A chartered accountant turned entrepreneur turned investor. Believes in investing in social impact projects.
Niraj Bora is the founder of Surmount Business Advisors Private Limited, a company he set up in 2013. Bora, a member/investor with Mumbai Angel Network and a working committee member of JITO Angel Network, is a hands-on investor, working actively with startups he invests in. He is on the board of quite a few startups and has served on the jury panel of fund-raising events held to evaluate new startup ideas. Over the last seven years, he has invested in several interesting startups, from tech-forward agri company Farmpal to Myturf Hospitality, which runs premium student accommodation, Tribe Stays.
Through his writings, Niraj busts myths about investing from a social impact angle. He says there is a misconception that returns are sub-par when compared to other similar investments made. He also reveals that historically, social impact investing has made multi bagger exits, defying the myth of lower returns. He shares examples and suggests all investors allocate a portion of their overall portfolio towards investing in social startups, and participate in the societal good it takes care of. He says investing in socially driven companies gives better satisfaction than an exit from another investment. He encourages investors to pay heed to social sector startups, and not run away from it.
“A lot of people don’t believe yet that a viable business can be made out of a social impact startup. The reality, however, is that it can be done at scale, and the money it generates can be reinvested into creating more impact, and investor returns can be given so that investors can reinvest in another social impact elsewhere to further magnify the impact.”