I am originally from India, but I moved to London as a teenager where I completed my studies and worked at my first job at Arthur Andersen. I then moved to Indonesia to work as a strategic consultant/corporate financial advisor, mainly in the mining, energy and resources sector, and spent 12 great years there. Since 2005, I've been in Singapore, which I now call home. Most of my work has involved raising capital for companies in the resources sector, including a forestry group out of Sweden with projects in Laos and Paraguay.
You're no stranger to the world of finance and investment, nor to the world of sustainability. From your experience, what is the unique role that finance plays in unlocking sustainable impact?
Look, humanity and our planet is at an inflection point. Ultimately, maintaining profits alongside our very existence is only possible by preserving the planet.
People realise this, which is why we now have a new generation of 'green investors' demanding change and holding companies accountable for their climate action. Sustainable investing is becoming the norm, not the niche. It spurs companies to mitigate their carbon emissions and negative climate actions by raising their cost of capital if they don't, so companies invest to reduce their carbon footprint by adopting climate-friendly technologies and to ultimately reduce their cost of capital.
This is how much-needed private finance is being mobilised to fight climate change. Government, public and philanthropic money can only do so much, whereas private finance, which at the moment only represents 14 percent of investments into nature-based solutions, can not only contribute much-needed capital, but also provide the financial discipline needed to channel funds to the right projects.
It's tricky though, because the average investor isn't used to dealing with conservation or climate projects. So the question is, how do we create the right tools, incentives and frameworks to channel investments into nature which, after all, generates huge value for the world's economies?