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Harish Hande

Co-Founder and Chairman, SELCO India

Harish Hande co-founded SELCO INDIA, a social venture, to eradicate poverty by promoting sustainable technologies in rural India in 1995. With its headquarters in Bangalore , SELCO has 43 branches in Karnataka, Tamilnadu, Kerala, Gujarat, Maharastra and Bihar with an employee strength of over 300. Since its inception, SELCO INDIA has installed solar lighting systems in over half a million households, small businesses and social welfare institutions. Harish has an undergraduate engineering degree from IIT Kharagpur and a PhD. in Energy Engineering from the University of Massachusetts Lowell.


Harish is widely recognized as a leading expert in the field of decentralized sustainable energy solutions for his pioneering and persistent efforts in bringing together a holistic solution combining technology, finance, policy, skill human development to the doorstep of the poor. At the core of his vision, Harish has worked to empower the poor through energy and livelihoods thus improving their quality of life. He was most notably awarded with Asia’s prestigious Ramon Magsaysay Award for 2011, also referred to as Asia’s Nobel Prize, for his leading efforts to put sustainable energy solutions in the hands of the poor, through his social enterprise SELCO. He has received many accolades notably of which in 2012, he was appointed as the lead expert on solar high powered committee at the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE), Government of India, SELCO was awarded the Ashden Awards twice in 2005 and 2007. He was also named the Social Entrepreneur of the Year 2007 by the Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship and the Nand & Jeet Khemka Foundation.