Team IFC: Jim De, IFC India

In the latest Team IFC blog, we meet the person heading up IFC India as its director, Jim De…
Tell us about your career in a snapshot
I’ve been in the social sector for more than 20 years, so i have a lot of exposure and experience of the challenges that exist in the Indian subcontinent as far as social development is convened, and primarily the issues that revolve around fundraising. I have worked with foundations in Europe and the US, managing programmes in India, and that has given me the opportunity to learn a lot from the counter parts in these countries and to evaluate how to progress within my country’s geography and society.
What led you down this path? 
Social services was not considered a line of work when I got involved and was seen as a form of charity and not a profession. However I was drawn to the work because I love working with people and felt that making a real impact for my society was important if we were to look at a balanced growth of society and its people.
Why IFC?
IFC has been a unique company that shares experience across the board from various countries, and yet respects our individual regions and specific challenges, giving us the opportunity to learn from our own people, and implement goals that we can develop, keeping the global picture in mind. John’s leadership at IFC is special as he carries vast experience of the global scenario and understands each challenge that exists – thereby giving more assurance and support to me on the ground.
What are the fundraising challenges in your region?
Evidently the concept of fundraising is very new in India for a lot of foundations. The concept of payment for services is also equally difficult because most, if not all foundations, do not have a spare budget from the grants they receive from foreign donors that helps them develop fundraising as a specific focus are for their organisation. Therefore leadership in foundations prefer to ask for fundraising to be done pro-bono, or on a commission basis so that they are not required to write off these costs – which are difficult to get board approvals for.
What does the future hold for charitable fundraising?
Fundraising needs to be taken as an integrated part of management if it needs success – this is my first mission with partners. However, once we cross that threshold, I believe there are sufficient resources that are yet to be tapped in to in this region.
Where would you like to see charitable fundraising in the next five years?
Fundraising has huge untapped potential in India and needs to be explored properly through a well-managed strategy. I would like to see at least 50 good foundations and charities set up fundraising as an integral part of their management so that they can then look not only at developing sustainability, but also future growth and expansion of crucial services.
You’re voted in as the next Prime Minister, what’s the first thing you do?
I think that’s a hard one! However, I think economics needs to take the human factor in to consideration, and pure economics without understanding human challenges is insufficient for a country’s growth.
Tell us a fun and interesting fact about yourself
 Having worked in Europe, I often find it challenging to live within the social realms of Indian society but must understand that every society is unique and must be respected. While not working, I love exploring the Indian mountains which are pristine and beautiful and the people are so loving and warm.