Harish Hande wins Magsaysay award for social enterprise

Harish Hande, 44, has won this year’s Ramon Magsaysay Award for promoting sustainable and affordable energy through his Bangalore-based Solar Electric Light Company-India (SELCO). Harish Hande, an IIT Kharagpur graduate with a PhD from the University of Massachusetts, has been recognised for “his passionate and pragmatic efforts to put solar power technology in the hands of the poor, through a social enterprise that brings customised, affordable, and sustainable electricity to India’s vast rural populace, encouraging the poor to become asset creators”.

SELCO, one of the first social enterprises of its kind in India, was established by Harish Hande in 1995.

It is now a rural photovoltaics company with an annual revenue of Rs 16 crore that provides customised heating, lighting and cooking solutions based on solar energy. SELCO, with over 170 employees, is now reaching out to 1,25,000 households in Karnataka, Kerala and Gujarat.

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