CEO, SELCO FOUNDATION
Harish Hande, the founder and Chief Executive of SELCO Foundation, is a renewable energy
entrepreneur with over 25 years of grassroots experience in meeting the energy needs of
underserved populations. He is also the founder of SELCO India – a pioneering last mile
rural energy enterprise based in India since the early nineties.
SELCO sees the pressing need to develop a fertile environment to enhance sustainable
energy access solutions for the poor. This energy access increases incomes, improves
quality of life, and alleviates poverty, turning energy consumers into asset owners. Last
mile energy solutions have clear commercial viability, and SELCO works to combine
technical and non technical aspects focused on alleviating poverty in a sustainable manner.
Today, SELCO is an umbrella of organizations, each tasked to address gaps in the energy
access ecosystem. SELCO India established in 1995 runs grassroots operations which sell,
install, and service decentralized energy solutions like solar lights systems for households,
institutions, digital education, livelihood appliances etc. financed by local financial
institutions. SELCO Foundation established in 2010 is an open-source innovation research
lab for replicable social innovations across areas: livelihoods, education, and health.
SELCO’s incubation program created in 2012 nurtures and catalyzes aspiring clean energy
enterprises that deploy and maintain sustainable solutions for underserved communities.
Finally SELCO Fund registered in 2016 is an impact fund that seeks to deploy patient capital
such as equity or debt to last mile energy access enterprises. SELCO operates at every level
of the system and at every point in the supply chain, to build an ecosystem that increases
accessibility, affordability, and appropriate renewable energy solutions for the poor.
Collectively SELCO has so far impacted over 2 million people.
Harish, a graduate from the Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur and a Masters and
PhD from University of Massachusetts, US. In recognition of his vision and the efforts of
SELCO, they have been awarded national and international awards including the reputed
Zayed Future Energy Prize in 2018 and the Skoll Award for Social Entrepreneurship – 2018.
In 2011, Harish was conferred the Ramon Magsaysay Award in recognition of his vision to
catalyse development outcomes via sustainable energy.