The Indian education sector is one of the
largest capitalized spaces in India with an annual Government spend of US$ 63 billion
(3.4% of GDP) and an annual private spend of US$ 56 billion. In addition,
approximately 200’000 students travel to foreign countries every year and spend
about US$ 13 billion on education. This adds up to an annual education spend of
US$ 133 billion. With the largest number of youth population in the world,
Indian education sector is highly viable and promising. The sector is beginning
to demand larger involvement of social enterprises and requires enhanced Public
Private Partnership models (PPP) across the country.
Challenges to Education
High dropout rates: Nationally 29% of
children drop out before completing five years of primary school, and 43%
before finishing upper primary school. High school completion is only 42%12.
1.4 million Children aged 6-11 in India are not even going to school.
?Inadequate school infrastructure: only 53%
of schools have functional girls’ toilets14 and 74% have access to drinking
? Inequality amongst schools: At the top end
are English-language schools affiliated to the upscale CBSE (Central Board of
Secondary Education), CISCE (Council for the Indian Schools Certificates
Examination) and IB (International Baccalaureate) examination boards, offering
globally recognized syllabuses and curricula. Those who cannot afford private
schooling attend English-language government-aided schools, affiliated to
state-level examination boards that struggle to maintain quality standards and
do not focus on an all round development of the child. ? Teacher shortage:
Teachers are paid low salaries and are not supported with incentives. The
Student-Teacher Ratio in developed countries stands at 11.4, while in case of
India; the ratio on an average is as high as 22.0 leading to teacher
absenteeism and large number of teacher vacancies16. There is a teacher
shortage of 689`000 teachers in primary schools.
? Quality of learning: The quality of
learning in classroom is a major challenge too. Several reports show children
are not achieving class-appropriate learning levels. According to Pratham’s
Annual Status of Education 2013 report, close to 78% of children in Grade 3 and
about 50% of children in Grade 5 cannot yet read Grade 2 texts.
? Affordable private schools: A number of
social enterprises are venturing into affordable private schools, creating a
pipeline of budget schools which are well managed and can deliver optimal or
basic quality learning environment in K-12 education ecosystem. Partnering and
supporting such initiatives at different levels is one of the areas of
opportunity for Swiss entrepreneurs.
? Curriculum development and pedagogy tools:
Technology and other mediums are now actively used to deliver quality-learning
material with digital pedagogy tools by social enterprises. There is scope for
innovation in creating robust models to provide, monitor and assess the
curriculum material provided to schools.
? Teacher-centric approach: Teacher training,
teaching modules, improved pedagogical tools are some of the areas of
intervention for social enterprises.
? Infrastructure: This is one of the most
untapped areas of opportunity in current K-12 education system. Solutions can
range from providing basic hygiene & safe environment such as boundary
walls, working clean toilets, safe drinking water to basic furniture, storage
and other interior infrastructure for schools.
? Corporate companies/ CSR: Majority of
corporations in India are investing CSR funds in education as a portfolio. The
CSR funds can be invested across various themes and can provide mentorship and
other capacity building support to social enterprises in the education sector.
India has primarily been an agrarian economy.
Post the industrial reforms in 1990s, Indian economy has witnessed loss of
large-scale agricultural lands to deforestation. With automation the
agriculture output per hectare has improved but has also led to larger
environment degradation. If managed properly, Indian agriculture can not only
cater to 1.25 billion people in India but also to many other countries. Agriculture
provides livelihood to more than 70% of India’s rural population and has a
large number of social enterprises, with 44% of enterprises launching in the
sector in 2010 or 2011. One-third of agriculture enterprises provide some kind
of service to farmers such as teaching organic farming practices. More than 10%
of enterprises also offer financial services to low-income clients or
producers–primarily access to credit. Yet agriculture enterprises tend to have
low penetration across many communities.
Challenges to Agriculture
Decline in production: In the name of
industrialization, farming land is being taken away from farmers. 80% of farm
subsidies go to chemical companies who push chemical fertilizers amongst
farmers putting them in huge loans and debts due to crop failures. There’s
stagnation and a decline in production, output per hectare in the last three
? Lack of infrastructure: Infrastructure and
technology support for small scale farmers is lacking. There’s a shortage of
good quality seeds for poor farmers, inadequate storage facilities and
transportation. Lack of efficient water management, soil erosion and better
irrigation systems is another big challenge. The techniques and knowhow of
organic farming and local ecology is losing significance rapidly, making the
farmers totally dependent on external inputs for farming. ? Decline in
interest: Even though 54.6% of India’s population is involved in farming,
agriculture sector contributes only 13.9% towards GDP. The newer generations
prefer to migrate to urban areas compared to farming professionally.
? Decline in land ownership: Landholding by
farmers declined from 2.30ha in the 70s to 1.32 ha in 2000-01.
