ONergy: Developing a social entrepreneurship startup brand Harvard Case Solution & Analysis

ONergy: Developing a social entrepreneurship startup brand    Case Solution 


The young entrepreneur, Piyush Jaju, was an economist. He received his undergraduate degree from St. Xavier's College and did his masters in management from SP Jain, India. Jaju left his finance job in the international firm with the motive to do something that would help India to become more competitive and sustainable. Jaju was a passionate personality with an ambition to do something for his country. Also, he was enthusiastic about sustainability and parity as a businessman and he intended to focus on this concern.

Before establishing ONergy, Piyush, Kothari and Vinay Jaju established an NGO (non-government organization), named Switch ON, with the objective to form an ecosystem to facilitate the access to energy and to promote the employment in rural areas by training, and supporting innovation. This NGO focused on climate changes. SwitchON was influential in spreading environmental awareness within rural societies, mainly by utilizing Bangla Natak (Bengali drama). In 2009, Jaju and his team made a documentary film named ‘Why New Coal?’. This film evaluated the growth of India, which was based on fossil fuels, and it pressurized the sustainable and equitable advancements. Jaju was a bicyclist, and he bicycled from Kolkata to Delhi for the promotion of the film. Switch ON gained a massive response, and through its various projects Switch ON has reached up to 60,000 people across India. The film has raised many concerns regarding unearned communities of India as they do not have any access to the power grid of the country and also the actual action was taken by government officials to deal with these issues. Moreover, Switch ON began its work towards its objective of facilitating poor rural household by providing access to a solar lighting system. In order to deal with the issues regarding the affordability of power, accessibility of power and technology, Switch ON planned to establish business venture so that it could address these issue more effectively.

Juju and his team built a for-profit organization named ONergy in 2009. This startup functioned under vertical integration, however the horizontal integration was also used to provide a series of suitable energy products. ONergy established renewable energy centers (RECs) to create a system that assimilated technology, finance, and other organizations. RECs became the primary node for the business delivery of the company. RECs facilitated the company's mode of doing business. Through RECs, the company started consumer financing with the association of rural banks and micro finance institutions. ONergy was intended to offer complete solutions for home lighting in rural areas of India.Additionally, it also had the vision to reduce the gap in the distribution of power and finance for such products.

The vision of this organization, ONergy, was to provide absolute energy solutions in the rural areas of the country, and for the reason of creating an environment which connects finance technology and other related organizations. (Dr. Saikat Banerjee and Amit Aneja, 2014)

The company had launched a variety of products including solar lights, solar lanterns, solar direct current home electrification, solar water heaters, solar heater, solar current inverters, solar street lights and others. ONergy provided comprehensive energy solutions for cooking and lighting in rural household areas in India. Moreover, ONergy understood the problems of rural household communities of India to facilitate their basic needs. RECs supervised the whole distribution process by providing awareness, instructions, training, and financing alternatives to the recipients. Finally, the company has witnessed a steady growth in its profit, and its employee cost has also increased steadily..................

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