Francisco Noguera

Introducing Social Entrepreneurs from GSBI 2008: Meet Deepinder Mohan from Environment Planning Grou

This year, the Global Social Benefit Incubator at Santa Clara University piloted an approach to capture and diseminate systemic knowledge?about?community-scale water treatment and sanitation. Four of the?entrepreneurs this year?represented projects that address these challenges. Deepinder Mohan, founder of Environment Planning Group Limited, is one of them.?–

EPGL is bringing an affordable and reliable source of clean?and safe drinking water to rural villages in India using reverse osmosis?technology.?With support from Acumen Fund?EPGL has reached a?scale of 35 plants in operation and envisions a rapid growth to?achieve its vision of 5,000 plants by 2013.????Attaining this vision will demand heavy investment?but I don’t believe that will be?EPGL’s?biggest challenge. Demand will continue to grow and RO?technology is proven to be effective. The economics of the model are viable and sustainable. Moreover, the number of investors and funds in this space will most likely continue to grow, following the steps taken by Acumen Fund. So no, EPGL’s long run success will not be a question of access to capital.

In stead, it will depend on?it building a robust organization?–one with a clear vision and strategy, well defined and efficient processes, a robust talent and technology base, strategic partnerships, and an adequate?organizational structure– that can?transcend Deepinder’s vision and leadership and?turn into institutional skills and values?that will continue to improve the lives?of?the Indian poor in the longer run.

I very much look forward to?keeping track of?this tenacious entrepreneur and the growth of his remarkable venture.