Kinetic Chairman, Arun Firodia, who saw an opportunity at bottom-of-the-pyramid long before the phrase became a catchword and launched the moped Luna, now plans to launch a project that would bring power to villages.
The plan entails starting a pair of micro-electric plants at villages with a population of over 2,000. The mini power-generation stations, one each for solar and biomass, will have a capacity of around 35-kilowatts each.
"Through our family trust, we will soon be starting a pilot project in the backward Parbhani district, Maharashtra. It is not a philanthropical initiative and I am confident of it recovering costs. We are working on making it commercially viable," the 67-year-old Chairman of Kinetic told the news agency. The trust will be investing Rs 10-crore in the project.
Firodia, a technocrat who graduated from MIT, says the biomass plant can sustain on raw material collected at the village level itself and can help with electricity at night while the solar plant will deliver power during the day, hence reducing or ending the village's dependence on state grids.
"You can say that this is the micro finance of power generation...and the entire idea around which the thought revolves is making rural India self-sufficient in its energy needs," he said.
If the group would be getting into business once the model is established? he said, "I want it to be an open-source model which can be replicated across India...it is a good business for a small entrepreneur but too horizontal and human resources-intensive for a large corporation."