We invest and enable digitally savvy rural women entrepreneurs to drive long-lasting social impact in their communities
Frontier Markets is a social commerce platform with a mission to create 'Saral Jeevan' or an 'Easy Life' for rural households by providing them local access to high quality, climate friendly, and gender inclusive products and services, including clean energy services, to last mile villages by investing in rural women entrepreneurs as our connector to rural communities.
To help 100 million rural consumers join the online market experience with a powerful salesforce of 1 MILLION digitally savvy women.
We believe the only way to drive sustainable opportunities for all in the value chain is by amplifying the voice of the rural customer. Our socially conscious, market based approach runs on the following values:
We treat everyone across the value chain with dignity and respect.
Inclusivity with a Gender Lens
We create opportunities and innovations that are inclusive of all participants in the rural value chain.
We ensure profit sharing with the entire value chain, driving long-term sustainability for all in the value chain.
We build relationships to create synergistic networks from NGOs to Companies and ensure win-win coalitions.
Ajaita Shah, Founder
❝ Our team has over 60 years of experience working in rural markets, from microfinance to telecom to rural marketing. Our team aligns on a few key principles: 1. Rural India is not a challenging market, but a large opportunity - rural customers want reliable access to products and services, companies want to serve this market, we make it easy for both to connect, 2. Gender inclusive business are essential to holistically impact rural markets - women are influencers, passionate for change, eager to work, and provide strong insights that are otherwise hard to access - key ingredients in successful, customer-centric companies, 3. Combining technology with local trusted influencers enables a much deeper connect to the rural customer, while driving innovation. By harnessing rich rural data, product companies don’t just stop at serving the massive untapped rural consumer base. The insights allow them to firmly integrate into the rural consumer’s life through new, curated product lines and refined baskets aimed at improving the quality of life, and finally 4. We believe in a systems change approach accelerate key opportunities for all unique partners in the value chain emphasizing impact, integrity, inclusivity, and sustainability in everything we do at Frontier Markets ❞
Frontier Markets, headquartered in Jaipur, Rajasthan was founded in 2011 by Ajaita Shah to bridge markets between rural customers and solutions.
Frontier Markets evolved from a high-touch to a high-tech digital platform working rural women influencers across multiple states in India, adding vital services based on market demand.
2015 initiates gender-smart strategy to bring rural women entrepreneurs onboard as Frontier Market representatives in rural villages.
Frontier Markets launches Meri Saheli mobile app, India’s first assisted e-commerce app designed by and for rural women.
Frontier Markets expands to 3 new states, adding 3,000 new rural women entrepreneurs into its rural network.
Frontier Markets grows its tech-enabled rural women entrepreneurs salesforce to 10K, land provides doorstep delivery to rural households. Launches AI enabled assisted e-commerce, B2C digital marketing,
PARTNERS / MoU
Frontier Markets grows its tech-enabled rural women entrepreneurs salesforce to 30K, signs up partnerships with UPSRLM, DoIT Rajasthan & SSP (Maharashtra)
Covid19 Response - May 2020
2019 UNCDF - “Digital Finance for Sustainable Development Goals” challenge
GSIV Finalist 2019
2019 FinTech Innovation Challenge Finalist
2018 Women Transforming India Award
2017 GES Catalyst Winner: Global Enterprise Summit
2016 Ashden Award Winner: Women and Girls
2016 CNBC Young Business Women
Board of Directors
Founder & CEO
15+ years in rural India through microfinance, rural distribution, marketing, and gender inclusive business models, and technology. Recipient of Forbes 30 Under 30, Digital Women of the Year. Speaker at UN Summit, on social entrepreneurship, digital inclusion, gender smart investing. Graduated from Tufts University, Board of Frontier Innovations Foundation and SHINE Invest.
Ms. Paula Mariwala serves as a Partner at Seedfund and has been its Executive Director since inception in 2006. She has worked extensively and been actively involved with the entrepreneurial ecosystem in India to source, evaluate and mentor early stage start-up companies for the firm. Her primary focus is on education, healthcare and technology sectors and works closely with portfolio companies to take them to their next stage of growth and has led investments in education, healthcare, and mobile technology.
Loic Vaslet De Fontaubert
Loic is an Investment Director at ENGIE Rassembleurs d'Energies, a Corporate impact investment fund, that promotes access to sustainable energy for all through direct investment in enterprises providing sustainable and adapted energy access solutions to poor and remote populations
15+ years in rural India through microfinance, rural distribution, marketing, and gender inclusive business models, and technology. Recipient of Forbes 30 Under 30, Digital Women of the Year.
Speaker at UN Summit, on social entrepreneurship, digital inclusion, gendersmart investing. Graduated from Tufts University, Board of Frontier Innovations Foundation and SHINE Invest.
Mehdi has over 24 years of experience across Telecom, FMCG and Retail industries with expertise in Sales Distribution, Business Development, Planning, Procurement & New Product Launches.
His sharp planning abilities to devise strategies for augmenting business, streamline distribution, and promote products have achieved increased revenues, profitability, and overall business success.
Mehdi’s seasoned business acumen comes from his experience working with leading organizations in diverse sectors such as the Rajasthan State Cooperative, Parrys Confectionary Ltd., Dairy Den, Suamaria Group (Tanzania), and Tata Teleservices Ltd.
Amrit has 18 years of experience in rural analytics and consumer insights. Prior to joining Frontier Markets, Amrit spent a decade working with large scale marketing agencies.
His expertise ranges from communication strategy, user acquisition, stakeholder engagement, business analytics, trend analysis to brand development and more.
In his duties at Frontier Markets, Amrit manages the tech and data center and direct-to-consumer marketing and communications.
Ranjan is a dynamic professional who brings over 27 years of professional experience in Telecom RA & Billing, Prepaid Finance Market FI (Banking, Card, Retailer, regulated by RBI), Finance & Accounts, Financial Planning and Budgeting, Treasury and Statutory Compliances. He has in-depth knowledge of Business Planning, Billing & Revenue Assurance, Cost Control Principles, Regulatory Requirements, Financial Reporting and MIS Reporting.
He has a solid track record for designing and implementing accounting & systems solutions for complex business requirements that are on schedule and within budgets. Ranjan excels in design & implementation of complex, inter-dependent IT systems in a large corporate environment.
Ranjan holds a dual MBA in Finance and Marketing.