Friday, June 20, 2008

Lighting Up Rural India -

Below is an article Forbes published about D.Light Design. I had the good fortune of finding Sam and Ned last year. D.Light goes to show that, with a strong management team and a sound business model, businesses can simultaneously unlock social and financial value at the BoP.

Lighting Up Rural India - "Some 1.6 billion people around the world live without access to regular electricity. A start-up company founded by some ambitious recent graduates of Stanford Business School aims to ease that problem--and make a profit at the same time.

The company, d.light design based in New Delhi, India, has developed a trio of lights created for a market it calls the 'base of the pyramid'--including people who live on the equivalent of $1 a day. Its portable Nova light, which it is debuting on Monday, has a high-powered LED that d.light claims can run for 40 hours on a full charge. It comes with a solar panel, so recharging costs nothing. The Nova also works on an AC charger. D.light plans to sell the light for $15 to $30; the higher price includes both the solar charging panel and the AC charger.

Many people in India and Africa without electricity currently use kerosene lanterns as a light source. But kerosene emits unhealthy fumes, is an extremely dim light and far too often ends up burning people or homes in accidents.

'People leave the kerosene lantern on low all night long as a kind of night light, and they wake up and cough black soot,' explains d.light design President Ned Tozun. 'Our mission is to eradicate the use of kerosene.'

This isn't the only project to try to bring alternative power to"


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