Hemant Nitturkar Fellow 2011
Living in: Hyderabad, AP, India — India
Facilitating first generation entrepreneurship in India.
Operating in: South Asia
Impact Area: Enterprise Development, Financial Inclusion
"Empowering job creators in India."
Describe yourself briefly.
Hemant Nitturkar has over 20 years of successful corporate start up and entrepreneurial experience in India, Kenya and Australia. He has failed in three and succeeded in one entrepreneurial venture so far.
Growing up in a small town in India, Hemant went on to top his University and earn Gold Medals at his Bachelors and Masters level in Agriculture. He worked in agricultural R&D and large scale food processing industry in India and Kenya. He trained very large number of tiny farmers in Kenya as a part of an outgrower scheme that significantly increased their savings potential.
After migrating to Australia he changed his career to IT and grew up in a stock broking firm. After completing his Graduate Diploma in Applied Finance in a prestigious Securities Institute in Sydney he started his own business in financial services and got involved in a unique early stage capital raising mechanism that he is now bringing to India.
Having experienced issues faced by startups and armed with his exposure to the advanced entrepreneurial support ecosystems in Australia and USA, he has set on this mission to empower new entrepreneurs in India.
He is married and has two daughters.
Describe your Unreasonable Venture in 100 words or less.
Ennovent conducted the “Needs of Social Entrepreneurs” survey in mid-2010 and the results from across 39 countries showed the acees to Financial Resources leads the list, followed very closely by Mentor Support and Market Access.
At JUGNU we address these pain points by creating a collaborative ecosystem for early stage enterprises. JUGNU partners with like minded organisations working in complemetary areas to provide a one stop service to the under served diamonds in the rough. And, through its unique and proprietary early stage equity capital raising platform helps the companies raise between $50,000 and $500,000 of risk capital.
JUGNU works with these enterprises pre- and post-capital raising thus over time creating a robust pipeline for next level of investors.
Our target small business client is an ethical, scalable and sustainable business that can create a visible social and/or environmental impact.
Describe your relevant experience (especially entrepreneurial).
I have domain exposure in Agriculture, IT and Financial services in India, Kenya and Australia. I have first hand experience of challenges of first generation entrepreneurs.
As Horticulturalist for a large food processing company in Kenya I trained thousands of small farmers in growing French beans. After I migrated to Sydney, I worked for the Australian government and corporates before deciding to venture out on my own. I learnt finance and started mortgage broking service. My wife warned that I was too honest to run any business, especially a finance consultancy. From scratch developed over 300 loyal customer base and ultimately sold at a profit.
Along with my wife I ran a franchised mortgage broking service with GE in India. It was a victim of the financial turmoil of 2008.
As a part of New Ventures India ( a World Resources Institute, Washington DC and Confederation of Indian Industry, Hyderabad, India), for last two years I was involved in identifying, mentoring and faciliating financing of green businesses in India.
I have a thorough understanding of the entreprenurial
ecosystem and the players in India. I am also aware of the pain points and am trying to adress that.
Why is your team uniquely qualified to run this venture?
JUGNU is a movement to create widespread scalable entreprenuership in India. Vaishali, our Kidologist, develops kids, youth and women to develop in them creativity, confidence and enterprise.
We both are passionate about enabling and empowering individuals to achieve their best by leveraging resources. We do not reinvent the wheel. We have developed and picked up some tools of entreprenuership over time and through forging win-win partnerships JUGNU aims to serve the underserved. Our early stage capital raising mechanism is unique in India.
What is the urgent social or environmental need you're addressing?
Working-age population of over 340 million in Africa and 213 million in India is expected to be added between 2010 and 2030. Corporates and governments cannot create commensurate economic opportunities for this confident and aspirational populace. We stare at social unrest due to lack of growth and opportunities or environmental disaster due to haphazard growth.
Only opportunity-based sustainable and scalable entrepreneurship can ensure inclusive and sustainable growth, but the enabling ecosystem is lacking in India, especially access to early stage capital. There is an urgent need to enable and empower the job creators.
I see Governments and Corporates as light houses. They spread their light and create jobs. But it is not reaching all. The need is to faciliate creation of millions of fireflies (JUGNU, in Hindi) (new small businesses) to spread the light of new jobs and economic opportunities in areas not touched by these light houses.
What is your solution to this need? Describe your business strategy.
JUGNU is trying to address environmental & social issues through supporting opportunity-based entrepreneurship.
We have developed a unique risk capital aggregation model, taking inspiration from ASSOB in Australia and others in USA, to address the 'valley of death' funding problem in the developing world. We identify, mentor and help enterprises raise early stage capital of between $50,000 and $500,000.
We work with entrepreneurs that are currently out of the rador of Angels and VCs and help them raise small amounts of capital to demontrate concrete market traction. Thus our model generates a robust pipeline for next level of investors.
Convince us it will work. What milestones have you achieved?
This model has been highly succesful in Australia and Hemant was a part of that network. He has first hand experience of this. A proof of concept has been succesfully demonstrated in India.
There are some legal gray areas that need to be addressed but the government is keen to unthottle the bottleneck. There is private money waiting to be deployed and there are enterprises that deserve the investment. The connecting mechanism between sophisticated investors and the investmnet opportunity was lacking in India and that is where JUGNU plays a role.