How to Make Public-Private Partnerships Mainstream

Indian economy has been delivering strong economic growth across sectors. To achieve inclusive and sustainable growth, we need to develop infrastructure and promote good politics, education, gender equality and environmental sustainability. We need to search for innovative solutions rather than focusing on traditional solutions provided by the public sector. There is a growing need for both the public and private sectors to come together and create an innovative ecosystem.

The Government of India has therefore focused on developing several enabling tools and activities to spur private sector investments into the country through public-private partnerships. These are vital for catalyzing investments in new infrastructure, and for efficient operation and maintenance of assets and ensuring focus on service delivery.

24655278041_e7bb63dde3_zAt the Development Dialogue (DD) Kakatiya Sandbox, Naveen Jha, CEO, Deshpande Foundation emphasized on the necessity to build an ecosystem where stakeholders can build their capacity. He said, “We usually build solutions that have short lives. We tend to forget who the end target is when we create solutions, systems, and processes. How can we create ecosystems where different stakeholders build their capabilities and move ahead so that the stickiness of the solution gets better and better?”

According to him, public-private partnership meant building a local community, an ecosystem where a solution would stick. “We shouldn’t try to fit end customers into the solution, but rather design the solution based on the customers need,” he added.

Vanitha Datla, CII, Telangana focused on the importance of co-creation along with the government and sustainability. “Government comes out with schemes, and most of the time they do not trickle down to the grassroots level. NGOs have expertise but no money. Corporates have money but no time to do things on their own. They have to come together to create solutions,” she says.|

Thiagarajan, Agastya International Foundation spoke about the commitment that needed to be established with various stakeholders in the government. “When working with governments, we should expect delays and have patience. There will be distractions, payment delays and frequent changes in leadership,” he said.

Demonstrate what you can do even with small interventions. Break the local barriers and once your capability is established, positioning in the target market becomes very easy. Public-private partnership takes shape once the credibility is established. These were the takeaways from the session ‘Mainstreaming Public-Private Partnerships,’ at the DD.