Blended Finance: Please don’t blend it like Beckham

David Beckham’s iconic signature dead ball free kicks remain enshrined forever for curvy goals which flummoxed the best goalkeepers in the world but David’s was certainly not known for his innovative financial structuring skills. Blended Finance not to be confused with bending finance, is fast becoming an important and potent tool for bridging the yearly $2.5tr gap to meet the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) target by 2030. Blended Finance is a judicious use of finance for creating social impact.

Blended Finance is not a  panacea for the global development crisis but stills works as an innovative way to pool in commercial capital to aid risk-adjusted return for development projects. OECD defines blended finance as the strategic use of development finance for the mobilization of additional finance towards sustainable development in developing countries. This is a defining change in the scope of blended finance from its work as various financial structuring instruments to its strategic use as a form of finance to eradicate social inequity.
Continue reading “Blended Finance: Please don’t blend it like Beckham”

International Women’s Day, Taylor Swift Factor and Its a Fender

Jimi Hendrix’s riffs inspired millions and influenced many lead guitarists to emulate him but its Taylor Swift Factor which is inspiring millions of women to learn to play guitar. One of the most successful music artists of all time, Taylor comes from the quintessential music capital of the world “ Tennessee”. According to a recent Fender poll, half of the guitar beginners are women in the US and UK, thanks to ethereal Taylor Swift touch. Continue reading “International Women’s Day, Taylor Swift Factor and Its a Fender”

Africa: Innovation and Ethiopia

Kenya, if I am not wrong, is the development hub in Africa. Rockefeller Foundation is situated in Nairobi, Kenya and serves as the focal point for its work esp. in the sub Saharan region. Kenyan stock market is very vibrant and in 2019 Africa would be a good bet for growth in stock markets. M-Pesa, an avatar (not to be confused with James Cameroon’s movie)  for mobile money transfer and micro-finance, is a riveting success in Africa and chiefly responsible for financial inclusion in the country. Continue reading “Africa: Innovation and Ethiopia”

Education Budgeting

The Indian government is targeting allocation of 6% of the GDP to education which is commendable. This is a good jump from the allocation of 3.8% of the GDP to education sector in 2014. Key drivers in education include Ed-tech and Digital Literacy for promoting education inclusiveness in India.

Cafes and Pizzas

Two fabulous cafes in Koregaon Park, Pune are Zen Cafe and One O Eight Lifestyle Cafe. Zen Cafe is a hidden jewel in the lane adjoining Starbucks. It’s a relatively new place compared to One O Eight Lifestyle Cafe. One O Eight Lifestyle Cafe, is very visible and vibrant café in Lane 5. Both cafes are known for their scintillating organic food especially my favorite blends of organic tea. 

Zen Cafe is right next to my favorite pizza place, 1441 Pizzeria. 1441 Pizzeria crowing glory is its make your own choice pizza which reminds me of my favorite pizza joint in Ann Arbor. 

An exclusive coming soon…

AI: Max Tegmark

Artificial Intelligence is creating  a lot of buzz around the world theses days. AI potential has been largely unleashed in retail over the last few years. Lets hear Max Tegmark, a physicist and AI researcher at MIT talk about how humans can leverage potential of AI.

Mr Narendra Modi, India and the World

PM Narendra Modi, the world is with you. I have never seen India so truly united and due to credit to your impeccable leadership, diplomacy and hard work. It also highlights the innumerable and redoubtable courage and skill of the Indian Armed Forces. Indian Air Force is one of the world’s best air fighting defense forces and forever saluted by every Indian. I am deeply thankful and grateful to the international community for their strong support to India esp. the United States and France for taking judicious judgment in understanding atrocities and terror committed on Indian citizens by terrorists.

Sushma Swaraj, you are truly inspiring. Team Modi, do whatever you think is the best for our country. The right to protect the sovereignty of our country is a right given by nature.

I will not be writing more on this topic.

Wrong Choice of Words; Queen: Under Pressure

In my earlier article on Jerome Powell and the FED, I wrote “when recession hits the US”. Wrong choice of words.  I meant if recession does hit the US in near future or in case of a prolonged global slowdown. EU has been a worry and if forecasts are to be believed, a growth of 1.5% at best and core inflation between 1 to 1.5% leaves real growth hovering close to zero.

Under Pressure is an epic song by one of the greatest rock bands of all time, Queen. Remember We Will Rock You. A song re-sung by so many bands and an ever green crowd favorite around the world.

And Freddie Mercury, not to be confused with the hideous Freddy from A Nightmare on Elm Street. Its nappy time in India and Freddy might just come in your dreams. Leave you with Under Pressure, one of my all-time favorites. To one of the greatest rock stars of all time, Freddie Mercury. Watch Bohemain Rashbody, the biographical movie on the rock band Queen. Rami Malek, well done.

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