Harish Hande, the founder and Chief Executive of SELCO Foundation, is a renewable energy entrepreneur with over 25 years of grassroots experience in meeting the energy needs of underserved populations. He is also the founder of SELCO India – a pioneering last mile rural energy enterprise based in India since the early nineties.
SELCO sees the pressing need to develop a fertile environment to enhance sustainable energy access solutions for the poor. This energy access increases incomes, improves quality of life, and alleviates poverty, turning energy consumers into asset owners. Last mile energy solutions have clear commercial viability, and SELCO works to combine technical and non-technical aspects focused on alleviating poverty in a sustainable manner.
Today, SELCO is an umbrella of organizations, each tasked to address gaps in the energy access ecosystem. SELCO India established in 1995 runs grassroots operations which sell, install, and service decentralized energy solutions like solar lights systems for households, institutions, digital education, livelihood appliances etc. financed by local financial institutions. SELCO Foundation established in 2010 is an open-source innovation research lab for replicable social innovations across areas: livelihoods, education, and health. SELCO’s incubation program created in 2012 nurtures and catalyzes aspiring clean energy enterprises that deploy and maintain sustainable solutions for underserved communities.
Finally SELCO Fund registered in 2016 is an impact fund that seeks to deploy patient capital such as equity or debt to last mile energy access enterprises. SELCO operates at every level of the system and at every point in the supply chain, to build an ecosystem that increases accessibility, affordability, and appropriate renewable energy solutions for the poor. Collectively SELCO has so far impacted over 2 million people.
Harish, a graduate from the Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur and a Masters and PhD from University of Massachusetts, US.
In recognition of his vision and the efforts of SELCO, they have been awarded national and international awards including:
- The reputed Zayed Future Energy Prize in 2018
- Skoll Award for Social Entrepreneurship, 2018
- Ramon Magsaysay Award in recognition of Harish’s vision to catalyse development outcomes via sustainable energy