SELCO has over 500+ passionate and talented individuals. Most of the employees are from the local area where the Energy Centres are located bringing in deep insights about local problems and solutions.
Dr Harish Hande is the co-founder of SELCO Solar Light Private Limited. Harish is a graduate from the Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur and a Masters and PhD from University of Massachusetts, US. Harish got the idea of bringing solar lighting systems to rural India when he was doing his PhD on sustainable energy at the University of Massachusetts. During a field visit to the Dominican Republic, he was surprised to find poor villagers using solar lighting and reasoned that if it was possible for the poor in the Dominican Republic to use solar lights, he should be able to bring solar lights to the rural poor in India too. And thus SELCO started as a social enterprise in 1995. In 2011, Harish was conferred the Ramon Magsaysay Award in recognition of his vision to catalyse development outcomes via sustainable energy. Harish serves on the boards of many organizations, both national and international.
Mr. Neville Williams is the co-founder of SELCO Solar Light Private Limited. He is a solar energy pioneer who has promoted solar power applications around the world since 1988.He founded the Solar Electric Light Fund (SELF), a non-profit organization based in Washington DC. SELF continues to finance and facilitate solar rural electrification worldwide. It has assisted national governments and community organizations to implement "solar seed" projects in India, China, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Vietnam, Brazil, Tanzania, Uganda, South Africa, Benin, Nigeria, Indonesia, and the Solomon Islands. In 1997, Williams founded the Solar Electric Light Company (SELCO) to own and operate subsidiaries in India, Sri Lanka and Vietnam. He co-founded SELCO-India and was its chairman until 2003. In 2004 Williams founded Standard Solar Inc. and launched operations in the USA. He was the chairman and CEO of Standard Solar, until 2008, when the fast-growing solar energy services company was acquired by an investment group.
SELCO's four investors are all non-profits committed to impact first investment philosophies. Together, in partnership with SELCO, they have helped strengthen our social impact and financial sustainability in deploying last mile energy services for underserved populations in India and the world.
Dr Harish Hande, the founder and Chief Executive of SELCO Foundation, is a renewable energy entrepreneur with over three decades of grassroots experience in meeting the energy needs of underserved populations. He is the co-founder of SELCO India – a pioneering last mile rural energy enterprise based in India since the 1995. Since 2010, he has expanded the SELCO umbrella to include the SELCO Foundation and Incubation Centre for Energy Entrepreneurs in an effort to strengthen the energy access ecosystem. His extensive experience is widely recognized as a pragmatic voice in delivering sustainable energy solutions for the poor. He works closely with the Government of India’s clean energy initiatives and international bodies like UN Sustainable Energy for All as a practitioner representative besides authoring articles, talks and representation on key bodies in the energy access space.
Thomas Pullenkav has more than 24 years of experience in the domains of clean energy access, sustainable development and energy poverty. His expertise lies in the off-grid energy sector, with extensive ground level experience in deploying last mile energy solutions for the poor. Thomas is currently serving as the director of SELCO Solar Private Limited a social enterprise that provides energy solutions to under- served households and businesses and is a senior advisor at SELCO Foundation - the not-for- profit arm of the SELCO group of organisations. He also works as an independent consultant providing advisory support to organizations in the sustainable energy and low carbon development sectors.Thomas was one of the founding member of the team that started SELCO Solar Light Private Limited and he served the organisation in various capacities for more than 13 years. Prior to this, he worked with TATA BP Solar India Limited (now TATA Power Solar Systems Ltd.) and the National Dairy Development Board (NDDB).Thomas is an alumnus of the prestigious Institute of Rural Management, Anand (IRMA). Thomas has been involved in the incubation of social enterprises in his capacity as Team Leader of the Villgro Innovation Foundation’s Energy Entrepreneurship Incubation Initiative and more recently as Advisor of the SELCO Incubation programme.
Ms. Elena Casolari is a passionate advocate and practitioner of gender smart investing, the transformative power of impact investing and the social enterprise movement.
She is the Co-founder, Partner and CEO of OPES Italia, an investment fund investing in early stage impact enterprises in Italy. She is also the Co-founder and President of OPES-LCEF Fund, an impact investment vehicle that provides financial resources and management support to early stage social enterprises whose businesses serve low income people and disadvantaged communities.
