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Harish Hande, Social entrepreneur, Biography,
Social Entrepreneur

Empowering Communities: The Visionary Journey of Harish Hande

Harish Hande stands as a beacon of innovation and social change, dedicated to transforming lives through renewable energy solutions. As the co-founder of the Solar Electric Light Company (SELCO) India and the current CEO of SELCO Foundation, his pioneering work has touched the lives of hundreds of thousands of people across India’s rural landscape.

Harish Hande
(Social entrepreneur)

Early Life and Academic Pursuits
Born in Handattu, Udupi District, Karnataka, Harish Hande’s journey began amidst the serene landscapes of southern India. Raised in Rourkela, Orissa, he embarked on his academic odyssey at the Ispat English Medium School before pursuing his passion for energy engineering at the prestigious Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Kharagpur. Graduating in 1990, he further honed his expertise at the University of Massachusetts Lowell, earning both a Master’s degree and a PhD in renewable energy engineering and mechanical engineering, respectively.

Pioneering Renewable Energy Solutions
Harish Hande’s mission revolves around innovation and ecosystem building, driven by a profound commitment to social impact. Through SELCO, he has spearheaded initiatives that have illuminated over 500,000 impoverished households across six Indian states. SELCO’s core endeavor lies in providing energy systems that cater to a myriad of needs, including lighting, water pumping, clean cooking, communication, computing, entertainment, and small business appliances.

Recognition and Accolades
In recognition of his transformative contributions, Harish Hande was honored with the prestigious Magsaysay Award in 2011, a testament to his unwavering dedication to improving the lives of the underserved through sustainable energy solutions.

Personal Life and Commitment to Service
Despite his global acclaim, Harish Hande remains grounded in his personal life. Married to Rupal Trivedi, his college companion from UMASS, their union is blessed with a vibrant five-year-old daughter. While Hande traverses village landscapes, spreading light and hope, his family resides in the United States, a testament to his unwavering commitment to his mission.

Harish Hande’s journey is not merely one of professional success, but a testament to the transformative power of vision and perseverance. Through his pioneering efforts in renewable energy and unwavering commitment to social impact, he continues to inspire generations, illuminating pathways to a brighter and more sustainable future for all.


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