How Innovative Business Models Can Bring Cheap Energy to Poor Communities

For Nikhil Jaisinghani, co-founder of Mera Gao Power, a provider of low-cost, off-grid solar power to villages in India’s Uttar Pradesh state, a prime challenge is attracting investors who are used to large, publicly funded grid-based power projects with government subsidies, and are unfamiliar with projects like those of Mera Gao Power. “We’re trying to put this into a model where we’re serving ultra-poor customers without public funding, and we’re trying to create a profitable model with a three- to four-year payback period on infrastructure,” he said.

Mera Gao Power Raises US$2.5 Million through IIX

The funding will be used by Mera Gao Power (MGP) to expand into over 5,000 additional rural off-grid villages across Uttar Pradesh, provide over 50,000 households and 300,000 people with access to reliable energy for the first time, and achieve profitability.

Solar Energy Start-Ups Bring Light Off the Grid

Mera Gao Power is a solar energy start-up that seeks to bring electricity to India’s rural villages. Co-founders Nikhil Jaisinghani and Brian Shaad saw the potential in the market for solar energy microgrids. In 2010, they left their jobs and started Mera Gao Power, which now operates microgrids in 600 villages in the Sitapur district in India.