PV capacity (kWp)
jobs created in
last-mile rural communities
litres of diesel and
kg CO2eq saved
"Oonnati solar irrigation" among the if social impact prize winners 2020
Oorja's solar irrigation initiative "Oonnati" is among social impact projects supported by the Innovation Foundation (iF), under its SDG 13 - Climate Action category. Our work has been published in the iF World Design Guide here:
Oorja has raised investment from DOEN Foundation under their Sustainable Energy program. The company will expand its operations in the pay-as-you-go irrigation, agroprocessing and cold storage segments in north India and amplify its impact 5-fold to reach 600 farmers in 2020.
Oorja is a Pay-per-use clean energy services company providing reliable and affordable irrigation, cold storage and Agroprocessing services in rural india.
Diesel engines are a dominant source of energy across India, especially along the agricultural value chain.
Farmers and agricultural enterprises face high operating costs and lack access to reliable and affordable alternatives. This stifles their productivity and income and has led to an agrarian and climate crisis.
Oorja is a mission-driven social enterprise based in New Delhi, India. Oorja provides integrated energy solutions to replace diesel engines used along the agricultural value chain.
Engineering, financing and installation of distributed solar energy systems with no upfront cost to end-users.
Operations and maintenance of solar systems for their full useful lifetime.
Sales of reliable and affordable energy services for productive use on a pay-per-use basis and rendering of excellent customer service.
❄️ Cold storage for perishable goods as a service for smallholder farmers. Available at the farm gate on a pay-per-store basis.
We are aligned to 5 of the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
Affordable, reliable energy is fundamental to economic activity and poverty allevation. It empowers people as they seek a range of benefits and services: from better livelihoods to quality health and education, from cleaner indoor air and safer homes, to lives of greater dignity and less hard labour. Access to clean energy services can transform the lives of youth, women and girls by significantly increasing income when linked to productive activities within their communities. Displacing fossil fuels in favour of solar energy also delivers significant carbon emissions savings.
PV capacity (kWp)
jobs created in
last-mile rural communities
litres of diesel and
kg CO2eq saved
CEO & Co-Founder
Amit has 15 years of diverse global experience in business consulting, financial services, and development practice in India, the US and Switzerland. He brings to Oorja a strong grasp of business strategy, financial acumen and operations expertise. Amit has also conducted impact evaluation in rural India and Gambia for UNICEF. He holds a Master’s degree in International Development from Columbia University, a BCom in Accountancy and Financial Management from Sydenham College and a professional certification in Social Entrepreneurship. Amit is an Echoing Green Climate Fellow and was named on the SE100 list of the most Inspiring Social Entrepreneurs.
CTO & Co-Founder
Clementine obtained her PhD in bioenergy from Imperial College London, equipping her with expertise in cost-effective design of distributed energy systems from an engineering, economic and socio-cultural perspective. She has worked as a renewable energy consultant for New Climate Economy, the European Commission, and the Grantham Institute for Climate Change. Clementine holds a Master’s in Chemical Engineering from the University of Cambridge. She has strong communication skills in six languages and is a Forbes 30 Under 30 Social Entrepreneur and MIT 35 Under 35 Innovator.
Pushpendra handles the electrical installation, civil works and training for new solar projects, building on his two years of ground operations experience within the Oorja team. He also supervises our field technicians and operators to ensure regular O&M, timely payment collections and outstanding customer servicing. Pushpendra holds a B.Tech in Mechanical Engineering and previously worked as a graduate technical apprentice with Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd, India’s largest power plant equipment manufacturer. He also has experience in solar street lighting installation.
Preeti is responsible for project and impact data analysis, fostering and maintaining partnerships with grassroots organisations and technology providers, external communications and report writing. Preeti brings a background in Ecology and Environment Studies from her M.Sc at Nalanda University and previously spent one year with smart metering firm Doorastha Analytics, where she gained experience of solar mini-grid project planning and implementation. Preeti has also worked as a research intern at the Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology & the Environment and at the National Institute for Solar Energy of India.
Shraddha focuses on data collection for site selection and impact through surveying, customer relationship management, and digitalisation of project and payment data. She has three years' experience working as a Computer Assistant in the tax office of the Nagar Palika (Municipality) of Jaunpur. She has also conducted surveys for the National Health Mission and participated in various government programs for education and rural employment of women. Shraddha has a BSc in Biology from VBS Purvanchal University of Jaunpur.
Chandan is an agriculture post-graduate, having experience handling various research projects focusing on seed science and technology during his Master’s program. He is determined to contribute effectively to grassroots development in the agriculture sector, in turn improving the wellbeing of farmers and their families. Chandan works on site selection, farmer mobilisation, land acquisition and building strong customer relationships with farmers who are associated with Oorja. He holds an MSc degree from HNB Garhwal Central University.
