The Future Needs to be
Executive Director, LEAD at Krea University
At the very core of our success at LEAD is the ability to bring together a rich and diverse set of individuals to ask the right questions, and gather the data and stories needed to think through them collectively. From some of the earliest product innovations in microfinance, to unpacking the complexities of climate action, in the last decade and a half, we have seen first-hand the immense potential of testing powerful ideas on the ground, to change the world for the better.
Through this book, we are taking a moment to tell the story of our own journey before charting our next chapters. I cannot be more thrilled to share a glimpse into the many shades and phases of our journey with you, and hope that this compendium will spark many meaningful conversations and collaborations.
Explore our Flipbook
Glimpse from the Past,
Leap to the Future
Chancellor, Krea University
Over its 15-year history,
LEAD has undergone three
distinct phases of evolution
AN IDEA IS BORN
A constellation of visionary leaders – among them development economists, researchers, and business and finance professionals – team up to establish world-class development research facilities in India and nurture a new generation of critical thinkers
IFMR receives seed funding from ICICI Social Initiative Group
Three research centres are incubated:
- Centre for Microfinance
- Centre for Development Finance
- Small Enterprise Finance Centre
Promote inclusive development through evidence-based policies and practices
WHAT IT ACHIEVED
- Established model that taps global expertise to apply to Indian problems
- Enabled transfer of knowledge and best practices to create local capacities
- Created a trajectory for development practitioners and academic pursuits
- Established policy linkages and strategic partnerships
"Our principal interest was to understand how to maximise the impact we have on society"
Dr Nachiket Mor
REBRANDED AS ‘IFMR LEAD’
In January 2014, the three centres were integrated and rebranded as IFMR LEAD with a mission to ‘Leverage Evidence for Access and Development’:
- Centre for Digital Financial Inclusion is born
- Signed MoU with Government of Tamil Nadu for capacity building
- Evidence for Policy Design: EPoD India at IFMR, a joint initiative with Harvard Kennedy School, established
Catalyst - initiative to scale up digital payment systems launched as partnership between USAID and India’s Finance Ministry
IWWAGE - Initiative for What Works to Advance Women and Girls in the Economy launched
LEAD has since expanded its footprint, across India and beyond, through research engagements and partnerships
- Enabled knowledge transfer and initiated projects led by talent from the Global South
- Achieved sustainability and scaled up field operations
- Developed expertise on power of co-creation, and established critical partnerships
September 2019: LEAD joins forces with Krea University to enable synergies between academia and research. Krea’s interwoven learning approach brings together thought with action, and arts with sciences.
Combined with LEAD’s practical experience in working with partners on the ground, this has laid the foundation for a unique collaborative framework.