Opportunities and Challenges for Rural Off-grid Lighting and Distribution Markets in India (Webinar)

5 March 2014
The Clean Energy Solutions Center, in partnership with the United Nations Foundation's Energy Access Practitioner Network, hosted this webinar on the challenges and opportunities within India's rural off-grid lighting and distribution markets. This webinar was part of the broader work that the UN Foundation is undertaking on energy access within the UN and the World Bank’s Sustainable Energy for All initiative. Anjali Garg of the International Finance Corporation (IFC) provided a brief overview of the IFC’s Lighting Asia/India program, which was created to address the energy needs of communities in remote rural India while promoting local entrepreneurship and sustainable rural development. Praveen Kumar of IFC and Ajaita Shah of Frontier Markets discussed the opportunities and challenges in the rural off-grid markets and models of distribution, incorporating both the experience of the Lighting Asia/India program and Frontier Markets’ work with rural communities in remote parts of Rajasthan, India. And, Gaurav Gupta of Dalberg shared emerging and innovative distribution models in off-grid renewable energy sector in India. (webinar transcript)


Tripta SinghTripta Singh

Tripta Singh is the Deputy Director for Energy Access at the UN Foundation. She has more than 12 years of experience working on international development and renewable energy and climate related issues. In her current role, Tripta works on the operational coordination and strategy for the Energy Access Practitioner Network, and leads the Network's engagement in Asia. Prior to joining the Foundation, she worked at World Neighbors where she managed community health and environment programs in several developing countries. Tripta has an M.Phil degree in Geography from the Delhi School of Economics and a Master's degree in international affairs with a focus on environmental policy from Ohio University.

Anjali Garg Anjali Garg

Anjali is working as an Energy Specialist in Sustainable Business Advisory Services of the IFC and is part of the core team of the Lighting Asia- India Program. In her 12+ years of experience in this sector, she has focused on energy access, renewable energy development, regulatory and policy interventions and pricing issues. Prior to joining the IFC, she worked at the World Bank and TERI.

Praveen KumarPraveen Kumar

Praveen Kumar is the Rural Marketing Expert with the Lighting Asia/India Program the IFC. Praveen Kumar is a graduate from the Institute of Rural Management, Anand (IRMA), one of the leading Rural Management Institutes in India. Praveen has 20 years of work experience with leading corporations in India, starting with The Arvind Mills Ltd, a leader in the Textile Industry. Since then he has been associated with Nerolac Paints as Regional Manager for Gujarat, Godrej Agrovet Ltd-as head for Western India and then Tata Teleservices Ltd as the Head of Rural Business-All India Markets. He specializes in operations management and distribution.

Ajaita ShahAjaita Shah

Ajaita is the Founder/CEO of Frontier Markets and the President of Frontier Innovations Foundation. Frontier Markets is a rural marketing, sales, and service distribution company providing access to affordable and quality solar solutions to low-income households in India. She has been working in India for 10 years in microfinance and clean energy distribution. She is a 2006 Clinton Service Corp Fellow, 2012 Echoing Green Fellow, 2013 Cordes Fellow, has been awarded the most influential award in Microfinance for people under 30, and Business Week's 30 under 30 award, and most recently, Forbes Magazine’s Top 30 Under 30’s Social Entrepreneur of the Year. She has been an active educator, collaborator, and catalyst in helping scale clean energy access globally. She is an active member of the UN Foundation’s Practitioners Network and the Asian Development Bank’s Energy for All Partnership. Ajaita Shah holds her B.A. in International Relations from Tufts University.

Gaurav GuptaGaurav Gupta

Gaurav is the Partner and Regional Director for Asia at Dalberg and also co-leads the firm’s energy and environment practice. He is an industry expert in the off-grid energy space having led Dalberg’s efforts on rural electrification, clean cooking, clean lighting and development of decentralized utilities. His other work with Dalberg includes developing a CSR strategy for a large pharmaceutical MNCs, developing an expansion strategy for a major mini-grid rural electrification company, assisting European private equity firms with market entry into India, improving energy and lighting access for the bottom of the pyramid and helping develop strategies to fight human trafficking at the global level and within India. Gaurav holds a BA in Philosophy, Politics and Economics from Oxford and an MA in Development Economics from Yale University.