Harish Hande (Managing Director, SELCO-India)

Harish Hande is the Managing Director of SELCO-India, which he co-founded with Neville Williams in 1995. Since 1995, SELCO has built a service network of 35 branches in 5 states, that caters to over half a million customers in rural and urban areas and has an employee strength of over 200.

Harish is widely recognized as a leading expert in the field of decentralized sustainable energy solutions for his persistent efforts in bringing these solutions to the doorstep of the poor. He was most notably awarded with Asia's prestigious Ramon Magsaysay Award for 2011. In 2012, he was appointed as the lead expert on solar high powered committee at the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE), Government of India. He was named the Social Entrepreneur of the Year 2007 by the Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship and the Nand & Jeet Khemka Foundation.

Through his leadership, SELCO has won several awards in recognition of its pioneering model since the early nineties- Financial Times Arcelor Mittal Boldness in Business Corporate Responsibility Award (2009), Outstanding Achievement Award from Ashden Awards (2005 and 2007), a leading green energy award and Tech Museum Award (2005).

Maria Athena Ronquillo-Ballesteros (Director of Sustainable Finance - WRI)

Maria Athena Ronquillo-Ballesteros is the Director of Sustainable Finance at WRI. She has been working on national and international climate policy with a particular focus on climate finance, sustainable energy and reform of international financial institutions for more than 10 years.

She is one of the technical and policy advisors to the Philippine negotiating team at the UNFCCC negotiations since 1997. Prior to joining WRI, she was head of Greenpeace International’s climate and energy program in Asia Pacific. She has been associated with Friends of the Earth/Legal Rights Center; Greenpeace International, Greenpeace Southeast Asia (SEA); Climate Action Network-SEA and the Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities (ICSC).

She is one of the founding members of the Asian NGO Forum on the Asian Development Bank (ADB). Athena is the founder and chair of the Board of the Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities (formerly GRIPP, Inc). Athena serves on the Board of several non-profit organizations including the Bank Information Center (BIC); IcSC and Asian BiO.

Jeffrey Prins (Programme Manager - DOEN Foundation)

Jeffrey was born and raised in Michigan, U.S.A. After receiving his college degree (Bachelor of Arts) he decided to move to the Netherlands permanently, where both his parents are from, and to study in Amsterdam for his Masters Degree. He subsequently worked at the European Parliament (Brussels and Strasbourg) and then the Dutch Parliament (The Hague) as a policy advisor. He joined DOEN Foundation in 2005, the main fund of the three private Charity Lotteries in the Netherlands (i.a. Dutch Postcode Lottery). At DOEN he is responsible for establishing investment priorities and allocating funding, particularly in the field of climate change/energy and DOEN’s most recent program: “designing a new economy”. This particular investment program includes support to organizations such as The Cradle to Cradle Institute (San Francisco) and The Biomimicry 3.8 Institute (Missoula). Jeffrey is still active in politics as a City Council Member (Amsterdam).

Coy Navarro (ADB Energy For All)

Coy is an Access to Energy Specialist at the Asian Development Bank. has experience across Philippines, Indonesia, India, Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Singapore. He is also the PFAN (Private Financing Advisory Network) Philippines Country Coordinator. He has been working on identifying proponents for renewable energy in the Philippines, improving the bankability of the clean energy proponents identified during project sourcing and investment facilitation.

As an Access to Energy Expert at ADB, he has worked on the Empowering the Poor through Increasing Access to Energy project for scaling up energy access in Asia and the Pacific.

In the past he has also held the position of the Indonesia Country Manager, PFAN (June 2010 to August 2010) and Project Development Expert, PFAN Philippines (July 2009 to May 2010).


Panel Discussion : End User Financing for Clean Energy and Water Access- The Financial Institutions Perspective

Nicola Armacost

Niki Armacost is the Managing Director of Arc Finance. She has 20 years of experience in development throughout Africa, Asia, Latin America and Eastern Europe.

From 1993 to 2008, Niki worked at Women's World Banking (WWB), a global microfinance organization. In her last position at WWB, Niki was the Director of Linkages and Learning and served as part of the senior management team. Prior to this position, Niki held leadership roles at WWB in the areas of knowledge management, market development, policy, and communications.

Currently Niki serves as an advisor to several organizations including Distributed Capital (financial services, USA), Frontier Markets (distribution systems, USA), SIMPA Networks (payment systems, USA), Stima Systems (micro-leasing, USA) and Ecozoom (cookstoves, USA). She also serves on the Board of Global Exchange (a human rights organization based in California) and on the Board of the Microfinance Investment Support Facility for Afghanistan (Misfa).


