Say Goodbye to Kerosene Lamps, Here’s Kiran!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Their mission is to bring light to millions of households that do not have access to electricity. Betting big on solar lighting products, Sam Goldman and his team have embarked on an enduring journey to remove darkness from the remotest corners of the world.

Sam was moved by an unfortunate incident, while working as a US Peace Corps volunteer in the West African nation of Benin between 2001 and 2005, which led him to focus on this segment.

“My neighbour’s son in Benin was badly burned by a kerosene lamp. It was disturbing to see that when we made so much progress in terms of technology, we still did not have a solution to this grave problem. So I had made up my mind to provide a source of light that is safe and cheap.”

He then joined Stanford University to pursue an MBA in social entrepreneurship. The idea got a fillip at the ’Entrepreneurial Design for Extreme Affordability’ class at the Stanford University’s Hasso Plattner Institute of Design.

Sam Goldman then joined hands with classmate Ned Tozun to start D.Light Design, a company that makes affordable solar lighting solutions to serve the bottom-of-the-pyramid households in India and other markets across the globe. The initial research and early prototyping of what became D.light products, began in 2006.

The company was officially founded in mid-2007 with the ambitious mission to reach out to about 1.6 billion people in the world without electricity, and another billion or more who have unreliable electricity.

The company’s latest product, Kiran (which means a ray of light), is a low-cost solar lighting solution, designed especially for households without access to electricity. Dubbed the ’kerosene killer’, Kiran is priced at Rs 499 ($10) making it the most affordable, quality solar lantern in the world.

Source: Rediff Business (link opens in a new window)