NIBM'18: The importance of Infrastructure

Rotterdam, September 2018 - Rural Spark was present during the 2018 Netherlands India Business Meet, organised by NICCT and hosted by the Mayer of Rotterdam, Ahmed Aboutaleb.

Harmen van Heist, co-founder Rural Spark, at NIBM 2018

Harmen van Heist, co-founder Rural Spark, at NIBM 2018

Harmen was keynote speaker on the event that focussed on innovating infrastructure. For electrification, infrastructure is a big factor to work on. The rural Indian market can be described as a typical commodity market. In the rural markets, solar lanterns and solar home systems are being sold without a smart service model or a bigger vision towards the future. However, to really provide a future proof, scalable solution, the market will have to transform into a micro-utility market. Rural Spark sets out to modify the sector from a commodity industry to a utility industry. This model requires new infrastructure and distribution models, together with all partners involved.

Rural Spark: a solution that fits the context.

Rural Spark offers an ecosystem that does provide support to our partners, and strengthens the infrastructure for real electrification to happen.

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There is still a lot of work to do and Rural Spark is looking forward to work with even more partners to change the sector. This demands new approaches towards the villages, including after sales, service and customer relationships. As Rural Spark, we have tools in place to facilitate this, as the Rural Spark Service Platform supports the complete value chain. This online tool tracks & triggers payments, activates systems, provides service, offers marketing opportunities and makes the money flow transparent for distribution partners. It also allows for direct contact with the villagers for support, tips, promotions and increasing user engagement. Sales force automation, Credit Score Cards, Inventory Management and After Sales ticketing strengthen the infrastructure.

Currently reliable, future proof solutions that hold potential, have difficulties reaching the market because they can’t flurish using ’singe-sale-models’. Innovating Infrastructure it is!

Let’s Electrify. Let’s make it happen.

Bart Driessen joining the team of directors

Rural Spark is proud to announce that we have found Bart Driessen to be our Executive Director.

Bart is a experienced entrepreneur with more than twenty years of experience. He founded a creative communication agency and made that company grow to an award-winning major player. The company provided many national and international corporates, startups, governments and ngos with services as corporate identity, communication/marketing strategy, creative design and digital services.

Bart is a generalist, combining a clear vision, strategic overview and entrepreneurship with hands-on mentality. He is a leader, aimed to build and motivate teams. He has a creative mind that always comes up with new solutions and new opportunities.

His leadership capabilities will inspire the whole team to speed up growth, making Rural Spark even more sustainable, financially viable and innovative. One of his major focus points will be the marketing strategy of Rural Spark.


Shagun joining Rural Spark as Vice President Partnerships

As Rural Spark is increasing its international activities with multiple partners, we are proud to announce our team is strengthened by Shagun Jain as Vice President Partnerships. Shagun will focus on partnerships where Rural Spark provides an innovative solution to distribution partners, proposing interesting and innovative business and operational models.

Shagun is a first-generation entrepreneur with 11+ years of experience in leading a company and managing business operations. He is a graduate in Economics from Delhi University right after which he pursued his entrepreneurial vision. At his venture, he gained immense exposure and brings a 360-degree view of leading various business functions such as strategy, B2B business development, finance, planning, project execution, and operations.

Shagun was responsible for building a solid client base by leading business development partnerships involving automotive majors, metro railways, oil & gas, industry bodies amongst others. In his experience as a business owner, he was deeply involved with supply chain and negotiations for various requirements of the company. Shagun also managed to successfully complete project financing by raising equity from private investors and debt from national banks. We believe he brings leadership, effective communication, divergent thinking, implementation and motivation skills and strong operational rigor to the table. His experience will definitely add a a lot of skills to the Rural Spark team, focussing on sustainable, financially viable and scalable partnerships. Past experience of his also supports the company in further developing a strong and successful go-to-market strategy for new territories Rural Spark to enter with innovative business models.

Shagun is a keen fitness enthusiast with a particular interest in functional training. He frequently leads fitness sessions and serves as fitness mentor for family and friends. He also loves to follow indie music artists from various genres such as Jazz, Reggae, Country and Latin music.

Shagun, happy to have you on board!

Pawan joins Rural Spark as Account Associate

We are happy to strengthen the Rural Spark team with the skills of Pawan Singh. As efficient and organised accounting professional with broad experience in finance and accounting, we increase our financial professionalism.

Before joining Rural Spark, Pawan worked with a travel company, but the creative work environment at Rural Spark convinced him to work in this startup environment to share his experience, skills and structure. We look forward to see Pawan in action.

Pawan is brought up in Delhi, is married and has two children. His Cricket skills are also something the team is looking forward to experience in real life. Having won the Zonal Cricket, as a middle order batsman. we feel we can learn a lot here!

Pawan, welcome to the team!

Rural Spark hires Managing Director Aravind Kumar

Rural Spark is ready to step up it's game and is happy to announce that Aravind Kumar joining Rural Spark to make that happen in the role of Managing Director. Aravind brings relevant experience in the off-grid energy sector, allowing Rural Spark to establish its unique value proposition in the market, build out critical functions of finance, supply chain, operations, production, marketing, human resources and business development, and defining the product roadmap to align with market requirements.

Over 1.600 people have applied for the role of Managing Director of Rural Spark, and a very thorough process clearly made Aravind come out on top. Aravind has over 10+ years of experience in management consulting, business development, P&L management and entrepreneurship. He has previously worked at organizations such as McKinsey & Co., TechnoServe, and Greenlight Planet and holds a Bachelor's degree in Economics from Delhi University. Aravind has large knowledge about the sector, having worked as an experienced professional in the sector with one of the market-leading rural electrification companies.

Aravind strongly believes in market-based, financially sustainable strategies for the BOP segment and shares Rural Spark's vision for rural electrification. His professional network across multiple countries helps Rural Spark grow beyond India to international markets.

We are excited to have Aravind on-board and transform Rural Spark into a commercially strong, financially viable and scalable enterprise. For our partners, customers, sponsors and other stakeholders, we are confident your interests will be met even more. We're happy to introduce you to work with Aravind directly, and together grow the energy network of tomorrow while providing lots of people with reliable access to energy.