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Suzuki's Next Bharat Ventures Unveils INR 340 Cr Fund for Tier II Entrepreneurs Next Bharat aims to nurture social impact startups in the domains of agriculture, financial inclusion, rural supply chain, and rural mobility.

By Paromita Gupta

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Vipul Nath Jindal, CEO and Managing Director of Next Bharat

Japanese automobile firm Suzuki Motor has announced the launch of an India-focused venture investment arm called Next Bharat Ventures, with a corpus of INR 340 crore to back early-stage startups.

This fund aims to empower entrepreneurs in Tier II and below geographies, fostering sustainable business solutions for social problems. It will nurture social impact startups in the domains of agriculture, financial inclusion, rural supply chains, and rural mobility.

Vipul Nath Jindal, CEO and Managing Director of Next Bharat, said, "We are embarking on this journey to cultivate an impact entrepreneurship ecosystem that is profoundly community-oriented. The Next Bharat investment framework focuses on horizontal scaling, aiming to create hundreds of profitable SMEs over a fund cycle rather than concentrating on creating just two or three unicorns per fund cycle."

"There are existing stakeholders in the ecosystem who are already enabling these amazing impact entrepreneurs in many ways. Our long-term ambition is to work closely with these stakeholders and bring them together to build compound synergies within the ecosystem," he added.

Their flagship initiative, the 'Next Bharat Residency Program,' offers a 4-month immersive residency for early-stage impact entrepreneurs. Applications are open until July 31, 2024, with the program starting on October 14, 2024. Selected startups will receive ongoing support and equity investments ranging from INR 1 crore to INR 5 crore.

The ultimate objective of the program is to empower impact entrepreneurs to tackle critical social challenges, making rural and informal economies pivotal elements of Bharat's growth journey.

Toshihiro Suzuki, President and CEO of Suzuki Motor Corporation, emphasised the goal of connecting with India's "Next Billion" people.

"As part of this mission, we are launching Next Bharat Ventures, Suzuki's first investment fund in India, which will focus on nurturing and empowering impact entrepreneurs. These impact entrepreneurs, who are passionately solving the problems of India, will also get access to the Suzuki Group network and resources," Toshihiro said.

Paromita Gupta

Entrepreneur Staff

Features Writer with Entrepreneur India

Covering news and trends in AI and Metaverse segments. An avid book reader running her personal blog on the side. You may reach me at paromita@entrepreneurindia.com. 
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