India’s Frontier Markets to work with Global LEAP Awards Winners

Washington, DC – Frontier Markets, a socially-motivated for-profit company selling clean off-grid energy products throughout rural and peri-urban India, has committed to test market the off-grid appliance products that win the Global LEAP Awards. The Global LEAP Awards is an international competition that will recognize the world’s best low-voltage direct current (DC) off-grid appliances on the basis of their affordability, quality, and energy efficiency.

“Frontier Markets’s business is based on aligning the right products to what our customers want and need,” said Ajaita Shah, Frontier Markets’s Founder and CEO. “Our customers want affordable, high-quality appliances, and they need them to be energy-efficient. Working with Global LEAP Awards winners is a no-brainer.”

Frontier Markets has sold over ten thousand clean energy systems throughout rural India, utilizing a network of village-based entrepreneurs in the Indian states of Rajasthan and Andhra Pradesh. This sales network allows Frontier Markets to penetrate tough-to-reach markets and emphasize customer satisfaction, and the company prides itself on its focus on customer education and after-sales service.

Frontier Markets will utilize its village-based sales network to test market Global LEAP Awards winners and collect customer feedback on the products. Frontier Markets will then provide the products’ manufacturers with the results of the market test, and will consider selling products that perform well among Frontier Markets’ customers.

It is estimated that more than 290 million Indians – nearly the entire population of the United States – have no access to grid electricity. To meet their lighting needs, off-grid households and businesses typically rely on kerosene, a fossil fuel with dangerous indoor air quality, health, and climate change consequences.

Global LEAP is an initiative of the Clean Energy Ministerial that supports commercial markets that help off-grid populations transition away from fuels like kerosene. The Global LEAP Awards’ first competition will identify the world’s most energy-efficient, highest quality low-voltage DC LED room lighting appliances and flat-panel color televisions.

Appliance quality helps build and sustain off-grid consumer demand. The small off-grid power systems needed to run appliances are significant investments for off-grid families in the developing world, and it’s important that this investment delivers as promised—superior products are quickly promoted by word-of-mouth. Energy efficiency is a critical energy access tool because super-efficient off-grid appliances can run on smaller, more affordable power systems.

“The off-grid energy access market can’t grow as quickly as it needs to on the backs of inferior products,” said Shah. “The Global LEAP Awards is accelerating this market’s maturity and growth, and we’re happy to support the program.”

Manufacturers of eligible products can find more information and nominate their products at www.GlobalLEAPawards.org.

About Frontier Markets

Frontier Markets is a for-profit social enterprise delivering clean energy technologies to the base of the economic pyramid (BoP) throughout India. The company is committed to customer education and after-sales service—customers are educated on the new technology before a sale, and receive follow-up calls during the first few months of use. Frontier Markets is dedicated to mitigating service issues that might threaten customer satisfaction, and services technical issues with unparalleled turnover. Frontier Markets’s goal is to reach 50 million BoP households in India within five years. http://www.frontiermkts.com

About Global LEAP

The Clean Energy Ministerial (CEM) is a high-level global forum to share best practices and promote policies and programs that encourage and facilitate the transition to a global clean energy economy. CEM initiatives are based on areas of common interest among participating governments and other stakeholders and help reduce emissions, improve energy security, provide energy access, and sustain economic growth. The Global Lighting and Energy Access Partnership (Global LEAP) is a CEM initiative to catalyze and transform markets for off-grid energy products and services. www.cleanenergyministerial.org/GlobalLEAP

Contacts

Ajaita Shah
Frontier Markets
ajaita.shah@frontiermkts.com

Matt Jordan
Global LEAP Awards
mjordan@clasponline.org

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