Rabo India Sets Up Innovation Unit

New Delhi, October 24: | Updated: Oct 25 2002, 05:30am hrs
Rabo India Finance, a subsidiary of Rabobank Netherlands, has launched sustainability and social innovation division and is interested in picking up equity stake in projects on sustainable development. The company is also planning to set up green funds to encourage environment friendly projects as part of measures for its organic growth in the country. We may pick up equity stake for helping sustainable development projects to achieve the financial closure, Rabo India managing director Rana Kapoor said.

The bank is looking at sustainable development as potential business opportunity. By year 2005, finance worth $1 billion will be required both in terms of debt and equity in the sector of environment products and services, he said.

The bank expects to corner 10-15 per cent of the business by 2005. Stating that the total market size for environmental products and services is estimated at $14 billion by 2005, Mr Kapoor said: The potential areas of opportunity are air pollution control, water and wastewater treatment, waste management, contaminated land remediation, energy management, environmental monitoring, marine pollution control, noise and vibration control.

Rabo India is already financed about 25 such projects involving about Rs 140 crore. The projects include 18 MW grid-connected wind energy project in Satara (Maharastra) and 40 MW co-generation project in South India. We are also looking at financing projects by independent power producers (IPPs) in Karnataka specially in the wind energy sector, Mr Kapoor said.

Rabo India has already lent Rs 1,600 crore for projects in India, apart from arranging $180 million from abroad through loan syndication. According to an estimate by Mr Kapoor, the total loan is expected to be Rs 2,000 crore, besides syndicating foreign loans of $200 million by the end of March 31, 2003. Sustainability and social innovations are key focus areas within the Rabobank group. The group feels that sustainable entrepreneurship is synonymous with corporate social responsibility.