Mr. P. Satish is the Chief General Manager (CGM), of the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD). Prior to this he was the Secretary to the Board of the Bank.

Mr. Satish has headed NABARD’s Maharashtra Regional Office where he undertook initiatives including the Climate Change Adaptation Project, Agri-Advisory Project in tie-up with RML, Weather Advisory Project in tie-up with IMD and KVKs, Vidarbha model of Financial Inclusion with BC/BF and others. Earlier he was heading the Finance Department of NABARD at its Head Office and had also worked in the areas of microfinance and rural infrastructure financing. He was the General Manager at NABARD’s Chandigarh Regional Office. He has worked as NABARD’s District Development Manager in the state of Andhra Pradesh. He was a Faculty Member at Bankers’ Institute of Rural Development (BIRD).  In the early stages of his career he was with Reserve Bank of India.

Mr. Satish was involved with several consultancy and action research projects for national and international organizations. He has studied and documented rural finance and microfinance programmes in more than a dozen countries across Asia, Africa and Latin America.


Ravi Shankar

Ravi Shankar is the Executive Vice President, Marketing & Rural Business

of Fullerton India Credit Company Limited. A marketing professional with over 24 years of experience in Sales & Marketing, Advertising, Market Research & Business Consulting across a wide range of sectors including Finance, Automotive, Aviation & Travel, Real Estate, IT, FMCG. Through his career he has been involved with the launch and marketing of several brands and products to segments that range from the premium to the “bottom of the pyramid”.

At Fullerton India Ravi has helped shape and build Fullerton India’s rural retail finance business which operates under the brand name of “Gramshakti.” He has led the Gramshakti team of over 2500 officers, to build a formidable footprint of 147 branches, covering over 500 towns and over 23000 villages in 7 Indian states.

Today the rural business has a successful, high-growth, profitable, rural retail financing model that today has over 600,000 customers catering to the growing needs of the rural segment with its multiproduct offerings. He conceptualized and successfully implemented Gramshakti’s unique Merchandise Loan product to improve access of eco-friendly and other relevant products like Cook Stoves, Solar energy products, bicycles, etc among rural households.

Naresh K Joshi

Naresh K Joshi is a Retired General Manager from Bank Of India. Mr. Joshi had launched the project for promotion of Green Energy at Aryavart Gramin Bank (AGB). He launched a scheme to finance for purchase of Solar Home Lighting Systems to the existing customers of the AGB, Lucknow. He also initiated the movement to run branches on solar power. His work as the Founder Chairman of Lucknow’s AGB, won him and the bank the prestigious Ashden International Award in 2008 for sustainable energy.

Mr. Joshi started his career with Bank of India (BOI) as Direct Recruit Officer [DRO] in Nagpur in 1970. Post his retirement; Mr. Joshi has been actively involved in consulting and in training/delivering lectures on solar energy across India. He continues to play a strong role in encouraging banks to introduce solar financing.

Mohan K Baliyarsingh

Mr.  Mohan K Baliyarsingh has got more than 22 years of working experience in development sector especially in Financial Inclusion domain. His areas of expertise include microfinance and livelihoods promotions. He started his career from Rashtriya Gramin Vikas Nidhi (a national level funding agency sponsored by IFCI, IDBI and NABARD) and worked in various national and international organizations including CARE, ACCION International, ACCESS Development Services.

Mr. Baliyarsingh started his first commercial Microfinance program in 1996 in Odisha with the support of RGVN. He has provided technical assistance to MFIs and particularly COMFIs to market water and energy access products.

Mr. Baliyarsingh is currently associated with Mahashakti Foundation as a Senior Advisor. He is also pursuing credit plus activities for better health and sanitation through various MFIs and COMFIs.


BoP Marketing and Distribution for Clean Energy and Water Companies 

Paul Needham

Paul Needham co-founded Simpa Networks with the bold mission to make clean energy simple, affordable and investible. The company sells solar-as-a-service to energy-poor households and SMEs in rural India

Mr. Needham is a seasoned Infotech entrepreneur, having started several companies and sold two.  As Simpa PresidentPaul brings 14 years in senior leadership roles in the Infotech sector having held CEO, VP and Director level roles at private and public companies including Microsoft. Paul holds a masters degree from Cambridge University in development economics and now lives with his family in Bangalore.


