D.light’s d.sirable business success

But what really has us excited is the excitement at the consumer level.  If you have a chance, visit D.light’s website to see hear some of the remarkable stories of their customers and how light has impacted their lives. And also take a look at the letter that D.light just received from a resident in Orissa living in D.light’s first 100% solar village. We’ve got thousands and thousands of villages to go, but a very exciting start.

From a Nextbillion.net article on this disruptive company aiming to provide solar energy to India’s rural poor. This article emphasizes what is one of the most important aspects of a successful business, partcularly startups, which is knowing your customer and focusing on developing your entire business model to what they need and want.

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Rural lighting start-up d.light design featured on Forbes.com

Rural lighting start-up d.light design just got featured on Forbes.com:

d.light design based in New Delhi, India, has developed a trio of lights created for a market it calls the “base of the pyramid”–including people who live on the equivalent of $1 a day. Its portable Nova light, which it is debuting on Monday, has a high-powered LED that d.light claims can run for 40 hours on a full charge. It comes with a solar panel, so recharging costs nothing. The Nova also works on an AC charger. D.light plans to sell the light for $15 to $30; the higher price includes both the solar charging panel and the AC charger.

Here is the link to the story [via NGOPost], as well as a previously mentioned job opportunity at d.light.

SELCO India: Solar energy pioneer ready to scale

India is facing a looming energy crisis. The energy needs of the country’s population cannot be met by conventional energy sources (read: Fossil Fuels). We had mentioned in the space before, the importance of India leapfrogging into renewable sources like solar and wind. As part of the eleventh five year plan, GOI just allocated Rs. 600 crore towards green energy research creating incentives for adoption of renewables.

One company that has taken the lead in the renewables space is Solar Electric Lighting Company (SELCO) India. We had covered SELCO extensively in this space before. The challenge with solar energy is not just the making Photo-voltaic(PV) cells more cost-effective, but also effective financing, distribution, and maintenance of these PV units. The latter is commonly referred to as downstream solar opportunities. Started in 1995, SELCO India claims to have sold, serviced and financed 75,000 solar electric units. Recognizing SELCO’s cutting-edge work in expanding access to energy, its founder Harish Hande was chosen as Indian Social Entrepreneur of the Year for 2007 by the Schwab Foundation in partnership with The Nand & Jeet Khemka Foundation.

The challenge for a company like SELCO now is scale. How can the organization move from servicing 80,000 clients to servicing 8 million clients? Making PV units more affordable would be a good start (currently they are priced around Rs. 800). Another key challenge would be building a effective distribution and servicing chain. There is also competition around the corner (which is never a bad thing) – we had mentioned d.light design, a silicon-valley based company with an aggressive focus on India.

Job opportunity at d.light design

From NextBillion. d.light Design is a hot new BOP start-up with funding from who’s who of the social venture capital world. They are looking for a VP – Sales to be based out of New Delhi.

Position: Vice-President, Sales
Location:
India
Organization: The goal of d.light design is simple – to eradicate kerosene lanterns from the face of the earth. To do this it will become the market leader in delivering safe and affordable lighting solutions to over 1.6 billion people who currently do not have access to electricity. d.light’s initial focus is India, where it will provide modern lighting to the 78 million families still using kerosene lanterns.

Position Description: d.light design is hiring a VP Sales Executive who will report directly to the CEO and build sales and distribution in India. This position is based in Delhi and is an incredible opportunity to work with a high growth Silicon Valley social enterprise funded by both US and Indian investors including Mahindra & Mahindra, Draper Fisher Jurvetson, Acumen Fund, Nexus India Capital, Gray Matters Capital and Garage Technology Ventures.

For more details, visit http://www.dlightdesign.com/jobs/dlight-jd-vpsales.pdf