Gham Power Nepal Private Limited is a renewable-energy focused social enterprise based in Kathmandu, Nepal. Founded in 2010 by Sandeep Giri, a start-up veteran and co-founder of Logical Matrix (later acquired by Oracle), our initial goals were focused on reducing the burden that excessive power outages (as high as 16 hours a day in dry seasons) posed on Nepal’s urban population. Having installed over 2500 solar projects that cumulatively generate 2.5 MW of electricity, Gham played its part in urban electrification and soon after shifted focus to under-served rural markets by 2013.
We have partnered with various multinational agencies and local government entities in this duration to pioneer products that increase energy uptake among the rural population. We are also the first enterprise to install Microgrid in rural Nepal; the first energy enterprise in Nepal to adopt PAYG schemes; and during 2015’s massive earthquake that killed more than 10,000 with a substantial incidence in rural areas, we were one of the first corporate responders with low-cost, portable mobile charging and lighting devices. For our many endeavors, we have been extensively featured by the international media and have been awarded several accolades, lately the Frontier Innovators prize.
In 2009, I was visiting Nepal on vacation after a software company I’d co-founded in San Francisco got acquired.I was in for a surprise. Although I grew up in a rural farm and didn’t see electricity until I was 7, I was not expecting 16 hours of loadshedding in the nation’s capital. Everyone was keeping weird hours to perform basic tasks like charging phone, ironing clothes, or pumping water. Businesses were changing their operating hours to whenever electricity would be available, and some were even shutting down.
Around the same time, the price of solar was coming down enough and solar was starting as an industry. So, I decided to move back to Nepal and start Gham Power to provide solar electricity at prices better than diesel, and do this as a commercially viable private business, without depending on grants and subsidies.
I feel very fortunate about how we have grown as a company. We have a stellar management team in place that has listened closely to our customers and identified where we need to focus – helping farmers and off-grid communities generate more income with solar, and helping large offices and factories reduce their electricity costs through net-metering. We have built a wonderful team of energetic and caring young people who are passionate about the work they do.
Above all, it is our people who make this company tick. Every day, I am proud and feel lucky to see the true spirit and culture of social entrepreneurship that everyone at Gham Power brings to work. They are inventing the future!