Harish Hande

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Harish Hande ‌
ಹರೀಶ ಹಂದೆ
Harish Hande - India Economic Summit 2011.jpg
Hande at the World Economic Forum India Economic Summit in 2011
Born Handattu, Kundapura Taluk, Udupi District, Karnataka
Alma mater IIT Kharagpur
Occupation social entrepreneur

Harish Hande (Kannada: ಹರೀಶ್ ಹಂದೆ) is an Indian social entrepreneur, who co-founded SELCO India in 1995. SELCO India is a social enterprise that provides sustainable energy services to the poor in India.[1] He was awarded with Asia's prestigious Ramon Magsaysay Award for 2011, also sometimes referred to as Asia's Nobel Prize, for “his pragmatic efforts to put solar power technology in the hands of the poor, through his social enterprise SELCO India”.[2] In 2013 the Trustees of University of Massachusetts conferred on Harish Hande their highest honour by awarding him the Doctorate of Humane Letters. [3]

Early life and education[edit]

He was born in Handattu (ಹಂದಟ್ಟು), Kundapura Taluk (ಕುಂದಾಪುರ), Udupi District, Karnataka and raised in Rourkela, Orissa, India. After completing his basic schooling in Orissa in Ispat English Medium School, he went to IIT Kharagpur for his undergraduate studies in Energy Engineering.[4] He then went to the U.S. to do his Master’s and later PhD. in Energy Engineering at the University of Massachusetts Lowell.[5]


Hande co-founded SELCO INDIA (in 1995), a social enterprise, to eradicate poverty by promoting sustainable technologies in rural India. With its headquarters in Bangalore, 38 energy service centers in Karnataka and Gujarat, Maharashtra, Bihar and Tamil Nadu in India 

SELCO INDIA under the leadership of Hande has won the Ashden Award for Sustainable Energy 2005 and Accenture Economic Development Award for 2005.[6] In 2007 SELCO INDIA again won the Ashden Award, this time for "Outstanding Achievement" in energy sector.[7] The award was presented by Al Gore, former Vice President of the United States of America. Hande was named the Social Entrepreneur of the Year 2007[8] by the Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship[9] and the Nand & Jeet Khemka Foundation.[10] In 2008, Hande was chosen by Business Today as one of the "21 young leaders for India’s 21st century".[11] Later, in June 2008, India Today named him one of the 50 pioneers of change in India.[12]

Harish Hande was also awarded the Karnataka Rajyotsava Prashasti in 2011 by the Government of Karnataka.[13]


External links[edit]