The Batti Ghar Foundation
The Batti Ghar Foundation (Batti Ghar) is a non-profit social enterprise based out of Bhubaneswar, Odisha. Batti Ghar works to make sustainable technology livelihood friendly and bridge the gaps that exist in the sectors of Agriculture, Cottage Industries & Rural businesses using sustainable technology Innovations.
Can you tell us a little about The Battighar Foundation?
The Batti Ghar Foundation(Batti Ghar) is a non-profit organisation registered in the state of Odisha, working with communities that are stuck in the vicious circle of poverty; by providing them with sustainable development opportunities using sustainable technology, Innovation & entrepreneurship as tools. Since it`s inception in January 2016, Batti Ghar has developed four sustainable technology innovations and have incubated 10 grassroots level entrepreneurs who collectively serve over 10000 un-served people every year. Through various other projects & initiatives, Batti Ghar itself has impacted lives of around 600 people so far.
What is the business model you follow? Who are your target consumers?
Though Batti Ghar is a non-profit organisation, its core principle is to develop sustainable business models using sustainable technology. Our primary focus is on rural, tribal and urban poor youth from agriculture and unorganised sector who lack access to appropriate technology and livelihood opportunities. Technology innovation happens based on their livelihood requirements followed by a carefully crafted business model that can convert the technology into an independent & sustainable business. Batti Ghar then incubates entrepreneurs from these groups to take up businesses based on the technology innovation.
What have been the challenges and success in this?
The main challenges are from lack on an enabling eco-system for entrepreneurs at the grassroots level. Access to appropriate finance for small sustainable technology based entrepreneurs is still a hard task since most of them belong to the unorganised sector and economically poor background. Creating confidence both among the potential entrepreneurs and financiers about the technology is also challenging due to lack of proper awareness.
Despite the challenges, Batti Ghar has been able to find the right partners and people to collaborate with in order to achieve the larger goal. We have been able to create role model entrepreneurs in some remote rural areas that can inspire other youth to take up sustainable technology based entrepreneurship. Through research & policy initiatives, we are working on contributing to a stronger eco-system for various stakeholders in this space.
How has the work of Battighar evolved over the years? What are the highlights?
Batti Ghar completed two years of existence this January and we believe the journey has just begun. With a small team and limited resources, we have been able to develop four sustainable technology business models and have incubated 10 entrepreneurs. These entrepreneurs have been serving over 10000 people every year apart from earning their own livelihoods. Batti Ghar has worked closely with national and international organisations in policy research and has trained dozens of tribal youth in solar energy technology. Our project ‘Solar puncturewala’ was featured in the UN SDSN youth report as one of the top 50 technologies developed by youth. Batti Ghar has developed technologies like ‘Solar Cane’ a solar powered sugarcane juice cart and ‘Jan Samadhan Kendra’, a rural citizen service centre powered by solar energy. We have also installed the first of its typesolar-poweredd cold storage for a farmer group in Odisha in partnership with another organisation.
What are your plans for the future?
Batti Ghar has plans to develop four new technologies and incubate 12 new entrepreneurs in the coming year. We have multiple technology development plans in pipeline and are working on them in partnership with various organisations. We are also working closely with other practitioner organisations in Odisha to create a platform for sustainable energy & climate change-related policy reforms.
Finally, what role do you expect CLEAN to play in the work you are undertaking?
As a member of the network, we expect CLEAN to play proactive role strengthening the enabling eco-system for sustainable energy & technology stakeholders in states like Odisha. CLEAN's support in developing some challenging but need-based technologies as well as facilitating financing for small entrepreneurs can be very useful. We also expect CLEAN`s support in protecting intellectual property rights of smaller organisations like ours and facilitate collaboration among members working on similar domains.