Executive Education


26 Sep 2017

SBE academics win Best Paper for Innovative Research at AICAR 2017

two students

SBE academics Dr Silvia Masiero and Prof M.N. Ravishankar (head of the International Business, Strategy and Innovation discipline group), have won the Best Paper Award for Innovative Research at the Aston India Centre for Applied Research (AICAR) Inaugural Conference, which took place at Aston University on 15th and 16th September 2017.

The Best Paper Award was rewarded on the basis of one’s innovative nature of research done into India’s economy and society, as well as its potential for impact on the design and implementation of “fintech” tools for people living below the poverty line.

The award-winning paper, titled “Digital Technologies and Pro-Poor Finance in India”, answers the question on how digital finance enterprises operating at the base of the pyramid can simultaneously pursue the apparently conflicting goals of financial and social sustainability.

Lack of access to formal financial services is common among the poor and marginalised communities worldwide, and digital enterprises have engaged in creating diverse types of tools for pro-poor finance. The paper focuses on India’s first online platform for affordable credit, to unpack the processes through which the capability of serving below-poverty-line borrowers in a large developing country is combined with financial sustainability.