|Experts discuss actionable ideas for energy inclusion through Pay-As-You-Go in India at the Solar Leadership Series 1.0 by Greenlight Planet. Above (from L to R): Rajeev Palakshappa (IFC), Rajpal Duggal (Oxigen Services India), Harihara Mohapatra (CLEAN), Vivek Tiwari (Satya Microcapital) and Alexie Seller (Pollinate Energy)|
The Solar Leadership Series, a proprietary event by Greenlight Planet brought together experts from across industries to explore the potential of Pay-As-You-Go (PAYG) technology in achieving energy inclusion. Aptly titled “Pay-As-You-Go: The Panacea for Energy Poverty”, this first-of-its-kind event was aimed at accelerating the pace of PAYG adoption in India. The event saw Rajpal Duggal – Oxigen Services India, Charu Chadha - GSMA, Johanna Diecker - GOGLA, Harihara Mohapatra - CLEAN, Vivek Tiwari - Satya Microcapital, Rajeev Palakshappa - IFC, Alexie Seller - Pollinate Energy, Vibhuti Garg - IISD and PAYG veteran Sanjay Bharti contribute as panelists.
With 240 million Indians still living off the grid, the lack of access to reliable, affordable energy, as well as limited solar financing options remain a major barrier to development. Greenlight Planet’s own PAYG technology-enabled products (EasyBuy), has seen exponential growth in Africa since its introduction in 2015. Says Dhaval Radia, Global Business Leader at Greenlight Planet, “EasyBuy benefits everyone involved. For financing partners, it reduces the credit risk involved with technology that shuts down the devices on non-payment, and for off-grid customers, it enables them to access consumer financing, aligned with their incomes and build credit history. Once they build credit history with timely repayment of these basic solar devices, it unlocks huge market of potential consumers that are currently out of the financial system. From our experience in Africa, we’ve learnt that for PAYG technologies to work, it is essential to build an ecosystem of strategic partnerships involving distribution networks, digital payment providers and financial institutions. As we entered the Indian market, the Solar Leadership Series was born as a way for us to reach across the board and build scalable business solutions together.”
The first panel discussion, “Digitization of Distribution and Financing Channels through Pay-As-You-Go” saw optimism in the extensive possibilities PAYG has to offer. “PAYG, with its unique data analytics advantage allows for a better understanding of customer demographics and repayment rates. This can be used to make better lending decisions by financial institutions,” said Johanna Diecker. Sanjay Bharti said that he believes PAYG could be a big push for digitization, adding “PAYG's digitised operations leads to a better product design, optimization of operations and a more controlled supply chain mechanism.”
The second panel discussed “Linking Energy Inclusion and Distribution Channels for BoP”. Rajpal Duggal said “Since access to clean lighting is a critical need, we may see mobile wallet use increase in India’s BoP market.” Vivek Tiwari added, “PAYG solar opens the market for small distribution companies providing solar solutions in remote rural areas.” Alexie Seller hailed PAYG as a complete package for addressing energy poverty, “The key success of PAYG in India will be real-time information exchange between solution providers and consumers.”
The Solar Leadership Series 1.0 reinforced Greenlight Planet’s belief that Pay-As-You-Go is the financing revolution waiting to transform clean energy access. The company has completed a series of successful EasyBuy pilots in India, and is planning to scale these learnings across current and potential partners. The next event in the Solar Leadership Series will be scheduled shortly as Greenlight Planet expects to get a deeper into understanding the challenges and way forward for the PAYG industry. About Greenlight Planet
Greenlight Planet has sold over 7 million Sun King solar home energy products to off-grid households around the world. Greenlight Planet reaches remote, off-grid customers through a unique business model involving a vast network of micro entrepreneurs, more than 400 global strategic distribution partners, and its proprietary EasyBuy (“pay-as-you-go”) installment payment technology that makes safe, high-quality solar energy products affordable for all. Winners of 2016 Ashden Awards, Greenlight Planet is currently present in 60+ countries and serves over 25 million consumers. Find out more at https://www.greenlightplanet.com