Issue Date: December 18, 2018
Submission Date: January 4, 2019

Summary
Women’s World Banking is seeking a qualified law firm to identify and incorporate the optimal legal structure(s) taking into account the legal, regulatory and tax compliance to establish Women’s World Banking’s office in India. The selected firm is required to (i) assess the legal vehicle/  structure options available to Women’s World Banking (ii) provide a clear recommendation on the legal structure(s) that is best suited to deliver on its India vision and execution plans (iii) a road map, timeline and cost structure to establish the structure(s) in a modular way and (iv) assist in ensuring incorporation of the recommended entity(ies).

About Women’s World Banking
Women’s World Banking is the US non-profit (501c3) devoted to giving more low-income women access to the financial tools and resources essential to their security and prosperity. For more than 35 years we have worked with financial institutions to show them the benefit of investing in women as clients, and as leaders. We equip these institutions to meet women’s needs through authoritative market research, leadership training, sustainable financial products and consumer education. Headquartered in New York, Women’s World Banking works with 38 institutions in 28 countries with a reach of 14 million women to create access to finance on a greater scale than ever before.

Women’s World Banking has three lines of business (i) Advisory Services (ii) Asset Management and (iii) Training. Under our advisory work, we would undertake customer research work, partner duly licensed banks/ financial institutions to design and develop products and solutions (such as savings, loans, insurance) for low income women, analyze their data to identify triggers and opportunities, develop strategies for deepening women customer & agent engagement as also help with developing financial or customer models. We do not directly perform these activities (lend, take deposit) nor do we play any operational role in the solution (no account opening, data management, voice support etc) as agent, broker, intermediary or an outsourced processor. We function as a thought and strategy partner and thus do not require any form of financial provider or participant license to do our work.

About the Project – Goals and Mission
Background on rationale for opening an office in India:

  • India is a priority market for Women’s World Banking where it is seeking to establish operations to further its mission to advance the security and prosperity of low-income women through the provision and engagement of financial services
  • A good percentage of the organizational targets, of low-income women to be impacted by financial products offered by our partner financial institution, will come from India
  • India is a fast moving market that requires up to date knowledge of financial inclusion
  • Local stakeholders (FSPs and funders) are interested in engaging with teams that are on the ground and that have deep expertise and knowledge of the market
  • On the ground presence will allow for easier access to data that is currently challenging to share with international organizations
  • There is a hypothesis that there are CSR resources to tap into locally for which a local NGO incorporation is required.
  • There is also a hypothesis that financial service providers are open to paying fees for value added services

Women’s World Banking will offer two of its three lines of business in India (advisory and training). Advisory could include services to the investee companies of the Asset Management line of business. Women’s World Banking will not invest in any institutions directly from the India business.

Objectives & Responsibilities

  1. Assess the legal options available to Women’s World Banking to establish its operations in India.
    1. Recommendations should take into account (i) ease of incorporation (ii) capital requirements (iii) ownership and control (iv) governance (v) ability to accept fees and CSR and (vi) ease of dissolution
    2. Recommendations should also accommodate the fact that initially, most of the funding will be received from outside India. They will need to be received by Women’s World Banking (NY) and transferred to the India office. What would be the most optimal structure to establish that  complies with India and NY regulations
    3. Funds may also be raised in India but ahead of clearances under FCRA etc, we would need a recommendation on how we may receive such funds raised in India from CSR, donor organizations (local trusts & charities or global bi/multi-laterals). What would the most optimal structure/partnerships in the interim to received local funds and what would be the most optimal structure in the long term to receive CSR support? In the immediate term, without an entity on the ground, what is the best way for Women’s World Banking to engage in India?
    4. the India office might necessitate bringing expertise from the headquarters in NY or hiring expertise from outside India
    5. the India office may offer expertise to headquarters in NY or to other Women’s World Banking markets outside India
  2. Determine the roadmap and timeline to the most optimal structure(s)
  3. Provide a clear recommendation on the legal structure(s) that is best suited to deliver on its vision taking into account all legal, regulatory and tax compliance; and
  4. Incorporate the recommended entity (ies)
  5. Complete other registrations to be obtained for maximization of tax efficiency and smooth conduct of business including receipt of foreign donations;

 Duration of Consultancy
For items 1, 2 and 3 above, the start date will be January 11 for a period of no more than 30 days.

Location of Work
India

To Apply
Please submit your application no later than January 4, 2019, at midnight EST.

This application should include the following elements:

  • Cover letter including:
    • Income Tax PAN No. of the Firm
    • GST Registration No. of the Firm
    • Turnover of the Firm/ LLP in 2017-2018
  • Proposal including:
    • Scope of work corresponding workplan and timeline
    • Organizational capacity and experience
      • Please provide experiences with other US not for profits incorporating in India.
      • Has the Firm/LLP or any present partner of the Firm / LLP faced any penalty or prosecution before any statutory authority, court, tribunal, disciplinary committee etc., whether connected with professional service or otherwise? If so, provide details.
    • Team structure and organization of work
    • Detailed budget
  • 3 references

Applicants may submit their question(s) in writing to tn@womensworldbanking.org. Please include in the e-mail subject line “RFP: Law Firm for Entity Incorporation in India.”

This RFQ does not guarantee or commit Women’s World Banking to proceeding with the above described work. Due to the overwhelming responses not all candidates will be contacted.

 Women’s World Banking is an equal opportunity employer for all regardless of race, color, citizenship, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, disability, veteran or reservist status or any other category protected by federal, state or local law.