Harish Hande ‌
Hande at the World Economic Forum India Economic Summit in 2011
Alma materIIT Kharagpur
University of Massachusetts Lowell
OccupationSocial entrepreneur
AwardsRamon Magsaysay Award 2011

Harish Hande (born Handerto Harish Hande) is an Indian social entrepreneur, who co-founded SELCO India in 1995.[1]

He was awarded with the Ramon Magsaysay Award for 2011 for "his pragmatic efforts to put solar power technology in the hands of the poor, through his social enterprise SELCO India".[2]

Early life

He was born in Handattu, Udupi District, Karnataka, and raised in Rourkela, Orissa, India.[3]

After completing his basic schooling in Orissa in Ispat English Medium School, he went to IIT Kharagpur for his undergraduate studies in energy engineering and graduated in 1990.[4][5]

He then went to the United States to do his master's degree and later PhD in energy engineering at the University of Massachusetts Lowell.[5][6]

Hande left the active management of SELCO India in 2014 and became the CEO of SELCO Foundation.[7]


Hande co-founded SELCO INDIA (in 1995), a social enterprise, to eradicate poverty by promoting sustainable technologies in rural India.

SELCO India is a social enterprise that provides sustainable energy services to the poor in India.[8]

Awards and recognitions

SELCO India under the leadership of Hande has won the Ashden Award for Sustainable Energy 2005 and Accenture Economic Development Award for 2005.[9]

In 2007, SELCO INDIA again won the Ashden Award, this time for "Outstanding Achievement" in energy sector.[10] The award was presented by Al Gore, former vice president of the United States of America.

Hande was named the Social Entrepreneur of the Year 2007 by the Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship[5][11] and the Nand & Jeet Khemka Foundation.

In 2008, Hande was chosen by Business Today as one of the "21 young leaders for India’s 21st century".[5] Later, in June 2008, India Today named him one of the 50 pioneers of change in India.[12] He was elected an Ashoka Fellow in 2008.

In 2011 he was awarded the Magsaysay Award for "his passionate and pragmatic efforts to put solar power technology in the hands of the poor, through a social enterprise that brings customized, affordable, and sustainable electricity to India’s vast rural populace, encouraging the poor to become asset creators.”.[13][14]

Hande was also awarded the Karnataka Rajyotsava Prashasti in 2011 by the Government of Karnataka.[15][16]

In 2013 the trustees of University of Massachusetts awarded him the Doctorate of Humane Letters.[16][17]

In 2014 IIT Kharagpur conferred upon him the distinguished alumnus award.[18]


  1. ^ "Solar crusader - Harish Hande- Business News". www.businesstoday.in. 23 December 2007. Retrieved 5 April 2019.
  2. ^ "Bangalorean gets Ramon Magsaysay Award". The Hindu. 28 July 2011.
  3. ^ Asia-Pacific; India. "Harish Hande of SELCO India: Shedding Light on India's Underserved Markets". Knowledge@Wharton. Retrieved 20 July 2021.
  4. ^ "A toast to IIT Kharagpur". The Hindu Business Line. Retrieved 2 January 2016.
  5. ^ a b c d Bhattacharya, Saumya (13 January 2008). "Solar Crusader". Business Today.
  6. ^ "Social Entrepreneur: Harish Hande (Part 1)". One Million by One Million. 10 May 2007. Retrieved 2 January 2016.
  7. ^ "IIT Jodhpur". alumni.iitj.ac.in. Retrieved 20 July 2021.
  8. ^ "Nileema Mishra, Harish Hande win Magsaysay award". The Times of India. 27 July 2011. Archived from the original on 20 August 2013.
  9. ^ "The Tech Awards Laureates 2005". Retrieved 16 July 2011.
  10. ^ "International winners 2007". Ashden Awards, sustainable and renewable energy in the UK and developing world. Archived from the original on 30 December 2007. Retrieved 2 January 2016.
  11. ^ "Harish Hande | Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship". www.schwabfound.org. Retrieved 2 January 2016.
  12. ^ "Let there be light". India Today. 26 June 2008. Retrieved 16 July 2012.
  13. ^ "Hande, Harish • The Ramon Magsaysay Award Foundation • Honoring greatness of spirit and transformative leadership in Asia". www.rmaward.asia. Retrieved 20 July 2021.
  14. ^ "Two Indians among winners of Magsaysay Award 2011 - Rediff.com India News". www.rediff.com. Retrieved 2 January 2016.
  15. ^ "Karnataka: Harish Hande among 50 state awardees". IBNLive. Archived from the original on 4 November 2011. Retrieved 2 January 2016.
  16. ^ a b "Clean Energy Solutions Center | Harish Hande". cleanenergysolutions.org. Retrieved 20 July 2021.
  17. ^ Doctor of Humane Letters Award - Harish Hande - UMass Lowell 2013 Graduate Commencement (2:41), retrieved 2 January 2016
  18. ^ "Alumni | Alumnus Award". alumni.iitkgp.ac.in. Retrieved 20 July 2021.