Ashish Gadnis, Co-Founder & CEO, Banqu – Top 100 Fintech for SDG Influencer

This article features an interview with Ashish Gadnis, Founder and Co-Chair of Banqu, and one of our Top 100 Fintech for SDG Influencers.

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This interview is part of a series of interviews featuring Fintech influencers who are doing work that advances our efforts in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.

LATTICE80, in collaboration with FinTech4Good, presents the complete list of Top 100 Fintech for SDG Influencers who are leveraging the power of fintech and blockchain technology to create a positive impact on the future. LATTICE80 is launching our accelerator programme based in Hong Kong to help SDG-focused startups build blockchain solutions. Are you a SDG-focused startup? Click here to indicate your interest.

Disclaimer: The interviews are published on a rolling basis and the order by which they are published by no means representative of any rankings.

This article features an interview with Ashish Gadnis, Founder and Co-Chair of Banqu, and one of our Top 100 Fintech for SDG Influencers.

1.Tell us more about what you do and how your role or project is making an impact. How do they support the SDGs?

BanQu is a for-profit / for-purpose SaaS platform enabling global brands to gain transparency, traceability and efficiency in their supply chains while simultaneously achieving their UN Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) commitments.

As the world’s first and only non-cryptocurrency blockchain platform—we help lift people out of extreme poverty by connecting them to the global supply chains they participate in and the brands, organizations, and governments that power them.

2. Why do you see Fintech and/or Blockchain in particular as an important enabler in creating a social impact?

Nearly 2.7 billion people worldwide do not have access to credit and services by banks or other formal financial institutions due to lack of an Economic Identity.

This identity consists of the digital or electronic credentials that define a person’s history of economic interactions in the world economy. Lacking a credit history or verifiable Economic Identity, these “unbanked/underbanked” individuals (mostly refugees, the displaced, and the world’s poorest) are excluded from the global economy.

As a result, the poor and the disenfranchised stay poor and disenfranchised, while billions of dollars of aid continues to flow to conflict zones, areas struck by natural disaster, and regions of extreme poverty, with no solution in sight…until now.

BanQu works by connecting the unbanked to the global economy through a secure, immutable, and distributed ledger of financial and personal records using blockchain technology. Since 60% of the 2.7 billion unbanked people already own mobile phones, these devices make the best platform for these people to connect to the global economy while accessing, owning and permissioning their own data.

3. What are some challenges you face along the way?

The usual suspects – bureaucracy, change management, taking a pity approach to poverty instead of the Dignity Through Identity™ approach.

4. What more do you think is needed in the ecosystem to support and facilitate creating a greater social impact?

Global brands need to step up and make impact part of their profit and loss (P&L) model,  rather than the usual Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) track. Today, there are over 5,000 global brands that procure raw materials/finished goods from a billion of the 2.7 billion people who live in poverty. BanQu’s ability to track and trace raw materials from their original, up through the supply chain, gives unprecedented levels of supply chain transparency and traceability never seen before. It also ensures Dignity Through Identity™ to the “last mile” contributors that produce these materials each day.

5. What do you hope to see or achieve in 10 years’ time?

BanQu has our sights set on reaching our short-term mission to help lift 100-million people out of extreme poverty by 2023. We’re on our way with live operations in 12 countries around the world, and over 200,000 last mile beneficiaries to date.