Investor panel  

Abhay Garg

Abhay is a Portfolio Manager at Acumen India with primary responsibility for the Energy, Water and Sanitation Portfolios. Prior to Acumen, Abhay worked with Axis Private Equity which manages a USD 150 M fund focused on the infrastructure sector. At Axis PE, Abhay led the fund’s investment and exit in Shalivahana, which is the largest biomass based power producer in India. Additionally, he worked extensively in areas of the social infrastructure sector including education, healthcare and logistics. His earlier experience includes working as a dealer in foreign exchange and derivatives for corporate clients at ICICI Bank treasury, and as a tax consultant with Arthur Andersen.

Currently, Abhay is a Director on the Boards of Husk Power Systems, Avani Bio Energy and Guardian.

Abhay holds an MSc in Finance from London Business School. He is also a qualified Chartered Accountant and Company Secretary.

Karan Gupta

Karan joined Insitor Management in 2011 as India's Investment Manager. Prior to joining Insitor, Karan was a partner at Breathe India Ventures, a Indian low-carbon investment advisor; and earlier at Network Enterprises Fund, a sustainable venture fund of the ICICI Group. On the entrepreneurial side, Karan has also co-promoted a VC-funded affordable housing finance company in India and a restaurant business in Australia. Karan studied at the University of Melbourne, Australia, completing his Bachelor of Science in ICT and a Master of Commerce in Finance at the Melbourne Business School.

Insitor Impact Fund is a social venture capital fund focused on seed stage investments in Developing Asia. Insitor seeks to create impact through investing in startups whose direct beneficiaries are the underserved and the underprivileged segments of society.

Insitor was founded in 2009, with its HQ in Phnom Penh, Cambodia and regional offices in Delhi, India and Yangon, Myanmar. Till date the fund has invested in over 12 companies  across sectors including Energy Access, Affordable Healthcare, Affordable Housing, Water and Microfinance. 

Kartik Desai

Kartik is Senior Investment Manager for Aavishkaar Frontier Fund, responsible for sourcing, evaluating and managing Aavishkaar’s investments in South and Southeast Asia. He has more than 11 years of global experience in international development and policy, management consulting, investment banking, private equity, venture capital / impact investing and social entrepreneurship working with organizations including the Rockefeller Foundation, Accenture, the United Nations Development Program, the BTS Group, DSP Merrill Lynch, Lok Capital and What’s up Bharat.

Kartik has a Bachelor in Economics from the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, dual-majoring in Finance and Management, and a Master of International Affairs from Columbia University, majoring in International Finance and Business with a regional focus on South Asia.

Rupa Pandit

Ms. Rupa Pandit is a founding member of Nereus Capital. Nereus Capital’s India Alternative Energy Fund invests in independent power producers that develop, construct, and operate alternative energy projects in India. The Fund’s investment focus includes wind power, hydropower, solar power, and large-scale energy efficiency projects. Ms. Pandit has over ten years of experience in alternative asset management and has been investing in Indian companies since 2005.

Prior to Nereus Capital, Ms. Pandit was at the D. E. Shaw group in their New York, Mumbai, and Delhi offices. At the D. E. Shaw group, she held roles in investing and business/strategy development. Ms. Pandit was one of the founders of D. E. Shaw’s Indian private equity platform where she invested across sectors including real estate, media, and renewable energy. Prior to her role at the D. E. Shaw group, Ms. Pandit was an entrepreneur in the internet technology and healthcare sectors. She is a graduate of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Cambridge, USA.

Martin Wright

Martin Wright is a Director of Forum for the Future, with particular responsibility for India. He is Founding Editor of Green Futures, the world’s leading magazine on environmental solutions and sustainable futures.

He is Visiting Judge for the Ashden Awards for Sustainable Energy. He divides his time between London and Mumbai.

Martin has over 20 years’ experience as a writer, editor, broadcaster and communications and strategy adviser. He has contributed to a wide range of newspapers, magazines and websites, including The Guardian, The Financial Times, Newsweek, New Scientist, The Times of India and many others. He has also broadcast for various radio and TV channels including the BBC and independent television.

Martin has won a number of awards as both a writer and photographer, including Science and Environment Journalist of the Year and Wildlife Photographer of the Year (runner up). He chairs conferences and events for The Guardian, Forum for the Future and the RSA in London, New York, Delhi and Beijing. He was Chair of the Judging Panel of the Guardian Sustainable Business Awards in 2012-13.

Martin advises both business and non-government organisations on communicating environmental and sustainability issues effectively and with integrity to a wide variety of audiences. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (RSA).