Service & Collections Agent
Chitrasen is responsible for payment collections, operator supervision and customer service of the Bahraich project clusters. He holds an ITI Fitter diploma and completed his IT training at the National Institute of Electronics & Information Technology. Chitrasen previously worked for four years in the manufacturing and energy industries.
Pramod is a former migrant worker who was working in Mumbai as a mason to support his family of four. Owing to the Covid-19 lockdown, Pramod travelled back to his village in Shrawasti district, UP on foot, a journey of 14 days. He has now found alternative livelihood as a Pump Operator in his native village, where he is responsible for operation of 3 solar pumps.
Muse is engaged in farming and grows wheat, rice and mustard to feed his family of 7 members. Previously he was working as a daily wage labourer in a transport company in Nepal, but due to the closure of the border during Covid-19 he became unemployed. Muse decided not to go back and instead continue his farming while taking on an operator job with Oorja.
Purushottam is a Pump Operator in Bahraich district, U.P. He distributes affordable water services for irrigation and collects payments from farmers in his village. Purushottam's family is engaged in sugarcane farming so having year-round access to water is a critical priority.
Farman is a Pump Operator in Bahraich district, UP. He is a veteran farmer and plans to grow lucrative crops like peppermint alongside staple crops. Farman sells affordable water for irrigation in the village of Harbanspur.
Dharamraj is a Pump Operator in Bahraich district, UP. He delivers affordable water for irrigation to 30 smallholders from Chetaipurwa and Basantpur villages. Dharamraj is also engaged in growing rice, wheat, and maize to support his family.
Accounting & Finance Assistant
Munish is a Chartered Accountant (CA) presently associated with Agarwal Singhania & Co. He has 5 years of experience handling finance and accounting functions for various clients. Munish works with Oorja on a part-time basis and supports with accounting, financial reporting, payroll and managing day-to-day compliance.
Board of advisors
Venture Partner, Idinvest Partners
Fabio Mondini is an international venture capitalist with over 20 years’ experience in 20 countries. He focuses on growth capital investments in the Cleantech sector, where he specializes in renewable energy. Before joining Idinvest Partners, Fabio held roles including managing multi-billion dollar acquisitions at ENEL Group and founded and sold RenEn, a leading Italian renewable energy firm that has deployed over 300 MW of solar projects. He holds an MS in Civil and Environmental Engineering degree from MIT and MBA from INSEAD.
Managing Partner, Merian Ventures
Alexsis de Raadt St James is an investor and entrepreneur with over 25 years of investment experience. She is the founder and managing partner of Merian Ventures, a US and UK venture-
capital firm that partners with exceptional female entrepreneurs. Prior to creating Merian Ventures, Alexsis held leadership roles and board seats with companies she funded or founded, senior executive roles in YBA Ventures, Commerce One and Shell International. Alexsis has an MS in Network Economics from MIT, an MBA from Erasmus University and a BA from UT Austin.
De Montfort University
Prof. Bhattacharyya is an internationally renowned energy specialist with deep knowledge of global energy-environment issues. He specialises in techno-economic, regulatory, and environmental studies of off-grid energy systems for rural electrification in developing economies, particularly India. Subhes' research is supported by energy-environment systems modelling and regulatory and investment analysis tools. He holds a PhD and Master's degree in Applied Economics and Energy Economics from UPM France.
Portfolio Cohort Director, Sustainable Accelerator
Irene Maffini is an experienced environmental technology commercialisation and investment professional. She has worked with more than 60 pioneering sustainability SMEs and on commercialisation, incubation and investment programmes for the Carbon Trust, the UK Government, the European Commission, the World Bank and UNDP. Irene is a PhD candidate at UCL and she holds an MSc in Environmental Technology from Imperial College London and a double degree in Business & Economics from Northeastern University and Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore.
Managing Director, Vista Ventures Social Impact Fund
Bill Harrington is a consultant, investment advisor and investor in social enterprises. He is a principal in Vista Ventures, LLC, which provides advice to social entrepreneurs, socially motivated investors, NGOs and businesses, often located in developing countries. Bill has twenty-five years of business experience with microfinance institutions and small-and-medium-size enterprises in Latin America, Africa, and South Asia. He has authored papers on investment capital in microfinance, valuation in developing countries, and business planning.
Senior Partner, Agarwal Singhania & Co.
Vasudha is a Chartered Accountant and senior partner with New Delhi accounting firm Agarwal Singhania & Co. She has over 10 years’ experience as an accounting professional and spent 5 years at Big Four accounting firms. Vasudha supervises Oorja’s finance functions including reporting, audit and banking, and advises on accounting, compliance, tax legal and regulatory areas of the business. She has worked closely with organisation from global corporations including ENGIE, Enel and Statkraft to SMEs in the social sector.
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