Urja Mitras / Sahelis

Vayam has developed a cadre of successful entrepreneurs who have taken light to the darkest corners of the villages and have been able to self-sustain on renewable energy. These Urja Mitras and Sahelis are VLEs (Village Level Entrepreneurs) who provide home and community lighting solutions by becoming a channel between the producer and the customers.

Vayam facilitates this by recognizing potential entrepreneurs who take the quality solar products to villagers on a trade finance/informal credit mechanism. These lighting systems are provided by Panasonic and are backed by a nationwide network of service centers.

Vayam’s approach to training and capacity building of such VLEs and the community is to relate the use of solar devices with the use of the cellular phone. Two years ago, the user would not have believed that the mobile would be as indispensible to her as it is today. Likewise the solar light. She can scarcely imagine how dependent she would get for cooking, eating, studying, farm-work and more, on the solar light she is unsure of today. Similarly, today when there is a problem with her phone she searches out the nearest company service point, instead of returning to the seller. Likewise with Panasonic. They are the only company with service infrastructure across 500+ towns. Direct-to-company is an innovative behaviour change we at Vayam are bringing about in the ground with our VLEs.

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