Read the full press release here.
Oorja among UN Best Small Business winners
Selected from nearly 2,000 applications from 135 countries, the 50 winners all showcase inspiring, diverse, and impactful solutions in improving access to healthy, sustainable food. They will also share US$100,000 in cash prizes. Read more about the hidden heroes of our food systems here.
Oorja CEO Amit Saraogi shortlisted for Waislitz Award
Amit Saraogi has been shortlisted for this award in recognition of his dedication to ending extreme poverty.
Oorja stands to win an award of up to $100,000, but we need your help now in the public voting process. Please click on the link below to vote for Amit and share this with your friends and colleagues too!
The 'cool' revolution is here.
We proudly announce the launch of Oonnayan - India's 1st decentralised PAYG Cooling-as-a-Service for smallholder farmers in Muzaffarpur district, Bihar. They will now be able to store their horticulture produce, extend shelf life and realise higher prices, increasing their incomes.
This third integrated productive use service in our growing portfolio being delivered through an inclusive, sustainable and customer-centric model will build resilience, enhance food security, expand livelihoods and reduce poverty.
Oorja wins SEIF Tech for Impact Award
This year the SEIF Awards 2021 Tech for Impact received 336 applications. Following two rounds of live pitches, the jury awarded the SEIF Award for Scalable Solutions to Oorja.
Water and Energy for Food (WE4F) Grand Challenge Awardees Announced
Oorja was selected among the 15 winners of the WE4F South and Southeast Asia Grant Challenge. WE4F supports innovations in water, energy and food and will invest $180,000 in expanding Oorja's Agri-Energy services across northern India in 2021-22. WE4F is an international partnership supported by USAID, the European Union, and international development agencies of Germany, Sweden and The Netherlands.
New video released features Oonnati solar irrigation service
Technology is a great leveller - if we harness its power for Access, Inclusion & Impact.
We invite you to watch this short film spotlighting our efforts in transforming the lives and livelihoods of the most underserved. We thank Cisco Global Problem Solver Challenge for helping us build the "bridge to possible".
❄️ Cooling as a service.
Available at the farm gate on a per-crate basis.
⚡ Agroprocessing as a service.
Available on-farm at a per-kg rate.
We are aligned to 5 of the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
PV capacity (kWp)
jobs created in
last-mile rural communities
litres of diesel and
kg CO2eq saved
CEO & Co-Founder
Amit has 20 years of 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 holds a Master’s degree in International Development from Columbia University and a BCom in Accountancy and Financial Management from Sydenham College.
CTO & Co-Founder
Clementine has worked as a renewable energy consultant for New Climate Economy, the European Commission, and the Grantham Institute for Climate Change and has expertise in cost-effective design of distributed energy systems. She holds a PhD in Bioenergy from Imperial College London and a Master’s in Chemical Engineering from the University of Cambridge.
Amit manages our field team and operators to timely installations and O&M, payment collections and outstanding customer servicing. He is a development professional bringing 5 years of diverse work experience. Amit has a Post Graduate Diploma in Development Management from Development Management Institute and BTech in IT from Anna University.
Pushpendra oversees site selection, installation, civil works and training for new solar projects, building on his three years of ground operations experience within the Oorja team. He 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.
Preeti is responsible for project and impact data management, external communications and report writing. She 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.
Sanjeet is a qualified electrical engineer with 5 years’ experience in decentralised solar energy projects. He has previously worked in design, installation and commissioning of solar irrigation pumps and mini-grids with Claro Energy across various states of India. Sanjeet completed his BTech in Electronics and Communication Engineering at Uttar Pradesh Technical University.
Shraddha focuses on data collection and digitalisation for new project, customer and payment data. She has three years' prior experience working as a Computer Assistant in the tax office of the Nagar Palika (Municipality) of Jaunpur and has also conducted surveys for the National Health Mission. Shraddha has a BSc in Biology from VBS Purvanchal University of Jaunpur.
Mahendra concentrates on site selection and farmer mobilisation for new solar projects. He is a postgraduate in Geography from RML Avadh University. He has been working as a community mobiliser on diverse social issues such as WASH and income generation for 5 years with various NGOs in Uttar Pradesh, most recently Aga Khan Foundation.
Chandan assists with site selection and customer and land acquisition for new projects and supports with operations of off-grid cold storages. He is an Agriculture graduate from HNB Garhwal University and handled various research projects focusing on seed science and technology during his Master’s program.
Amit started his career with Aga Khan Foundation and spent three years within their water and sanitation team in eastern UP. He belongs to Basti and has seen first-hand the challenges in farmers’ lives for irrigation, which motivated him to join Oorja. Amit has an MA in Sociology from DDU University Gorakhpur.
Business Development Assistant
Rohit is an experienced agri-professional with an MBA in Agri-Business Management from Dr. Rajendra Prasad Central Agricultural University, Pusa in Bihar. He brings 3 years of diverse experience in warehousing of agri-commodities, building market linkages and empowering farmers in better post-harvest management.
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.
Abhishek started his career in the social sector working with Aga Khan Foundation on their water and sanitation programme. He gave guidance to women, elders and children to support their education and economic development. Abhishek hails from Bahraich and holds a B.Sc in Agriculture and a B.Ed from Dr. Ram Manohar Lohiya Awadh University, Faizabad.
Bechan is responsible for civil and mechanical works including masonry, brickwork, plumbing and other work associated with new solar projects. He is a farmer originating from Bahraich, Uttar Pradesh and was previously an Operator of Oorja's solar projects for 2 years, during which time he learned the ropes of solar project operations.
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.
Emma is a current honors student at Santa Clara University majoring in economics with minors in math and philosophy. She is currently studying abroad at the University of Oxford and will be spending the summer as a Miller Center Fellow working with Oorja.
Cate is a Miller Center Fellow at Santa Clara University. She is majoring in economics and political science. Cate also volunteers with Into the Wild, a student-led non profit that organises outdoor experiences for Santa Clara University students.
Shruti is a final year MBA student in Agribusiness Management at SIIB, Pune with a strong desire to improve the livelihood of farmers through development of value chains. She graduated from National Institute of Food Technology Entrepreneurship and Management with a Degree in Food Technology and Management.
Operators are central to Oorja's mission.
Hired from the local communities where solar projects are installed, Pump Operators sell water to other farmers in their community and Cold Storage operators offer refrigeration services to farmers selling their produce in nearby markets. Operators also handle cash collections, register-keeping and security. They are usually farmers themselves, who have found alternative and secure livelihoods by becoming engaged in the workforce with Oorja, earning additional income to supplement their agricultural earnings.
Board of Advisors
Technical Assistance Facilitator and Gender Advisor, WE4F
Sasmita has a decade of experience in policy research, impact investing and ESG evaluation of companies, with a focus on gender equity and social inclusion. In her current role at the Water and Energy for Food (WE4F) Grand Challenge, South and Southeast Asia Regional Innovation Hub, she manages the technical assistance for all innovators and integrates a gender lens across key aspects of the program. Sasmita graduated with a Master’s in Development Studies from SOAS and a Post Graduate Diploma in Rural Management from XIMB.
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.
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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