Tuesday, 2 March 2010

Mariana visits NEST's expanding solar business

Our International Programme Manager, Mariana, was recently able to make a visit to NEST in Hyderabad after attending the Sustainable Energy India conference :

“This was a great experience, it made a huge difference to actually see NEST in action; its offices, assembly room and the surrounding areas. In my time spent with NEST I was able to learn a lot about how it has progressed as an organisation in the last few years.

NEST, who won an award in 2005, is doing very well as a business. They have been growing in geographical reach and in the products they offer. They have recently come out with the Ashwarya WOW, which uses LED bulbs and lasts several more hours.

NEST would like to be growing at a faster pace, reaching more homes and individuals without access to electricity. Bharat Barki, Director of NEST, believes the market for solar lanterns is huge in India and is just now reaching a moment where it will really take off. One reason it has taken longer than expected to expand, however, is due to solar receiving a reputation for bad quality and maintenance: a certain number of programmes and projects go for cheaper options with less quality or do not set up a system for follow-up maintenance. NEST, however, has been working extensively in this area to provide a quality service and believes they offer one of the best products and on-going maintenance programmes. In fact, they have recently received an order for more than double the amount they have sold in the last 10 years! They believe they will have sold close to a million solar home systems in the next 12 months”.

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