Kellogg School students take first place at the International Impact Investing Challenge
4/20/2011 - A Kellogg team won first place at the 2011 International Impact Investing Challenge
for their proposal to create an agriculture real estate investment trust in India.
Sachpreet Chandhoke and Puneet Gupta, both ’11, took top honors against a dozen top MBA teams, including the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, Harvard Business School, Said Business School and Stanford Graduate School of Business.
The challenge, hosted and organized by the Kellogg School and the Johnson Graduate School of Management at Cornell University, took place April 8 at J.P. Morgan in New York City. The pitch competition challenged MBA students to propose and defend a sustainable investment strategy that supports progress on global impact issues.
For their first-place finish, Chandhoke and Gupta were awarded $12,000 and admission to the 2011 Milken Institute Global Conference in May in Los Angeles.
The Kellogg team proposed the Grain Fund Depot, a real estate investment trust (REIT) that would focus on building grain storage facilities and renting that space to small farmers in India.
“Agriculture is a dominant sector of the Indian economy (16 percent of GDP) so we started digging, looking for inefficiencies and sources of value creation,” Chandhoke said. “The more we learned, the more we realized that storage at the farm-level in India needed to be addressed not only to provide a short-term solution but to create a platform to streamline the value chain, increase farmer incomes, lower consumer prices and help feed the poor. “
|Dave Chen ’84, managing principal at Equilibrium Capital Group and lecturer of social enterprise at Kellogg, spoke to the teams about the importance of impact investing.|
|Photo By Joe Vericker |
The student teams pitched their investment ideas to a panel of experienced investors and senior officers who currently manage family foundations, pension funds and university endowments. During the competition, David Chen
’84, lecturer of social enterprise at Kellogg and managing principal at Equilibrium Capital Group, spoke to the teams about the importance of impact investing.
“This challenge is part of a broader commitment to building this sector and creating new opportunities in capital markets,” Chen said of the event. “MBA students bring remarkable energy, insight and innovation to this field, and it’s our hope that involvement in an event like this will help students find ways to create the next generation of impact investing.”
The International Impact Investing Challenge was sponsored by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, J.P. Morgan, the McCall Foundation, Equilibrium Capital Group, the Calvert Foundation, Impact Assets and the Milken Institute.
“Impact investing is important because it demonstrates the possibility of providing investors with above-market returns while also generating tremendous social value,” Gupta said. “The two are not at odds with each other.”