July 12, 2019, JAIPUR, RAJASTHAN – Frontier Markets, a company with the mission to provide access to quality clean energy solutions in rural India, has launched a solar powered torch that meets the World Bank Group’s Lighting Global Quality Standards.
Lighting Global, a World Bank Group initiative managed jointly by the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and the World Bank, works to grow the global market for modern off-grid energy. Lighting Global uses a rigorous set of standards to encourage quality, durability, and truth in advertising to protect consumers. Frontier Market’s “Solar Rakshak Plus”, is the first made in India solar powered torch to meet these standards.
“This first made-in-India solar powered torch to meet the Lighting Global Quality Standards will positively impact the daily life of millions of people — especially women. Years of working in rural distribution and understanding the rural consumer has gone into creating this product with women at the center of its development,” said Ajaita Shah, Founder and CEO of Frontier Markets.
In India, IFC manages the country program, Lighting Asia/India, and has partnered with Frontier Markets, since 2013 to promote innovative and quality assured products in rural areas. Today, 160 solar products comply with the Lighting Global Quality Standards globally.
“By supporting the market for products that meet the Lighting Global standards, we help consumers gain confidence in off-grid solar products,” says Anjali Garg, Program Manager for Lighting Asia/India. “We also help manufacturers tap into international markets to help develop a competitive global market where quality products are the default option.”
Frontier Markets has been driving access to clean energy solutions since 2011 and has built a proven and scalable model with a network of 5,000 entrepreneurs comprising 50% of women who are known as “Solar Sahelis.” Frontier Markets has recruited these women in partnership with local Self-Help Group organizations to help them sell clean energy solutions in their villages through trainings in sales, marketing, data collection through mobile phones, and repair; as well as supporting them with on-the-ground marketing activities, and local distribution hubs. Sahelis have successfully helped 500,000 households adopt 700,000 clean energy solutions and other high impact consumer durables to help address rural household challenges.
With close to 70% of India’s rural households dependent on agriculture, and almost 48% of the rural population comprising women, outdoor safety and security issues are paramount specially for farmers and women. The biggest fear of farmers while protecting their fields is attack by animals and snake bites and women have to be restricted to their houses after sunset due to safety issues. Given the strong understanding of the local market, Frontier Markets recognized the need for a good quality, long-range beam LED solar torch to address challenges in rural Rajasthan, including outdoor safety issues faced by farmers and women. It worked with the ‘Solar Sahelis’ through the product development process to create a fit-for-purpose torch suitable for tough environments. Feedback on use, durability and affordability was sought from farmers and women using a 3D printed version of the torch to include consumer preferences in its design. The most recent variant of this torch is the ‘Solar Rakshak Plus’ which provides light of 130 lumens for 3 hours (high mode) and 83 lumens for 5 hours (economy mode) following a single day of charging in the sun. It also offers mobile phone charging and is covered by 2 year warranty. This INR 1199 torch has almost negligible environmental impact and can be easily repaired by local women micro-entrepreneurs.
“It is a perfect tool for crop’s safety and productivity, self-defense and outdoor usage and can be used by men, women & even children. Farmers feel safe because they do not have to worry about snake bites and wild animals. It is light and easy to charge and use”, says Radha Devi, Solar Saheli, Nagli Megha, Alwar, Rajasthan.
- Solar Rakshak Plus: https://www.lightingglobal.org/products/fm-rakshak/
- Certification: https://www.lightingglobal.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/TypeApproval_fm-rakshak-v2.pdf
- Frontier Markets: frontiermkts.com
- Lighting Global: https://www.lightingglobal.org/
ABOUT FRONTIER MARKETS
Frontier Markets is a last-mile distribution company with a mission to create ‘Saral Jeevan’ or an ‘Easy Life’ for rural customers by providing them with access to quality clean energy solutions through a network of digitized rural entrepreneurs, with women at the center of the value chain. Over the years, Frontier Markets has successfully delivered 700,000+ solutions in solar lighting, energy efficient appliances, mobile devices, and more to 500K households in Rajasthan. Frontier Market’s leadership has been driving a customer-first lens to address rural household challenges in safety, productivity, and aspiration. Solar Sahelis are the leading, trusted service providers earning over $3 MN of income and reinvesting their wealth in their daughters’ education and wellbeing. Frontier Markets has introduced innovative products through investments in Indian manufacturers, and partnerships with leading corporate partners like Unilever, Philips, JIO and others.
ABOUT LIGHTING GLOBAL
Lighting Global is the World Bank Group’s initiative to rapidly increase access to off-grid solar energy for the 840 million people living without grid electricity world-wide. Lighting Global – managed by IFC and the World Bank – works with manufacturers, distributors, governments, and other development partners to build and grow the modern off-grid solar energy market. We support regional market transformation programs: Lighting Africa, Lighting Asia and Lighting Pacific, which work along the supply chain to reduce market entry barriers and first mover risks. To date, nearly 180 million people have benefited from using Lighting Global quality verified solar lighting products, and more than 47.5 million people have had their basic lighting needs met. More than 35 million quality verified products have been sold since 2009. Since then, 3.5 million tons of GHG has been avoided due to the use of quality verified products instead of kerosene. Learn more about our impact.