Villgro works with early-stage for-profit businesses that have an impact on the lives of the poor in India.
We focus on the following high-growth sectors. We are, however, open to exceptional entrepreneurs with transformative ideas that are outside these focus areas
has the right set of skills to execute their ideas, and the ability to
inspire confidence among future stakeholders.
on the lives of the poor. Your product or service should be
sustainable, affordable and accessible.
Your product or service should be 'need-to-have'
rather than 'nice-to-have'
product/ services or conducting pilots and have
early customer traction.
revenue streams and have the potential to achieve
financial sustainability in long run.
and are creating solutions for large target markets
across different geographies.
Our senior advisors have started businesses and led companies themselves and are now devoting that experience to help newer entrepreneurs build a business.
Our sector experts are leading voices in their fields with the ability to create opportunities and advise startups on challenges, issues and solutions
PR Ganapathy is President (India) at Villgro, and has operational and strategic responsibility for all major programs that make Villgro’s vision a reality. Ganapathy also mentors several social enterprises in the Villgro portfolio, spending significant time helping entrepreneurs overcome their challenges and scale. Ganapathy previously co-founded a venture-funded startup in the US. In 2016, he co-founded the Menterra Social Impact Fund.
Ananth is an engineer who passionately believes that technology can stimulate social change. His career spans more than 20 years of technology development, product R&D and more recently, deployments of technology-driven social impact programs. He was responsible for the creation of Selco Foundation which looked into the use of renewable energy and sustainable technologies in the fields of education, agriculture and livelihood generation.
Dr Gita Arjun
Dr Gita Arjun is the Director of Chennai’s EV Kalyani Medical Foundation and a trustee at the Jeevan Public Stem Cell Bank. She retired in 2013 after 32 years as the Director and Obstetrician & Gynaecologist at the EV Kalyani Medical Centre a 67-year-old institution dedicated to women’s health. She is the author of the best-selling Passport to a Healthy Pregnancy, first published in 2009.
Bhusan is an engineer who passionately believes that technology can stimulate social change. His career spans more than 20 years of technology development, product R&D and more recently, deployments of technology-driven social impact programs. He was responsible for the creation of Selco Foundation which looked into the use of renewable energy and sustainable technologies in the fields of education, agriculture and livelihood generation Dummy Content
Chand Das is an executive coach and an angel investor. He previously served as the CEO of Education & Stationery Products at ITC. With over 35 years of professional experience in building and running scaled B2B and B2C businesses in India, he continues to be passionate about angel investing & mentoring executives, business professionals and entrepreneurs with the aim of helping them succeed.
Arun is passionate about product development with a focus on user experience, social impact, cost innovation and extreme affordability. He has spent a couple of decades in the US, in research as well as technical leadership in varied fields like microporous polymers, fuel-cell materials and design, physiological sensors materials before converging on designing innovative, affordable and sustainable products. He is now Chief Technology Officer at Villgro.
KL Mukesh was the founder of Akeso Healthcare, a company recently acquired by Apollo Hospitals Group. Prior to that, he spent 17 years in the direct-to-home TV business where he specialized in managing large-scale operations and help turn around bankrupt businesses. In 2011 he was named one of the top 10 CIO’s in India and has been featured on the cover of CTO Forum.
Kannan is passionate about bridging the gap between potential and actual performance. He is keen to mentor start-ups to help scale up in the commercial and social impact space.Kannan has over two decades of corporate experience with strong performance credentials in the consumer goods and FMCG space in general management, marketing, sales & distribution and retail functions.
Paul Basil founded Villgro in 2001 with the mission of incubating early-stage, innovative businesses and has since worked in discovering thousands of innovations and innovators, and incubated around 120 businesses. He also co-founded Villgro Innovation Marketing Pvt Ltd, a unique retail chain for innovative products targeting the rural poor. In 2016, he co-founded the Menterra Social Impact Fund.
Up to 65 lakh seed funding from Villgro
Up to 4 crore equity investment from Menterra Social Impact Fund
Our risk-taking ability allows us to invest in social enterprises at the prototyping and product development phase up to early growth. Villgro works with enterprises until the business has stabilized and exits once it is investable and scalable.
MArico Innovation Foundation
Unitus seed fund
44 EVENTS | 22 CITIES | 4800 ATTENDEES | 110 PITCHES | 32 LAKH CASH PRIZES | 90 SPEAKERS | 70 PARTNERS
Villgro’s Unconvention platform uses a combination of business plan pitches,conference-style events and themed workshops to create opportunities for seeking out and nurturing entrepreneurs.Whether you are a budding innovator seeking Villgro’s incubation support or a startup looking for people to work with or a social entrepreneur who needs better tools for business.
Villgro previously ran a one-year Villgro Fellowship that has now given way to a more customised approach based on each company’s needs – through our pool of senior advisors and by facilitating the recruitment and training of junior and mid-level talent.
We also run a unique service for our entrepreneurs – Technical Assistance Programme (TAP) – a shared technical assistance pool of service providers that is identified and vetted for core and non-core functions, offering the best resources at affordable prices to Villgro portfolio companies. The support and resources include legal counsel, human resources, product development and design, intellectual property, financial management, accounting and compliance.
Panel to help you think through the tough questions:
Impact mission, sustainable business and financial model, scalability, governance
100 DAY INCUBATION
PLAN enables alignment
of company’s long-term goals with short-time deliverables
ADVISORY supports entrepreneur in solution development
(Product and/or Service), Intellectual Property filing strategy and assessing Freedom-to-operate
entrepreneur in building and nurturing core team
ADVISORY supports entrepreneur in developing fundraising strategy, identifying like-minded investors,
building pitch deck and reviewing dry runs.
strategy to help
with market assessment, clinical trials for medical products, pilots, compliance with relevant regulatory authorities.
When you submit an application to us, present information that will help us understand the company better. Make sure your solution/innovation, business model, social impact and team background and knowledge are clearly articulated in the application form.
If there is a fit with our incubation mandate, we will set up a short call to learn more about the solution, the team and the company, and help you better understand our services. We will also do some background research – look at the market, competition, business feasibility and risks.
After we mutually agree to proceed, we will go on site visits, dive deeper into the business and financial model, speak to a variety of stakeholders so we know the ins and outs of the company. This will help us determine a funding and support mechanism for the enterprise, along with milestones, risks and mitigation strategies.
Finally, you will present to an investment committee that will make a final decision on incubation/investment. The committee will consider a pitch from the entrepreneurial team as well as an assessment from the Villgro team before making a final recommendation.