Oorja was founded by Amit Saraogi MIA’06 with the mission of using clean energy as a catalyst for economic empowerment of bottom of the pyramid populations in rural India. Oorja is packaging power for last-mile Rural Markets.



Company:
Oorja
Location: India

Why We Love Oorja

Oorja designs and installs solar-powered mini-grids for businesses, agriculture and BoP households in rural India that lead to improved livelihoods, job creation and access to services.  Oorja deploys decentralized power plants by leveraging an innovative micro-franchise business model to work towards combating energy poverty and climate change. One in five of India’s 1.3 billion people live without electricity — significantly hampering their economic opportunity.  Oorja is changing that one power grid at a time!  One thing that is unique about Oorja is that they design their products in partnership with their customers — involving customers in the decision-making process.    

Amit's Entrepreneurial Journey

During SIPA, Amit did consulting assignments for UNICEF during the summer internship and as part of the EPD capstone project. The social, environmental and economic challenges associated with working in a developing setting inspired Amit to get involved in social development. He received a fellowship from IDEX which allowed him to network within the sector and he met his co-founder during the Climate-KIC summer school on finding solutions to climate change". Before launching Oorja, Amit spent a year in the field interviewing potential customers and understanding their needs as well as demands.

Running a High Impact Business

Oorja measures impact by deploying a rigorous data collection process. The organization collects midline and midline data on energy consumption patterns as well as assesses how the provision of electricity and water to farmers (through solar pumps) improves customers’ productivity and, ultimately, their financial disposition.

Advice to Aspiring Entrepreneurs

"My advice is that you only launch ventures that you are extremely excited about. Entrepreneurship is an arduous process and your level of passion needs to remain high throughout. I also recommend that you find the right co-founder and be sure that you are equally mission aligned. I also encourage you to seek advice from as many people as you can and network extensively — especially when you are trying to raise funds.  It is a long journey and you may not see results right away.  The key to success is to be patient and passionate."

Favorite Place on Campus

"SIPA’s cafeteria on the 6th floor — it’s a great place to meet and engage with people as well as learn from your peers. It’s a great give and take environment."

Learn more about Oorja:

Oorja 


SIPA Entrepreneurs Changing the World