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Sadashiv Maskle

India

“Entrepreneurship brought great changes to my life. It has changed my social status and brought more financial stability for me and my family. I only hope that my entrepreneurial journey will change other people’s lives too.”

Sadashiv Maskle grew up in Pune, in rural India. As the eldest son in a lower middle class family, it fell to him to provide for parents and siblings, especially after his father retired and his mother was unable to find work.

So he moved to Mumbai and took a job with a technology company, he worked as a supervisor installing solar inverters. Unfortunately he was unable to earn enough to support his family and himself and so was forced to move home. However it was this experience that would lead Sadashiv to form a plan. He recognised the potential that durable, high quality solar products could bring to businesses and communities across urban and rural India, he explains: “With 45,000 villages in Pune alone, and 600,000 across India, there is huge untapped potential when it comes to using green energy. Solar products are in high demand due to the increase of power tariffs and the shortage of thermal and hydropower solutions, it seemed like a good idea.”

However starting the company was not simple, due to a lack of capital and resources Sadashiv spent years trying to get the project off the ground. It was not until he came across Bharatiya Yuval Shakti Trust (BYST), YBI member organisation in India that his efforts came to fruition. 

BYST believed in the potential of Sadashiv’s business ideas. At first they helped him develop a comprehensive business plan. This then lead to giving him access to financial support and loans. They also paired him with a local mentor, who was able to help him navigate areas such as management, marketing and finance.

The assistance meant Sadashiv was able to get Disha Sunlight off the ground. The company sells a wide range of integrated solar energy solutions, from large power plants to small residential solar panels, street lighting and water heating systems and has already been recognised for its positive impact. 

In 2017 Sadashiv was a winner in the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) Young Entrepreneur Awards.The nominees were identified because of their work and contribution to the 17 Sustainable Development Goals adopted at the United Nations in 2015. Sadashiv's company fulfils a number of them, for example:

  • SDG 1: No poverty – His company is creating jobs and helping marginalised farmers to increase their monthly income;
  • SDG 4: Quality education – Providing solar lighting in remote areas has enabled young people to study into the evenings and allowed schools in remote villages to install solar-power computers;
  • SDG 12: Responsible consumption and production – Disha Sunlight’s solar products and solutions are ecologically friendly, meaning that a one-time investment lasts for a minimum 25 years, with zero maintenance costs;
  • SDG 13: Climate action – Solar energy reducing the carbon footprint which, has a positive impact on the global ecosystem;
  • SDG 15: Life on land – Disha Sunlight’s water conditioning systems, used by the forestry department of the Indian Ministry of Environment, ensures that water is safer for animals and plants in rural communities.

The accolade not only cemented Sadashiv’s dedication, it also resulted in him winning $15,000 to invest in his company, which he has big plans for.

Sadashiv aims to become one of the most important players in India’s rural infrastructure market, providing integrated solar solutions to more than 80% of rural and remote communities, he explains: “As the government increases its efforts to raise awareness for solar energy adoption and with the rapid cost reduction in solar technologies, there will be even more opportunities for my business to grow.” 

As well as contributing to India’s greener future Sadashiv is also keen for Disha Sunlight to create hundreds of employment opportunities and provide vocational training for young people in the villages it serves. 

“I would love to create hundreds of employment and vocational training opportunities. I really just want my entrepreneurial journey to change other people’s lives too.”

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