Her Excellency Ms. Marisa Gerards, Ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to India hosting FINISH Mondial India team in her residence in New Delhi

Financial Inclusion Improves Sanitation and Health (FINISH) Mondial reached a significant milestone in their journey towards improved sanitation. Hosted by Her Excellency Ms. Marisa Gerards, Ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to India, a special event at her residence commemorated the construction of 2 million toilets. This achievement stands as a testament to the unwavering support and hard work of our partners, stakeholders, and dedicated team members.

Imagine a world where 3.4 billion people lack access to safe sanitation, where 80% of waste ends up untreated, polluting our environment. In this reality, over 2,000 children perish daily from waterborne diseases, surpassing the combined toll of AIDS, malaria, and measles. The challenge deepens as sanitation programs struggle to keep pace with population growth, leaving millions stranded without basic sanitation.

Ms. Sarbani Bhattacharya, Chair of the Supervisory Board at FINISH Mondial talks about FINISH Mondial’s unique approach and impact created

In 2009, amidst this crisis, FINISH emerged in India with a grand vision supported by DGIS funding: to construct 500,000 safely managed sanitation systems. Seven years of tireless effort bore fruit, but the need persisted, driving FINISH forward to achieve another million within three years.

Ms. Sarbani Bhattacharya, Chair of the Supervisory Board at FINISH Mondial, emphasizes the programme’s unique approach. FINISH Mondial does not finance hardware, it successfully mobilizes commercial finance by leveraging from microfinance institutions (MFIs) and community finance (self-financing). Employing the “diamond approach,” it collaborates with local partners, focusing on behavioral change communication and community outreach to spur sanitation demand. Technical and business training for local entrepreneurs and masons further enhances the sanitation supply chain. In a symbiotic relationship with MFIs, FINISH Mondial supports their capacity development and monitors progress in the field, incentivizing results.



Mr. Theo Brouwers, Member Treasurer of the Supervisory Board highlights the onset of Sanitation and Water Impact Fund as a result of FINISH Mondial’s successful financial innovations

Echoing this sentiment, Mr. Theo Brouwers, Member Treasurer of the Supervisory Board, highlights FINISH’s commitment to financial innovation. From empowering the informal sector to pioneering sanitation-focused lending, FINISH pushes boundaries. This has enabled CARDANO to strategise on the same that will amplify FINISH’s reach and impact.

The panel discussion was facilitated by Mr. Valentin Post, Director Growth & Innovation FINISH Mondial and co-founder of FINISH. It’s topic was on circularity in sanitation. It was truly engaging, delving into the current issues and innovative approaches from human waste treatment to converting it into soil-enrichening co-compost. It’s inspiring to witness the convergence of sustainability, waste management, and financial innovation in driving impactful business models. Dr. Depinder Kapur from CSE highlighted the significant challenges posed by the vast amount of human and other waste generated, as well as the current difficulties in its disposal. However, he also pointed out potential opportunities in this area.

Mr. Akhilesh Yadav, Regional Manager (North West India) for Corporate Social Responsibility at ITC Limited, discussed their current waste management activities, which reach 2.5 million households across the country. He explained how they address waste issues, often in collaboration with FINISH, and link these efforts to the market. They are particularly interested in co-composting, seeing it as a valuable opportunity for agriculture. He also mentioned a recent MoU with FINISH, emphasizing their ability to scale successful models nationwide.

Dr. Ajit Kumar Shasany, Director of the National Botanical Research Institute, announced their upcoming MoU with FINISH, focusing on using microbiology to make human waste more usable for farmers. He acknowledged that while they have technologies for faecal sludge treatment, these have not yet been applied in the field. With support from Prime Minister Modi, the Institute plans to initiate field applications, working directly with farmers to identify and address gaps with suitable technologies. They are also addressing issues related to microplastics and temple waste, partnering with the women’s organization “Kalyani” to recycle used flowers into various art and craft forms. Additionally, they are developing technologies to treat water contamination, aiming to provide safe drinking water for rural communities as part of both social and commercial initiatives.

Ms. Gaurangini Jain, Deputy CEO of Satya MicroCapital Ltd., emphasized the importance of financial inclusion for sanitation, particularly for women’s health and household well-being. They have been partnering for quite some time with FINISH to mutual benefaction and results. With current government’s policies supporting the microfinance sector further growth is ahead.

Ms. Bonani Roychoudhury, Managing Director of Nabsamruddhi Finance Limited, highlighted the challenges in financing the sanitation sector, especially for Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises (MSMEs). She noted that MSMEs need capacity building to scale up and suggested that FINISH could play a crucial role in this process. She agreed with Theo that there is significant potential for blended finance, but current efforts focus primarily on household sanitation rather than MSMEs. She advocated for outcome-based financing and more affordable loans for MSMEs to meet the sanitation business’s demand. Nabsamruddhi Finance launched a climate-ready WASH programme last year and is partnering with FINISH for a new campaign this year. They are also promoting Ecosan toilets and involving the India Sanitation Coalition in their efforts.

These diverse perspectives from industry, research institutes, and financial institutions sparked thought-provoking discussions on the intersection of environmental safeguarding and economic viability. These conversations are vital as we strive to create solutions that not only address pressing challenges but also pave the way for a more sustainable future.

Panel discussion on circularity in sanitation and financial inclusion. From left to rightt: Ms. Bonani Roychoudhury, Managing Director, Nabsamruddhi Finance Limited, Ms. Gaurangini Jain, Deputy CEO, Satya MicroCapital Ltd. Dr. Ajit Kumar Shasany, Director, National Botanical Research Institute, Mr. Valentin Post, Co-founder and Director Growth and Innovation, FINISH Mondial, Mr. Akhilesh Yadav, Regional Manager, (North West India) Corporate Social Responsibility, ITC Limited and Mr. Depinder Kapur, Director, Water Programme, CSE

Since its expansion to Kenya in 2013, FINISH has transformed lives, providing over 180,000 people with improved sanitation. The journey continued with expansion to Bangladesh, Ethiopia, Tanzania, and Uganda, fueled by DGIS’s unwavering support, quadrupling €4.57 million to €20 million.

This growth transcends numbers; it signifies hope for millions where people are willing to pay for a good quality safely managed sanitation system. With over 2 million safely managed sanitation systems built, over 20 million workdays for local entrepreneurs created and €500 million mobilized locally, FINISH stands as a beacon of progress. Evolving from a project to a global organization, FINISH’s dedicated foundation drives innovation and impact, promising a future where safely managed sanitation is not a luxury but a fundamental right.

We were privileged to have in the audience the Deputy Minister of Water & Energy of Ethiopia (HE Mr. Asfaw Dingamo Kame). He joined the celebration and will take home lessons from the clean India mission and FINISH engagement in the same. Also, the Chair of the FINISH Mondial Supervisory Board Uganda (Mr. Joseph Musana) joined in the celebration and also absorbed lessons going forward.

Mr. Abhijit Banerji, co-founder FINISH, Director, FINISH Mondial India gave a vote of thanks in which he gave special thanks to the Ambassador for the hospitality and continuous support at all levels, the partners and the FINISH team for making it all possible. Lastly, he thanked the board, and his co-founders of which Mr. Vijay Athreye deserves special mention. Never could he have imagined that what started as an idea in 2007 would have such a positive impact on the lives of so many.

The networking afterwards give raise to many new ideas, partnerships and insights.


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