? Lack of support: More than 250`000 farmers
have committed suicide since 1990.
Technology: Swiss innovators can provide
access to knowledge, technical insights and mentorship to yield healthy crops
and sustainable agriculture practices in India. Swiss innovators can also
explore collaborations with grass root level organizations that require
capacity building support for small-scale farmers and drought hit areas.
? Policy influence, sustainable practice
advocacy: Swiss community and researchers can partner and collaborate with
relevant international organizations to influence policies at government level
in India. Switzerland, which has championed the idea of sustainable practices,
can bring strong advocacy tools for Indian social enterprises and non-profits
in the agriculture sector.
? Agricultural mechanization, supply chain,
storage design: Swiss communities can bring their expertise to look at better
mechanization products, supply chain system design, efficient storage design
and low cost scalable solutions that can make a big difference to poor/ small
? Post-harvest support: Swiss
entrepreneurs/investors can provide capacity building support for small scale
farmers in India to help them build market linkages, eliminate middle-men and
tap urban to rural markets for sales.
? Financial inclusion and support for organic
and sustainable framing practices: Partnering with local organization can help
Swiss enterprises to create new models of financial aid and soft loans to allow
cooperatives and local farmers to create new business opportunities for
India has a universal public health care
system run by the constituent states and territories. Parallel to this public
health sector, is the private medical sector in India that is more popular.
Both urban and rural Indian households use the private medical sector more
frequently than the public sector. In addition to a health care system, India
has several safety net health insurance programs for the high-risk population
such as the Community Health Insurance program for the population below poverty
line and Life Insurance Company (LIC) policy for senior citizens. All such
programs are monitored and controlled by the government-owned General Insurance
Corporation. There are additional plans offered to government employees, and a
handful of private companies sell private health insurance to the public. Yet
many urban and rural poor to middle-class people are not aware of these schemes
Challenges to Healthcare
Rural vs. Urban Divide: A staggering 70% of
the population still lives in rural areas with limited access to hospitals and
clinics and relies on alternative medicines and government programs in rural
health clinics. One such program is the National Urban Health Mission that pays
individuals for healthcare premiums which has not been very effective. In
contrast, the urban centers have numerous private hospitals and clinics that
provide quality healthcare.
? Need for Effective Payment Mechanisms:
Roughly 70% of patients pay for healthcare out-of-pocket because there are no
payment arrangements. According to a newly released report by Swiss Re and
Harvard’s School of Public Health, 16.7% of Indians were covered by health
insurance policies in 2012.
? Demand for Basic Primary Healthcare and
Infrastructure: Basic infrastructure, especially in rural areas is still
lacking, with respect to sanitation and water management.
Impact Investments: Healthcare is one of the
most sought after sectors for impact investing with funds being channeled into
a variety of area – from hospitals and clinics to innovative diagnostic tools
and medical devices designed for low-resource settings. Narayana Hruda-ya-laya,
Arvind Eye Care39 and Embrace Innovations40 are credible organizations that
have demonstrated the viability of social enterprises. After hospitals,
pharmaceuticals account for the second largest percentage of total funding
(13%) given the global success of Indian pharmaceuticals companies in
developing low cost generics. Medical devices account for the third largest
(again 13% of total investment).
? Health Insurance: Nearly 75-80% of Indian
population is without a proper health insurance, paying their health care spending
? Medical devices: According to The Economic
Times43, the medical devices sector is seen as the most promising area for
future development by foreign and regional investors. Recently, the government
has been positive on clearing regulatory hurdles related to the import-export
of medical devices, and has set a few standards around clinical trials. Swiss
quality high tech medical devices, made affordable, can scale rapidly in India.
? Building centralized information and
raising awareness: Improve accessibility to information with offline and
on-line Drug Database to improve health delivery system and build local
champions for information distribution.
? Health care infrastructure: Standardizing
diagnostic procedures, building rural clinics, and developing streamlined
health IT systems and improving efficiency.
India has the fifth largest power generation
portfolio worldwide. Coal and gas are the popular sources of energy and account
for 58% and 9% respectively of the total energy consumed in the country. India
has been rapidly adding capacity over the last few years, with total installed
power capacity growing to 223 Giga Watts (GW) in March 2013 from 98 GW in March
1998. Economic growth and increasing prosperity, coupled with factors such as
rate of urbanization, rising per capita energy consumption, and a growing
middle class are likely to push energy demand further in the country.
Challenges to Renewable Energy
Lack of electrification: 280 million people
in rural India and 24 million people in urban India are without access to
electricity. There will be a scarcity of 467 GW electricity in the next 15
years. ? Inequality in power supply: Access to energy and major inequalities in
access are major challenges in India. According to the International Energy
Agency46, 77 million households in India still use kerosene for lighting.
