Gram Oorja: Energy Access for Remote Rural India

Gram Oorja: Energy Access for Remote Rural India

Smita Chaudhry, Ganesh N Prabhu

Gram Oorja’s mission was to make energy available to people in remote areas in India where the government power supply grid had not reached. They installed solar microgrids and biogas plants in locations where these technologies were found to be viable. The microgrid projects were funded primarily through corporate social responsibility spending by interested corporates approached by Gram Oorja. The community of households receiving electricity was made responsible and accountable for maintaining the grid and replacing batteries by charging users on consumption measured with meters. 

The case discusses the inception of Gram Oorja and the evolution of their unique community-based business model. It describes the process of project implementation and the post-implementation activities. The case also presents the perspective of the consumers and highlights the potential for long term development of remote rural locations through energy access. New domains of energy access including irrigation and biogas, along with future plans are also discussed. 

The financial performance of Gram Oorja over the years gives an indication of its journey of learning and growth. The case highlights the challenges being faced by the organization in an evolving environment. It challenges students to find new pathways for Gram Oorja to grow towards its mission.

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