Strengthening Green Financing and Mainstreaming Gender – GIFS & GroW Annual Theme Discussion

A Pioneering Effort Towards a Greener Future – GIFS initiative Leads the Charge in Sustainable Finance and Gender Inclusion at annual theme discussion.

January 23, 2024: The ‘Green Indian Financial System (GIFS)’ Initiative, founded by SIDBI, Shakti Sustainable Energy Foundation (SSEF) and French Development Agency (AFD), organised an event with the annual theme discussion titled “Strengthening Green Financing and Mainstreaming Gender” on January 23, 2024, in Mumbai. This event successfully brought together MSMEs and stakeholders, to reflect on the recent developments on green finance, and to discuss how the financial system and the MSMEs can find a common ground to ensure a resilient and low-carbon transition in India.  

Established in 2021, GIFS initiative been instrumental in shaping discussions around greening the financial ecosystem and facilitating its implementation through Indian institutions. The objective of the event was to share updates on the newly created regulations, schemes, tools, working groups etc. from 2022 and 2023 activities that have contributed to the greening of the Indian financial system. Additionally, to highlight GIFS achievements, capitalization and introducing the upcoming “Greening the Finance-to-Finance Green” (G2FG) Technical Assistance platform for MSMEs and financial institutions.

The event also focused on Greening of Finance by Women (GroW); a distinguished professional network dedicated to women in climate finance. The event served as a platform to present key updates, enable collaboration, and empower women in green and climate finance through GRoW, a part of GIFS initiative. Mr. Prakash Kumar, DMD, SIDBI, welcomed participants with an opening remark, providing a comprehensive introduction to the GIFS Initiative and Ms. Kruthika Jerome of Shakti Sustainable Energy Foundation introduced the GRoW summit. Subsequently, women entrepreneurs shared their experiences in credit access for green investment, with addresses from Ms. Sahar Mansoor of Bare Necessities, Ms. Kalyani Shinde of Godaam Innovations, Ms. Chaitsi Ahuja, Founder of Brown Living and Ms. Vanita Prasad of REVY Environmental Solutions.

The Policy Perspective on Climate Financing Landscape India: developments in the banking sector and regulation session featured notable speakers Mr. Sivasubramanian Ramann, IA&AS, CMD, SIDBI; Mr. Sunil Nair, CGM, RBI; Mr. V Chandrasekar, Senior Advisor, IBA; and Mr. P Shyam Sunder, Joint Director, BEE, Ministry of Power.

The event saw other eminent speakers who spoke on various topics.  Mr. Nitin Desai, Member of Board, Shakti Sustainable Energy Foundation (SSEF); Mr. Sivasubramanian Ramann, CMD, SIDBI; Ms. Audrey Brulé – Françoise, Deputy Head Financial Systems Division, AFD, briefed the participants about GIFS’ achievements.

Mr. Sivasubramanian Ramann, CMD, SIDBI stated that digitization and greening are top priorities of SIDBI. In this endeavor, building synergy, networks, platforms, financing, and development models aligned to national net zero mandate has been our strategic approach. GIFS and GroW platform brings on board global good practitioners, policy insight institutions and SIDBI having pulse of enterprise ecosystem. Building capacity both on demand and supply side has been our credit plus approach throughout. This thought leadership platform makes it credit plus and furthers our resolve for greening enterprise ecosystem differently.

Mr. Sunil Nair, CGM, RBI, while giving the special address mentioned about the financing framework that every bank and financing institutes follow while lending the loans to the borrowers. He also briefed on need of transition finance for borrower and ease and issues while scrutinizing financing requirements of the borrowers of the specific region or country.

Ms. Audrey Brulé of AfD highlighted the good green practices unleashed through various global platforms led by them. She highlighted how GROW and GIFS are trend setters and are getting replicated in other parts of the world. Gender mainstreaming remains priority for fad and embedding into green financing is essential for leveraging immense potential which women bring on board for strengthening enterprise ecosystem.

Mr. Rajiv Chawla, Chairman, IamSMEofIndia; Mr. Anil Bhardwaj, Secretary General, FISME; and Ms. Madhu Tyagi, Board Member, COWE India; shared insights into companies’ green aspirations and experiences in accessing climate finance.

Mr. Dhruba Purkayastha, Director, CPI; Mr. Vivek Adhia, Associate Director, BCG; Ms. Neha Kumar, Climate Bond Initiative; Mr. Shubhashis Dey, Director, Shakti Sustainable Energy Foundation and Mr. Mukund Govind Rajan, Chairperson, ECube Investment Advisors shared insights on the key takeaways from the G20 Presidency for the Indian financial sector and shared perspective on COP28 messages in Indian Context. The session was moderated by Dr. R K Singh, CGM & Head, Green Vertical, SIDBI

The event concluded with the panel discussion on the topic “The Nexus of Women and Green Finance across Stakeholders”, which included the following speakersMs. Ekta Mehra, Senior Sector Specialist, KFW; Ms. Smitha Hari, President, AuctusESG; Ms. Shruti Srivastava, Investment Director, Avaana Capital. The panel was moderated by Ms. Neetu Chitkara, MD & Partner, Boston Consulting Group (BCG). The Summing Up session was led by Mr. Shubhashis Dey, Director, Shakti Sustainable Energy Foundation.

The GIFS & GroW annual theme discussion on “Strengthening Green Financing and Mainstreaming Gender” marked a significant milestone in fostering knowledge exchange, training, and networking among like-minded finance practitioners from banks, investment funds and financial institutions. SIDBI continues to play a crucial role in fostering sustainability and gender inclusion in the Indian financial landscape, contributing to a resilient and green future.

About Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI):

SIDBI is the Principal Financial Institution for Promotion, Financing and Development of the MSME sector. SIDBI has been playing a significant role in developing the financial services for MSME sector through various interventions including Refinance to Banks, Credit Guarantee programs, Development of the MFI sector, Contribution to Venture capital/AIF funds, MSME ratings, promoting digital lending ecosystem, etc. The Bank has proactively been working towards Energy Efficiency (EE) in MSMEs since 2005-06 using support of multilateral institutions like World Bank, ADB, GiZ, FCDO, JICA, AFD, KfW etc. for energy efficient projects. Furthermore, SIDBI has been touching the lives of citizens across various strata of society through its integrated, innovative, and inclusive approach. Be it traditional, domestic small entrepreneurs, bottom-of-the-pyramid entrepreneurs, to high-end knowledge-based entrepreneurs, SIDBI has directly or indirectly impacted the lives of Micro and Small Enterprises (MSEs) through various credit and developmental measures. To know more, check out: https://www.SIDBI.in