Akshay Dua

Head, PE, Food and Agri, APAC, responsAbility Investments

After completing his MBA from IIM Lucknow in 2006, Akshay Dua started his career managing initial public offerings. He now leads investments in the food and agriculture space across South Asia and Southeast Asia for responsAbility Investments, a global investment management company. He has rich experience in the capital markets space. “The most exciting thing about my job is to be a part of the incredible entrepreneurial energy in India. It is satisfying for me to help entrepreneurs seize opportunities, make critical decisions and have the patience and the sheer doggedness sometimes to last the lean patch as well,” says Dua.

responsAbility is also investing in the renewable energy space. It has, for example, invested in Punjab Renewable Energy Systems Private Limited (PRESPL), a biomass supply chain management company that uses farm residue to generate clean energy from bioenergy plants. “With this, PRESPL plays its part in reducing the severe pollution levels during Diwali in north India while adding to rural income and making the country more self-reliant as well,” says Dua.

According to him, the renewable energy sector has always had a lot of potential, but it has largely been driven by regulatory incentives. However, more and more commercial funds are now entering the sector, helping renewable energy companies scale up by providing attractive investment opportunities. However, according to him, debt financing remains a weak spot in India’s renewable energy market.

To tackle the challenges posed by the ongoing pandemic, Dua believes that it is important to be flexible and respond appropriately to temporary changes in business conditions. Adopting best practices and maintaining a cash buffer are essential to get through this difficult business phase, he says. On team management, he says, “We give our employees a lot of flexibility and freedom and in return, we expect a strong work ethic and a sense of responsibility for our work.”

Dua is a motorcycle enthusiast and enjoys riding his bike to nearby places on weekends. Apart from that, most of his time is spent in reading up on finance. His professional goal is to bring in more capital to developing markets and responsibly allocate it to maximise development and financial impact in a given region. He plans to continue working in this space, but hopes that at some point in his life he too gets bitten by the entrepreneurial bug.

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