Digbijoy’s role at ennovent is to create premium services for entrepreneurs, investors, and experts to discover, finance and scale high potential for-profit social enterprises in India. In a phone chat with Varsha, “Digi” (what his friends & colleagues call him) shares his story:
I have a wide ranging experience across diverse sectors initially starting with education marketing, advertising, events including a state election campaign for a national party, to launching & running a restaurant chain in Delhi.
With TiE Delhi, I drove various initiatives like mentoring, deal flow, marketing, sponsorships etc and left my last position as Associate Director of the chapter in 2008 to pursue my entrepreneurial ambitions.
I subsequently joined techTribe- India’s largest Career Networking platform where I served as the strategic relations director and led unique initiatives and partnerships for building and sustaining community engagement. Post techTribe, I co-founded an online supplemental education start-up which is currently serving over 100K US students.
What motivated you to enter impact investing space?
I strongly believe entrepreneurship has a major role to play in creating a sustainable impact. Having been on the other side as an entrepreneur, I’m familiar with the challenges entrepreneurs go through. The opportunity to support, nurture and help scale these enterprises as they create social, economic & environmental impact excites me.
What was your biggest success story in the past?
I personally measure my success by the impact I’ve had on people versus my own personal achievements. At TiE, I was an enabler of the entrepreneurial ecosystem, I was fortunate enough to make an impact on many entrepreneurs’ lives. Through the ENP (Virtual Incubator) I help set up, I was directly instrumental in supporting entrepreneurs via mentoring, access to clients, access to investors, go to market strategies etc. and in turn make a lasting impact on many entrepreneurs.
Considering that you are an entrepreneur yourself and that you worked with many entrepreneurs at TIE, this is some sort of a shift for you. What differences do you see in the two markets?
I believe the DNA of entrepreneurship remains the same i.e. passion, commitment, hard work, self belief, mental stamina and vision. The only thing that changes is, the circumstances in which entrepreneurs operate in, so I would say, yes there are differences in space, challenges, market conditions and regulatory environments, but, not at the core.
What do you think are the biggest challenges faced while trying to make impact at the BOP with impact investing?
While there is great interest & intent, the biggest challenge is people are not aware of how to really go about impact investing since it is fairly new.
In the social enterprise space, we need a more robust ecosystem comprising of service providers, investors who understand impact investing and social entrepreneurs who look at impact & sustainability. To create such an eco-system is the biggest challenge right now. At ennovent, we are working towards that.
What impact do you hope to make as a member of Ennovent?
To help thousands of social entrepreneurs either directly or indirectly, who would in turn create a sustainable impact at the BoP.
For more information on ennovent & the team, visit www.ennovent.com