Swedish and Indian Companies Explore Business Models that Include the Poor as Consumers, Producers and Suppliers

Nov 11, 2013

New York, New Delhi, November 11, 2013 — Leading Swedish and Indian companies gathered in New Delhi during the Sweden-India Nobel Memorial week to share examples of how businesses have developed innovative models not only to achieve commercial success, but also contribute to development outcomes, and ensure that the poor are included in economic activities as consumers, producers and suppliers. 

The Business Call to Action (BCtA) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), together with the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida) and the Swedish Chamber of Commerce (SCCI) hosted The Swedish-Indian Inclusive Business Frontier, to showcase how a global coalition of governments, private sector, the UN and partners development agencies can create shared value through their core business operations. The event is a highlight of the seventh edition of the Sweden-India Nobel Memorial week and brings together the Swedish Embassy with Indian and Swedish Companies to showcase innovation and promote collaboration and knowledge sharing. More information about this week can be found at www.sinmw.com.  

Ms. Lise Grande, Resident Coordinator, United Nations and UNDP Resident Representative said, “Evidence from around the world shows that progress on social indicators can be accelerated when business and the private sector join in coalition with other development actors to reach the Millennium Development Goals. When business stays outside the race, it’s a slower and more disappointing race. When business joins the race, the end is reached much more quickly and often more efficiently.”  

Recognizing that successful public-private partnerships at the country level are critical in enabling more sustainable and inclusive business practices, the event featured innovations by Swedish and Swedish supported companies including Ericsson, IKEA, Waste Ventures and Tetra Pak.

“Sweden is a valuable partner in achieving sustainable development together with the private sector. Companies like IKEA and Ericsson who have made an inclusive business commitment to the BCtA show it is possible to create poverty impact while carrying out business successfully. This programme demonstrates the importance of working with a multitude of stakeholders to support companies seeking new market-based approaches,” said BCtA Programme Manager Sahba Sobhani. 

IKEA’s efforts in sustainable cotton and Waste Ventures’ efforts in organizing waste collection through a private, inclusive business model, show that increasingly, large and small firms on the forefront of innovation and development have found success in India by creating new partnerships. Tetra Pak and Ericsson have also established more inclusive business strategies by their respective focus on ensuring more safe and reliable access to food and in developing mobile technology to benefit a wider market.

“It is encouraging to learn more about the deep and valuable work for new partnerships with a focus on scaling up and generating more economic development activities and inclusive business models. Companies from Sweden and elsewhere are now increasingly taking their part in the struggle against poverty, and we welcome and encourage that development, and therefore we try to contribute to opportunities for knowledge sharing such as the one today.” said Deputy Head of Swedish Mission to India Mr. Daniel Wolvén.

To Learn More, Contact:

BCtA: Karen Newman, karen.newman@undp.org +1.212.906-5304

Sida: Mats Kullander, mats.kullander@gov.se +919899575715

SCCI: Cecilia Rahm, cecilia.rahm@swedishchamber.in +91 11 46067123

About the Business Call to Action (BCtA)

Business Call to Action is a global initiative that challenges companies to develop inclusive business models that offer the potential for development impact along with commercial success. The initiative is the result of a partnership between the Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID), the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida), UK Department for International Development (DFID), US Agency for International Development (USAID), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the United Nations Global Compact, and the Clinton Global Initiative to meet the anti-poverty Millennium Development Goals by 2015. Companies report on progress toward commitments on an annual basis. www.businesscalltoaction.org  @bctainitiative

About Sida

Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida) is in India focusing on fostering partnerships between Swedish and Indian actors in order to reduce poverty and to strengthen the relationship between the two countries.  

About the Swedish Chamber of Commerce India

The SCCI is a non-profit, independent organisation with the aim to enable, promote, and encourage Swedish companies to drive sustainable long term business in India.  SCCI provides a business-oriented networking platform to its member companies by promoting Swedish commercial interests in India and encouraging the development of trade, commerce and industry relations between Sweden and India. Also social and cultural relations are encouraged between the two countries.