? Dilemma with alternate energy sources:
There’s a lack of nuclear energy sources to meet the energy demands in India.
Renewable energy sources need large investments almost prohibiting the
government or public sector units from taking it up.
? Untapped potential: There is a scope to
fullfil the gaps in the following renewable energy sectors: – Presently, solar
only covers 3% of 100 GW potential capacity. Many parts of India receive 300
days of annual sunshine which presents an opportunity for constant solar power
generation. – Only 3% of 4 GW potential capacity is generated through waste –
Only 11% of 18 GW potential capacity is generated through biomass – Only 19% of
20 GW potential capacity is generated through small hydro – Presently 53% of 5
GW potential capacity is generated through bagasse cogeneration – Only 21% of
103 GW potential capacity is generated through wind.
Make in India is an initiative of the
Government of India, to encourage companies to manufacture their products in
India. It was launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 25 September 2014. In
a major boost to the ‘Make in India’ initiative, the Government has received
confirmation from technology firms such as GE, Bosch, Tejas and Panasonic
regarding their decision to invest in the electronic, medical, automotive and
telecom manufacturing clusters in India.
Challenges to Manufacturing
Capital-intensive: Manufacturing is
capital-intensive exercise requiring access to loans. High interest rates have
been impacting new investments.
? Lack of domestic demand: Lack of domestic
demand has pushed the manufacturers to look at export markets with the
devaluation of Rupee.
? Shortage of skilled labour: There is a
large shortage of skilled labor for manufacturing and lack of investment in
training of skilled labor or improving efficiency. Also the Indian youth prefer
white-collar jobs in their search for upward mobility.
? Global competition: India is traditionally
known for service industry, while a push for large scale manufacturing has only
recently begun. There is a tough global competition from established economies,
Favorable regulations: The Interim Budget of
201456 presented by the government of India, proposed changes in indirect taxes
to boost manufacturing, including cutting the excise duty on some goods in the
capital goods and consumer non-durables sectors such as electrical and
construction from 12% to 10%. Manufacturing segments are making investments to
enter Tier 2 (50’000 to 99’999 inhabitants) and Tier 3 (20’000 to 49’999
inhabitants) cities in order to boost sales.
? Fair Trade: Social responsibility is deeply
rooted into Indian culture. Swiss social enterprises in perishable/
non-perishable manufacturing could create or extend fair trade value chains in
Skills development as a sector has gained
prominence in the social enterprise ecosystem with several skills development
and vocational training enterprises rising in the social sector in the last 5
years. Skillsonics India Pvt. Ltd.57 was born with this vision with support
from Swiss Federation. This sector is also closely interlinked to the
? Employability: Number of young university
graduates is rapidly increasing every year, and the industry is not
sufficiently hiring these fresh graduates, leaving large numbers of individuals
either unemployed or wanting skills training and development. In addition, the
development of information and communication technology (ICT) is occurring at
unprecedented speed, requiring workers to have more, and more complex,
? Lack of skill and training: With 12.8
million young people newly entering the labor market every year58, the
government recognizes that the country faces a serious skills shortage, as the
majority of these new labor market entrants are likely to remain unskilled.
? No access to skill training: Despite
India’s projected demographic dividend and its abundant labor supply; it
suffers from a serious shortage of skilled workers, because of their limited
access to education and skills training and large skills mismatch in the labor
? Demand for vocational/ skill training: By
2025, India will have a working population (age 15-64 years) of approximately
959 million people59 and most of them will require vocational/ skill training.
? National focus on skills development:
Recently, India set up Prime Minister’s National Skills Development Council
(NSDC) to coordinate various schemes provided by various ministries.
Switzerland’s expertise on vocational education and skills development is very
well known and appreciated across India.
? Advisory for skill councils: Swiss experts
and institutes could advise existing social enterprises and non-profits in
India for developing policies, setting priorities and strategies and overseeing
and coordinating the various stakeholder initiatives and efforts.
entrepreneurship implies innovative and financially sustainable activities
targeted at social problems. However, its commercial activities do not
necessarily need to coincide with the social mission; rather, their purpose is
to create financial resources to implement social objectives. Social
entrepreneurs act as the change agents for society, seizing opportunities
others miss to improve systems, invent new approaches, and create solutions to
change society for the better. Social entrepreneurship has quickly established
itself as a dynamic field of practice and academic enquiry. Located at the
interstices of the non profit, for profit and government sectors . A strong
interplay between theory and practice is characteristic, also contributing to
the rapid growth and sustained interest in the research. Further research in
Social entrepreneurship can be to explain and precise define the value of
social effects that social entrepreneurship added to the entire society and it
can also be one of research to demonstrates how commercial enterprise and
established business models can be integrated with social value creation.