Contrarian Social Opportunities Fund- I


Last updated 13 May 2020, by Impactyield.

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Contrarian Social Opportunities Fund I is a new early stage (Series A) investment fund, led by Somak Ghosh. Somak has been one of 3 professional Co-Founders of Yes Bank ( and was Group President – Corporate Finance and Development Banking. As of fiscal 2011, he was responsible for 70% of the Bank’s assets (USD 12bn) and over 50% of the Bank’s profits (USD 0.2bn). As a Co-Founder, he has been a key member of the Bank’s Executive Management, the Management Credit Committee and the Asset Liability Committee for over 8 years and emerged as an exceptional leader in building start-up businesses and taking them to scale.

The fund shall invest in early stage enterprises with investment size typically around USD 1 mn going up to USD 5mn progressively in 2-3 rounds. Target sectors include education, healthcare, housing, energy, livelihoods and agribusinesses – and within these, for-profit enterprises that seek to achieve superior financial returns by delivering core goods or services to stakeholders as producers or consumers.

Contrarian believes that businesses at this stage with a clearly demonstrated proof of concept and revenue visibility of more than USD 0.5mn, offer the right mix of rewards of early stage investing while mitigating the risks of angel/seed stage investing.

Financial description

Serve and Volley: Contrarian Capital borrows this terminology from tennis to indicate that Fund Manager has a rigorous and carefully selected process for investment, where in round 1 investments are made between USD 1-2mn, in tranches, as sole investor. Then basis proven scale-up this is followed up with a volley i.e. investment of another USD 2-3mn as lead co-investor or solo investor. Contrarian Capital believes that this approach offers Fund Manager multiple benefits, by using relatively smaller amounts of money to secure Fund's investment position, work with entrepreneurs to grow the business before committing more funding and finally, should Fund Manager be faced with some lemons, exit without large capital at risk.
The tenets of the strategy are a great serve-boldness and early movement-soft hands. What this means for us is rigorous selection at the first stage, a very high involvement with investees from the outset and the ability to be agile and flexible in terms of future investment. Given the unique risks and challenges of early stage investing we believe this provides the Fund Manager with the best possible portfolio management strategy.

11 years

of track record


the year funded

50,000,000 USD


Asset manager

SDG goals

SDG targets

Equal rights to ownership basic services technology and economic resources

Safe and affordable housing

Universal access to safe and nutritious food

Universal access to sexual and reproductive care, family planning and education

Free primary and secondary education

Universal access to modern energy

Key performance indicators

Fund overview

Asset manager: Contrarian Capital India Partners

Product track record: Fund has 11 years of track record

Target IRR: 15%

Committed Capital: 1,000,000 USD (US Dollar)

Target return category: Risk-adjusted market-rate of return

Fund domicile:

Product status:

Style/Stage: ,

Inception year: 2012

Vintage year: n.a.

Target region: , , ,

Target close date: 01/12/2014

Product term: 10 years +2x 1-yr ext

Assets under management: 50,000,000 USD (US Dollar)

Investment size: Min: 50,000,000; Max: 250,000,000; Avg: 100,000,000

Co-investment policy: ,

Currency of investments:

Currency for fund / product figures:

Fund investments to date: 0

Fund investments to date exited or repaid: 0

Management fee: 2%

Carried interest: 20%

Hurdle rate: 8%%

GIIN Investors' Council Investment: No

Limited Partners / Investors: n.a.

Limited Partner / Investor Type: Development Finance Institution (DFI), Endowments/Foundations, Family Office, Pension Funds, Other Institutional Investors




Phone number: +91 986-7039240

If you wish to have your details removed from this database please email

Aditi Gupta

Investment Associate

Somak Ghosh

Managing Partner

Impact Performance


Impact thesis

Target Impact: The biggest opportunity in India, in terms of under-penetration of markets lies in the states of Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand, Chhatisgarh, Orissa and the seven sister states of the North East. Together these 14 states house 56% of the Indian population yet their economic activity accounts for only 27% of the national GDP. Thus, these states have huge untapped potential in terms of access to vocational skills training, F&A processing, traditional handicrafts, healthcare – all of which can benefit from a private entrepreneurship intervention. Given the demographic profile and Fund's investment theme, Fund Manager expects a significant proportion of investee companies to focus on these markets, creating multiple impact points of economically and socially backward classes, women entrepreneurs, rural migration and population shift, job creation and nutrition & health indicators.
Impact Measurement: Contrarian Capital believes businesses don’t work in silos and maximum impact is generated by investing in companies which have a larger multiplier effect. Considering this, we see impact measurement of our individual companies also with an ecosystem approach. Our investee companies will transact with stakeholders at various levels affecting communities, environment, and value chains. They’ll directly impact customers, producers, suppliers, employees, while indirectly impacting the competition, government policies.

Impact Management


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