Who We Are

SELCO is a rural energy service company, with its headquarters in Bangalore, Karnataka, India. Established in 1995, to disprove the following 'myths' and over the last 20 years

Myths

Poor people cannot afford sustainable technologies

Installed over 450,000 so called ‘expensive’ solar solutions for the poor which have been paid for by the poor using various financing methods designed by SELCO and its financial partners that match their cash flows.

Poor people cannot maintain sustainable technologies

Combining door step service models via energy service centres and hiring local youths to maintain the solar systems in rural areas. Many of the employees of SELCO are from the local villages adding a sense of trust and responsibility that is crucial when targeting underserved communities.

Social ventures cannot be run as commercial entities

SELCO has successfully grown many folds over the years while promoting energy services like solar power to the rural poor. It has maintained modest profits in the last 8 years with growth rates at an annual average of 20%. It has reinvested its profits back into the company for further growth.

Our Philosophy

Tacking affordability with financing matched to cash flows

SELCO views energy access as an underlying precondition to catalyze progress related to health, education, livelihoods, financial inclusion and so on leading to overall improvement in quality of life. It understands the root of the problem within context and then assesses how energy can resolve it.

Scaling Impact vs Supersizing

SELCO views scale from three dimensions i.e. out-reaching more people over geographies, deep- reaching more people lower down the economic ladder and across-diversifying the range of energy solutions. Another mode of scale practiced is to build an expansive network of partners who institutionalize key aspects of energy access deployment such as policy, end user financing, innovation etc. and further push the overall mission of the sector through their own roles and perspectives.

Investing in its people

We strive to embody the values of inclusive impact by ensuring that our internal processes and practices aim to counter the inequities inside and outside the organization over time. Staff at SELCO reflects a mix of the society: in terms of gender, caste, color and religion and more importantly over 90% of SELCO’s 450 employees are from the local areas they serve. As a result there is a reinforcement of mutual trust, empathy and sensitivity between the client base and SELCO. These values are further imprinted with a lot of upward mobility of our people within the organization.

Does not fit a solution to a problem

SELCO views energy access as an underlying precondition to catalyze progress related to health, education, livelihoods, financial inclusion and so on leading to overall improvement in quality of life. It understands the root of the problem within context and then assesses how energy can resolve it.

Poor as Partners

SELCO’s solutions are designed based on the needs of the poor. The non-expendable incomes of the poor, make it imperative to create services and products that leads to creation of assets for them: assets that can provide economic and social stability for the poor thus negating the threats of potential vulnerability in the future. At SELCO, the poor are looked at as partners, innovators, inventors, enterprise owners in order to develop solutions that are truly inclusive and not designed based on assumptions of what the poor need.

Our Investments

SELCO has carefully structured its investment journey to achieve financial sustainability and retain its social mission by (i) partnering with non-profit, impact first investors, (ii) not focusing on quarterly assessments of performance rather, opting for long term investments in its people and operations. It has also crafted ownership structure and the shareholder agreements (SHA) that have cemented the inclusive nature of the organization and protected the mission of the organization irrespective of changing investors or management.

Geographies

SELCO operates in Karnataka, Kerala, Maharashtra, Bihar and Tamil Nadu. SELCO delivers sustainable decentralized energy solutions for the poor in a manner that not only creates value for the end user but also ensures that the solution is a long term one.

See Our Branches
What We Do Image

SELCO's solutions meet the needs of the poor and facilitates linkages to local financial institutions who can design customized credit solutions to enhance affordability. SELCO uses a two-pronged approach of door step service and finance.

What We Do

Our Stats

000,000

Clients

00

Branches

000

Employees

00

Local Financial Partners

SELCO Family

SELCO recognized an unjust equilibrium – where the very poor are trapped in a cycle of poverty exacerbated by unreliable or unavailable energy access. Given its two decade experience, SELCO has concluded the most effective way to catalyze broader adoption of energy solutions would be to cultivate a conducive market environment with five key ecosystem conditions: financial inclusion (access to funding), human resource development (local talent), inclusive policies (government support), market linkages (local suppliers), and technology and design (products that meet customer needs). If these conditions all exist, we postulate it creates a new equilibrium in which long term energy solutions will flourish, improving quality of life for the very poor and ultimately alleviating poverty.