Increase productivity and income of smallholder farmers and small businesses in off-grid and underelectrified communities in rural India by deploying decentralized clean energy systems to provide reliable and affordable irrigation, cold storage, and agro-processing services with no upfront cost.
Oorja’s vision is to create economic opportunity, improve standards of living, and combat the climate emergency in rural agrarian communities. It provides integrated clean energy solutions for productive use to power income-generating appliances and replace diesel engines and motors along the agro-industrial value chain in off-grid and severely under-electrified BoP communities in rural India. It engineers, finances, installs, operates, and maintains decentralized energy systems and provides reliable and affordable pay-as-you-go solar irrigation, refrigeration, and agro-processing services to smallholder farmers and small businesses. There is no upfront cost barrier to end users, and they are able to access the three services year-round on demand, allowing them to intensify and diversify their crops, reduce wastage of perishable produce, and process their harvest. This helps increase their productivity and income and expand livelihood opportunities in their community, while saving significant greenhouse gas emissions. Oorja’s impact objectives are threefold: Reduce expenses on fossil fuels in favor of clean energy, increase productivity and income among smallholder farmers and small businesses, and mitigate climate change by reducing greenhouse gas emissions from diesel motors.
Amit Saraogi is co-founder and chief executive officer of Oorja, responsible for business strategy, fundraising, operations, and stakeholder engagement for providing clean, reliable, and affordable energy services for productive use along the agro-industrial value chain in rural India. He hopes to reduce dependence on fossil fuels and increase renewables in India’s energy mix. He has diverse global experience in business consulting, financial services, and development practice. He co-founded a microfranchise retail enterprise to provide affordable clothing to low-income families and conducted multi-stakeholder primary research for UNICEF, examining policy interventions in primary education. A fellowship in social entrepreneurship gave him the opportunity to better understand frameworks in social enterprise development, leading him to appreciate the role markets play in driving social change and prompting him to find sustainable solutions to energy poverty and climate change. He holds a master’s degree in international affairs with a concentration in poverty alleviation from Columbia University and a professional certification in social entrepreneurship. He was recognized by SE100 as one of the Most Inspiring Social Entrepreneurs in 2017. Amit is a 2015 Echoing Green Fellow.
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