ventures)

HolonIQ Co-CEOs, Maria Spies and Patrick Brothers opened the summit with their signature data-driven deep dive into the Global State of Impact
Enzia Ventures Partners left to right Namita Dalmia, Karuna Jain and Jayshree Kanther Patodi

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Climate intelligence, farming, food and the EV ecosystem

The Climate track in Bengaluru showcased innovation across a broad range of climate tech topics, including globally resilient food systems, climate smart agriculture, and the criticality of climate intelligence. Data issues and solutions connected many discussions, shown for example in the potential to support farmers in data-driven decision-making for more precise planning and better outcomes. Siddarth Tata (Amazon) explained:

“Farming is more technical than it is appreciated to be, and farmers make a number of decisions through the crop cycles. Farming can benefit from tech data like any other industry. This is where precision farming comes in” 

As with many of the discussions in health and education, aligning behaviour change and technology is central to many of the issues around solutions, not only in agriculture. Avinash Sharma (Co-Founder & CEO, ElectricPe) pointed out that EV charging behaviour, for example, is not the same as it is for conventional fuel. EVs are more likely to be charged while parked for long hours - at home or at the office. This means that collaboration between charging networks is needed to further develop the ecosystem and infrastructure - consumers don't want to use multiple apps to find chargers, and convenience will be important.

“How do you convince traditional farmers to adopt water efficient methods? How does one create the behavioural change? Incentives and disincentives need to be formulated to guide farmers into adopting efficient methods in farming and financial institutions can play a big role”

(Abhishek Raju, Founder, SatSure)

A panel discussion on globally resilient food systems shared insights into the huge potential for plant-based proteins in India, where one speaker noted that 80% of proteins are imported, whilst India is the largest producer of pulses. Proeon Foods Co-Founder Ashish Korde pointed out that a significant number of people are shifting towards sustainable protein, and that “a 10% shift towards such proteins could create a new market of about $290bn”. Education is still needed, however, not least in the investor community, where VCs without biotech expertise favour lean companies “that aren’t capex heavy, whilst plant-based proteins companies have to invest in manufacturing” (Ankit Alok Bagaria, Co-Founder & CEO, Loopworm). 

“Policy must support new and different technologies, new companies and incumbents, with the aim of decarbonisation - instead of having a narrow focus on a few technologies to increase the chances of longer term solutions emerging”

(Prasanta Sarkar, Co-Founder & CEO, Newtrace)

HolonIQ’s Co-CEO Patrick Brothers concluded the climate track by announcing the India and South Asia Climate Tech 100, HolonIQ’s annual list of the most promising Climate Tech startups.

Global talent, changing regulation, and an evolving edtech landscape in India

Sessions on education and workforce reflected a maturing and continually evolving ecosystem in India, where the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has been felt across many aspects, from digital innovation to student mobility and a crisis in jobs and employability. The landscape is changing fast, however; Upgrad’s Co-Founder and MD Mayank Kumar highlighted that the company has made 14 acquisitions since 2019, is now servicing learners through the whole learner lifecycle, and could be looking at IPO and profitability by 2025. 

“This has been a learning experience for the ecosystem, and one that the edtech ecosystem will come out stronger from. Founders as well as investors have seen different things work along the way but looking back to all the cycles, funding slowdowns have been drivers of the best innovation in the industry.” 

(Manasi Shah, Accel)

Upgrad believes that India will become a talent destination with a “global pool of talent”, a theme echoed by several other speakers and sessions at the Summit. Shreyasi Singh, Founder and CEO of Harappa, noted that 90 percent of their learners are between 30 and 45 years old, and understand the need to develop (and pay for) their skills to be successful. She also encouraged university institutions to increase their focus on self-employment, career counselling and communication skills - at scale - to better prepare graduates for the workplace. 

Challenges remain, however, and particularly in the broader regulatory ecosystem around educational institutions. In a fascinating session focussed on partnerships with institutions, schools and colleges, speakers noted frustrations with regulatory bodies that are both moving too slowly, and yet change rules frequently, sometimes every few months. Universities can be dealing with 18+ different accrediting bodies at any time, making compliance a headache.   

Overall, there was curiosity and excitement about the developments to come, not only from founders and edtech leaders, but also investors and other institutional stakeholders. Indian edtech is extending its reach much further than ever, and is more than ready to take its place on the global education stage. As Maria Spies launched the India and South Asia EdTech 100, this was more than evident in HolonIQ's annual list of the most promising EdTech startups from the region. 

“India has always been the learning capital of the world - now when people talk about exporting edtech to the world I think yes, because we’ve always done this..”

(Payal Jain, Principal, LoEstro Advisors LLP)

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Hybrid health and shifting behaviours in patients, health practitioners and systems

Hybrid and mixed models of online and in-person healthcare were hot topics in the Bengaluru Summit health track and highlighted perspectives from multiple stakeholders, from patients and healthcare practitioners to pharmacies, regulators and investors. Discussions noted that whilst there is increasing openness to online and digital healthcare solutions since the COVID-19 pandemic, there are still preferences for in-person care at key points where trust and confidence is prioritised over convenience. Cost savings are also an attractive benefit in digital health solutions, but these options remain out of reach for many outside urban areas.

“The care model in the future is going to be a mix of off-line centres, at-home services and online services customer touch points coming together to bring about the best care.” 

(Achitha Jacob, CEO & Co-Founder, Proactive For Her)

Healthcare systems and infrastructure were also discussed in several sessions; Abhishek Sen, Co-Founder at Biosense Technologies, remarked on the fragmented nature of the healthcare system, making it crucial for providers to understand how their solutions ‘fit into the jigsaw puzzle’. Vivek Srivastava from Healthcare at Home echoed these sentiments, noting that India’s current healthcare infrastructure is ‘not sufficient to solve the current challenges’, with a need for more focus on outpatient services to increase access and affordability.

“We have been trying to inculcate digital behavior for a long time, and then we see people moving from curative to preventive care as a trend post COVID - 4.3 million households buying health care online and a 15x jump post-Covid.”

(Prachi Sinha, Head, Healthtech & Agritech Investments, Axilor Ventures)

During the day, HolonIQ’s VP, Health, Vernon Baxter, also unveiled the India and South Asia Health Tech 100 - the annual list of the most promising startups from across digital health, biotech, medtech and other areas where entrepreneurs are driving healthcare innovation. 

Follow 100 Days of Impact

The Bengaluru Summit marked Day 22 of 100 Days of Impact and a global wave of ideas and inspiration for the future of impact. As each week unfolds, we’re sharing key themes and content from each summit, including speaker highlights, insights from leading organizations and the winners of our regional EdTech, HealthTech and ClimateTech 1000s.

Stay tuned here for a weekly wrap as we move from New York and Mexico City to Bengaluru, Melbourne, Singapore and Jakarta, with exclusive insights from our participation at COP27 before our final summits in London, Paris, Berlin, and Stockholm. Be part of the action by registering for any of the face to face or virtual summits around the world, and see for yourself how 100 Days of Impact unfolds with our 5,000-strong global community.

Whether you’re participating or spectating from afar, find out the latest with #HolonIQSummits and by following @HolonIQ wherever you get your socials.

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