For 10 years she was CEO at ACRA, an international NGO and before that she spent 12 years in the investment banking industry covering emerging markets. She serves as a Director at Fondazione Umano Progresso, the Social Impact Agenda for Italy and at LBV an innovative start up tackling gender inequalities at the workplace and promoting life work balance. She is also a member of the General Council of Fondazione Compagnia San Paolo, one of the leading banking Foundation in Italy. After her graduation in Management, she was a Monbushoo fellow at the Hitotsubashi University in Tokyo for two years.
Professor M S Sriram is Faculty and Chairperson at the Centre for Public Policy, Indian Institute of Management Bangalore. He is also a Distinguished Fellow at the Institute for Development of Research in Banking Technology, Hyderabad. In the past he was the Professor at the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad; Vice President (Finance) at BASIX and a faculty member at Institute of Rural Management Anand.
He started his career as a Development Officer with the Co-operative Development Foundation, working with primary agricultural co-operatives helping them to draw business plans, streamline accounting systems and participating as a resource person in their training programmes. Since then, his later work spanned both academics and practice. His research work is largely in the area of agricultural and rural finance, co-operatives and microfinance. He is a co-author of three Books - Beyond Micro-credit, published by Sage-Vistaar, and two books on Flow of Credit to Small and Marginal Farmers.
He has served on several expert committees appointed by the Indian Government, Reserve Bank and NABARD, including on the Task Force on revival of Rural Cooperative Credit Institutions [Vaidyanathan Committee]. He is currently on the external advisory committee of the RBI that is evaluating the licence for the proposed Small Finance Banks. He is also on the board of NDDB Dairy Services, NABARD Financial Services, Centre for Budget and Policy Studies, and is a Trustee of Pratham Books and Dastkar Andhra.
In addition to the above, he has been a writer in Kannada. He has five books of fiction and four books of essays to his credit. He won the Masti Kannada Seva Nidhi Award for his first manuscript Mayadarpana and the Karnataka Sahitya Academy Award for 2014 for his work of fiction Salman Khanana Difficulties and in 2015 for his collection of essays Arthartha. He is a graduate from Institute of Rural Management Anand and completed his doctoral studies at the Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore.
A writer, thinker, public opinion maker, artist, organizer and leader of people, Mr Mohan Bhaskar Hegde is an inspiration for people who know him. As the Chief Executive Officer of SELCO Solar Light Pvt Ltd, Sri Mohan Hegde has been a leading light in Sustainable Development bringing in innovative solutions based on renewable energy for the under-served communities in India. An accomplished Yakshagana artist, he brings along the aspects of quick logical thinking and grace into organization management helping people to achieve beyond their self assessed ability. He has worked as an consulting Accountant and independent journalist for almost a decade before joining SELCO in 2001.
Prasanna Hegde is a Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Education from Bangalore University. He started to work in the clean energy space as a Business Associate of SELCO before joining SELCO in 2001. He heads the operations of North Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. He is also in charge of the Human Resource department.
Guruprakash Shetty is a Bachelor of Science from the University of Mangalore. He started his career in SELCO as Sales Executive at Udupi branch since 2001. Currently, he heads the entire operational activities of SELCO in South Karnataka, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu and Kerala. He is also incharge of the Customer Support, Energy Associate and Financial Innovation departments.
Sudipta Ghosh is a B.E (Electrical) and PG diploma in Business Management. He has 10 years of experience primarily in software designing prior to joining SELCO in 2012. He leads the Consultancy Department providing advisory support for DRE adoptions in sectors like Health, Livelihood and Entrepreneurship. He is in charge of the Projects department overseeing institutional projects and innovation initiatives. He oversees the MIS and other technology initiatives.
A cornerstone of SELCO’s success has been in its careful choice of partners who are aligned with our values of uplifting the lives of the poor as asset owners v/s merely consumers and long term sustainability. Collaboration is key to addressing development issues as we do not claim to have all the answers and leverage on our partners for their experience and resources. We are committed to engaging local partners who either have a good knowledge of ground realities and/or located close to the community themselves. Several of our partners include community organizations, government, CSR, financial institutions, investors, training organizations, outreach channels, content developers, technical developers and finally the poor themselves.