Darren has over 10 years of experience working with early-stage impact enterprises. He is part of the ESG First Fund under Aavishkaar Capital, which provides transformational capital across the capital structure while helping businesses improve their ESG standards so that they can capitalize on the global drive for sustainability and equality. The fund is focused on investing across India, Emerging Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa with the mandate of generating superior ESG outcomes and commercial financial returns alongside positive social impact in the target sectors of Sustainable Agriculture, Sustainable Fashion and Sustainable Supply Chain Solutions.
He is leading the fund’s first investment in Africa, a leading textile manufacturer, and currently works with the management on strategy, partnerships, and business growth.
Prior to Aavishkaar, he worked at Intellecap facilitating investments into high-impact enterprises through the Intellecap Impact Investment Network (I3N). He worked actively with enterprises and investors to facilitate investment closure, supporting business plan preparation, due diligence, and term sheet negotiations. He has worked with 100+ enterprises facilitating investments into 20+ enterprises across India and East Africa in sectors like Agriculture, Fin-tech, Healthcare, Citizen-Gov Services and Technology.
In East Africa, he helped set up the region’s first angel investment network focused on investing in impact enterprises across Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda, and Uganda. He facilitated the network’s first three investments in the region – a Rwanda-based mushroom production company and a Fruits & Vegetables export business and a Kenya-based coffee trading company.
Prior to Intellecap, he co-founded Grassroutes Journeys Private Limited, a community-based rural tourism venture where he helped set up the first 3 villages run by Grassroutes.
Darren has a Master’s in Rural Management from Xavier Institute of Management, Bhubaneswar, and a Bachelor’s in Commerce from Sydenham College of Commerce and Economics, Mumbai.