A country has done something right, when her best and brightest return to genuinely make a difference. It’s sustainable and scalable (to borrow from the American India Foundation’s standards) and is a chance at real change and impact.
Originally posted on Gigaom:
After spending years in the U.S. acquiring an MBA and working at several tech companies, Inderpreet Wadhwa returned to his native India to build a solar power business. India is an emerging market for solar, and many residents have no access to electricity and blackouts can be common. Now his company, Azure Power, will be building one of India’s first megawatt-scale rooftop solar projects that will put solar panels on dozens of rooftops and share revenues from power sales with building owners.
Speaking by phone from his home in New Delhi, Wadhwa told us he had no experience in solar energy development before he started venture-backed Azure Power in 2007, though his electronic engineering degree has come in handy in technology assessment and project engineering. After years of working at companies such as Oracle and a consumer marketing software startup Loyalty Lab, he wanted to do something “more socially conscious.”
Up until now, Azure Power has been building ground-mounted solar power projects in India, in states such Gujarat and Punjab, where Azure built its first megawatt project in 2009. Since then, the company has completed or is building 56 MW of projects, Wadhwa said. An independent power producer, Azure engineers, builds and operates power projects to sell electricity to utilities.